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  • In January, Pasadena mom and business owner Katie Detrich-Thompson released “Princess or President,” a children’s picture book that she wrote and illustrated. The book is available online through Amazon and Barnes & Noble.
    In January, Pasadena mom and business owner Katie Detrich-Thompson released “Princess or President,” a children’s picture book that she wrote and illustrated. The book is available online through Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

Pasadena Mom Writes, Illustrates Children’s Book

Jane Seiss
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February 18, 2014

Pasadena mom and business owner Katie Detrich-Thompson has just added children’s book author to her many titles. In January, the homeschooling single mom released “Princess or President,” a children’s picture book that she wrote and illustrated.

“I always wanted to write a children’s book,” she said. “I watched my children play and I was inspired by them.”

“Princess or President” tells the story of a hippo who is dreaming of being a princess. She pretends to be one. A unicorn teaches her about the President of the United States, and by the end of the book, the hippo decides she would rather pretend to be president.

When Detrich-Thompson was little, she would go to the library with her grandmother. She loved the picture books over the written books.

A graduate of Chesapeake High School and CCBC, Detrich-Thompson worked for the State Highway Administration as a certified arborist before having children. “After I had my kids, I wanted to be a stay-at-home mom, so I went back to my talents,” she noted.

Determined to forge her own path, she started a cleaning service to make some seed money, and in 2011 she launched Welcome to Neverland, her theme party business. The company provides interactive parties with characters, like clowns or fairies. Face painting, skit acting and balloon animals are popular features.

With a business to run and children to care for, Detrich-Thompson’s book took time to come to fruition. “It took two years for me to have copies of ‘Princess or President’ in my hands. I devote my day to my daughters. I worked on it when they went to sleep,” she explained.

Some nights, she would be up until 4:00am working on illustrations. “Each illustration took me eight to 14 hours to complete,” Detrich-Thompson said. The book’s art was done in colored pencil.

Along the way, the busy mom reviewed her work and progress with her daughters, Lillian and Madilyn, ages 6 and 4. They provided feedback and suggested the addition of lessons like “readers are winners” and “sharing is caring,” which appear in illustrations in “Princess or President.”

“The characters in the book are named after my daughters,” Detrich-Thompson said. “My kids love it. They want me to read it to them every night.” She already has ideas for two more books.

“Princess or President” is available through Detrich-Thompson’s website, www.neverlandparty.com. A dollar of the proceeds will go to the Kamryn Lambert Foundation, an organization that raises money to provide scholarships and funding for extracurricular activities. The book may also be purchased on Amazon or the Barnes & Noble website.

Detrich-Thompson is working to get the book on the shelves of local libraries. “I am in contact with the public library system to schedule readings at a few libraries,” she said. “I am also in the process of mailing a free signed copy to every public elementary school in Anne Arundel County.”

The author has participated in local book readings and signings, including one on President’s Day at The Chesapeake Children’s Museum. Her next scheduled appearance is at Two Rivers Steak & Fish House in Pasadena on February 23 from 1:00-3:00pm.


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