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Siblings team up for book of poetry

| Saturday, April 6, 2013, 1:11 a.m.
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Danika Lynn wrote the poetry in 'Imagination Stew,' and her brother, Johnny Tremba, illustrated them. Both are former Connellsville residents. Tremba will sign copies on April 27 at ArtWorks Connellsville.
Nancy Henry | for the Daily Courier
The cover of 'Imagination Stew.' Illustrator Johnny Tremba will be signing copies at ArtWorks Connellsville on April 27.

“Imagination Stew,” a book of poetry written and illustrated by a brother and sister who grew up in Connellsville, will be one of those featured at an ArtWorks Connellsville signing on April 27.

Author Danika Lynn has worked as a middle school teacher and journalist. She lives in Florida with her twin sons, Maddox and Nash — her inspirations for this book filled with poems for children and adults.

“I started writing the book in December 2011 after my boys were born, and finished it in early 2013,” Lynn said. “I then began sending it out to publishers. I read a lot of Shel Silverstein to my sons (“A Light in the Attic” and “Where the Sidewalk Ends”), and I was inspired by his works and how children enjoy the rhythm of poetry.

“I know there is not a lot of work out there on the shelves right now like his, and I thought I could put a twist on my own version of a unique poetry collection with my brother's off-the-wall artistic and colorful style to compliment my off-the-wall words,” she continued. “I also was inspired by my eighth-grade students and how they enjoyed poetry and Shel Silverstein's work when I taught my poetry lessons in the classroom.”.”

Lynn's brother, Johnny Tremba, was the illustrator for her book.

“It was fun and it was difficult, sometimes a challenge,” he said. “I've been drawing and illustrating basically all of my life. I went to Edinboro and graduated with a degree in animation. I'm not doing that though, because of that starving artist thing.”

Tremba is working in movies in Pittsburgh on grip crews, setting up camera rigs and lighting.

“Kids will like this book and so will adults,” Tremba said. “It's a fun book.

“I drew some things over several times when my sister wasn't happy with what I did. We had some of those sibling arguments,” he added.

Tremba is also the creator of the “Yough River Rat” T-shirt each summer. He has the 2013 design done, and the shirt should be ready soon. There has been a new design every year since he began doing it in 2005.

“The book was a challenge for all of us,” said Joyce Tremba, mother of Danika and Johnny. “When they were growing up, she was always writing and Johnny was always coloring, but never in a coloring book. I used to say that someday she would write a book and he would illustrate it, and that's exactly what they did.

“She was in Florida, with twins, and he was here, and they had fights, but the poems in the book are entertaining and the art is bright and colorful.”

“I was most impressed by the book because adults that are reading it to children can relate to the poems they're reading; adults are getting a real kick out of it,” their father, John Tremba, said.

Some of the poem titles include “Stanky Stan,” “Under The Bed,” “Crybaby,” “Hairy Situation,” “Brothers” and “A Light Lunch” — each one brightly illustrated.

“I hope my book can get a chuckle out of young children to middle-school-aged children, and maybe even some adults,” Lynn said. “I live in a small town in northern Florida, and my book has been received very well at local book stores and signings. I have had a lot of support and business through my online sales as well. It is available at amazon.com as well as barnesandnoble.com (and other independent sellers through Amazon).

“This has been a fun process collaborating with my brother and combining our creativity, and I believe we came up with a very unique product that will hopefully make people of all ages smile,” she added.

Johnny Tremba will be at ArtWorks signing copies of “Imagination Stew,” from 1 to 4 p.m. April 27, along with the author of “I Was Mad at God,” Emile Etheridge.

“Please come out to ArtWorks Connellsville and support Emile Etheridge Sr., a great author, and Johnny Tremba, a great Illustrator. You'll also see many new original creations for spring from area artists,” said Dan Cocks, art coordinator at the Gallery and Learning Center, 139 W. Crawford Ave., Connellsville.

Nancy Henry is a freelance writer.

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