Children’s Book Author and Illustrator Jennifer Beaver

How a family dog motivated a family business

By Lisa Alleman

Dinder isn’t your average family dog; she is a 120-pound, joyful and mischievous St. Bernard.  Most dogs don’t motivate their humans to come together to launch a company, but that is just what Dinder did for the Beaver family. 

Helping fellow creatives

At the center of the project is a children’s book called Dinder’s Big Day, written, illustrated and self-published by her mom, Jennifer Beaver. Jennifer used her law degree and marketing and graphic design skills to figure out how to navigate the self publishing world and now wants to help others see their dreams become realities. 

Out of the Dinderdog book, Dinderdog Publishing was born. Jennifer turned this into a family project by appointing her 14-year-old daughter, Piper, Chief Merchandising Officer and 18-year-old son, Brad, Creative Consultant. Ethan Dabish, a family friend, is Chief Communications Officer and husband Bob is her Number One Fan. Together they plan to turn Jennifer’s newfound knowledge of the self-publishing world into a local company that fellow creatives can go to for guidance and promotional support.

Being Creative/Doing Good

At the heart of Dinderdog Publishing is a mission to support creativity while doing good.  “I grew up poor in South Toledo,” says Jennifer. “I have memories of the Salvation Army helping our family, so I am passionate about making sure we give back locally.” 

At present, 10 percent of her sales from Dinder’s Big Day are donated to Humane Ohio. In addition, Dinderdog Publishing has helped raise money for the Aurora Project and canned goods for the SeaGate Food Bank. Jennnifer is eager to find other area nonprofits to work with as well. As the services she provides at Dingerdog Publishing expand, she plans to continue to donate 10 percent of profits back to the community.   

The whole Beaver family is working hard to get the word out about Dinder’s Big Day and Dinderdog Publishing. You can learn more by going to their website, Dinderdog.com, liking Dinderdog Publishing on Facebook and following Dinderdogpub on Instagram. Dinderdog’s Big Day is available at Gathering Volumes Bookstore in Perrysburg, Live Lively Boutique in Oregon and at Barnes and Noble, Target and Amazon. 

Q&A

As a busy mom, when do you find the time to write?

Mostly early mornings and weekends.  I work full-time, so once I started this project something had to give. Last year I had a garden; this year I have weeds.

How long did it take to write Dinder’s Big Day?

Once I started, I was pretty determined. I began working on the book in March 2021 and received the first shipment of printed copies on June 15.  

Do you plan to write other books?

Yes, there are a couple of additional Dinderdog books in the works.  I also have some ideas inspired by my young nieces that someday may turn into children’s books.

Are you a writer who illustrates or an illustrator who writes?

That’s really hard to say.  If I were talking to you on the phone right now I would be doodling, so I am always creating illustrations, but then I love to rhyme too.  From the time I was young I enjoyed coming up with little rhymes about the world around me. 

Where do you see Dinderdog Publishing five years from now?

I would love to see us in a building in downtown Toledo employing people who are promoting and showcasing other people’s work.

Is there a lesson in Dinder’s Big Day?

There is no lesson.  It’s just fun.  Kids can just be kids and have fun for no bigger reason.