Friends of Gerald & Joan: Penny and Tubs


Since April, I have been fortunate to work with the lovely Marcie May. After more than 20 years in the music business, Marcie wanted to start a fresh chapter in her career when she dreamt about a magical underwater city. She shared the strange dream with several friends, and all of them encouraged her to write a children's book using the dream as inspiration. With her granddaughter and cat serving as the title characters, Marcie and her daughter, Vonnie, co-wrote Penny and Tubs: The City on the Sea. Drawing on her musical talents, Marcie also wrote a song and music to go along with the book. When I first met Marcie, Headline Kids had just published the book, but she needed some help sharing the book, music and characters with young readers in the tri-state area of Kentucky, Ohio and Tennessee.

As a lifelong reader and lover of the written word, I was thrilled to have the opportunity to work with Marcie. Books had one of the greatest impacts on me as a child, and I actually still have all of my childhood books (more on them later)! In college, I interned at the Lafayette County Literacy Council in Oxford, Mississippi, and that experience greatly influenced my decision to focus on nonprofit graphic design, public relations and marketing. Without books and my college internship, Gerald & Joan would not exist today, so in a way, working with Marcie felt like I was coming full circle.

For the past seven months, I've implemented a variety of projects to help tell Marcie's story and promote the first Penny and Tubs' book and song. Using the vibrant colors and book's characters as inspiration, I created branded publicity materials for Penny and Tubs including a press kit/pitch packet, publicity flyer (shown below) and 2013-14 scheduling calendar. I also built a comprehensive list of schools, libraries, YMCAs and media contacts in her target markets. So far, we have had great success scheduling readings and sing alongs at schools and YMCAs, and we're developing strong, lasting relationships with these teachers and students. Here's a blurb and photo from one of her recent readings. The kids had so much fun!

Since the launch of Penny and Tubs: The City on the Sea, Marcie has received two awards -- a Readers' Favorite Award (bronze, preschool) and a Mom's Choice Award for Fiction (silver, ages 5-8). Her second book in the Penny and Tubs series will launch in spring 2014.

If you are shopping young children this Christmas, please consider supporting Marcie's work by purchasing a copy of the book and music. They are available on her adorable website.

Thank you, Marcie, for allowing Gerald & Joan to be a part of the Penny and Tubs story! :)