The inspiration for a new children's book geared toward Dallasites, Goodnight Lakewood, arrived at bedtime.
“One night, we were reading books before bedtime with our older son, Mack, who was 3 at the time,” author and Lakewood resident Jaclyn Amend says. “One of his favorite books was a ‘goodnight’ book about our favorite vacation spot in Colorado. He had just reached the age where he was able to remember and talk about the places he was familiar with in the book. He was so excited to recognize images in the book that it made me wonder if a similar book existed about Lakewood and the area surrounding it where we love to live everyday. I wasn't able to find such a book, so I decided to write it.”
Goodnight Lakewood is available for purchase in local retail stores Talulah and Hess, the Dallas Arboretum and goodnightlakewood.com.
The 32-page, full-color book takes readers through Lakewood and East Dallas, highlighting the neighborhoods' landmarks. Amend’s words and Emily Calimlim’s illustrations bring the journey to life.
“We wanted the images in the book to be as evergreen as possible, and we found ourselves naturally focusing on the wildlife and outdoors,” Amend says. “We connected with Emily by luck, really, after receiving a tip from a local illustrator to look on an online message board where young, talented illustrators post their work. We reached out to her, and she met us the following week for a tour of the area, and we hit it off. She just brought it all together: the whimsical, fairy-tale-like story we wanted to portray about our community.”
Scenes in the book are set at White Rock Lake, the Dallas Arboretum and Lakewood Theater.
“We found inspirational images for her to begin with for each scene, but we really gave Emily a lot of artistic freedom with this project, and she far exceeded our expectations on all fronts,” Amend says. “She has been such an incredible partner in this project, and we can't wait to work with her again.
“We just hope that other children and families enjoy saying goodnight as much as we do to some of the wonderful places and things in and around Lakewood that help make this community so very special."
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Five percent of all sales of the book go to the Lakewood Early Childhood PTA.
Goodnight Lakewood is the first book to be published by CamberMark Publishing LLC, a company Amend and her husband founded in 2017.
“I hope families enjoy reading this book together and that it becomes a favorite bedtime story for their children, as it has for ours,” Amend says. “We have truly been humbled by the support of the community on this project and hope to continue creating meaningful work in the future.”