Life is Ruff
Stephanie Arnal, a senior at Chelmsford High School, recently had her watercolor illustrations published for the children’s book, Life is Ruff by Chris Howard.
Chris Howard, the author, is a 1993 Chelmsford High School graduate who was determined to publish his first book about his rescued dog, Cody. Chris thought it was a good idea to create a childrens book from a dog’s perspective to teach young children about the positive feelings and rewards when you rescue a pup from a shelter. “I know it is good to teach pups and children early in their life about important principles.”
The story is about Chris’ rescued dog, Cody, who dreamt of her ideal life and how fate rewarded her. The story teaches valuable lessons such as to never give up, no matter how many difficulties there are in life. Chris’s friend Cathy Salvaggio, who owns the Half Pints Learning Center in Tewksbury, helped Chris to review several rough drafts and promote the book. Cathy researched several publishers and illustrators to pursue Chris’ dream to have this unique story published. But the illustrations never quite fit the story. Cathy contacted Christina Whittlesley, the Fine Arts Coordinator for the Chelmsford Public Schools and asked if there were students at Chelmsford High School who might be interested. Ms. Whittlesley shared this opportunity with the CHS Art Faculty and art teacher Terry Karangioze jumped at the opportunity. Ms. Karangioze offered this task to all of her art students and asked those interested to create several rough drafts of the dog Cody. Terry knew that Stephanie might be a good match as Terry had submitted several of Stephanie’s art pieces to several local and international art contests in the past few years. Terry forwarded all of the student’s sketches to Chris and Cathy. Chris and Cathy reviewed the sketches and knew that Stephanie Arnal’s watercolor illustrations were perfect for their book. Stephanie Arnal spent many hours at home and in art class recreating and perfecting her watercolor illustrations for each page. Stephanie met with Chris, Cathy & Cody and made an instant connection to everyone. Stephanie enjoyed the entire publishing process and has aspirations to pursue an illustration major in several colleges. Stephanie learned a great deal about the designs and page set-ups for the book.
Chris Howard is the proud owner of the Animal Haus, on Summer Street in Chelmsford. Chris said, “Stephanie was very easy to work with and receptive to any special requests from Chris and the publisher.” More praise for Stephanie came as Chris explained that “Stephanie is an exceptionally good artist and versatile for her age as she offered many styles of illustrations,” and “She is so dedicated to her work.”
The book cover will be made into an attractive plaque and be placed on the wall of the Alumni Author’s Corner in the CHS Learning Commons. This corner has been dedicated to CHS graduates who have been published, and is maintained and organized by the CHS Alumni Association.
Over 250 copies have been sold. You can purchase the book at the Animal Haus Store for $13.95 or online at Amazon for $14.95. A $1.00 donation from this purchase will be forwarded to a Shelter. If you visit Chris’s blog on his website
http://animalhaus-ma.com you can view pets of the month updates of dogs and cats that need a home.
Chris enjoyed creating this book. “It was a lot of fun to write,” he says, and has a second book written and ready for an illustrator.