Milo Makes a Splash in ‘California ABC’s’, a New Addition to the Finding Milo Picture Book Series

For immediate release
Elizabeth Odom
706-864-1556
elizabeth.odom@ung.edu

  • The UNG Press’s new picture book is an ABC adventure exploring the state symbols and well-known landmarks of California.
  • Companion to Georgia ABC’s in the Finding Milo series about the U.S. states.
California ABC’s by Chris Jespersen and illustrated by Josie Toney
Cover design by Corey Parson

Dahlonega, GA—January 3, 2022—The University of North Georgia (UNG) Press is pleased to announce our latest picture book release: California ABC’s, the second publication in the Finding Milo series, written by Chris Jespersen and illustrated by Josie Toney. The book will be released January 25, 2022.

Two California valley quail soar across California to find Milo, the playful dog who has a knack for hiding. Is he strutting down the Hollywood Walk of Fame? Or maybe splashing in the Malibu waves? Explore California’s curiosities and wonders with this story in verse that will help even the most reluctant readers learn their ABC’s.

In this playful addition to the Finding Milo series, California ABC’s introduces young learners to diverse cities, landscapes, and quirky attractions. California natives and visitors alike will discover new places and facts from the feathered hosts’ guided tour, rich in historical and cultural opportunities. Readers may recognize Anaheim, the city of kindness, but do they know about the annual ugly dog contest in Petaluma?

Fans of animals and nature will learn about state symbols and the diversity of California’s wildlife. Beginning readers can practice the alphabet as they search for Milo and discover what lies beyond their backyard fence. Combined with Josie Toney’s mixed-media illustrations and expressive creatures, Chris Jespersen’s lively verse makes for a fun and interactive read-aloud for the whole family. California ABC’s is a romp for young travelers and explorers.

Author Chris Jespersen and illustrator Josie Toney

Chris Jespersen has been a long-time reader of children’s books, ever since his two sons started learning to read. He is a professor of American diplomatic history at the University of North Georgia (UNG) and has served as dean of the College of Arts & Letters since 2005. Chris and his wife adopted Milo from the Atlanta Humane Society’s Mansell Road location when he was just a puppy. Milo enjoys swimming in the Chattahoochee River in the summer, a good squeaky toy, chasing squirrels, and herding the occasional deer.

Josie Vrooman Toney is a self-taught artist with a surrealistic, whimsical style. Her work is comprised of a variety of mediums including acrylic, pastels, watercolor, marker, color pencil and graphite. Josie, her husband, and her son have two dogs, a cat, and several chickens. She has a passion for education and works full-time at UNG. When she is not working, Josie enjoys yoga, the outdoors, drawing, painting, and spending time with her family. Her work has been featured in local galleries across north Georgia, including Elevate Sautee, Inside Out Sautee, JumpinGoat Coffee, and Yonah Mountain Village.

Printed in full color, the California ABC’s hardcover edition (978-1-940771-93-9) is $29.99 while the paperback edition (978-1-940771-94-6) is $19.99. California ABC’s is typeset in OpenDyslexic. It is written for ages 7–9. Its Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level is 4.1, which is equivalent to 740L-940L in the Lexile Framework. Retailers can purchase copies of our titles directly from Ingram Content Group.

The University of North Georgia Press is a scholarly, peer-reviewed press that serves as an extension of our sponsoring university, the University of North Georgia. Our primary function is to promote education and research with a special emphasis on innovative scholarship and pedagogy. ###

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