By Christina Fuoco-Karasinski
Tony Dow is best known as Wally in the wholesome “Leave It to Beaver,” and as an internationally renowned sculptor and artist.
When he met Fireball Tim Lawrence, he added another description to his name—coloring book author.
Lawrence and Dow teamed up for “The Official Tony Dow Coloring Book” ($9.29/Amazon). With 19 illustrations and a SCUBA maze, the book joins Fireball Publishing’s family of publications that also celebrate the Camaro, Mustang, Corvette, surfer girls, tiki culture and vintage trailers.
“The Official Tony Dow Coloring Book” encompasses 19 sketches chronicling Dow’s life, accompanied by quotes from him and his wife, Lauren.
“I thought it would be interesting to talk about the pictures a little bit,” Dow says. “I never heard of a coloring book that tells you about a person’s life.
“Fireball is a buddy and has some pretty out-there ideas. But the more we talked, the more fun it sounded. It will be a great way to show what’s been going on in my life, plus share some great memories with the incredible amount of ‘Leave it to Beaver’ fans that still follow the show. Fireball’s artwork is terrific, and I think kids, young and old, will have a blast coloring them.”
Lawrence says coloring books are a perfect match for celebrities who wish to connect with their audience. Coloring also bonds families, expands and enhances the creative process experience and builds a legacy, he adds.
“I’m proud and grateful to be doing an amazing book with my good friend, Tony,” he says. “His Facebook still has a very large following to this day. There is a crowd of people in their 50s and above who watched the show as a kid—and are still watching this show. The coloring book is a legacy project for Tony.”
“Leave It to Beaver” still airs on classic cable channels, and Dow hasn’t thought about why the black-and-white show appeals today.
“It’s been on the air since it started in 1957—many moons ago,” he says. “I think it was a very unique show and people of all ages could identify with it. Everybody had an Eddie Haskell, too.”
Dow says he’s frequently asked why he never penned an autobiography like his costars Jerry Mathers, Frank Bank and Ken Osmond.
“I never really wanted to do a book,” he says. “But this is a very interesting, unique way of doing a small version of a book. All the paragraphs are relevant to the pictures. We were conscientious about picking out interesting times. I think it’s interesting to learn something about somebody you’re interested in. I never thought anybody was particularly interested in me.”
Lawrence certainly is, and his coloring book is a way of promoting Dow’s endeavors as a sculptor and actor.
“This book is a gift from Tony and myself to other artisans and fans and it allows them to express themselves in a unique way,” says Fireball Tim, whose wife and son are sculptors, the latter of which for the “Star Wars” franchise. “They can color Tony purple or tan. Our creativity stops once the book is sold and the client’s creativity shines.”
“The Official Tony Dow Coloring Book”