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January 10, 2017

Local Authors We Are Loving Right Now

By Laura Byrne

We love to read here at Tampa Bay Parenting and so do our kids! We recently put our heads together to come up with our favorite children’s books and noticed several of the titles were written by authors who live right here in Tampa Bay!

The Pirates Fixable Teeth

The Pirates’ Fixable Teeth by Kate Kyres. Illustrated by Susan S. Robinson: $16   sillydillytotspot.com

A kind, plucky, skilled and resourceful dentist working on a Royal Ship teaches Pirate Captain Roy and his crew that the real treasure lies within their healthy, golden smiles. This fun, smooth-sailing rhyme and companion illustrations inspire animated story-telling and happy lone reading by 4 – 8 year olds.

Kate created Silly Dilly’s 9 years ago to curate and sell other companies’ products and to act as creative inspiration for her stories. Last year, she created The Enchanted Spot to share her stories. The Pirates’ Fixable Teeth is the first of her stories to become a hardcover book.



Goodnight Tampa by Melissa Twomey. Illustrated by Donna Craig: $18.99   goodnighttampa.com

Goodnight Tampa is a beautifully illustrated book inspired by the children’s classic, “Goodnight Moon.” As you flip through the pages, you and your child will be taken on a visually stunning adventure to say goodnight to some of Tampa Bay’s most family-friendly venues such as the Glazer Children’s Museum, Lowry Park Zoo and the Florida Aquarium.

Melissa was born in Memphis and has now spent as many years in Tampa as in Memphis.  Her job marketing Coppertone sun care products brought her to Tampa, and she has also served as marketing director for the Lowry Park Zoo and the Yankees, both featured in the book. Her past 10 years have been dedicated to the Heart Gallery of Tampa Bay, which finds homes for children in foster care who are available for adoption.

Donna studied at Ringling School of Art & Design in Sarasota, Florida. Before graduation, she was hired by Hallmark Cards as an illustrator.  She is well known in local circles for having been an illustrator for Lowry Park Zoo annual fundraiser, Karamu, for 20 years.  Other clients that have benefited from her illustrative touch are Outback Steakhouse, Carrabba’s Italian Grill, American Cancer Society, the Florida State Fair, Once Upon an Opera and PowerStories.



Monsters are Afraid of Music by Allison A. Wilkins. Illustrated by Elizabeth A. Galbraith: $24.95   allisongsfortots.com

Sing along with this interactive storybook that teaches young children to use music to chase away their fears.




Angels Watching Over Me by Allison A. Wilkins. Illustrated by Mike Motz: $19.95 allisongsfortots.com

This is the second book in Allison Wilkins’ children’s empowerment series that guides readers through the timeline of a child’s life when the angels are with them, showing them they are never alone.

Singer/songwriter Allison Wilkins is the owner of Allisongs For Tots, LLC, which teaches music to children ages 0-5 through a research-based curriculum developed by Music Together in eight locations in the Tampa Bay area.    

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