Heidi Joulios' new book is about a crab who accidentally damages her coral reef habitat when she brings trash to it. Courtesy graphic

Heidi Joulios' new book is about a crab who accidentally damages her coral reef habitat when she brings trash to it. Courtesy graphic

Next Generation

Local artist and author launches new children’s book

By From page A8 | February 05, 2013

Meet the author

Who: Heidi Joulios, presenting “Color My Coral”

When: 2 p.m. Saturday

Where: The Avid Reader, 617 Second St., downtown Davis

Heidi Joulios always wanted to write children’s books.

Through her many years as a gallery artist, art teacher and store owner in Davis, the desire to write and illustrate a children’s book never wavered and finally came to fruition with the publication of her first book in 2009.

“Snow Cones are Forever,” co-written with Joan Alioto, looked at the effects of pollution on the Earth through the eyes of colorful arctic animals.

The book ended up taking both Joulios and Alioto in a whole new direction when at a book reading at Borders Books, a teacher asked the duo if they would visit her classroom.

“I couldn’t just go to a classroom and read,” recalled Joulios. “It went from going to a classroom to creating assemblies. Joan and I ended up traveling up and down California and saw over 50,000 children.”

Their assemblies combined interactive slide shows with discussions about the story and characters, sing-alongs and the authors’ perspective on what it’s like to be an author.

“We were ultimately hoping to inspire future writers and artists and encourage reading,” Joulios said.

About a year ago, this time working on her own, Joulios began creating her second book, “Color My Coral.”

This time, Joulios takes young readers under the sea, to look at the impact of pollution on coral reef habitat.

The book tells the story of “Loretta the Crab,” who mistakes human garbage for treasure and takes it back to her coral reef home, ultimately damaging the coral.

“The whole thing is fun and lighthearted and whimsical,” Joulios said, “and the whole point is to inspire kids, not to address this issue in a negative way at all.

“When you inspire children,” she added, “they take ownership.”

Joulios has been inspiring children through art for many years. She spent 17 years teaching art to children in San Francisco and after moving to Davis, taught children and adults at the Davis Art Center.

“I taught painting, sculpture, drawing … you name it,” she laughed.

In 2003, she opened the Hobby Craft in The Marketplace shopping center. For four years, the store hosted art classes and birthday parties and provided a source for art supplies of all kinds.

Joulios says she saw the writing on the wall — the “big box” writing, that is — when Michaels opened in Woodland and Target in Davis, so she closed her store. It was then that she decided to focus on children’s books full time, and the rest is history.

Joulios already has created a brand-new assembly to accompany “Color My Coral” and has been visiting area schools in recent weeks. She’ll be presenting the assembly to four Davis schools this week.

The response from students, she said, has been “fantastic.”

Meanwhile, the official book launch for “Color My Coral” will take place at 2 p.m. Saturday at The Avid Reader, 617 Second St.. Joulios will be present to read the book, sign copies and meet readers.

For more information on Joulios’ assemblies, contact book publisher Martin Pearl at 707-450-5215.

— Reach Anne Ternus-Bellamy at [email protected] or 530-747-8051. Follow her on Twitter at @ATernusBellamy

Anne Ternus-Bellamy

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