The Making Of Shady Pines Story Town

Mary Jane McKittrick, Founder of Shady Pines Story Town & Author 

Mary Jane is the Chief Creative Officer of Shady Pines Story Town, The Place Where Kindness and Caring are a Way of Life! She is also the national award-winning author of the Boomer and Halley book series. The books won the Mom’s Choice Gold Award and the Pinnacle Award for Independent Book Publishing excellence. The membership-based site offers the Boomer and Halley books, the Shady Pines Way Blog, online stories and correlating off line activities.

People often describe the small Southern town of Shady Pines as an updated version of Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood because it’s a delightful destination that harkens back to a kinder, gentler bygone era. In a tight-knit community populated by human and animal cartoon characters of all ages and backgrounds, children are encouraged to make good life choices through laughter, love, adventure, and imagination. 

This project, based on her books, combines Mary Jane’s love of animals and storytelling and her knack for wacky humor. A native of Los Angeles, California, she enjoyed a successful career in television entertainment, broadcast news, and corporate communications. Throughout her stories filled with positive themes, Mary Jane draws upon life lessons she learned firsthand while living on a historic horse farm in North Carolina.

Click the button below to learn more about the inspiration for Mary Jane’s delightful characters!

Bob Ostrom, Illustrator & Art Director

The overall look of Shady Pines harkens back to a bygone era. Colorful cartoon characters come to life due to the expertise of illustrator, Bob Ostrom. 

Based in North Carolina, Mr. Ostrom has been illustrating children’s books for more than 25 years. He is a nationally known talent with credits that include Little Mermaid, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Rug Rats, and many more. 

Bob has worked for such noteworthy companies as Walt Disney, Warner Brothers, Nickelodeon, and Cartoon Network.

He and Mary Jane first worked together on the Boomer and Halley book series which won the Mom’s Choice Gold Award and the Pinnacle Book Award. The nostalgic imagery they concocted for the Shady Pines™ Story Town Project was developed with the intention of keeping with the feel of a safe, small Southern town. The 2-D animation style illustrations make it possible to convey the project’s illustrations on various platforms. 

To learn more about how Mary Jane and Bob work together to create Shady Pines Story Town, click the button below.

Boomer and Halley Books

Each Boomer and Halley book has 4 life lessons embedded in the story line and highlighted on the page with a PAW mark. Using the perforated bookmark with prompting questions you can find out if your young reader (4-8 yrs ol) understands concepts like: Sportsmanship, Honesty, Manners, Respecting Property, Tolerance, Kindness, and so on.