Dad Transforms Son’s Bedtime Tales into ‘Frankenwalnut’ Book



Don Hicks, a father from Ann Arbor, Michigan, has published a children’s book called “Frankenwalnut,” inspired by stories he used to tell his son Alex at bedtime. The book, which takes about half an hour to read, is about the adventures of Frankenwalnut and his friend Cassius Cashew in a world full of mixed nuts. Hicks says a key theme in the book is misunderstanding, and he is donating 20% of the gross sales to anti-bullying projects.

Bedtime Stories Shared with the World

When Alex Hicks was a child, his father Don would concoct unique bedtime stories for him. Now, Don shares these imaginative tales in a recently published children’s book titled “Frankenwalnut”.

Don, owner of Blue Llama in Ann Arbor, created nutty characters for the book drawing from the stories he and his son built together. Blue LLama Jazz Club is also his creation.

Alex described the nightly creation of new fantasy worlds which evolved into the story of Frankenwalnut and its 20 to 30-minute journey through a world of mixed nuts. This entertaining tale presents Frankenwalnut and his friend Cassius Cashew navigating school bullies and existential threats.

“A lot of the book deals with misunderstanding,” Don said. “Frankenwalnut is often misunderstood, but his actions reveal his true nature.” The themes in “Frankenwalnut” mirror challenges many kids face, prompting Don to donate 20% of gross sales to anti-bullying projects.

Despite Alex being 17 now, Don crafted the book as a timeless bond between them. “This is a permanent connection for us,” he said. Alex is thrilled with how the book turned out, expressing excitement for other kids to experience the story of Frankenwalnut.

Don shared that storytelling will continue to be part of their journey, hinting at a sequel in 2025. He described the whole experience as “miraculous.”

To celebrate the book’s launch, Don is hosting Frankenwalnut pop-up events at 309 South Main Street. The venue will be open from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. from Saturday, Oct. 28, to Sunday, Oct. 29, featuring readings, art lessons, and other activities.

Additional details about the book can be found on its website. For more Ann Arbor news, visit the local Ann Arbor news page or sign up for the free “3@3 Ann Arbor” daily newsletter.

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