Jengo and Pengo, the two protagonists in a new children’s book created by The StoryMakers, are photographed outside of Snapdoodle Toys. RON ALLEN/Contributed photo

Local businesses partner to create children’s book

Just as the characters in “Jengo and Pengo’s Acts of Kindness” developed a strong friendship, the partnership between The StoryMakers and Snapdoodle Toys has been fruitful.

Julie and Ron Allen of The StoryMakers, a Woodinville-based content creation company, reached out to Rob Pickering, owner of Snapdoodle Toys, which has locations in Kenmore and Redmond, to create a children’s book together.

“They had this great idea and came to us,” Pickering said. “It’s been a lot of fun.”

The story follows a polar bear stuffed animal (Jengo) and a penguin stuffed animal (Pengo) as they escape from their home at Snapdoodle Toys to learn about the Christmas spirit. In the process, they embark on a variety of adventures featuring the characters doing acts of random kindness including picking up trash and raking leaves.

Julie, who wrote the story, said she was inspired by both the group behind the website arkprojectnow.com, which encourages people to do acts of random kindness, and her mother, who worked with kids and always wanted her daughter to write a children’s book.

Instead of the traditional illustrations featured in most children’s books, “Jengo and Pengo’s Acts of Kindness” features actual photographs, taken by Ron, of the stuffed animals doing various acts of random kindness in locations throughout the region that kids who read the book will likely recognize.

The two characters in the book will be available to take pictures with kids from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Dec. 10 at the Snapdoodle Toys location in Kenmore, and from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Dec. 11 at the Redmond location. The book is available to purchase for $14.99 at both stores.

Perhaps the most incredible part of the partnership is that it all came together in two weeks. “Three or four weeks ago, I would’ve never thought I’d write a children’s book,” Julie, who has worked as a project manager, said. “We just did it. It’s been the funnest project I’ve ever done.”

For more information about “Jengo and Pengo’s Acts of Kindness,” visit thestorymakers.net or snapdoodletoys.com.

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