Wharton Author Creates Pandemic-Themed Coloring Book Where Animals Save the Day

By George Slaughter

Liz Moreno

Wharton author Elizabeth Dettling “Liz” Moreno has created a novel coloring book to deal with the novel coronavirus pandemic.

Her book, “The COVID-19 Pandemic and How the Animals Saved the Day,” is now available. Moreno is promoting her book now, just like any author. But the situation with the coloring book is different than with her other four books. Friends, admirers, and colleagues donated money to print 8,000 copies of the coloring book, and Moreno is giving them away for free, though donations are accepted.

“I didn’t want to put a price on this book because we’re doing it for the community,” Moreno said.

Moreno worked with illustrator Gay Somers-Joines on book illustrations.

“She has been an art teacher in the Boling Independent School District for years,” Moreno said. “She had a couple of free days (for book illustrations), and she got most of them done in two days’ time. She is a very talented artist, and I’m amazed how so many people recognize her name.”

Moreno will be giving away the coloring book from 1-5 p.m. Friday at Kroger, 22150 Westheimer Parkway. Her other books will be available for purchase.

Moreno said the idea for the coloring book came from a “bear hunt,” which to be sure is not a bona fide hunt with rifles and grizzlies. Rather, the “bear hunt” is an activity described a popular children’s book, “We’re Going on a Bear Hunt,” published several years ago. Schoolchildren look for stuffed bears, or “bear items,” similar to a scavenger hunt, in their neighborhoods. It gets the kids out of the school or house and keeps them occupied doing something fun.

Moreno said the first such “bear hunt” in the area occurred in March, in East Bernard, before the pandemic came to Texas and activities were curtailed.

Moreno is a freelance reporter for the Wharton Journal Spectator and is a retired language arts teacher who most recently taught in the Bay City Independent School District. She said a friend called her with the idea for the book. Moreno said things came together for the book in under a month. Typically, it takes several months to produce a book.

“I give God the credit that it came together so quickly,” Moreno said.

Moreno welcomes book signing opportunities. For more information, visit her Facebook page or e-mail her at praise77488@sbcglobal.net.