FALLBROOK: Author to donate 200 books to connect military kids with deployed parents
Also a pro card player, 'Doctor Hope' aims to help families with 'one kids book at a time'
FALLBROOK ---- A Fallbrook children's author is preparing to donate 200 books to a nonprofit group that will send several volumes overseas to members
of the military who want to record themselves reading the book to their children.
The group will deliver the rest of the books to their children so they can follow along as they watch their father or mother read to them on a recorded disc.
Tim "Doctor Hope" Anders said last week that he is looking forward to Tuesday, when his stories will be loaded onto a Marine Corps helicopter at Camp Pendleton and handed over to a charity called United Through Reading.
"My mother was the inspiration for all my children's stories," Anders said Friday. "She told me a bunch of stories as a child that helped me through some trying times. I want to help kids going through similar situations have the benefit of those stories."
Anders is also a professional poker player and a musician who splits his time between his southeast Fallbrook home and Las Vegas.
Among the six books he has written for children is "Laughing Day," a fanciful, bilingual story about a boy and a group of disagreeable elves called "Grumpies."
Other titles include "Chip, the Little Computer," "Miss Contradiction" and "Wonderful Wuzs."
Marti Avila, a Fallbrook resident who owns Alpine Publishing, which publishes Anders' books, said she loved the idea of United Through Reading, which records service members overseas reading stories aloud, then sends discs of the readings home to their families.
"While they're watching their mom or dad reading a book to them, they have a copy of the same book, and they're reading along," Avila said. "It calms the children, because they see their parents are OK ---- they're reading with them every night."
She said Anders' writing seems like a good fit for a program aiming to encourage youngsters living apart from at least one of their parents.
"They all teach a good lesson in an entertaining and fun manner," Avila said. "For instance, 'Laughing Day' teaches you to help other people without expecting payment."
Besides its program to connect military families, United Through Reading has two other services ---- one for distanced grandparents and a "Transitions" program for families separated by incarceration or drug treatment.
Anders said it didn't take long for him to decide he wanted to help.
"They were only asking for 10 or 20, but I wanted to give them way more than that, because it's such a good program and I'm privileged to be a part of it," he said. "I'm hopeful that other children's book authors will see what I did and donate books, as well."
As for future projects, Anders said there will be more kids books, when he finds the time in between poker tournaments.
"I constantly have ideas for new children's books," he said. "It's just a matter of time, because I'm a real busy person. To tell you the truth, I make a lot more money playing cards than writing children's books. But writing is near and dear to my heart, because I want to make the world a better place, one kids book at a time."
Contact staff writer Tom Pfingsten at 760-740-3516.
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United Through Reading
"Doctor Hope" Web site