North Central Phoenix children’s author Phoebe Fox holds her first bilingual book, “Babies Nurse/Asi se alimentan los bebés,” which has an optional Teacher’s Guide (submitted photo).

Phoebe Fox, a children’s book author and mother of three, recently released her first bilingual book, “Babies Nurse/Asi se alimentan los bebés.”

Fox, a longtime North Central resident, wrote this book to show the warmth and beauty of nursing while demonstrating that all mammals share certain approaches to feeding, protecting, and teaching their young.

With degrees in Early Childhood Development and Curriculum Instruction, Fox was particularly well positioned to present this information in a way that young readers will respond to. She consulted zoologists and pediatricians to put together this deceptively simple introduction.

The book features illustrations by Phoebe’s father-in-law, retired NBA star and watercolor artist, Jim Fox. Together with bilingual (English/Spanish) poetry, the paintings depict care and bonding between 13 animal mothers and their babies. The overarching theme of breastfeeding inspires conversations about parenting, biology, habitats, survival, and more. Appropriate for ages 4 and older.

A free online Teacher’s Guide offers further vocabulary, discussion topics, and hands-on activities. Books are available in hardback ($14.95) and paperback ($9.95).

Books are available at

Fox also is the author of “Starry’s Haircut” and “Starry Gets Lost.” Visit her at

North Central resident Renée Barstack, an English professor currently specializing in Children’s Literature, has released her debut children’s picture book, “My Pet Peeve.” Encouraged by her college students to publish her own story and inspired by the love for her cat, a Scottish fold named Munchkin, Barstack incorporated life lessons into a beautifully illustrated rhyming story for all ages to enjoy.

The story follows a little girl named Molly who finds a stray kitten in her barn. Molly has always wanted a cat but knows her father would disapprove. In order to convince him to let her keep it, she utilizes problem solving to come up with a solution to keep the kitten she names Munchkin. However, when her father discovers she has the kitten, he demands she give Munchkin away until the kitten does something heroic that permanently changes his mind.

An educational story that promotes the importance of being tolerant of others, “My Pet Peeve” is also a good problem-solving learning tool for children. The book is available at,, and at



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