Columbus Mom Pens ‘26 Witches’ Book That's Sweet, Not Scary
Through her A to Z story, first-time children’s book author Stephanie Garber wants to inspire young readers to appreciate their own talents.
Halloween is still a few months away, but stories about witches appeal to children year-round. At least that’s the idea Stephanie Garber of Columbus is shooting for with her first children’s book.
“I’ve always been interested in the supernatural and things that can’t be explained,” Garber says of the inspiration for “26 Witches.” “The book came to me almost fully formed. I’ve written a lot of things, and I can say this story was the only one where I really didn’t have a process, almost like I had nothing to do with it.”
The idea originally came to Garber, who lives in Columbus, on a vacation. “My daughters and I were up at Lake Erie last summer, and we just started talking. We got on a tangent and then I started freestyling rhymes with names and characters, and they were both laughing and saying, ‘Keep going! Keep going!’ I wrote them down on my phone before I forgot.”
The book, illustrated by Danica Stojanović, features (you guessed it) 26 witches from A to Z, beginning with Annaleise and ending with Zoey. Each has their own supernatural skill, which readers learn about through the rhymes and illustrations that fill the book. With each witch possessing a special talent, kids are bound to find one or more they can relate to. There’s even a little boy for good measure.
“I’ve been told that people really like the message that it sends to young girls and boys, about tapping into their insights and being in touch with who they are. I feel like as children, we are very in tune with things and that tends to fade away as we grow up,” Garber says.
She says reading helps children develop empathy and to learn to look at things through different points of view. “Reading has always been a big thing with me and my kids. My mom read to me all the time, and I think it opens your mind and gives you something that you can’t get unless you understand the value of reading other people’s ideas.”
An Ohio native, Garber graduated from Ohio State University with a degree in liberal arts. She works as a copywriter for Nationwide and has long wanted to write and publish her own book. She lives in Worthington with her three daughters.
“26 Witches,” which was published in October by BookBaby, is available through various online retailers.