Art by Carol Dabney

Watercolor illustration of Christmas story 'Twas the Mouse Before Christmas by author & illustrator Carol Dabney

Watercolor illustration of Christmas story ‘Twas the Mouse Before Christmas by author & illustrator Carol Dabney

Creation of Harold, my Christmas Mouse 
watercolor 2012

Creation of Harold, my Christmas Mouse
watercolor 2012

Waimea painting by Carol Dabney

Waimea painting by Carol Dabney

Fishing watercolor by Carol Dabney

Fishing watercolor by Carol Dabney

Fishing watercolor by Carol Dabney

Fishing watercolor by Carol Dabney

I enjoyed learning how to paint with oil a couple years ago watching Bob Ross and with the help of a wonderful woman, Elodie Bingham as my inspiration. She says to allow God to show us whatever it was we didn’t know or Bob couldn’t explain. I was the choir director at the time at the First United Methodist Church and she was a part of that as well. We are just a couple of creative people having fun in this world with music and paint brushes what can I say. I don’t think I have an inborn gift for it, but I find it so restful and therapeutic that I continue to draw, paint and even have started illustrating my own children’s books with watercolor. It fasinates me and its fun. Besides after finding out it would cost me upward of $4,000 a book to hire an illustrator, I thought I should give it a try. Well here are four of my very first oil paintings and a couple watercolor paintings done last year. Today I showed some children my new Christmas book ‘Twas The Mouse Before Christmas watercolor artwork and they said they really liked it. I read my story to them at Noah’s school and showed the kids my illustrations. I love reading at the schools, I love singing with the kids, doing some art together and I really love Christmas!!! So we had a great deal of fun and I’m off and running and feeling very blessed indeed. My Christmas book will be published this fall or pre-order it at my online shop Carol Dabney at

Donna Watkins-Author

Donna Watkins is a one of the nicest ladies you will ever meet anywhere. A Certified Dietitian and Nutritionist, Donna is educated as well as a creative author and illustrator. She has a great way of using her knowledge to reach children and teens in her books that teach all about the best food and recipes in her book “Cooking” and she teaches kids all about vegetable gardening the way her grandfather taught her in her book “Kidz gone to potz.” Her message is plant healthy, eat healthy, and she shows us all how to do it. She is a good friend and we have share illustration ideas at her house during our Writers Club meetings. Thanks Donna You’re the best!

More About the Author
› Visit Amazon’s D. S. Watkins Page
I am a retired Certified Dietary Manager (CDM),a Certified Food Protection Professional (CFPP), and Nutrition Counselor. My work in dietitics span through 20+ years. Most of that tenure was spent working in my community, with homemakers and youth, instructing and engaging them in the areas of nutrition regarding healthy food consumption,food purchasing, food preparation and storage, gardening and food preservation, and family finances. I also worked for a period of time in the dietary department of a local Rehabilitation Hospital. I’ve written several books in a variety of genres, including, children’s books, cookbooks, gardening books, and, some works of fiction. Writing has always been a very rewarding hobby for me and one that I hope to be actively engaged in for years to come. The cookbook evolved from a simple cooking experience shared with my grand daughter as I was trying to pass along the Family’s Famous Chocolate Pie Recipe. The project grew into trying out many recipes for foods that kids love and, in turn, creating our own recipes, hence, the creation of our own cookbook. The gardening book grew out of a gardening experiment involving my two grandsons and a few of the neighborhood kids. We grew vegetables in big containers as well as planting a small patch of corn and melons. It was so much fun that they also wanted to share their experiences in a book. Teaching my grand chidren, and others, skills that will follow into their adult lives to help them lead self-reliable, accomplished lives was my goal and is my reward.


Book Description
Publication Date: September 26, 2011
Plate food in front of a child – feed him for a day. Teach a child to cook – feed him for a lifetime. Fun recipes for the beginner Chef. Kitchen Boot Camp offers basic kitchen instructions. Fast Food Picks, Move That Body ,&, Skinny Down Those Recipes provide information regarding food choices, exercise, and, controlling calories in foods. Kitchen Krafts and Twang Codes provide tons of entertainment for Tweens and Teens. This Cookbook provides a stepping stone for beginner Cooks to learn about selecting and preparing foods and its quick fix meals offer a great advantage to families on the go.
A great cookbook with a variety of different recipes November 2, 2011
By John M Murphy
Format:PaperbackThis is a great cookbook. It has a wide variety of different recipes and great illustrations that separate each category. The book is geared toward beginner chefs and does a great job of walking a person through each recipes. Highly recommended!

5.0 out of 5 stars The Perfect Book for a Junior Chef! April 28, 2012
By Sage
Format:PaperbackJunior Chefs in the Game offers a variety of information to capture the interest of Tweens and Teens. Although this cookbook is geared toward lessons and recipes for the beginner chef, it is a good all around cookbook for busy families on the go who need quick fix easy recipes which will work for their busy lifestyles. Simple easy recipes like Whacky Packs, which are full course mini-meals, are quick fix for now or great to prepare and freeze for a fast meal when time is short. Combine this meal with a great salad or soup prepared from recipes included in the book and a well balanced meal will be on the table in minutes. There are loads of recipes to choose from: drinks, snacks, desserts, quick meals, and so much more. Plus, this book is such a great teaching tool to educate the young chef in the art of cooking. The skill is made fun by offering tested no fail recipes, sections to insight the young chef to create their own recipes, lessons on how to remake favorite recipes into healthier versions, fast food selections, calorie burn, and much more! This book has it all! What a great way to teach youth skills that will follow them throughout their lifetime! Great idea!


5.0 out of 5 stars Cooking Junior Chefs in the Game April 1, 2012
By Lollipops
Format:PaperbackCOOKING: JUNIOR CHEFS IN THE GAME is a fun new approach to teaching kids how to cook. Written with some sports terms, this is a cookbook that starts with the basics, how to measure, what cooking supplies you will need, how to use them, cooking terms and abbreviations and more. Nutritional guides are included as well.

Then the cookbook has a whole slew of great recipes, ranging from super-easy, I want a meal fast types to slightly more complicated (but not hard).

There are recipes for snack foods or appetizers, mini-meals, beverages, muffins, desserts and much more.

COOKING: JUNIOR CHEFS IN THE GAME is a cookbook especially designed for kids (girls and boys) ages 7 (with help) to adult to teach your kids, grandkids, or even yourself, how to cook. A winner with my team.


Book Description
Publication Date: April 3, 2012
(Colored Picture Edition) Kidz Gone To Potz is a whimsical guide teaching children all about food – from the grow pot to the cook pot. Dirt, Bugs, and Worms provide the entertainment while kids are learning skills that will sustain them for a lifetime. Gardening plants seeds for learning Responsibility, Patience, Nurturing, and, Problem Solving which bear fruits of Achievement, Good Work Ethics, and Self-Confidence. Gardening offers the opportunity to learn about Science, Math, Chemistry, Ecology, Horticulture, Astrology, Environmental Stewardship, and, so much more. Gardening provides great healthy exercise and eating benefits, as well as being a wonderful activity in which the whole family can participate in together. Kidz Gone To Potz covers Container Gardening, Raised Bed Gardening, as well as Conventional Yard Gardening. The Pumpkin Patch, Potato Patch, and Sunflower Patch are also included. Best of all are the easy easy recipes using the foods that have been grown which are included in the book. Quick Cook Guides offer instructions for the young chef and Funny Food Faces round out the fun with some healthy creativity.


Editorial Reviews
About the Author
Colton & Caden live in Arkansas and enjoy the outdoors. They like gardening, fishing, hunting, and sports of all kinds. Their grandmother, who co-authored the book, worked in the field of nutrition for 20 years, and received Master Gardener training through studies and from guidance by her father’s gardening techniques which she shares in the book.


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Kidz Gone to Potz What this really is…. April 17, 2012
By Linda Nance
Format:PaperbackKids are no different than adults when it comes to finding joy in watching things grow. A child can see such wonder in the mysterious magic of life in all things, especially a little seed or plant they had a hand in growing. Gardening with your child, however small the project, teaches them skills that will last a lifetime, as well as provides outdoor entertainment for the whole family to enjoy. It offers an opportunity to not only learn and do something special together but also to enjoy the bounty the project grew and share it together.

Kidz Gone to Potz is mostly about Container Gardening, as the title implies, however, it also covers Raised Bed Gardening, and Conventional Yard Gardening as well. This book is full of learning opportunities presented in fun ways to capture a child’s interest.

Kids learn about horticulture, ecology, weather patterns, moon phases, pollination, natural pest control, companion plants, as well as experiencing education opportunities in the areas of Math, Science, Literacy, Health, Social Studies, History, and, Environmental Stewardship. This is an opportunity to learn and teach in doing and having fun. We learn twice as much when seeing and doing and experiencing the event as we do by just hearing or reading about it. This is the chance to make not only a garden even if it is one plant … but also to plant the seeds for the memories that carry on from one generation to another.

Worm Farming and Funny Food Faces round out this whimsical guide to outdoor fun. Fun easy recipes are included for the foods that have been grown. From The Grow Pot to The Cook Pot – this book has it all! What a great idea! I love this book not only for the wonderful way it is presented and the fun and knowledge it offers but for the opportunity to share it with my grandchildren and they with theirs. This book was a gift to me but I want to take the time to tell how much it means to me and recommend it as something special to have, use, share or give to others. The interest in all who have read it was immediate and the time is now.