Henry is an ape, but he wishes he could do the things he sees people do. And so he tries. But with each adventure, the things he does naturally as an ape interfere with doing people things: emptying garbage cans, directing an orchestra, or weeding a flower bed. He also finds that his friends at the zoo love him for exactly who he is – an ape. One day Andy Way, musician, composer, and financial advisor, was talking to a friend on the phone, and he said (with nary a nod to the Bard) that he had a great title for a children’s book: The Six Lives of Henry the Ape. Andy went on to say that, in his mind, Henry was an ape and would always be an ape. This immediately brought mental pictures to the friend on the other end of the line who happened to be Carol Biederman, retired teacher, musician, writer, and storyteller. She asked Andy if he would mind if she ran with this idea, to which he replied, “Be my guest.” So Carol sat down with her computer and developed six lives for Henry, keeping in mind Henry would always be an ape, and periodically checking in with Andy for wisdom and approval. Then Carol met Patricia Cherry, former CEO of a staffing corporation in San Francisco, host of Foothill Forum, a Sierra Foothill interview show on radio KAAD, and, most importantly, artist. One day, while chatting with Carol, Patti casually said, “I’ve always wanted to illustrate a children’s book,” to which Carol smiled and handed the manuscript to Patti who brought Henry to life with her drawings.
In classic Biederman style, “Johnny’s Cafe” grips the reader from the first page. As Zoey Fletcher navigates her through approaching adolescence, the decision of some adults conflict with what she knows about right and wrong–good and evil. Tormented by her fifth grade teacher, Zoey befriends a cafe owner name Johnny, a charismatic young man with a mysterious past. When Johnny’s disappearance forces Zoey to make a choice, her decision is tied forever to the town and the adults she questions.
About “Sherry with the Bishop”
Mrs. Cunningham is dead; no one grieves. In fact, all the guests at the party where she met her timely demise are relieved. Their secrets safe, or so they think, they quietly collaborate to tamper with the only tangible evidence. They have not reckoned on the persistent Inspector Jake Dawson and the equally persistent Sergeant Bill Eggleton, who, lacking eye witnesses and fingerprints, move relentlessly to motives.