SOUTH BRUNSWICK – A loving woman who is missing her younger sister decided to publish the sister’s children’s book posthumously to continue her legacy.
Patricia David, of the Monmouth Junction section of South Brunswick, published a new children’s book, “The Adventures of Kiko and Pez” on Aug. 4 by Mascot Books, after her sister Jane Jimenez passed away last year.
Kiko and Pez are twin brothers who love to get into mischief and seem to attract trouble wherever they go. A blend of fiction and memoir, the characters of Kiko and Pez were inspired by the Jimenezes’ sons.
All of the proceeds go to Jimenez’s sons and their college funds, according to Anna-Marie Mapes of Mascot Books.
According to information provided by David, Jimenez was born on Oct. 22, 1965, in the Bronx, N.Y., the youngest daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Thomas LeBlanc. The family is from the Commonwealth of Dominica in the West Indies.
She attended Cardinal Spellman High School in the Bronx and earned a degree in business administration from Iona College, New Rochelle, N.Y.
Jane married Ray Jimenez on Aug. 27, 1993, in New York. She was the proud mother of twin boys Josh and Randy. She moved to Florida and Georgia where she raised her family.
“She was well known for her hospitality, her infectious smile and her tasteful cooking – pastelitos and others. One of her greatest joys was to be with her sons, her husband and her dog Dennis.
“Family and faith in the Lord were important aspects of her life. On any given day you could hear her singing one of her favorite songs, ‘Three Little Birds’ by Bob Marley – ‘Don’t worry ‘bout a thing ‘cause every little thing gonna be all right.’ This has become the theme and logo for the family,” David said.
Jimenez fell sick in 2017 and survived for 10 months. She passed away on May 20, 2018.
“From the first day to her last, she never wanted to burden anyone with her illness and kept it from most of the family.
“When she would check in on her family and friends she always asked how they were doing and what could she do for them.
“During her last moments with her father – who recently passed away in July – she said she found faith and she trusted God with her future. This lifted such a burden off his shoulders and gave him peace.
“She died peacefully at home in Georgia, surrounded by her family. She was taken too soon and many of the relatives refuse to believe she is gone and are doing everything they can to keep her memory and spirit alive,” David said.
Known as Cookie, Janie and Cook Cooks, Jimenez was always dabbling in one thing or another; as a stay-at-home mother she had a lot of energy coupled with a great imagination, David said.
“She dreamed about writing books for a long time and she would always use her surroundings as the ingredients to tell a great story. After she passed, we realized she had been writing as far back as 2015.
“She wrote an alphabet book based on animals with names, and Kiko and Pez which had gone through a series of names before we landed on this one.
“She wrote to publishers hoping to get a thumbs up. In some cases she was either denied or never got a response, but she kept sending them out. She was relentless,” David said.
David said her sister, during her darker moments alone, also found solace in painting and writing positive messages that she hung all over her home. Her signature was three little birds.
Jimenez had always dreamed about having a large family reunion, but never got it off the ground. Three months after her death, David and her husband have been hosting family members for a week at the end of the summer.
“The family came from all corners of the world to reconnect. We make the themes around Cookie and others we have lost along the way,” David said.
“We knew she really wanted to get this book published so I asked Ray, her husband, for the documents and said I was going to finish what Cookie started. I had no idea about how to get her book published, but I did some research and settled on Mascot publishing.
“We had everything we needed: editors, illustrators, designers and marketers. We signed with them about a year ago. I got Ray and the twin boys involved to help the illustrator with the designs and the layout.
“We were all happy the editor did not suggest any additions except for basic grammar and spelling. Cookie’s book was finished. It took about 12 months from the time we started and got it done just in time for the second anniversary of her death,” David said.
When David first read the plot she was surprised it was loosely based on several family members.
Her twin boys are best friends and the book highlights their unconditional friendship no matter what; in real life she raised them to have a built in friendship that was unbreakable and that is seen in the book and is evidenced even today as they are in college, she said.
There is a scene in the book about reptiles which is patterned after Cookie’s niece Sammy, who is a herpetologist in a zoo where she takes care of reptiles.
Another angle in the book is to celebrate single mothers and is patterned after all of the strong women in the family who take care of anything that comes their way, David said.
A copy of her book is buried with Jimenez and with her parents in the Commonwealth of Dominica.
“This was truly a labor of love and teaches our entire family that when you say you are going to do something you do it. And you help others take their goals to the finish line.
“Her sons are thrilled knowing they are not only characters in their mom’s book, but that her wish to be a writer and her legacy will live on forever,” David said.
“The Adventures of Kiko and Pez” is written by Jane Jimenez and illustrated by Walter Policelli. It is available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Mascot Books.com
Contact Jennifer Amato at firstname.lastname@example.org