Up Up Up: Phoenix author changing lives with children's book

Posted at 1:28 PM, Mar 22, 2017
and last updated 2017-03-22 16:28:45-04

One children’s book is changing lives in the Valley and the local author who wrote it says she feels like she won the lottery.

Phoebe Fox wrote “Up Up Up” several years ago. She was inspired by her three children, who loved to ride the elevator at the Burton Barr Library in Phoenix. The book tells the story of ten animals who are on their way to a birthday party, but they hit an unexpected detour as they make their way up an elevator. Much like her book, Fox experienced a plot twist as well.

Years after she wrote “Up Up Up,” Southwest Human Development -- a nonprofit dedicated to early childhood development -- launched its first ever national children’s book writing contest. More than three hundred manuscripts were submitted and Fox won the contest. The nonprofit then hired Michael Hale to help the book come to life. Hale has worked in the creative industry for more than 30-years, but this is the first time he’s illustrated a children’s picture book.

A couple of years later, the project keeps giving. Southwest Human Development has a buy one, give one concept. When someone buys the book, the nonprofit donates a copy to a child or family in need. So far, the nonprofit has donated more than one thousand books.

The nonprofit launched a second contest not long ago and plans to have that book out by the holidays or early next year.