Inspired by her nine month old daughter, world history and economics teacher Terri Johnson Reyes recently published her book Lone Tooth last September.
Reyes’ idea for her picture book came when she named her daughter’s first tooth the “Lone Toof.”
“I told her one day: ‘I’m going to create a story about your tooth,’” Reyes said. “So then, I made a story; [it’s] kind of an Old West story.”
The story is about a family of teeth searching for a new home in the west. The daughter, Ruth, goes ahead by herself, as a lone tooth, overcoming challenges thrown at her by Mother Nature.
“Just the fact that I gave [the book] the name Lone Tooth, [it was] already [going] in the direction of a western-themed story,” Reyes said.
Originally, Reyes wanted to create the book just for her daughter, but after sharing it on social media, she changed her mind.
“All of my family and friends [asked], ‘when can we get it, when can we buy,’ so that’s when I decided to actually publish it,” Reyes said.
Reyes worked on her book for months, determined to create a story out of her ideas.
“The writing process didn’t really take too long, because [there] wasn’t a lot of wording,” Reyes said. “But it took me months [to] even just [think] of a story.”
The book was self-published through Blurb, as Reyes wanted to be accountable for everything, from her hand-drawn illustrations to her story.
“I felt like it was an easy process because I published it [myself],” Reyes said.
Despite being a short book, Reyes hopes that her readers will think of Lone Tooth as a cute, little story.
“It’s not a really long book,” Reyes said. “It’s meant to be for the lower grades, but I hope that they would just get kind of this adventurous, fun enjoyment [out of it].”
Reyes said that she has entertained an idea of a sequel.
“I’m open to the idea of making another book, and I’m also open to the idea of just continuing [on] from this story,” Reyes said. “But I don’t have any other ideas at the moment.”
Currently, a Kickstarter campaign is up for pre-ordering or supporting the book, along with other merchandise, and it will run until Oct. 22. If interested, students may see Reyes in at room A210 or visit <<www.kickstarter.com/projects/lonetooth/lone-tooth-a-childrens-western-book>>.