Prolific Maryville, Tn., author Ken Paul Mink, 84, former managing editor of five daily newspapers, has come out with his 25th book, a children’s tale about the adventures of two rambunctious hummingbirds, Zippy and Zoomer, in the Knoxville, Tn., area.
The book became available on Amazon Books on Dec. 11 and Amazon records indicate the book during the first week was purchased in electronic and print form in several states and 10 countries (England, Denmark, France, Spain, Italy, New Zealand, Australia, Brazil, India and Japan).
Set in the Ijams Nature Center forest of Knoxville the book follows the tiny birds as they deal with a rescue from the web of a vicious spider, figure how to deal with some bully birds who invade the neighborhood, how to help save a local farm family from a potentially fatal fire, learning to play hide-and-seek in a cloud bank and how to run a Birdy Derby to see who is the fastest bird on the block.
The 30-page book “The Adventures of Zippy and Zoomer Hummingbirds” also includes a series of color photos about other American birds, a page explaining all about hummingbirds, a page encouraging children to color a black-and-white illustration of Zippy and Zoomer, a page encouraging children to draw and color birds of their choice and a page with a map and directions to the popular Ijams Nature Center.
Early returns from children and adults has been overwhelmingly positive, with the book being described as “educational,” “inspirational,” “motivational,” “character building,” and “lots of fun.”
The book sells for $9.50 on Amazon Books, but Mink has already donated thousands of dollars’ worth of books to churches and schools in Tennessee and Kentucky. The book features several full-color illustrations by noted cartoonist/illustrator John Rose, who is also the illustrator for the internationally-famed cartoon “Snuffy Smith.”
“I really want this book to reach as many children as possible,” said Mink, “so I am devoting most of the profits from this book to the purchase of more books to be provided free of charge to area children.”
He said he is also working with some newspapers, schools and Ijams Nature Center to provide discounted books to children, parents and grandparents.
“I feel this might become a classic children’s book that will be handed down by families for generations,” he said.
Readers may receive a discounted paperback copy of the book for $8 or an electonic copy for $3 by contacting Mink at his email address “email@example.com”
Efforts are also underway to create a non-profit organization “The Hummingbird Fund, a fun way to help children become better citizens.”
For more information or to make a comment or suggestion you may reach Mink at 3866 Legends Way, Maryville, Tn., 37801, email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone at 865-233-0094 or 865-803-8829.