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Former Washington County educator publishes first children's book

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By The Staff

During the warm months, Robert Brown of Rose Hill is usually found outside in his garden. When his children were younger, they would  accompany him, playing, watering with the hose or digging with small  garden tools. During one of those times, his son Tyler, who was 3 at   the time, was helping pick some vegetables. After placing the   different vegetables from the small garden into his wagon, he would   repeatedly touch them and call them by color. He then looked at his   father and said, “Daddy, you grow colors.”

The children’s book, “Daddy Grows Colors,” was written that evening. Brown tried to get the book published several times, but always   received the usual rejection letter, he said. “However, I was even   inspired by those. After all, one gets rejection letters from those   who are reading the manuscripts. Forever hopeful that one day someone   would like my books, I kept submitting,” he said.

After a while, Brown became distracted from his goal to have his   writing published due to graduate course work and raising his family.  

He continued to write for fun, mostly for himself, but occasionally   wrote a poem for teacher friends who were retiring.

Last summer, while shucking corn with his now teenage sons, they   recanted past events, often laughing about the boys’ toddler antics.  

“It was then that the elicited comment from my son that I could grow   colors resurfaced,” he said. “That afternoon the old query letters   and manuscripts were removed from storage. It was time to send in a   letter once again. Since I had just spent an enjoyable afternoon with   my sons shucking corn, I decided to resubmit ‘Daddy Grows Colors.’”

Publish America, which publishes many first time authors, accepted.  

Since the venue would not be too difficult, Brown also decided to   illustrate the story.

“The excitement was overwhelming as the first draft of an electronic   version of the completed picture book was reviewed. Only second in   excitement was in reading the ISBN number. Twenty copies of the book   are coming my way. I can’t wait to open that box and hold my first   bound book,” he said.

Brown, 48, was born and raised in Harrodsburg. He is the son of Peggy   Arnold Brown and the late Donald Joseph Brown. He and his wife,   Cindy, have two sons, Tyler and Corey. They also have a Labrador   named Bennie and a cat, Weasley.

Brown is a 1979 graduate of Harrodsburg High School. He has earned   his master’s degree in elementary education and post master’s   certification in instructional leadership principal, instructional   supervisor and superintendent.

He taught grades 4-8 in Harrodsburg and London for 13 years; he was   principal at Harlow Elementary for five years and Washington County   assistant/acting superintendent for two years.

He is currently the director of the Education Professional Standards   Board in Frankfort, where he has served four years.

He began writing as a hobby in high school and college. One of the   past times in his college dormitory was for some of his friends to   add new chapters to a science fiction story he had created. While   teaching, he wrote a few comic strips based upon the antics of his  students. None of his early writing was for public viewing; he just  enjoyed making up stories.

“Daddy Grows Colors” was released March 7 and is  available at Barnes and Noble, Books-a-Million and Amazon.com.

Rachel Dean is a reporter for The Harrodsburg Herald in Harrodsburg, Ky. This story is printed with permission of The Harrodsburg Herald.