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Books for Kids

  • Is This A Roof? For young children to stimulate their career curiosity.  Roofing workers take pride in their profession!
  • Be Safe, Rafe!  For roofing workers to take home after safety training to read to their children and reinforce important total safety messages.

Be Safe, Rafe!

The Story

Rafe is visiting his grandpa’s company, Foxx Roofing, where his mom, Isobel, is the safety director. Rafe recently fell out of a tree and broke his wrist. Grandpa Foxx decides it’s time to teach Rafe about being safe when he is up high and outfits him with his own safety gear. With a little training about fall protection, Rafe gets a chance to try out his new gear on a roof made just for him.

As a consultant, Karen has worked with firms seeking to drive their total safety culture into the hearts and minds of  workers. Is there a way to reinforce safety messages after the training? The inspiration for this story came from a roofing contractor dedicated to motivating all his workers to go home to their families safe every day.   Why not a children's book for the parent to read at home, reinforcing that total safety message? 

The Team

Karen Cates wrote  the story with school-age children in mind, ages 4 to 9.   This is the second in an emerging series of books featuring roofing as a rewarding career for girls and boys.  The safety message is for mom and dad, too!
Sarah Larsen created the Foxx family and all the characters at Foxx Roofing for this story - a product of her vivid imagination and her fascination with foxes.  A graphic design major at Montana State University, Sarah melded free-hand sketching with digital outlining and coloration techniques to capture the vivid and engaging illustrations for this story.   
Jacqueline O. Arroyo  works in the National Roofing Contractors Association Finance  Department. In her spare time, she translates manuals, memos and many other projects related  to roofing.  Be Safe Rafe! presented some challenges for translation, but Jackie transformed the book into ¡Mantente Seguro, Arturo!  for the more than half of all roofing workers who speak Spanish as their first language. 


Ken "Thank you so very much for the copy of 'Be Safe, Rafe!'.  I thoroughly enjoyed the book and the art work. I have shown it to my young grandchildren to help them understand what I do at work, along with our employees, to keep ourselves safe. Thank you for your contribution to working safely in the work place."

Megan & Ariel  "The book and concept are cute as all get out!"

Teri Jo  "We received your darling and teachable books! Thank you so much!"


Is This A Roof?

The Story

Tucker is Talia’s big brother, and he is a roofing worker.  One day, Talia visits Tucker’s job site.  Talia asks so many questions that Tucker takes her down the street so they can look at the different roofs on buildings in their town.   Tucker shows Talia his safety equipment, and Talia learns about solar and green roofs in addition to shingle and low sloped roofs. By the end of the story, Talia wants to build roofs, too.  Maybe some day when she is bigger...

Employers in the construction trades are experiencing a shortage of workers. Despite the opportunities for personal and professional growth, careers in professions such as roofing have received little notice in comparison to the attention paid to a college education. But with high drop out rates and even higher indebtedness due to student loans, young people deserve to know about other pathways to success. In fact, a career in the trades does not pre-empt a college education, but it may provide direction and context for a more fulfilling scholastic experience in the future. 

Research shows that by raising awareness of the trades in young audiences as early as kindergarten, children become more likely to consider those professions as viable career alternatives in the future. With this book, we hope to elevate roofing into the consciousness of young readers.

The Team

Karen Cates wrote the story with young children in mind, ages 3 to 7.  A consultant to roofing contractors and their association for over 20 years, the idea for a children's book was inspired by a shortage of workers in the roofing profession. In her experience, not only are there not enough women in roofing (although their numbers are growing!), there are very few books that feature roofing as a rewarding career for girls or for boys. Remember, a roof is the most important part of the building!

Kirsten Ittner captured the book's characters on the first try, learned a little bit about roofing, and then created the colorful and detailed world of Tucker and Talia Turtle. Kirsten came into the project without much knowledge about roofs.  But she learned fast and then applied her watercolor talents to create Tucker and Talia Turtle.  Their appeal to younger audiences is immediate, and we think you'll like them, too. A high school student, Kirsten's brushwork belies her age.  She possesses talent beyond her years, transforming canvas or clay to create an emotional connection with her audience.

Jacqueline O. Arroyo works in the National Roofing Contractors Association Finance Department. In her spare time for the past 16 years, she has also been called upon to translate manuals, memos and many other projects related to roofing.  So when we asked her to translate Is This A Roof?, she immediately said yes!  ¿Es Esto Un Techo? is the result.  More than 57% of roofing workers speak Spanish as their first language.  This translation is for them!  


  Eva "My colleague and good friend said her granddaughter who is three loved the book, especially Talia.  Within half an hour her granddaughter wanted the book read to her 12 times!" 

Marc "I've never seen anything like this -- a book about roofing for roofers to read to their kids.  You have another copy sold, guaranteed, for every child we have!" 

Akbota "I brought a copy of Is This A Roof home to Kazakhstan to show my family.  I read the book to my little brother and sister so many times.  Now my brother wants to build roofs!" 

Rachael "My 4-year old son and I have been reading your children’s book for the last few nights – we both really enjoy it! So cute and informative.”