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Vicki Whiting, known for her newspaper feature Kid Scoop, with her two new children’s books, “A Kids Guide to Drawing Cartoon Animals” and “Mind-Boggling Animal Puzzles.”

Vicki Whiting has come full circle in more ways than one. The former teacher’s nearly 35-year career as editor of the children’s newspaper “Kid Scoop” started after students in her third grade class were disappointed there were no books in their school library about their local Sonoma, Calif., community. Newspapers provided the answer to that conundrum.

The second full circle moment is that, in September 2019, publisher Chapel Fox out of Mt. Joy, Penn., published not one but two books by Whiting and her illustrator Jeff Schinkel: “Mind-Boggling Animal Puzzles” and “A Kid’s Guide to Drawing Animals.”

Whiting taught at St. Francis Solano School in Sonoma for seven years. As can sometimes be the case, getting younger students to develop a passion for reading proved a challenge. Thus “Kid Scoop” was born: A weekly that features games, puzzles, drawing lessons and many other ways to engage children not only in reading and critical thinking.

Schinkel joined her in 1999. “I really liked cartooning and always dreamed I could do it full time and Vicki gave me that opportunity,” he said.

In fact, Schinkel and Whiting celebrated the anniversary of their 20 years in business together in November, another full circle moment realized.

“Whether it’s through seek-and-find activities, educational fun facts or drawing lessons, our main goal is to provide children with the tools they need to learn while having fun,” said David Miller of Happy Fox Books, book imprint of Fox Chapel, publisher.

Three more books are scheduled to be released next fall.

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