About The Author
T. A. (Ted) Kuepper is an environmental engineer with a deep appreciation for nature and the environmental challenges we face today. In his career, he has been the managing director of a seawater desalination test facility for the US Navy, and executive director of a nonprofit humanitarian organization. His non-profit work was focused on supplying safe water to rural villages in developing countries, and as a result, he has traveled to some of the world's most remote locations, helping to supply water during natural disasters.
He began writing the first Archie Artichoke story quite by accident! As the story goes – He was driving his family to Sequoia National Park in California and the kids were getting more fidgety by the minute. When that happened, he’d often start singing a song to get everyone to stop thinking of how long the drive had been and how uncomfortable their old Chevy station wagon was. For some reason on that day, driving up the hill to the park, he sang this single lyric: “Artichoke, you’re a funny bloke.” He was as surprised as the rest of the family, since he had never heard that lyric before. It appeared at that moment—and probably was the result of his wife and him educating their children on the rewards of eating vegetables. Ted is glad to say that his efforts to introduce vegetables to his kids in a fun way worked beautifully!
He believes it’s important to reinforce vegetable-friendly eating habits to children through positive stories. But his illustrated chapter books are more than simple stories about vegetables as each one is written to help children develop their imagination through the visual imaging dialogue used by his vegetable characters. In addition, the stories have positive messages and contain a variety of child-friendly rhymes and songs, while striving to teach children about:
Making good decisions;
Accomplishing a difficult task and solving problems;
Working with others to achieve a common goal;
Caring, helping others, friendship; and
and of course, the names of many important vegetables!
Soon after beginning to write about Archie Artichoke, he wrote a song about a little dance he did with his kids around the house, and its title became “Archie’s Dance Tune.” You may recognize its melody since it’s borrowed from the military cadence song “I don’t know, but I’ve been told…” Ted was in the Marine Corps during the 1960’s, and that particular song made a lasting impression on him as it was sung during the many exercises that all Marines endure during training.
One last thing – Ted donates the Adventures of Archie Artichoke books to children’s hospitals throughout the United States, and profits generated by the books are shared with children’s hospitals and other healthcare organizations. This is an important motivational force that drives him to try to expand his veggie character’s popularity.