Local history ‘doodle’ book is aimed at kids

November 26, 2013

By Sam Barbee

Once a small logging village, Issaquah was settled in the 1860s and officially incorporated in 1892. Landmarks still exist around town from the early days, reminding citizens of the area’s rich heritage.

The problem is, the histories of these sites have been slowly fading away, and newer residents — including families — likely have no idea what they represent.

 

Tom Anderson

Tom Anderson

Enter Tom Anderson, a software engineer and secretary of the board of the Issaquah History Museums. Two years ago at an ArtWalk, Anderson was wandering with his daughter when he hit upon an idea of a “doodle” book for children so they could learn more about their historic town.

Two years later, “The Issaquah Doodle Book” was published and it’s now available for purchase. The “doodle book” is a children’s book that gives children a chance to interact with historical sites around Issaquah. They can color or draw on them, and there are other children’s activities included, like connect-the-dots.

“All we got are old history books that are of interest to the ancients, but, you know, not to the kids,” Anderson said. “Let’s make Issaquah history interesting to kids” as well.

Anderson’s book provides black-and-white images of Issaquah landmarks, such as the Train Depot and the Harvey Manning statue. He says many local children see the landmarks and know nothing about them. Now, he said, they can start building memories.

Museums Director Erica Maniez has been aware of the project since Anderson came up with the idea and has been a supporter from the beginning.

“I think that there’s probably a lot of stuff in downtown Issaquah that people walk past and may not know the story behind it,” she said. “I think that most people could learn a few interesting tidbits of information about Issaquah by going through the book.”

Anderson took the photos and sketched the drawings himself, and it was published by the Issaquah History Museums using CreateSpace, a division of Amazon.com.

What is most interesting, according to Anderson, is the way CreateSpace prints books. Anderson’s original order, which was about 60 books, took about a week and a half to arrive.

Anderson later ordered just one book as an experiment to see how long it would take. It arrived in three days.

There is no inventory of books sitting in a warehouse; instead, CreateSpace prints books immediately after order and ships them after printing.

According to a member service representative at CreateSpace, on-demand printing has been shown to be much more effective in its business model than traditional printing. Studies indicate that it uses less oil and paper, and is better for the environment. Similarly, there is no money tied up in holding inventory.

Both Anderson and Maniez are hopeful “The Issaquah Doodle Book” will bring more traffic to the downtown area, but more importantly, they hope the book will provide some education.

“I like it a lot,” Maniez said about the book. “I think that it’s got really simple, interactive language.

“Lots of parents and kids could have some interesting conversations around the pieces of information and the pictures that are in the book.”

Get your copy
Purchase ‘The Issaquah Doodle Book’ at:

  • Amazon.com
  • Gilman Town Hall Museum Gift Shop
  • Issaquah Train Depot Museum Gift Shop
  • CleanScapes retail store at Gilman Village

Sam Barbee is a student in the University of Washington Department of Communication News Laboratory. Comment at www.issaquahpress.com.

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