MOUNT VERNON — Ready? Set? Doodle! Tuesday, March 20, the students of Dan Emmett elementary will receive an author visit from Jason Tharp.
For Tharp, the visit to Dan Emmett is a homecoming of sorts. He attended Dan Emmett elementary and grew up just down the street from the school, living in Mount Vernon until after his freshman year of high school when he moved to Fredericktown. He graduated from Fredericktown in 1994.
Tharp wrote the “Super Monsta Friends” books “Let’s Go!” and “Be You!” as well as “Peachy and Keen: A School Tail.”
“Let’s Go!” introduces the Super Monstas as they take an epic road trip adventure across Doodlandia in search of the Doodleverse’s greatest theme park, Sir Doodalot’s Kingdom. Games, puzzles, jokes and comics fill the pages with crazy fun and leave boredom in the dust.
Less of a guided doodle and more of a novel, “Peachy and Keen” is the story of two best friends. Peachy tries to join the school newspaper the first week of school, dragging hyperactive Keen with her, only to find the paper has shut down. That doesn’t stop Peachy from trying to find a way to live her dream of being a star reporter and making a difference. Keen inspires her plans and helps enact them, until things start going sideways and the friends have a fight.
“I travel the country now,” Tharp wrote to the News, “talking to kids about embracing their big weird dreams, their uniqueness, the power of their word(s), and the magic they can add to someone’s life.”
“Growing up in Mount Vernon, I had no clue how to become an author, and thought it might be a good source of inspiration for the kids. I’m excited to go back and speak at Dan Emmett,” Tharp said. “I would love to do something to inspire some kids in Mount Vernon.”
Two more Peachy and Keen books are set to come out later this year. Both of these series are aimed to engage with 7-10 year olds or grades 2-5. Tharp, who now lives in Columbus, has also accepted two multi-book deals, one with Simon & Schuster and one with MacMillan, and is the creator of Wonderville Studios.