Former Craig resident publishes children’s book, “Pete & Pillar: The big rain” |

Former Craig resident publishes children’s book, “Pete & Pillar: The big rain”

Mari Katherine Raftopoulos


This is the message of local author Jeff Stoddard’s newly published children’s book, “Pete and Pillar.”

Jeff Stod-dard, 49, a 1976 Moffat County High School graduate, is the author and illustrator of the children’s book,”Pete & Pillar: The big rain,” a story of friendship based on the verse of the Bible, John 15:13 – “Greater love has no one than this that he lay down his life for his friend.”

The book is about a mighty diesel truck, Pete, and a bulldozer, Pillar, who are best friends. However, the rest of the town does not accept their friendship, because haulers do not talk to diggers.

When a major thunderstorm threatens the city, Pete and Pillar come to the rescue, and their friendships saves the city and each other.

“I wanted to write a story that is worth telling over and over,” Stoddard said. “One that would be on the book shelf for 20 years.”

Pete and Pillar will make a child rest their head on their parent’s shoulder when read aloud, Stoddard said, adding it is a lap book in which children will crawl up on their parent’s lap and be waiting on the edge of their seats in suspense.

“The book reflects a profound truth that a 5-year-old can understand,” Stoddard said. “Yet it is fun for parents to read.”

A year ago, Stoddard began writing the book.

But he wrote the book in the reverse order it should be read.

End to beginning.

With “any good story, you have to start writing at the end, and find a twist,” Stoddard said. “Then you have to ask yourself, ‘How can I illustrate each word?'”

Although his career is in graphic desiging, no computers were involved in his illustration.

“All my illustrations in the book were done with color pencils by hand,” Stoddard said. “It takes a lot of preliminary drawings, but color pencils are very forgiving.”

Stoddard enjoyed the thought of personifying a bull dozer and a truck.

“There is something so strong about giving an object human characteristics,” Stoddard said. “Children can relate to them and make connections.”

The book was published this month.

Next weekend, it can be purchased at Downtown Books, 543 Yampa Avenue during the reading and book signing by Stoddard.

The event will take place at 2 p.m. July 28, with free admission and refreshments.

Carol Jacobson, owner of Downtown Books is excited to host the event and bring exposure to Stoddard’s writing.

“It is great that the community will be able to come and interact with Jeff,” Jacobson said. “He will be able to tell people how to tap into their creative side and experience the great side of literacy.”

Stoddard graduated with a bachelor’s degree in art from Colorado College in Colorado Springs, the city he now calls home with wife Keli and three grown children Chris, Collin and Linsi.

Mari Katherine Raftopoulos can be reached at 824-7031 or at

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