93 Year-Old Retired School Teacher Authors First Children’s Book

Alameda, California (EastBayDaily) — “It was one of the nights that come along every now and then in September to warn us that summer is almost over. Moaning and groaning gusts of wind tossed the black clouds over the pale-faced moon. Surely kittens born on such a wild evening would be the most spooky and sinister of any of the Halloween Cats!“

And so begins the children’s book of The White Black Cat from Burbank Street, the first by 93 year-old Rosalie Hood, a former elementary and middle school teacher and guidance counselor in Sacramento County.

The story’s roots go back to the late 60’s and early 70’s when Rosalie was teaching 4th grade and the civil rights movement was exploding. In response to race issues at her school, she was looking for a way to discuss how people are all the same inside. She often used dyed Easter eggs to show how beneath the differently colored shells, the eggs were all the same. When she saw how effective her discussions were, she started thinking about ways to share the message with a larger audience. It was then that the story began to form.

As a teacher, Rosalie wanted a story that that would be part of the reading program and included a vocabulary study list. She typed up the manuscript for The White Black Cat, made a carbon copy, and shared it with her students, co-workers and parents. The White Black Cat met with rave reviews, but somehow life got in the way and it was filed away as her career in education moved on. 50 years later her daughter-in-law, Sue, came across a copy in an old suitcase and had the idea to have a book printed and bound as a Christmas present for Rosalie.

But the story needed illustrations. Rosalie’s oldest son Mike is an artist and designer in Memphis, and when middle son Bill asked him if he could do some sketches, he responded with a series of 27 mixed media drawings within a month, perfectly capturing the spookiness of the Halloween tale. After 50 years, the book was finally completed! Only this time – thanks to Burbank Street – it's going to be published.    

The White Black Cat is the story of a white kitten born into the Allhallowmus Family of black cats that are part of the spooky Halloween world of ghosts, goblins and ghouls, presided over by the Grand Wizard. Up until now, there had never been a white cat born into the Allhallowmus family. Worse, there had never been a cat born into the Allhallowmus family that was not scary, and a white cat was definitely not scary! At least not in this midnight world. How the white cat finds his true path and the other cats learn a lesson in respect, is the delightful underpinning of this adventurous story that leads from the midnight world to the Earthly one.

About The Author

Rosalie Spelts Hood is a former elementary school and middle school teacher and guidance counselor with over 40 years of service in Sacramento County, California. Although retired, she has no plans to give up writing and promises her next book will not take 50 years to publish. She lives with her dog Tripper who has been known to scare people.

About the Artist

Mike Hood is an artist and designer who works largely in mixed media, collage and acrylics. He is a graduate from the Memphis Academy of Arts. His work can be found at http://burbankstreet.net/blog/mike. His dogs, Hank and Inca, have never seen a cat as far as he knows.

About the Book

The White Black Cat is an illustrated, hardcover book that is filled with rich, vibrant, full-page, mixed-media, color artwork. Written by Rosalie Hood and illustrated by Mike Hood, the book will be published by BurbankStreet http://burbankstreet.net/ and is scheduled to be released this summer. The book can be previewed at http://www.blurb.com/bookstore/detail/2816520 and preordered at http://www.thewhiteblackcat.com. For ages 4 and up.

About Burbank Street

Burbank Street is a collaboration of artists and craftsmen who write, paint, draw, build and create. Please go to their website at http://burbankstreet.net. For more information contact Bill Hood at Bill@burbankstreet.net.


Bill Hood
Burbank Street