Constructing the Story

Two local couples write a children’s book series with an architectural angle.

What do you get when you combine modern architecture with a desire to help kids learn more about how to embrace nature? For two Excelsior married couples, Charles Stinson and Carol Eastlund, and David Paul Seymour and Shannon Seymour, only one thing comes to mind: a book series.

Stinson, the founder and principal architect of Charles R. Stinson Architecture and Design in Deephaven, and Eastlund, a former educator who now works at the architecture firm, met David and Shannon when David, an illustrator, began working with Stinson.

Now, the friends have dreamed up Stripey Island, a middle reader series that follows twins Eda and Will as they navigate a hidden island, learning about friendship and environmental design. According to Seymour, the inspiration for Stripey Island came from a common goal among the four to “inform the world about cool, modern architecture and smart environmental design” as well as “the importance of working with nature.”

Many of the colorful landscapes in the book were based on Stinson and Eastman’s frequent travels to Palm Springs and Costa Rica, as well as exciting design ideas that Stinson has worked with during his career. All four were involved with Stripey Island; David did the illustrations, Carol and Shannon conceived the overall themes, and the four collaborated on storyline and characters.

The first book, The Discovery, “is about discovering worlds outside of man-made design and finding the courage to do something that hasn’t been done before,” says Carol. As the series progresses, the team hopes to continue to tell stories about nature, self discovery and the importance of following your own path.