Welcome to Cuccia Kids Books!

The fun site of discovery for the child in all of us!Jazzy

I’ve always enjoyed kids books because they’re the most exciting, colorful and FUN to read!

So when I decided to move into the realm of writing and illustrating kids books, my first choice was to create a fun adventure about my best friend … my black lab, “Princess” Jasmine. We rescued each other years ago, and I found that through her eyes I could weave a tale of friendship, second chances and just being yourself that could be entertaining and educational to kids!

To my delight, I discovered I had more ideas than could fit into just one story! It began with There’s A Crazy Dog Under the Palace!, continued into the sequel Who Ate the Gelato?! (released earlier this year) and now I’m beginning work on the third and last book in this series, entitled Topo Under the Big Top! With each new tale Jasmine the black lab, Topo the wise little mouse, and Roxanne the Tibetan mastiff discover that in most situations three heads are better than one, and friendship is the most important lesson of all!

 

The sequel is HERE!

You can order Who Ate the Gelato?! TODAY by clicking  Buy Now!

who ate the Gelato




Who Ate the Gelato?!

Chi Ha Mangiato il Gelato?! While Sicily and Europe endure a massive heat wave, our heroes travel across Europe to Tibet, in search of ice and an enigmatic character called the Brain!

jasmine Milo 

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There’s A Crazy Dog Under the Palace!

Sotto Un Palazzo C’è Un Cane Pazzo! A homeless black lab named Jasmine, a rich little mouse named Topo and Prince Antonino’s “official dog,” a Tibetan mastiff named Roxanne, help each other discover the value of friendship, second chances, and just being yourself while concocting a scheme to help a Prince regain his confidence!  

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Franklin County Animal Shelter/Friends of the Shelter

Dog Shelter

For years, as an animal lover and advocate for animal rights, I’ve used my artwork and abilities to aid various rescues and shelters with their fundraising events.

We adopted our black labrador, Jasmine from the Franklin County Animal Shelter in 2005 and they have become one of my favorite agencies to work with! Over the past year I’ve become even more pro-active by giving presentations to various elementary schools, talking about my book and the creative inspiration behind it, while making children aware of the plight of homeless animals everywhere and what they can do to help.

I’m proud to say these wonderful kids throughout central Ohio have gone above and beyond my wildest expectations and with their ingenuity and big hearts, having raised incredible amounts in donations, for the Franklin County Animal Shelter / Friends of the Shelter, so that they may continue to help our four-legged friends. Grazie, kids…you’re the BEST!

Children’s Books and Current Topics

Since working out the plot line and script for Who Ate the Gelato?!, I’ve found I have the opportunity to expand an idea that I not only discuss with kids on a regular basis in my book signings and school presentations, but an idea that I truly believe in with all my heart ... helping homeless animals everywhere through contributions and education!

Why Do You Use A Black Dog in Your Children’s Books?

Jasmine was about one year old when we adopted her from the Franklin County Animal Shelter and it was evident from the start she’d had a rough life. Although we quickly bonded with our new girl, she was a fiercely independent dog ... so much so that we use to joke “the Princess has her own agenda” and the name Princess stuck!

Creating Smiles All Over the World!

It occurred to me that since my printer doesn’t request the return of misprinted kids books, that various charities might benefit from their 130-book mistake! Charities with kids and families that can’t always afford to put food on the table, especially during the holidays might enjoy the gift of free kid’s books as Christmas presents!

Visual Storytelling / the Establishing Shot

In the world of movies, photography or children's book illustration, the establishing shot is one of the most important as it sets the stage for where the action to follow will take place. Typically it’s a scenic shot taken from quite a distance away and could be represented by a wide shot of the Eiffel Tower (if the story takes place in France), a train station, a field of flowers...well, you get the general idea!

Where Do Ideas for Children’s Books Come From?

The title for Who Ate the Gelato?! actually came from a real life experience with Benji...the Brittany Spaniel mix that belonged to my wife’s family when she was growing up. While house-sitting for my in-laws I took Benji to Baskin & Robbins for some mint chocolate chip ice cream (his favorite!)