James Howard, cohost of The Sunny 92.3 Morning Show with James and Kim, and host of the Channel 9 WTVC program “This N That” and his family have authored a new children’s book about a local crow with some unique challenges.
The idea for the book, Oli Kai, came when Mr. Howard was approached by staff at Reflection Riding Arboretum & Nature Center, and asked if he would be willing to fly to Missouri to get Oli Kai. Mr. Howard, a pilot, agreed and he and his daughter, Lucy (10) flew together to bring Oli Kai to his new home in Tennessee.
“Oli Kai is about a real-life crow that lives in Chattanooga," said Mr. Howard. "He has only one eye and one wing, and he shows the main character in the story, Bella, that every living being has a purpose and is beautiful in their own way. In writing this book, my family and I want people to understand, especially kids, that no matter what challenges they face, they are special and have a unique purpose in life.”
The Howards collaborated with 11-year-old Nashville artist, Shannon Abernathy, who did the illustrations for the book. Shannon has been painting since she was 5-years-old and has won multiple awards for her work including the inaugural 2016 Tennessee State Fair’s Youth Artist of the Year award. Through her 14 paintings, she highlights the beauty of Chattanooga and Oli Kai’s journey to the city.
“When I read the manuscript, the pictures just started coming to my mind,” said Shannon. “I felt like the book would really help kids to understand that everyone has a purpose, and that no one is perfect – and that no matter what – they are good enough.”
A limited amount of copies are available for purchase at Barnes & Noble at Hamilton Place and at Reflection Riding Arboretum & Nature Center in Chattanooga for $15. All proceeds from the sale of the book Oli Kai benefit Reflection Riding and Arboretum & Nature Center, the home of Oli Kai and an environmental learning hub that reconnects Chattanoogans with nature.
For more information about the book, please visit http://www.6qcreative.com/oli-kai.
For more information about the illustrator, please visit http://sheheartsart.com.