Kids & Family

Book He Wrote In Crayon As A Kid Finally Gets Published!

The story of kindness still inspires after all these years.

Some people are really good at buying gifts. There's an art to it – picking out just the right item to suit someone's personality and evoke a bit of nostalgia, all while sticking to a budget so you don't go overboard and make the person uncomfortable.

Chelsea Elliott is the queen of all gift-givers. She wanted to do something special for her husband Daryl's Christmas present this year, so she came up with a surprise that he won't soon forget.

Daryl loves to write. When he was in the second grade, he wrote a children's book called “Barney the Boring Barumbus," a tale about the value of being kind to others.

Chelsea Elliott

Even though Daryl's “book" was written with crayons on loose notebook paper, he still reads it to his daughter Natalie at bedtime. He just turns the pages very carefully.

“Writing has always been an outlet for me," Daryl told Majically. “With two older sisters and one younger brother growing up in Cincinnati, there was lots of pressures growing up where I am. Writing was an escape. I held onto that book for so long to read to my kid."

Chelsea Elliott

Your eyes might already be welling up if you know where this is going.

For her husband's gift, Chelsea decided to republish “Barney the Boring Barumbus" as a proper book with binding and professional illustrations. She said the illustrations were particularly important, as a large part of the story's charm comes from Daryl's colorful drawings.

“She was wonderful," Chelsea said of the woman she hired to do the illustrations. “She kept the drawings as close as possible. The pictures still look almost exactly the same, minus the last page where there's a love letter to my husband."

Chelsea Elliott

Chelsea even got the book copyrighted so that Daryl could sell the book and distribute it to bookstores and other retailers if he wanted.

On Christmas Day, Chelsea had her phone ready to catch her husband's reaction when he opened the gift. It took him a minute to put it all together, but when he finally did the waterworks started to flow.

“To be honest I didn't know what to expect," Daryl said. “I thought it could have been a watch or tie or something. But seeing her there with the original book in her hand and looking at the one I had in front in front of me. I was lost for words. I'm about to cry right now. The thought that just goes into it, I'm at a loss for words. Three weeks and I still can't find the right words."

To make the story even sweeter, when Daryl's friends and family found out that “Barney" had been published, they all wanted a copy, so Chelsea put the book on Amazon for all the world to enjoy.

Daryl says he's gotten such good feedback that he's considering writing more adventures for the character and that he may publish a series.

“My original intention was just this one story," said Daryl. “I've been working on different ones for I don't know how long, but there's more to come because of the response we've received on Barney at church and at work. There's a need out there for Barney."

So, not only was it the absolute perfect Christmas present, it also inspired Daryl to continue with his passion of writing children's books. All thanks to his wife's incredible gift!

Chelsea Elliott

You can order your own copy of “Barney the Boring Barumbus" by clicking here .

Inspired by Chelsea's sweet act of kindness? Your loved one may not be a writer with a book to be published, but you can think of other thoughtful ways to let them know you care. Does your significant other love to sail? You can make a photo album of their adventures on the water. Are they constantly sketching in a notebook? Put together a portfolio of their drawings. A little bit of kindness can go a long way.

How can you start something good?
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