MATTOON -- After retiring in 2017, former Mattoon High School English teacher Lynn Darimont set out to achieve her longtime goal of writing and publishing a children’s book.
Darimont recently accomplished that goal with the publication of her comical and heartwarming, “Grandma Lost Her teeth!” During the last week, she has been reading this book to children at Mattoon elementary schools and sharing her publication experience with her former students at the high school.
"It was a great experience to write the book, it really was, but the greatest joy has been in sharing it," said Darimont of her book, which takes inspiration from her own extended family.
Darimont said she developed a passion for writing poetry at a young age at Queen of the Rosary Catholic School in Elk Grove, where her fourth grade teacher opened her "eyes to the world of rhyme." She said this teacher and others over the years encouraged her to pursue this interest.
In college, Darimont said she majored in English because it gave her the opportunity to write creatively and to teach writing as a craft. She ended up teaching for 32 years before retiring, although she will works as a new teacher peer mentoring coach for the Mattoon school district.
After retirement, Darimont wrote her first children's book. She said “Grandma Lost Her Teeth!” is based on the true story of her late mother, Lillian Sronkoski, misplacing her dentures and calling a family member to help find them so she can eat.
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Darimont said her brother, Mike, was this helpful family member in real life. She said he has become, "Mikey," the grandson of the book's title character. Little "Mikey" looks all over his grandma's house for the missing false teeth as he perseveres and finally finds them.
"I took all the ideas from our life, but I put it in a children's book form," Darimont said of her book, which is written in rhyme.
Darimont said that after sending her book to a few publishers, Christian Faith Publishers called her to say that they wanted to publish the book because of its lessons on helping the elderly and the power of prayer and determination.
Christian Faith Publishers let her pick an illustrator and include furnishings from her mother's home in the book, Darimont said. In addition, Darimont said she and her eight siblings are represented by the nine children's faces in a portrait photo on the wall in the book.
"At the very least, I was able to leave a legacy for my family, something in print," Darimont said, adding that she is already thinking of ideas for a second, related children's book.
Besides speaking at Mattoon schools, Darimont said she is scheduled to sell and sign copies of her book from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at the Home Again Resale Shop during the 18th Street Fall Festival in Charleston. Copies of her book are available for sale on Amazon and Barnes & Noble, and the book has a trailer on YouTube.
To arrange book readings and presentation, folks can contact the author at email@example.com.
Contact Rob Stroud at (217) 238-6861. Follow him on Twitter: @TheRobStroud