Anna Dabney earned a B.A. degree in English and music education from the University of North Texas. She later completed additional postgraduate study in English at the University of California, Berkeley and San Francisco State University.
For nine years, she taught in elementary and secondary schools in the U.S. and overseas. After her second child was born, Anna left teaching to be a homemaker. During that period, she enrolled in a correspondence course in writing for children and she wrote many stories for her daughter and son.
Photography had been a lifelong passion for her and she completed a three-year commercial photography program before going back to work full-time. She spent many completely absorbing hours in her home darkroom.
In the 1980s, Anna channeled her energies into a new career as a writer and photographer -- first in educational television and later for hospitals and health systems. In 1994, she formed her own writing consultant business, AD Communications, with clients primarily in healthcare, fund-raising, education and conservation.
Retiring from her writing consultant business, Anna at last found time to channel her full energies into writing for children. After her first grandchild was born in 2009, she began researching birds and beasts to write “critter poems,” shooting most of the photo illustrations herself. The response to her poetry and photo collections was enthusiastic.
Come to the Zoo – Photos & Haiku was Anna’s first book in her wildlife menagerie of birds, beasts and sea creatures. It is intended primarily as an introduction for young children to animals that might be found in a zoo. Older children can especially enjoy the haiku verses about each creature and try writing their own animal haiku. (32 pages; 8” x 10” standard portrait size; published in 2013)
The author wrote Wildlife Rhymes & Reasons for somewhat older children (ages 6 to 12+). Toddlers also respond well to the photos, and they can “grow into” a deeper understanding of the book. This book would be ideal for classroom use. The author’s passion for conservation of wildlife is clearly evident in this second book. Anna hopes to encourage in her young readers a reverence for wild creatures. Both books are dedicated to her two grandchildren, William and Mia. (48 pages; 8” x 10” standard portrait size; published in 2014)
Anna Dabney’s non-fiction writing and her award-winning poems have appeared in a variety of national, regional and local publications.
In 1996, the poet was honored by the Susan B. Komen Foundation for her published poetry
chapbook, Life after Breast Cancer. Her collection won a national chapbook competition and was featured in Verses Magazine.
The author recently completed a 300-page autobiography, Shadows and Light: My Life on the Road Less Traveled.
Four other Penny Henny Books for future publication:
The Rhyme and Reason of Sea Creatures (longer poems and animal facts)
The Wild Things around You
(longer poems and animal facts)
See the Sea Creatures
Wild Things around You
Why Penny Henny and not Henny Penny?
The name Penny Henny Publishing Company was inspired by a traditional children’s tale. After being hit on the head by a falling acorn, panic-stricken “Henny Penny” declares to “Ducky Lucky,” “Turkey Lurkey” and other fowl friends that the sky is falling! The group of barnyard creatures set off to tell the king.
“Penny Henny,” however, subscribes to the motto, “The Sky is the Limit!” The wise hen of our logo carries a raised umbrella to protect her head against falling sky or acorn… just in case.
At Penny Henny Publishing, we believe that with a good education, healthy curiosity, motivation and hard work, a child’s horizons can be unlimited. Among the best gifts for a young child are books that stimulate curiosity, a love of nature and the desire to learn. Our Penny Henny Books in “The Nature of Things” series are written by a former English teacher to help make learning about the natural world fun for children.