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Even More Fun and Unique

Mark Dantzler
Mark Dantzler Author Interview

The Grate Adventure of Lester Zester follows a young kitchen tool that wants to understand his purpose and feel wanted. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?

Lester Zester was created in an instant of playful family holiday baking. My wife and son were making some delicious scones, and I was acting as their sous-chef. Someone called out for a zester to grate some lemon peel. I retrieved it from a kitchen drawer and pronounced it “Lester Zester”! The rhyme stayed with me, and I began to consider how a kitchen tool might feel, waiting in the drawer with anticipation until required by the chef.

The art in the book is cute and eye-catching. What was the art collaboration process like with illustrator Julia Pelikhovich?

Julia Pelikhovich is a talented professional. She worked on the book from her art studio in Russia. Her creative style and colors brought Lester and his kitchen pals to life! It was amazing to watch the development of each character. You may have noticed that each illustration is a hand-painted, watercolor drawing which is placed onto a real photographic background (kitchen, Christmas tree). This mixed media technique makes the story even more fun and unique!

What were some themes that were important for you to explore in this book?

I wanted to create a likable character that young readers could easily identify. Lester Zester is hopeful, anxious, friendly and naïve. He wants to know that he is loved. His personality helps the story to address important themes of self-esteem, diversity and inclusion, and friendship. These elements are evident in the illustrations, as well.

What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?

Lester Zester and his friends from Chef’s kitchen are excited to be on a new adventure together next summer! In the second Lester Zester book, there is unexpected trouble, lots of new characters, and some great fun! Of course, Julia Pelikhovich will add her artistic gifts to the story.

Author Website: lesterzester.com

The Grate Adventure of Lester Zester is the heart-warming story of a young kitchen tool that longs to understand his true purpose and know that he is wanted. Can Lester discover the secret to having a grate life and hope to live in the Everyday Drawer with the rest of Chef’s helpful things? This whimsical tale reminds children of all ages that they are loved and have a special place in this world. With a little help from some funny culinary friends, Lester shows us that life can be a grate adventure if we simply believe!

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The Grate Adventure of Lester Zester

The Grate Adventure of Lester Zester by [Mark Dantzler, Julia Pelikhovich]

The Grate Adventure of Lester Zester by Mark Dantzler is the perfect parent and child read-a-long! Follow the story of the kitchen tool, Lester Zester, as he finds his place in his new home. While you are reading, there is a secret message to decode, but you have to pay close attention!

I fell in love with this storybook! At first glance, it looks like every other children’s book, except with a bit more of a unique premise. That is until you realize there is a hidden message to be found both literally and figuratively.

Dantzler engages the reader’s mind and emotions with this charming tale. Lester Zester trying to find his way in the kitchen is wholly reminiscent of what people go through in the real world. And the puzzle you have to solve makes it entertaining for both parent and child.

The Grate Adventure of Lester Zester is a fun and creative children’s picture book that will delight young readers and inspire the imagination.

Pages: 60 | ASIN: B09FMXGSF5

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