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BIO

Don Arends

Don Arends, Author

Publishers Profile by
Al Galasso, NABE

Don Arends was first motivated to write children’s books when he was about 5 years old and lived in a farm in Iowa with no electricity, just kerosene lamps and candlelight. His primary entertainment was a crystal radio. “My grandmother literally raised me and used to tell me all kinds of stories,” said Don. “As a little girl, she remembered seeing Abraham Lincoln. He got out of his wagon and talked to the people during his presidential campaign. She told about hoop snakes that would grab their tails making a wheel and chasing bad children.”

Growing up, Don Arends experienced both farm and city life. He left home to serve as a Navy Seabee swimming instructor and boxing coach at the end of World War II. As a teenager, he was involved in all kinds of sports including football, track and swimming. Don graduated in technical journalism from Iowa State. As a campus activities leader, he was selected by General Electric Co. Advertising, Public Relations and Sales Promotion to take part in their renowned three year training course. In 1958, he founded his own business-to-business advertising agency and still serves as its Chairman in Oak Brook, Illinois.

Don has led a diversified and interesting life. He is a business and sports world traveler, pilot, travel agency founder, golf enthusiast, bank director, has logged over 1000 hours doing volunteer work for the Palm Springs World War II Air Museum, and has served on hospital, golf club and bank boards.

Don has an equally extensive writing background. He has written Railroad History books, 100th anniversary books on companies and golf clubs, museum newsletter articles on World War II planes and people, feature story reporting and he has spoken on topics ranging from his scuba diving experiences to international advertising at the IAA World Congress Meetings in Japan, Argentina, South Africa and the UK. His publishing company, Mission Manuscripts, Inc., is dedicated to documenting the personal histories of World War II veterans, their missions, planes and pride in America.

Don has ten grandchildren of his own, and through a second marriage, acquired ten more. One of the joys of his life now is reading to his grandchildren some of their favorite children’s books.  And now, developing a new line of unique children’s books, not only for his own grandchildren, but for all the children everywhere.

His first book in the series has just been released. It is “Grandpa Grouper: The Fish with Glasses.” It is a beautifully illustrated underwater adventure for children 3 to 8. Groupers are like cats of the sea. They are very friendly, and if you stay quiet, they stay around looking at you. With patience and some hand food, you can even pet them just like you do a puppy or kitten.

“I have dived with the giant spotted groupers who weigh over 100 pounds. When they open their mouth, you can literally put your head inside. These famous fish have been featured in National Geographic,” said Don.

In this book, Grandpa Grouper confronts one of the swiftest and prettiest fish in the coral reef, the tiger fish, Calvin. He is an aggressive bully. Calvin knocks off Grandpa’s glasses and crown, and all of Grandpa’s friends help to get his treasures back. The adventure ends with their successful escape from the Blue Island Aquarium.

Read Don’s latest story…

 

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