Lisa Ayotte is both an elementary school teacher at Hubbell School, and a local children’s book author.
In March 2019, she turned her daughter’s room into an artist loft for herself and began writing. The result was the series, “Punny Jokes to Tell Your Peeps.” The first installment came out in September 2019. There are now four books available on Amazon.
On Saturday, Feb. 15, Ayotte hosted her first program at Bristol Public Library, where kids designed their own peep characters based off of Ayotte’s book characters, and they also made peep bookmarks.
“This is the first program that I’m doing. I do shows, but now I want to do more outreach with the kids,” said Ayotte.
Ayotte’s book series is about different peep characters telling jokes.
“I could never tell a joke when I was a kid, so having these pictures, the visual connection helps me to tell a joke,” said Ayotte. “I want kids to be able to tell the punch line by looking at the pictures. I try to make it basic – Peep One tells the joke, and Peep Two answers.
“It’s simple language, so it can be an early reader for younger readers, but the older kids can actually get the puns, and the jokes,” said Ayotte. The jokes that they don’t get, their parents can talk to them about, so that creates a connection with their family.”
The peep aspect of the characters came about when Ayotte was thinking of a way to create the characters even though she wasn’t good at drawing.
“I didn’t feel like I was artistic with pen and paper. I was thinking, what else could I do because I want these characters to be funny, and then I was like, if I put funny, wiggly eyes on them, funny noses, a Mohawk. Have them unique-looking like kids are.”
Ayotte said she loves working with children because they get excited about new things. Her goal is to excite them about reading. She also said the students at Hubbell will tell her jokes sometimes.
Ayotte said it takes a few hours to come up with the concept of a new book idea, and she is working on an alphabet and counting book. The fourth book of the peeps series came out last month, and now Ayotte is working on a fifth book for that she hopes will be out in March or April 2020.
For information on Ayotte and her books, go to punnypeeps.com, or contact her at email@example.com.