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Holladay Journal

Holladay resident illustrates a children’s book

Feb 22, 2022 08:58PM ● By Peri Kinder

Children’s book illustrator and Holladay resident Marisa Jenny (second from the right) is joined by her husband Steve, daughter Jessica and son David. (Photo courtesy Marisa Jenny)

By Peri Kinder |

If you had told Holladay resident Marisa Jenny that she’d one day collaborate on a children’s book with her sister-in-law, she wouldn’t have believed it. But the writing duo published “Summer at 4 Steps Way” last summer after teaming up virtually.

While Marisa lives in Utah, her sister-in-law Kristina Jenny lives in Ohio. Marisa’s expertise is in finance and math, and Jenny’s is nutrition. Neither woman has a background in creative writing or art. That didn’t stop Jenny from penning the book or Marisa from picking up her colored pencils to illustrate “Summer at 4 Steps Way” that tells the stories of friendship between a chipmunk, a squirrel and a mouse, and their adventures.

“We have a cabin in the north woods of Wisconsin,” Marisa said. “We would go up there and Kristina would tell her kids these stories. We started collaborating on illustrating and writing the stories and then we got published. Everything fell in line to create this book.”

The book consists of three stories meant to teach the values of sharing, kindness, community, giving and receiving. In one instance, chipmunk receives a raspberry on his front porch, but doesn’t know who left it.

Through the stories, written for children ages 4 to 8, the animals living in the Northwoods learn about companionship and respect, all hand-illustrated by Marisa.

“We hope through these books we can help foster these qualities in children,” Marisa said. “‘Summer at 4 Steps Way’ is the first in a series that will include all the seasons of the year.”

The book is available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble online, Marissa’s Books in Millcreek and at the Holladay Library. Marisa visits schools in the area to read the book to students and shares the values taught in the stories. More information is available on Facebook and Instagram at 4stepsway.