Interactive book, website offers public recognition, rewards for participation for young readers

Siblings Rick Taft, Taffy Miller and Lisa Taft write interactive children’s book “Shorty the Dreamer” after being inspired by a pre-school-aged relative
(PR NewsChannel) / January 5, 2012 / WOODBURY, Minn. 

Shorty the Dreamer

“Shorty the Dreamer” (ISBN 1466450762) invites readers to create things based on the impulsive nature it taps into. A relative of authors and siblings, Rick Taft, Taffy Miller and Lisa Taft, inspired them to compile postcards and use a puppy to help children engage with the book.

Eight years ago, a pre-school-aged relative named Josh was diagnosed with cancer. They describe Josh as a funny child who was always able to make others laugh. Rick grew tired of seeing Josh receive “get well” cards, so with his experience in Adobe Photoshop, he decided to send two postcards a week of his dog Shorty doing wacky things to make Josh smile.

Although Josh eventually succumbed to his cancer, Rick Taft says the rediscovery of these postcards is what encouraged he and his two sisters to write a children’s book. Rick, Lisa and Taffy blur the lines between fantasy and reality with graphics that are photo based, and ask children what they think rather than telling them through its interactive counterparts.

Their book offers readers the chance to play word games throughout the book and on the website. Readers can email ideas to Shorty who will then email the reader a picture with a personalized thank you to prove they’re a person named on the website. Rick says the effects of an interactive book taps into the readers’ impulsive nature.

“I have seen kids in fast food places take their empty cups to the drink fountain and make their own concoctions,” Rick says. “They even have names for their creations. That’s the impulse that this book taps into.”

“Shorty the Dreamer” is available for sale online at and other channels.

About the Authors: Rick Taft is a research and development machinist. The majority of his work has been in the medical industrial complex. Taft is an award-winning sculptor and has played piano duets with his wife for years.

Taffy Miller is the oldest out of her seven siblings, and is a University of Minnesota graduate. Miller became a teacher, and then moved to Australia for a few years. She has also worked as a nanny and in the horse business. She has one daughter and is working on producing a set of coloring books.

Lisa Taft worked in the medical field and she was a live-in healthcare provider for her mother. She has a bachelor’s in English from Augsburg College. She has one son and works as a teacher’s aide.

Rick Taft, Taffy Miller, Lisa Taft
Phone: (651) 501-4911



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SOURCE:  Rick Taft

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