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Bellevue High School grads publish first book

By Jennifer Feehan • Feb 3, 2019 at 6:00 AM

BELLEVUE — Bellevue native Elaina Eskins was riding home from seeing the Lights at the Toledo Zoo when she noticed the nearly full moon illuminating the night sky.

A poem came into her head, and she typed it into her phone.

Now that poem has inspired a children’s picture book that she wrote and illustrated with fellow Bellevue High School graduate Greta Brubaker. 

Stay Awake, Moon!, which the duo recently published through blurb.com, is geared to 4-and 5-year-olds. It tells a whimsical tale about how the moon stays awake at night and lights the sky while the rest of the world sleeps.

“It went from a small note on my phone to an actual children’s book, which is kind of crazy,” Elaina said.

Elaina, 20, and Greta, 21, will be in downtown Bellevue Feb. 9 to promote their book.

From 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., young visitors can get a passport stamped as they visit one of three stations. Elaina will be reading Stay Awake, Moon! at the Candy Depot, 130 E. Main St., Bellevue, while Greta will be offering an art activity at [email protected], 106 S. Sandusky St., Bellevue.

Children can then go to Gilberts Place, 130 E. Main St., Bellevue, for book-inspired refreshments.

This is the first book published by the young women, who became good friends at Bellevue High School then roommates at Bowling Green State University.

Elaina plans to graduate from BGSU in May with a bachelor’s degree in communication sciences and disorders, while Greta earned her bachelor’s degree in tourism leisure and event planning last summer. She works as event coordinator at the Sandusky Yacht Club.

Greta, who painted the watercolor illustrations, said she has long had an interest in art and practiced her craft for three summers doing face-painting at Cedar Point.

Elaina said she relied on her training in speech therapy to choose words and sounds that would appeal to preschoolers for Stay Awake, Moon! She also helped paint Greta’s illustrations, which she said were meant to look unpolished.

“We thought about trying to clean up the illustrations, but I think we both liked the ruggedness of the paintings,” Elaina said. “You can see our fingerprints in a couple of them.”

“It’s more fun,” Greta said.

“I think it’s more genuine,” Elaina added.

They spent much of the last year working on the extracurricular project.

“We were just going back and forth bouncing ideas off each other,” Greta said of the creative process. “It was definitely a good collaboration.”

Elaina said they received valuable assistance from their editor, Abigail Cloud, a senior lecturer in the English Department at BGSU who specializes in creative writing.

The first-time authors-illustrators published the book using their first and middle names as pen names: Elaina Rae and Greta Marie. They hope children will enjoy the book, which they described as a nap-time story.

Their book will be for sale at the Feb. 9 event, and it also may be ordered online at http://www.blurb.com/b/9206095-stay-awake-moon.

Information about future book events also will be available at www.facebook.com/StayAwakeMoon/

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