TULARE COUNTY – To celebrate the upcoming one year anniversary of her book, a local author is offering a special advertising opportunity, which will allow businesses and organizations to advertise themselves on the cover of books that will be donated to the community.
Written by Lea Maryanow — a German-born English teacher currently working at St. Paul’s school — “STRIPES” is a tale of a zebra who ponders his existence as he tries to figure out if he’s black with white stripes, or white with black stripes.
According to Maryanow, who moved to California with her husband in 2015, the idea for the story of self identity was inspired by the Enneagram test, something she became fascinated with after her friends introduced her to it in 2020.
“The Enneagram test was kind of like the spark for ‘STRIPES’,” she said. “The nine personalities are represented by the zebra and eight animals that he meets.”
While she wouldn’t say which personality the Zebra represented, she listed off the eight other animals, Giraffe, Mouse, Lion, Chameleon, Elephant, Owl, Butterfly and Turtle, and said she’s enjoyed hearing what people think about which type they may represent.
“I recently met a certified Enneagram Type teacher at a book event,” Maryanow said. “She got a kick out of seeing and realizing which animal is which (and) said I did a pretty good job of representing each of the types.”
While it may appear as a children’s book, with its bright colors and fun characters, Maryanow made a point of saying that people of all ages would enjoy the tale; whether it be parents or younger kids who “will be able to enjoy the story as they grow older” and apply its message to the world around them.
“I’ve had families come up and tell me how ‘STRIPES’ has sparked discussions at the dinner table, between the different generations of parents and children and grandparents,” Maryanow said. “That’s what I love about it. Everyone can enjoy and take something away from it on a different level.”
As part of commemorating the first birthday of “STRIPES,” Maryanow is now offering local businesses a chance to advertise themselves on the book’s cover. To do so, they simply have to buy a few hundred copies, which will be given to children around the valley.
“Once a sponsor reaches out, they buy the book in bulk (then) get the option of putting a sticker on the front of the cover, (and/or) fliers inside to create a unique way of advertising,” she said. “Afterwards, the books will be shipped to me, and they can tell me where to send them.”
In addition to providing schools and local kid’s organizations with books, 40% of the author’s proceeds will go towards UNICEF, a nonprofit which has “helped save and meaningfully improve more children’s lives than any other humanitarian organization,” according to their site.
“It was important to me to donate to an organization that wasn’t just supporting one, but many parts of the world,” Maryanow said. “Sponsoring the book not only supports UNICEF through me and helps (improve) children’s literacy, it’s also a unique way to reach so many different people.”
As a 7th-8th grade English teacher, Maryanow is driven by her passion and job of supporting children’s literacy. This passion is why she started the sponsorship program, which will provide hundreds of kids with her book that shows kids how to accept themselves as individuals and coexist with those around them.
Businesses interested in sponsoring the book can do so by visiting www.leamaryanow.com or emailing her at email@example.com to ask about the bulk order price list. While the book’s proper birthday is on Jan. 21, this initiative has already begun, and will continue “so long as sponsors keep reaching out to buy the books which will then be distributed for free.”