By ANGELA H. HILL
About two years ago, Franklin County native David Mack was perusing the menu in a Chinese restaurant when he came across a dish with a curious name. His waiter told him the dish had no good English translation, but Mack said it sounded to him like dancing cows.
By the time he finished lunch, Mack — a software engineer by profession — hatched his idea for a children’s book titled “Moo Moo Cha Cha.”
“I had the whole story in my mind,” Mack said. “It was like ‘Footloose’ for cows. [The main character Fresa] begins dancing and realizes that dancing isn’t bad.”
Mack approached coworker Sarah Miller to illustrate the book, and a second coworker, Jenny Dunn, served as editor.
In July 2017, the book was published through CreateSpace and up for sale on Amazon. The main branch of the Franklin County Library also carries “Moo Moo Cha Cha.”
“We looked at a couple of different ways of getting it published and decided on CreateSpace. Their process is extremely easy, but they have an affiliation with Amazon,” Mack said. Mack and his team went through eight rounds of editing before landing on the final version now in print.
He adds that he didn’t necessarily want his name in the book but Miller and Dunn talked him into calling the farmer character Farmer Mack, he said with a chuckle.
He said the book has been well-received, thanks to social media publicity. His mother Brenda Mack, a retired teaching assistant with Franklin County STEP and Head Start, reads “Moo Moo Cha Cha” when she substitutes and visits her former classrooms. Plus, the illustrations serve as a great teaching tool for pre-K students, she added.
David Mack grew up in Franklin County, graduating from Franklin County High School in 1988. He received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in engineering from Old Dominion University. He resides in Chantilly.