Mother-daughter team, Amy Houts and Emily Dettmer Bush, have co-authored a picture book that celebrates the mother/child bond. The artwork for “What Do Moms Do?” was created by award-winning illustrator, Lisa Thiesing. The book was first released as an e-book and is now also available in paperback.
Sweet, funny animal illustrations help tell the story of the everyday ways moms show their love. A newly-hatched duckling asks her animal friends, “What do moms do?” They answer by showing the different things their moms do to make them feel special. One example is a mother skunk sitting by the bathtub while her child takes a bath. The ironic text states, “My mom gives me extra time in the tub—even if I’m already clean.”
Houts and Bush wrote the book years ago. They were discussing some of the little sacrifices that moms make that seem trivial but make everyday routines special.
Houts remembered, “Emily and I started making a list of all the things that moms do. Because I write children’s books, I naturally thought it was a good topic to feature in a book because the underlying theme is love.”
“When we came up with the idea for this book several years ago,” said Bush, “it was fun to remember the little things that my mom did for me throughout my childhood. Now that I am a mom, too, our book has a new meaning for me and I have a deeper appreciation for my mom.”
Houts and Thiesing met at a writers conference in New York City in 1999. They kept in touch through email, cards and get-togethers when Houts visited her family, who live in the New York City area. Thiesing lives in upstate New York. Houts and Thiesing have cheered each other on with their professional successes. Houts has authored over 60 books, for educational publishers such as McGraw Hill, Pearson and Capstone. Thiesing has written and illustrated over 40 books for top publishing houses such as Dutton, Random House and Harper Collins.
“I am thrilled that Lisa agreed to collaborate on this book!” said Houts. “Her artwork captures the love that moms share with their children.”
Houts, a long-time resident of Maryville, freelances full-time. She started a publishing company, Houts & Home Publications LLC, in 2011, releasing “Mealtime Magic: Delicious dinners in half the time” in 2013. Bush, the mother of twin boys, is a 2000 graduate of Maryville High School and lives in West Des Moines, IA.
“It’s been a real joy working with my daughter, Emily, on this book,” said Houts. “A dream come true.”
“What Do Moms Do?” is published by Houts & Home Publications LLC. In the Kindle e-book version, engaging features enhance reading. Hidden pop-ups identify objects on the page. Text enlarges with a touch. The e-book is available at amazon.com for $2.99. “What Do Moms Do?” is perfect for bedtime or any time a soothing story is desired. Cost for the paperback is $6.99, available at Hy-Vee, amazon.com or through houtsandhome.com.
Houts will be autographing “What Do Moms Do?” at the Hy-Vee Authors Showcase from 2 to 3 pm, Saturday, April 25.