For 20 years, Donna Pairadee, of Sequim, looked for a book about a red house with no windows or doors and a star inside.
It was a folk tale told to her by a professor at Baylor University in Texas when she was a student. She had the words written down and some sketches drawn by a friend. For years she told the story to her children by holding up large paper drawings and reading the words typed on printer paper.
Finally, she decided since she couldn’t find it in print, she’d write and publish it herself.
Written under her maiden name, Donna Cameron, “The Little Red House With No Doors and No Windows and a Star Inside” is hot off the presses of Bookstand Publishing.
Pairadee adapted the book, naming the main boy character “Andrew” after her 5-year-old son A.J. and naming a girl character “Alicia” for her 7-year-old daughter. The three live in Sequim, spending time with Grandpa and Grandma while their dad, retired from the U.S. Army, works as a contractor in Korea.
Pairadee contacted her friend John Heaney Dunn, who did the drawings over a weekend some decades ago, to get permission to use them. Not only did he give her permission, he drew two more so the page layout would work better.
“I can’t believe it’s actually done,” she laughs.
The story follows a young boy looking for something to do when his mother suggests he find a fabled little red house with no windows and no doors and a star inside. After meeting up with a young girl, a farmer, a grandmother and the wind, he finds it in the most unusual place.
Pairadee said she plans to distribute the books to local coffee shops and bookstores. Her daughter, a very bright and determined young lady, is trying to set up a book reading at Greywolf Elementary School, she said.
Pairadee joked her daughter is head of marketing for the book.
Alicia has the right idea, though, since Pairadee’s ultimate goal is to have the book picked up by Scholastic so teachers can have access to it for their classrooms.
Pairadee taught special education for 10 years.
“I’m not the creative person,” she said. “I can take things and adapt it. This wasn’t in print and it needed to be.”
Reach Amanda Winters at firstname.lastname@example.org.