Our Zany Zebra Story
Dr. April Arfaras is an award-winning writer, as well as a teacher, playwright, actor, singer, songwriter and producer. Her favorite role, however, is being a mom. She holds a Doctorate in Education from University of New England in Transformative Leadership. Her Dissertation, published in 2018, "Mothers' Stories: How Family and Community Influences Affect Generations of Literacy Challenges," focuses on literacy. Dr. Arfaras was richly inspired by children's authors Dr. Seuss and Lois Lenski and was determined to bring her imagination and love of literature to life in her writing and productions. Some of her earlier works were originally written for her three children and later produced on live stages.
The "Zany Zebra Collection" of 20+ colorful picture books are for children of all ages. It showcases the animal kingdom, language, literature, poetry, spelling, science, geography, music, biology, ecology, mathematics, history and the social sciences. All are for the edutainment of children, parents, and teachers. Original musical scores will be added in future editions. All are available with a special Zany Zebra border around them.
There are over 100 original characters (creatures) in the total body of work. The first twelve original stories published, formerly available as the "A -- Zany Zebra Collection," are being compiled along with 36 new stories, in a new lifetime collection, "Rhyme Time Tales and other Shenanigans." All are written and illustrated by Dr. April Arfaras and are to be released in December 2023.
Zany Zebra books present special fantasy stories about mostly animals, some people, birds, sea-n-shore, profound experiences, overcoming challenges, far-away-places, family and friendship. All are interactive, stimulate leadership development, and will require active participation. Many of the stories are simply silly tongue twisters, rhyme-time tales, or about something important to discover. Each book includes whimsical/child-like illustrations, and activities section to enhance the learning experience. The new "Zany Zebra Classics" series is for family audiences and features more lengthy tales by Dr. Arfaras, and elaborate fine art illustrations by artist Annie Howard. The first title "Ian and the Blue Wing Flying Machine," is the first edition. Be on the lookout for "Skid the Squid" in the immediate future.
Zany Zebra will now offer live storytelling events & creative workshops as well as interactive book signings.
Dr. Arfaras comes from a Greek American family of spongers and sea merchants from the small coastal village of Tarpon Springs, Florida. She has worked in public relations, nonprofit development, and academia throughout her career. She also holds a bachelor's degree in mass communications and a master's in organizational management. She is passionate about literacy and the arts. Dr. Arfaras helped put the education channel on the air in Tampa Bay while producing a weekly educational television series. She helped create the second largest Hospice in the country, spearheaded numerous speakers' bureaus, and established charitable foundations while writing grants, and developing over a hundred-million dollars for meaningful charities.
She began an Ambassador's program for University of the Potomac, a private university in Washington DC; innovative STEM education programs for the Idea Zone at the Museum of Science and Industry; a charter school consortium for top performing "A" schools; and a national health education outreach campaign for a biomedical research institute. She has collaborated with formidable organizations including NASA, Kodak, CBS News, Disney, Good Morning America, Sky and Telescope Magazine, the National Hospice Organization, the National Weather Service, MTV, the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Citrus Council. Dr. Arfaras relocated to the greater Knoxville, Tennessee area in 2020 to continue her passion. She has formerly worked and resided in Tampa Bay, Washington, DC, and the New York City areas.