Two local ladies have released a pair of children’s educational books, and they say there’s more to come with an ultimate goal of having these books in every elementary school classroom in the country.

Sisters-in-law Charlotte and Tina Donahoe are the author and illustrator, respectively, of the Marie series of books, which centers around a child named Marie who, although fictional, is actually named after real people. “My name is Charlotte Marie and my mother is Marie Brown, she’s kind of the inspiration”, said Charlotte.

The first book was named “Mathematical Marie and the Math Adventure”, followed by “Mathematical Marie and the Playground of Fractions”.

Charlotte Donahoe explained the idea behind the books, “I’m a teacher, and I’ve always kind of wanted to write children’s books and I came up with this idea of a little girl named Marie. I taught math for years and I know that there’s not enough children’s literature in the math classroom, so, I had this idea of this little girl named Marie who loved math and, so, each book would focus on a different math topic”.

Writing seems to come naturally for Charlotte. She said that she penned the first book in only three hours during some down-time while recovering from hernia surgery at home in December. Charlotte said “I sent it to some teacher friends and relatives of mine and they thought it was good, so it kind of gave me the encouragement to, you know, continue with it”.

So, the words were on paper, but of course everyone knows that a children’s book must have illustrations or photos, something, anything! That’s when she turned to her sister-in-law, Tina. Charlotte said “I can’t draw anything, so, I went to Tina and she’s very artsy, and I asked her if she could illustrate. Well, she was hesitant at first because she had never done anything like that. I asked her to just give it a try, she did, and the drawings are phenomenal. She gets better and better”.

After writing and illustrating the first two books, Charlotte said they worked on getting them published. They were picked up by Brown Books in late June, and were quickly available online. You can buy the books on or - the addresses are below: 

Tina said “Our big goal is to have these in classrooms across America. I know, from being in a classroom for years, they’re beneficial. I have a 3rd grade grandson, he read it and he loved it”.

Broadcast journalist & on-air personality - Rayburn Broadcasting Company - KJAS 107.3 FM in Jasper, TX and KFAH 99.1 FM in Pineland, TX