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Grandpa Grouper - The Fish with Glasses

Verdin  sisters

Verdin sisters, 4 and 6, enjoying  Grandpa Grouper at bed time.

Dear Mr. Arends,

"My name is Cathy, my parents are Bill and Sheila. Thank you for sharing your books with my students. I teach in Downers Grove and I am a Reading Specialist. I share many books with my students and my colleagues. I have read your creative books to my students. Many kids are bringing them home to share with their families. Your characters are sweet. The questions you added on each page are new to picture books! Often I talk to parents about discussing stories with their children - your questions are a great idea!"

Thank you again!

Tokh Family


Dear Mr. Arends,

"I wanted to thank you again for the books for my children. They LOVE them and we have read them multiple times."

Tokh Family

Kelsie Ward & FamilyDear Mr. Arends and Family,

Thank you so much for sending such great books to our son Ethan. He love's reading everyday and has really enjoyed these. Grandpa Grouper is his favorite. He took to pre-school to share with his class :)

Kelsie Ward & Family


Dear Mr. Arends,

Thank you so very much for the absolutely wonderful books that you created and wrote. What a gift you have for writing children literature!  I read "Grandpa Grouper: The Fish with Glasses" to my second grade class before our winter break from school and they loved it! I could tell that some of my kids that had to get glasses recently were more confident and feel "cool" now. It was so cute when we got back from our break, the kids asked me to read it again (and I did : ).
We have a retired librarian that comes and reads to our class twice per month and she is going to read Grandpa Grouper's second sea adventure with Bonehead to them. We previewed the cover and they all have predictions about how he could have gotten that huge pink bump on his head. What a wonderful book too! I will email you soon with more details. I plan on reading "The Farmhouse Adventures of Norm the Ninja River Mouse" to them in May when they're matured a little more. I'm just now able to hold their attention reading chapters out of chapter books.


Jennifer Kenny
Elementary Teacher
Palm Springs, CA


Dear Mr. Arends,

Thank you for coming to S.E. Gross for the Story Hour last week. All the kids really enjoyed it. They thought that it was so cool when you read a book that you wrote. The kids also liked making their own "Grandpa Grouper" with paper plates. You are a great author!

Thanks again,
The S.E. Gross Builders Club

Reading Grandpa Grouper To Your Favorite Child Creates
Happy Shared Moments and Treasured Memories

Dear Mr. Arends,

Thank you for giving us a signed copy of 'Grandpa Grouper - The Fish with Glasses'. Our son, Brayden loves to read the book and answer all of the interactive questions. In fact we have read the book so many times already that he knows the questions (and answers) as soon as we turn the page.
Papa Curtis read the book to Brayden many times during our visit to California unfortunately we didn't get a photo of them reading together. We did however get a photo of Brayden with his Great Uncle reading the book. Hope you enjoy it.

Thank you again for this special gift. Very much appreciate your generosity.

The Ehnes Family

The Ehnes Family

James A Cox – Editor-in-Chief
Diane C Donovan - Editor
Midwest Book Review – CHILDREN’S BOOKWATCH: February 2007
Oregon, WI

"Veteran scuba diver Don Arends puts a novel twist on an original, entertaining, and character building picture book story whose simple ‘kid friend’ text is colorfully illustrated by Neelam. Presenting young readers with the tale of the fish called Grandpa Grouper and his undersea friends, the story is about what happens when Grandpa Grouper’s mini-submarine is captured, he loses his king crown and glasses, and how his team of friends recover his possessions and, escaping the Blue Island Aquarium, finally make it back to Grandpa Grouper’s coral reef home. Thoroughly charming and thoughtful, “Grandpa Grouper” is a very highly recommended addition for family, school, and community library picture book collections."

Al Galasso
North American Bookdealers Exchange
Cottage Grove, OR

"This easy to read enjoyable fish tale features Grandpa Grouper and his delightful friends. They are captured by a mini submarine and put on display in the Blue Island Aquarium. Grandpa losses his glasses and crown to a bully triggerfish, but the group make a daring escape back to the coral kingdom. In this unique children’s book (for ages 5-8), the young people are challenged to find special details in the bright underwater illustrations, which are full of motion, color and happy faces. Based on a true sea voyage that took place in the Galapagos Islands, this book makes a perfect gift for grandparents, schools, public libraries, gift shops, churches and fundraisers."

Pre-publishing field-testing in preschool to second grade classes provided very positive feedback from children, teachers and families.

Nikki Stauffer

"Our world is inundated with graphic and violent images both on TV and in video games. In a traditionally styled children’s book, Grandpa Grouper: The Fish With Glasses, author Don Arends attempts to draw attention back to the written word.

Grandpa Grouper, with his friends, lives in the coral reef. Grandpa and his friends are captured by a mini-submarine and brought to a new home at the aquarium. There, Grandpa becomes the star of the show where children come to see all of the beautiful fish. Even though their new home has all the things they need, it's not home. Devising a plan to escape and return to their homes, the group only needs the perfect moment to put that plan in to practice. Will they make it home?

With engaging questions on every page, even the youngest of listeners or readers will feel they are part of the story. The illustrations are quite colorful and bright, eliciting the feel of a magical watery realm.

We love this story of friendship, teamwork and determination."

Anne Butler
“Our children were absolutely delighted by the story of Grandpa Grouper and his friends. Our curriculum is based on the children using exploration, discovery and problem-solving to create meaningful and fun learning experiences. This marvelous book provides all of that and so much more!”

Anne Butler – Preschool Teacher
Bethlehem Preschool, St. Charles, IL



Zoe MacKay Zacker – Age 6
"Reading Grandpa Grouper brings a treasured smile."

Anne M. Jeans School – Willowbrook, IL
"Grandpa Grouper is a big hit."

Sharon Korzenecki– 2nd Grade Teacher
St. John of the Cross School
“Grandpa Grouper is a delightful mix of lessons ranging from recognizing possible causes of emotions that occur in interaction with others, and a lesson in learning how to be a team player. Grandpa Grouper is truly imaginative,has interactive lessons and is a terrific story of friendship which is critical for developing social and emotional skills.”


Ginny Stonecipher – Elementary Teacher

“We gave our book to our friend with four little granddaughters ages 5-12. They read it to them on Thanksgiving and asked them to critique the book. Never have four kids felt more important as they knew their thoughts would go to the author and were very impressed and so said they were giving their honest opinions.”

“The four loved the book, liked the characters and felt that you needed to write more books using the same characters. The youngest wears glasses so that really impressed her. The second youngest, around 8, says you should write a hurricane into your next one with the same characters and an island.”

“Don your “Grandpa Grouper” story is absolutely delightful. Our granddaughter Anna loves it!”  - Dave and Prue

“Thank you so much for the book “Grandpa Grouper”. Sarah is really enjoying the story.  The illustrations are wonderful too.  My parents gave it to her over Thanksgiving. It was an instant favorite.”
Kelly Ratchford

“You were terrific with the children in Summer Church School and Vacation Bible School. Thank you for your ministering to our children, you have a real gift and are generous to share it.”  - Gail Patterson.

“Samuel an Cathy are very happy with their new book. Each night before going to bed, Samuel tells Cattie, “Let’s go and read our Dr. Clark Book.”  Every night they listen keenly while their father reads the story to them just before bedtime. It’s now Samuel’s favorite book.”
- Our Careroon friends living in Beijing

“Thank you Don Arends so much for the book “Saving Bonehead”. We still have a small birthday party for Vivian this weekend and Vivian will open the package then. I knew the sisters will love the story, as both Kaydence and Vivian love the first one and have memorized al the character/fish names from the first Grandpa Grouper book.” 
- Shumin Mao, Sir Run Shaw Hospital

“Congratulations for your success as a children’s book author.  Timothy loves “Grandpa Grouper”. Catherine reads it with him every evening.” 
- Andrew McEachron

“Here’s a little consumer feedback on Grandpa Grouper: Last week we gave our 5 year old grandson a copy of the book. He has a ton of books and loves to be read to. Although he’s not quite able to read, often, he can be seen leafing through his books on his own. Well, Liam loved Grandpa Grouper. Our kids have a “guest reader” program. Whoever is visiting takes Liam to bed and reads a book to him. That evening I was guest reader #1 and Mary was guest reader #2. He liked the book so much that we each read him the same book. As if that weren’t enough, the first thing the next morning he asked his father to read it to him again. Grandpa Grouper was definitely a hit.” 
- James Montgomery.

“We would like to thank you for your help in making Family Reading Night at Anne M. Jeans a success.  Your time given to us was very much appreciated. How wonderful for the children and the families to meet and hear a real author read his book!  That was an experience most of our students may never have ha before.”
Our Sincere Thanks - The Staff and Students from Anne M. Jeans Elementary School

Career Day Presentation:

“Thank you so much for donating your time to speak at the Palm Desert Charter Middle School. Listening about your career and what you do was greatly appreciated by others and myself. Grandpa Grouper was such an amazing book and was very cute. You taught me so much about the advertising business and how to always work hard for what you want. Teaching me that “creativity is key” was something that I found really nice about your career. Learning different advertisement strategies was something very useful to tell the class. Listening about your job and all your stories was just a pleasure. My favorite story you told was about your scuba diving trip.  I loved it. Thank you again for speaking to my class. I enjoyed having you at PDCMS and I’m sure everyone else did as well.” Cindy Michelle Delic

“Thank you Mr. Arends for coming to our school for career day.  I really appreciated you donating your time to talk about your interesting career history. What I learned from the presentation is that creativity and imagination can take you anywhere.  I especially liked your ideas about “Grandpa Grouper” and “Norm the Ninja River Mouse”. Personally, I enjoyed your presentation the most out of the four other speakers. I just thought it really cool going from World War II Vet to a commercial agent then to an author.”
-Emery Caster.

All illustrations have lots of motion, color and happy faces. The story stresses how friends use their imaginations and talents to help each other in Grandpa Grouper’s adventure. Each spread has a question for children to find the answer in the pages

Children’s Bookwatch:  July 2009
James A. Cox, Editor-in-Chief
Diane C. Donovan, Editor
Midwest Book Review, Oregon, WI

The Picturebook Shelf

Engagingly written by Don Arends and colorfully illustrated in a cartoon style by Michael LaDuca, "Saving Bonehead: The Ten-Foot Hammerhead Shark” is an original picture book story of an 800-pound baby shark whose curiosity gets the better of him when he hears a strange noise while swimming in the ocean with his mother and father. In seeking out the noise up on the surface of the ocean, Hammerhead bumps his head and needs the care of his friends in the coral reef like Grandpa Grouper and Doc Clark (a friendly octopus). With teamwork, problem solving, imagination and individual underwater abilities, Hammerhead is well taken care of in a beautiful rehab lagoon.  Inventive, entertaining and a perfect storybook message for young readers preschool through the second grade.  “Saving Bonehead” is highly recommended for family, school and community library picture book collections.

The Farmhouse Adventures of NORM The Ninja River Mouse

James A Cox – Editor-in-Chief
Diane C Donovan – Editor
Midwest Book Review–CHILDREN’S BOOKWATCH: November 2007
Oregon, WI

“The Farmhouse Adventures Of Norm, The Ninja River Mouse” by Don Arends is the entertainingly story of a little mouse with exceptional talents called Norm who lives on the banks of the Moselle River in Germany. Norm must use his ninja skills when confronted with all manner of enemy attacks by the dastardly owl Morgan during his many adventures. It’s interesting to discover that Norm’s best friend is a lovely silver haired kitten named Kathy! The stories are based on a true travel incident along the Rhine and Moselle Rivers experienced by author Don Arends and deftly incorporate interesting facts associated with real historical locations. Nicely illustrated with black-and-white images by Sue Swanson and Jim McDonald, “The Farmhouse Adventures Of Norm, The Ninja River Mouse” is a thoroughly entertaining read (and is also available as a 30-minute long CD for $6.00) for children and recommended to parents, teachers and librarians as being appropriate for inquisitive boys and girls. Also very highly recommended is Don Arends’ previous children’s book “Grandpa Grouper The Fish With Glasses” ($12.00).”


Writer’s Digest
15th Annual International Self-Published Book Awards
Judges Commentary:

What did you like best about this book?

“It’s a sweet, light-hearted tale that teaches a couple of positive messages – the importance of friendship, and the ability to “turn the other cheek.” The illustrations are well done and colorful. I like that the author includes several questions that directly address the child to pay attention and be involved with the story. It’s a story that I believe will interest the intended audience, and the pacing is fast enough to retain their interest throughout. The language is age-appropriate and this could well straddle the line between a tale that parents read to kids and an early reader book.”


Book Dealers World
Issue 24, 2007

Award Winning Author Announces Latest Book

“Don Arends, author of the Pinnacle Award Winning Book, ‘Grandpa Grouper’ has just released his latest title, ‘The Farmhouse Adventures of Norm the Ninja River Mouse.’ Inspired to write stories for his gaggle of 28 grandchildren, Don’s latest work looks like another winner. Donning an acorn for a helmet, a three-inch needle for a sword, and diligently studying the ancient art of Ninjitsu, Norm is anything but your typical mouse. As Norm battles owls and farmhouse cats, he befriends a silver haired kitten named Kathy. Each of Norm’s adventures are full of interesting facts on real historical locations, educating reader as to where the famous exploits of Norm actually took place.”