Some authors wait years to see their name in print, but Centennial Elementary School sixth-grader Aiden Dennis, 11, saw his book come to life in a matter of weeks.
“The Adventures of Captain Waffello: Toasty’s Revenge” started off as an idea Aiden had and eventually materialized into a book with a hero that children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)/Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) can connect with.
“There is a message in there of self-acceptance,” said Aiden, whose enjoys science and looks forward to lunch and recess each school day.
“I was eating a waffle, and I ate it to the point where it looked like a face, and I was like ‘It’s a waffle. It’s a fellow. It’s Waffello,’” Aiden said. “I put captain behind it, and for some reason my brain then thought Waffello was a superhero name.”
Aiden and his mom worked on the character and book over the summer, and they finished it right before the school year started.
“We started at the end of the last school year,” said Angie Butler, Aiden’s mother and the book’s illustrator. “We were on our way to school and he was eating that waffle and came up with the idea for the character. He’s always come up with these ideas. He’s really creative.”
Butler has a background in industrial design so she helped add visuals to Aiden’s imagination.
“We did it 10 -15 minutes at a time, and he would put me to work with illustrations, which took a little more time,” Butler said.
“It was kind of almost surprising, because I knew she could draw well but, like, she matched every scene I had envisioned perfectly,” said Aiden.
How was Aiden’s book published?
Aiden’s book was self-published through a print-on-demand service, and it was turned into an e-book as well all through EBI Press, Butler said.
“It’s an interactive book with mazes and puzzles. The audio book is free and they could use it as a read along,” Butler said.
What strikes you most about the book and the story?
“My favorite part of it is the fact that Capt. Waffello is a lot like Aiden,” Butler said. “He wanted the character to be super distractable and kids help him get through the story and save the day. That made it hit home a lot”
Aiden wanted the main character to have Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) so kids could relate to him, Butler said.
Another character, Sir Rup is modeled on everyone in Aiden’s life who are trying to keep him on track, such as his parents and his teachers who help him when he gets distracted and help him stay organized, Butler said.
What are you expecting?
“I don’t know if it will make money, it’s not so much about that for me,” Butler said.
“For him, he said he wanted kids to have a super hero they could relate to so they don’t feel like they’re alone,” Butler said. “So kids like him, with ADHD, have a book they could relate to.”
“For me, I feel we’ve already achieved success,” Butler said. “The boy … it’s been so amazing. Just seeing how much support he’s gotten and the pride. He’s so proud of what he’s done. That to me is success right there.”