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Graves County resident self-publishes children’s book

Lea Ann Pullen self-published "What Does the Giraffe Say?" on Aug. 23.
Lea Ann Pullen
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Lea Ann Pullen self-published "What Does the Giraffe Say?" on Aug. 23.

A Graves County resident self-published her first children’s book earlier this month.

Written and illustrated by Lea Ann Pullen of Wingo, “What Does the Giraffe Say?” is a preschool-oriented, rhyming romp investigating the sounds made by various animals. The book was released print-on-demand through IngramSpark on Aug. 23 and can be purchased in hardcover, paperback and ebook forms from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Walmart and other online retailers.

“My daughter came to me with the question, ‘What does the giraffe say?’ because we were doing animal sounds, and I had no idea,” she said. “So we looked it up, and I was like, ‘That would be a cute book, too.’”

“What Does the Giraffe Say?” was ranked No. 1 in children’s mammal books on Amazon during its first three days, which Pullen said was thanks largely to preorders from longtime local friends and unknown internet denizens alike.

“This one came to me so easily one day,” Pullen said. “Sometimes, you just get into a groove, so I just sat down and, in one day, wrote all the text for this story and drew all the pictures. That’s never happened to me again.”

The Graves County Public Library will host an event featuring Lea Ann Pullen on Sept. 24.
Graves County Public Library
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The Graves County Public Library will host an event featuring Lea Ann Pullen on Sept. 24.

Pullen first experimented with penning children’s books when her own son and daughter — now 13 and six, respectively — were in their formative developmental periods. Drawing on her art and writing background, she conceptualized “What Does the Giraffe Say?” about three years ago before recently deciding to pursue self-publishing.

“You can hire illustrators and book designers, but I sat down and just immersed myself in figuring out every single step of the publishing process,” she said. “I went for it and did it all on my own.”

This also marks the inception of Lucky Pup Studios, Pullen’s renewed effort to share her creative endeavor with the world. Next up is a “Wild For Reading” literacy event on Sept. 24 from 2 to 4 p.m. at the Graves County Public Library during which readers can meet her in person. After that, she plans to finish an earlier draft about rocks and minerals.

“I enjoy sharing creative opportunities with other people and encouraging them and showing them that it’s not something that has to be hard — it’s just fun,” she said.

Dustin Wilcox is a television production student at Murray State University. He graduated from Hopkinsville High School in 2019.
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