The saying goes that everyone feels they have at least one bestselling book in them.
But most people never actually get round to writing and publishing it.
Not Jane Scaletta. After years of working on it, she has published her children’s book Kimbo’s First Horse Show, a fascinating story centred around a little boy, Kimbo, and his experiences with horses.
Aimed for pre-teens, the illustrations are superb, done by Scaletta’s sister, Julia ‘Jools’ Theriault who is based in Ohio. Creative Theriault is the head design for the huge girl’s clothing company Limited Two.
Scaletta, aka Van der Bol, which is her married name, is a marketing executive for Porsche and Mercedes Benz.
Outside of work, she pursues her two passions of equestrian and karate in which she is a black belt. Like mum, daughter Ashley, 12, is a karate black belt and competitive rider.
Scaletta is the communications secretary for the Cayman Islands Equestrian Federation and a lifelong horse rider so every aspect in the book is spot on.
Her inspiration was Jools’ illustrations who first drew Kimbo around 20 years ago.
‘We never did anything with Kimbo and being a horsey person that was my favourite character she’s ever drawn,’ says Scaletta.
‘One day about five years ago, we were sitting in a restaurant and she drew it. I kept that picture.
‘I decided to write a story about Kimbo and Jools illustrated it. Then we had to have the character development. My daughter Ashley is Angel in the book and Jools’ daughter and son are included too.’
Ashley is the Angel character in the book and Jools’ daughter and son are also included.
It retails for CI$19.95 in Books & Books and is available on most internet book websites.
There is a book signing at Books & Books, Caymana Bay, tomorrow at 4pm and at the same place in the morning, from 10.30 Scaletta is holding a story time and a craft for children aged between three and six.
‘We’ll have a lot of fun colour craft where you can cut Kimbo out, assemble him back and it’s really, really nice.’
Scaletta doesn’t expect the sort of success of Harry Potter author JK Rowling but wouldn’t mind a fraction of it.
‘Yes, it would be nice if this was something I could retire doing, commercial success would be wonderful. But more than that, I like the education side of this.
‘I am going to create a curriculum for kindergarten through third grade based on the Kimbo stories, so that you can bring a story into the classroom and integrate that into maths, history, science… that would be the ultimate.
‘It would be great actually to see Kimbo on the big screen one day. Everyone knows Clifford the Big Red Dog and so forth, those sort of characters on television and it would be awesome to have Kimbo there.
‘And really there are no horse characters in cartoons. I would love to see Kimbo on Sunday Comics when you’re watching TV.’
Realistically, Scaletta has to sell hundreds of thousands of copies to make a significant income. But there are plenty of spin offs that can generate cash.
‘Currently, we are looking into making a beanie baby type of thing so that stores can sell a beanie baby and the book together – or separately.
‘We’re also looking at making a Kimbo online game and that’s in its infancy right now.
‘The school curriculum is our highest priority though. It’s important to me that children want to learn. You can put them in a classroom but it doesn’t mean that they’re going to learn anything.
‘But if you give them something like a book that they play with and like and do your class studies with, they’ll learn it.
‘I learnt this from doing another programme in the United States that had to do with horses and a horse book. So I have some knowledge and experience on this topic and I’m going to take Kimbo there. That would be awesome.’
Kimbo’s First Horse Show, by Jane Scaletta. Published by Publish America, $19.95 from Books & Books and online.