Franny the Fireplug

                                                              CHILDREN'S STORYBOOK

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Franny the Fireplug


Written by  

Mitch Townley


Illustrated by 

Jim Taylor


Recommended for young readers

age 3 through 10


Soft Cover, 20 pages

8.5" x 11",  Saddle Stitched

Usually shipped within 48 hours



Read with a child...

Reading strengthens relationships and teaches children lessons that they are likely to remember. Of course, you are also creating a memory of special time together, and that is priceless. Read to a child or let them read to you.


"Fireplugs Can Only Look Straight Ahead."  



Franny the Fireplug "adopted" the family that lived directly across the street from her, guarding them, caring for them and helping them in a time of crisis.

This is a very special story for children and adults will enjoy it too.



In Honor of Fran Smith


"I lift my eyes to the hills . . . where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord the maker of heaven and earth." Psalm 121:1-2

      Franny The Fireplug was written for my close friend Fran Smith of Knoxville, TN. The idea for the main character came from a time when Fran was giving me directions to her house. Part of the directions included “Turn right at the fireplug.” I had never heard the word “fireplug” used to mean a “fire hydrant” before and so we both had a good laugh about it. From time to time after that, I would refer to Fran by the nickname of “Fireplug.” We often talked about how it would make a great character for a children’s book. Fran, being a retired

elementary school teacher of 30 years, thought that sounded like a great idea. But, time and life and priorities got in the way of that pursuit.

    In December of 2008, Fran was diagnosed with cancer. Prior to visiting her in the hospital a short time after her diagnosis, I made up a “Franny the Fireplug” award for her. The award was for courage and bravery and to encourage her to keep looking straight ahead because that is what fireplugs do, that’s all they can do, look straight ahead. She got a big kick out of the award. We laughed, we cried and we prayed.

    In November of 2009 Fran’s cancer took a major turn for the worse and it became more evident that her treatments were not having the desired results. After visiting with her in her home in December of 2009, I decided it was time to write the story.

    Within a week I had the story written but had no idea how to transform the story into a book. I searched online for freelance illustrators, found a few whose work I liked and then sent them my manuscript and its backstory. I met so many nice people through that process, including my eventual publisher, Kas Winters. One of the illustrators I contacted, Jim Taylor, expressed a special interest in the story and we decided to be partners in the process. We finished the book layout and illustrations in March of 2010, three weeks before Fran passed away.

    I was able to read Fran the story of “Franny The Fireplug” a few days before she died on April 18, 2010. I read it to her in her home, sitting on the edge of her bed, while her husband listened on intently. It was a tearful occasion I will always treasure. She responded by asking me to sign her copy, which was my pleasure. This book was for Fran but now it is for all of you.



Mitch Townley


About the Author

Mitch Townley


Mitch Townley is the Children's Pastor at West Hills Presbyterian Church (PCA) in Knoxville, TN. In addition to authoring children's  books, he is a published songwriter, has written numerous skits and sketches, and been a children's ministry conference speaker. Mitch has been married to his wife, Karen, for 29 years and they have two children.


About the Illustrator

Jim Taylor


Jim Taylor has been an artist all his life, illustrating for projects ranging from children's books to business logos to after-school programs for at-risk students. Jim is also a musician, film maker and photographer. He's been married for 28 years to his high school sweetheart, Beth, and together they have seven children. Jim lives in Sparks, Nevada.


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