If you are not familiar with 'Josh the Otter,' it is a water safety book that was created by the Joshua Collingsworth Memorial Foundation after the founder's, Blake and Kathy Collingsworth, lost their 2 1/2 old boy, Joshua, to a backyard pool drowning in 2008. Shortly after the tragedy, Blake wrote a book about 'Always having an adult when you go in or near the water' and 'learning to float early'...two things they didn't think about talking to their two year old boy about.
I had just graduated Doane College when a friend recommended me to them as they were looking for an illustrator for the book. I met with them, did some quick sketches of otters, and the rest is history. Fast forward to 2016 and 'Josh the Otter' is in every state in the US and many countries around the world with the help of our many partners, including Rotary International. This year we are honored to have been invited by the USA Swimming Foundation to be at the USA Olympic Swimming Trials in Omaha, NE. We will be doing book readings in the Aquazone and handing out hand fans and other materials all over downtown Omaha. Our goal is to reach as many people as possible about Water Safety and Drowning Prevention. The trials start this Saturday the 26th and end the following Sunday, July 3rd. We will be doing the book readings 1pm and 4pm Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday in the Aquazone. We're all pretty excited!