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A Mom Shows Her 'Chocolate' Side

Keri Beckwith-English doesn't even like chocolate. But most kids do, so it's not surprising the Easton mom made it the theme of her first book, "More Than Chocolate." Written for children, it's about a mother who uses those words to tell her daughter how much she loves her, and it's creating quite a buzz for families with kids.

"I had no intentions in life to ever necessarily write children's books. I just never thought of the avenue before," said English, who previously had only written in journals.

It began as a way to express her feelings to her 5-year-old daughter, Tate, by giving her the book as a fifth birthday present. Tate and Keri's 3-year-old son, Luke, are the inspiration for her stories, including one set to be published called "Sticks and Stones and Dinosaur Bones." She hopes the books will inspire them to become writers themselves, and give back to the community. Every month Keri donates 10 percent of her earnings from the books to a different charity.

Before she had children, Keri worked as a graphic designer. She also created a children's clothing line called Obeckali, and hopes to return to designing clothes soon. Years of art classes and working as a graphic designer have helped her illustrate her own books. She hopes to continue writing.

"I love how I can be as whimsical as I want," she said. "There's really nothing too serious about it, although I like to have the underlying story be very serious. I like the sugarcoating of the whole thing, just to make life sound happy and sweet -- how life should be for a kid."

The Easton Public Library will host a book signing for Keri on Thursday, Sept. 23, at 4 p.m. for children 3 and older. Registration is required. Copies of her book will be available for purchase and signing.

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