LOGAN – Nicole Ellis is excited about her recently-published children’s book, and the message she wanted to share when she penned it.
The book, “The Princess without a Crown,” was 10 years in the making, said the Sky View graduate from Hyde Park.
“I was in cosmetology school when the idea came to me,” she said. “I noticed little girls, preteens and teenagers coming in and saying, ‘If I was just a little prettier.’”
They were so worried about their outward appearance and not focused on the inside.
“I felt like lots of girls need to have more positive self-esteem and they need to build confidence by reaching out to others,” she said. “I had a lot of encouragement to send it in, and I’m glad.”
One of Ellis’ younger cousins said she wanted to be the most beautiful girl in the whole world.
“I didn’t know what to say,” she said. “I thought, if that is the kind of things young girls want, I need to get the word out that it’s not what they look like on the surface that makes people beautiful, but what is inside.”
She wanted to spread the word that beauty comes from the inside.
Ellis would talk to her hair clients about wanting to do a book for girls on where beauty comes from. The clients encouraged her to make the book. It seemed to be a common theme, talking about positive self-esteem and building confidence and reaching out to others, Ellis said.
“I was struggling a little after having a baby, and I needed a boost of confidence so I finally wrote the book,” she said. “I sent it to two publishers; one never got back with me.”
Cedar Fort, in Springville, looked at the manuscript and fired off a response. They offered, and found an illustrator, Heather Burns from the United Kingdom, to create illustrations to go with the book.
“She does quality work,” Ellis said. “I was really happy with her depiction of the story.”
The book is about a little girl who leaves her house for the first time without her parents. She tries to mesh with other kids her age. It doesn’t go well. She tries to put on makeup to make herself prettier, so she would be accepted by the other children, and again it didn’t fix the problem. Her mother helps clean off the makeup and talks to her about where beauty comes from: the inside, not the outside. The book is all written in rhymes.
Sam Oldroyd was the first at Cedar Fort Publishing to read Ellis’ manuscript, and pitched it up the line.
“I was impressed with it when I read the rough draft,” Oldroyd said. “We had her shorten it some. When she got it back, I told them, we have a great children’s book.”
He said the rhyme scheme was wonderful, and for someone who grew up on Dr. Seuss, it clicked.
“Anytime a book has rhythm and rhyme, and a great message behind the rhymes, it’s good,” Oldroyd said. “The Princess’ mom taught her a valuable lesson about where beauty comes from.”
He said they get thousands of submissions a year, it’s hard to say how many exactly.
“When we find someone like Nicole, and can make their dream come true, it’s fun,” he said. “We are anxious to see how it performs.”
He has the book in Costco, Amazon, and a couple of other local locations.
“We are looking forward to seeing what else she comes up with,” The Cedar Fort executive said.
Ellis thought it was the right thing at the right time.
“They said they were looking for a book with less religion and a more general message,” she said. “I think that’s why they got with me so fast.”
Ellis said she would give the message away if she could.
“It is a children’s book, but its message should resonate with all women,” she said. “The message is something all women can use.”