When Diane Taylor-Moore Hines decided to write her second children’s book, “Daniel Olaf Dragonfly,” ideas just popped into her head, she said.

Hines, 68, is retired from her career in special education in Rumford and always wanted to be a writer. Now she can write as much and as often as she wants.

For ‘Dragonfly’ she enlisted the artistic talent of her 80-year-old cousin Gail Parent. Parent is a retired elementary school teacher and illustrator, painter and clothing designer. She has acted in plays by the Rumford Association for the Advancement of the Performing Arts since she was 30. 

“The book is about differences (in people) and how you can overcome and work through differences with the help of family and friends, and teachers,” Hines said. “And it’s about bullying too, and about how even the bully needs a little bit of kindness from people.”

To illustrate the many differences that people, insects and animals may have from one another, Hines created her Daniel Olaf Dragonfly character with an extra set of wings on top of his head. They cause him to be subjected to verbal bullying and the wings hold him back from succeeding in his dream to fly like a helicopter.

Other characters illustrated specifically to show differences are a pink owl, a beetle with a walking stick, a turtle with hair, and a bunny with only one lopped ear.

Hines uses a rhyming pattern for the text of her story, and again she explains that her reason for using rhyme in her children’s books is “that’s just how it pops into my head.”

“My first children’s book, ‘Willy goes to Sea,’ I used Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Raven” and that rhyming pattern was (really difficult). This one was easier, rhyming every other line and fourth line.”

When it comes to following their dreams, both women say that in various ways they are reaching their goals.

“I always wanted to write. My sisters and I always used to write plays when we were kids,” Hines said.

And Parent said that by sewing and designing most of her children’s clothing, she satisfied her dream to be a dress designer.

“As far as pursuing my dream, I couldn’t have been in a place any better than teaching, but my design (dreams were reached) too. I had three girls and two boys, and I made almost all their things and some of the boys’ things. So I did fulfill a dream because I designed pretty clothes for them,” Parent said.

Hines is also the author of children’s book “Willy goes to Sea” and two fiction titles, “Here Sits a Monkey” and “Canyon Music.”

Parent is a co-author with Lloyd Crossland, Joyce Morgan and Fern Stearns of “Once Upon a Farm: Stories about the Farm on Thompson Hill in Mexico, Maine,” volumes 1 and 2.

Both women will be at Ellis River Books for a book signing at 10:30 a.m. Aug. 4 at 12 South Main St. in Andover during the Old Home Days.

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Children’s book illustrator and author Gail Parent, left, and author Diane Taylor-Moore Hines will sign copies of their books at Andover Olde Home Days on Aug. 4. (Marianne Hutchinson/Rumford Falls Times)


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