Wednesday’s Author Showcase – Christina Berkau Pope (and Thomas Berkau) of Cricket Vision Press

I love to interact with people. I think that is why I make such a better educator than a politician (OK, the cat is out of the bag! I majored in Poli Sci and International Relations as an undergrad!) Since I love people, I look forward to events where I can “people watch” and even better – talk to folks!
That is why I LOVE LOVE LOVE the Southern Christmas Show in Charlotte, NC. It is a huge “people fest” AND everyone is there to SHOP (another one of my favorite things to do).
This past November, I had the opportunity to meet the dynamic duo from Cricket Vision Press at the 2014 Southern Christmas Show. This meeting has fostered on-going communication on writing, publishing, engagements, etc.
Christina (Christy)

Christina (Christy)



Cricket Vision Press is a self-publishing collaboration between 2 siblings.  Their inaugural publication is ABC Charlotte, which was released Oct. 25, 2014.
ABC Charlotte was written by Christina (Christy) Berkau Pope and illustrated by Thomas Berkau.  Christy and Thomas have wanted to create a children’s book together for several years but could never agree on the right concept.  When Christy was pregnant with her first child, she received several baby gifts that were children’s books from various US cities.  Her son’s library began to include books about Chicago, San Francisco, Washington DC, etc.  Christy realized that while there are several children’s book about North Carolina, there were not any children’s picture books specific to the city of Charlotte at the time.  When she approached Thomas with the idea, it was the first time they both felt passionate about a subject matter for a book collaboration.  Thomas is a free lance artist with graphic design skills, and together they laid out the concept for the book, ABC Charlotte.
The team decided to self publish because of the niche market for the book. “We felt we had contacts in and around Charlotte who could help us sell and promote the idea,” says Christy.  “The entire process took bout 2.5 years, but we are so happy with the finished product and are already inspired to create other city specific children’s books.”
The team is currently working on their second and third books, 123 Charlotte, and ABC Raleigh.  They hope to have both published in the next 8-12 months.  Their goal is to target cities in the South Eastern US that are growing in popularity and size but have not already been written about in the form of a children’s picture book. Know of a location that fits the bill? Just let them know.
ABC Charlotte and future publications are designed to appeal to a range of ages from birth through age 8.  The pictures and ABC concept are entertaining for babies, toddlers and preschoolers.  however, the alliteration and challenging language used in the book are appropriate for elementary ages as well.  Many parents initially think the book may be too “young” for their seven year old, however, many children are not familiar with some of our animal choices, including an Ibex, Narwhal, Vole and Xolo.  Also, the adjective choices such as “basking”, “jaunty”, and “vivacious” are most often challenging enough for a 2nd or 3rd grade reader.
Cricket Vision Press is committed to donating a portion of all book proceeds back into the Charlotte community. Currently we financially support A Better World Charlotte, which is a nonprofit afterschool/summer tutoring and enrichment program striving to keep at risk children off the streets, out of gangs, and in a supervised environment.  The website for this charity is
ABC Charlotte is available for purchase at several local retailers including Park Road Books, Paper Skyscraper, Toys & Co., Shower me with Love, Green with Envy, and many others.  You can also purchase directly from the company website, which is  Christy and Thomas are currently offering blog readers free shipping using the code “cricketshipping.”
So, you know what I think… Go “cricketshipping” today for your copy of ABC Charlotte and be sure to connect with Christy and Thomas!

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