Stinky Feet Stew, written and illustrated by Rocky Point resident Beth Capodanno, is a new children’s book created to make bath time less of a struggle for parents and children and more of a fun bonding experience.
Capodanno, an art teacher at Bayshore High School, says she had no intentions of writing a book until feedback from friends on a blog entry titled “Stinky Feet Soup” sparked her interest.
Inspiration for that story came when Capodonna was having a difficult time bathing her son Brendan, now 7, who has sensory issues. Brendan was a toddler, and helping him move from one activity to the next without over-stimulating him was not an easy task.
Creating a “recipe” would be a fun way to engage her son with bath time, Capodanno thought. And because Brendan loved to read, Capodanno decided to evolve that recipe into a humorous book that would help parents like her ease their bath-time blues. The message behind the book is that parents having a tough time getting their children to enjoy bath time should “try humor, love, and take a deep breath. It’s not easy when you’re under pressure, but keep it in the back of your mind,” Capodanno says.
Capodanno began working on Stinky Feet Stew about three years ago and was able to self-publish the book on Jan. 30 as a gift to her son and in memory of her deceased parents. As a teacher, she found summers to be her best time to relax and create, as well as during her son’s playtime. Although writing the story did not take long, creating the main character, Stew, with art done by hand using watercolors, ink, and pen, was time consuming. Capodanno also took time to research classic stories, such as those by Dr. Seuss, to help the creative process.
Overall, Capodanno wants her readers to make light of a difficult situation. “Genuine love changes the tone with your child,” she says.
After reading Stinky Feet Stew (amazon.com), readers may be eager to know what Stew will conquer next and meet any new characters that may join him. Although this is her first book, Capodanno says she already has ideas for future children’s books intended to help children as well as parents with other common struggles of parenting.