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Hancock grad releases children’s book

November 15, 2012
By ZACH KUKKONEN - Features Editor/DMG writer ( , The Daily Mining Gazette

HOUGHTON - As Emily Waisanen read her daughter Lucy a bedtime story one night, she came to a realization.

"I was frustrated with some of the children's books out there," Waisanen, a Hancock Central High School graduate, said. "Some of the stories don't really have a plot and are poorly written."

So Waisanen did something about it.

She ended up penning a rough draft of a children's book, and sent it off to independent publisher Orange Hat Publishing Company. To her surprise, the publishing company loved it and "The Book Monster" was born.

"The book is about a little monster who enjoys eating books," Waisanen said. "He goes through various types of genres, uses alliteration and talks about how he likes to eat each type of book. I use eating as a metaphor for reading."

Waisanen had to put up the finances for setup and initial investment, and the publishing company did the formatting and editing, and also found her an illustrator. Waisanen received the chance to pick her own illustrator, and was thrilled with John Konecny.

"His illustrations encapsulated all I wanted to convey, in details and descriptions of what each page would look like," she said. "It was a teamwork process I was really thrilled with. There was very little I had to change."

After the book was finished, Waisanen received word that her first copy of "The Book Monster" was on its way to her house.

"It was like Christmas Day; I could hardly stand it," she said. "I was waiting eagerly at the door for the UPS person to come. It was so amazing to see it in paper. To actually hold a copy of the book in my hands was amazing."

Waisanen created "The Book Monster" in an effort to improve children's literature, a cause that's dear to her heart.

"I used to be a middle school teacher, and it's so important to get kids reading at a young age," Waisanen said. "By the time I got them in middle school, it was hard to catch them up from not being avid readers."

Waisanen will be signing and reading "The Book Monster" at Finlandia University's North Wind Books from 5 to 7 p.m. Tuesday. For more information on Waisanen, visit or "The Book Monster" will be available at North Wind Books and is also available at



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