Amos the Dog: A Children's Book Series
An idea that originally started out on a Post-it note by Margaret Lowder in 2014 soon became the captivating children’s board book about one dog’s adventures, “Amos Likes to Jump.” Four years later, one board book has morphed into The Amos Book Co., an ever-growing collection of children’s items all based off of the eponymous dog that has been Margaret’s sidekick for the last seven years. Published in 2015, “Amos Likes to Jump” is the first in the series of Amos stories, and teaches young children the value and importance of individuality. Fans of this energetic and amiable character didn’t have to wait long for more Amos adventures, as one year later “Amos Bounces Back, A Tale of Too Much TV” was released. In addition to the second book, The Amos Book Co. also branched out into offering other products, including an Amos coloring and activity book, puzzle and plush toy.
Many children in the River Region are well acquainted with Amos, and it isn’t hard to see what makes this pup so endearing. Amos’s boundless energy and antics make for amusing tales and illustrations, with rhyming and intensifying action that is reminiscent of other children’s classics like “The Cat in the Hat.” Margaret has read her books aloud to a variety of audiences and settings, including local schools and a special “storytime” at the Alabama Shakespeare Festival. Amos products can be found in more than a dozen local stores (including one of Montgomery’s newest, Leola & Croff,) multiple cities around the state, Florida, Georgia, and North Carolina, and of course, on Amazon.
The Amos Book Co. is unique in that it has purposely kept the business “all in the family.” When Margaret initially envisioned Amos as the super hero of a children’s book, she immediately knew who she would ask to illustrate – her, niece, Ellen Davis. A Montgomery native, Ellen studied scientific illustration as an undergraduate at the University of Georgia. She then went on to earn a master’s degree in medical illustration, after which she completed a post-master’s certification in comparative medical illustration. While in graduate school, Ellen was particularly intrigued with veterinary illustration. “When I look at my progression as a children’s book illustrator, I can see very clearly how my training in veterinary illustration affected my work. I feel more confident illustrating a wide range of animals with each book.” The third installment in the Amos series, “A is for Amos: Amos Learns his ABCs,” is in the works now and slated for a 2019 release. Ellen’s talent will truly be showcased in this book, as it features myriad farm animals. Like her aunt, Ellen has also visited a handful of elementary schools. She speaks with students about illustration and shows them examples of her own in varying stages, and also talks about the process of applying colors. With older students, Ellen has also enjoyed teaching them about moving into the actual printing and binding process – at one school in Kentucky, Ellen was able to work on bookmaking with a teacher and her class in a project that allowed each student to make their own book.
In keeping with the family tradition, it was only natural that when it came time for publishing Margaret turned to her daughter, Anna Lowder. Anna is the co-founder of Matter Design Co., and specializes in brand identity, marketing, and communications (among other talents). Matter has published both Amos books, and is an important contributor to and voice of The Amos Book Co.
Amos’s calendar stays full, especially now with the holiday season approaching. On November 10, The Amos Book Co. will have a tent at Christmas on the Square at The Waters, as well as a booth on November 17 at the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts Artist Market. At either location you will have the opportunity to pick up the perfect Christmas gift as Amos books, toys, and gift-wrapped holiday bundles will all be on display. On November 25, a very special event – Cookies and Cocoa with Santa – will be presented by The Amos Book Co. and Hampstead. This family-friendly event will take place in Hampstead, and families are invited to bring their four-legged friends as well! DiAnna Paulk, of Photography by DiAnna Paulk, will be on hand to take photos with Santa. There is a suggested $5 donation to benefit the Montgomery Humane Society Adoptable Pets.
For those who have read the books in the Amos series, you already know and appreciate the amusement and pure joy that Margaret Lowder brings out in Amos’s adventures. If you are not already an Amos fan, do yourself a favor and pick up a book or other Amos gift today. You can find more information on Amos, upcoming events, store locations, and purchase products at www.amosthedog.com, or you can keep up with his social schedule on Facebook as well.