Karen Marquez Morales’ childhood dream was to write a book. After a successful career as a teacher, Morales has done just that.

Released August 1, The Krayon Kids ($14.95, Mascot Books) takes readers on a colorful journey of how they learn to work together, despite their differences while living in their box.

She will sign books and read from them from 1 to 3 p.m. Saturday, September  2, at Barnes and Noble, 1446 N. Litchfield Road, Goodyear. Call 623-935-0128 for more information. The Krayon Kids is also available on Amazon.

“They each have problem-solving strategies and a character trait to share,” Morales said. “I used crayons as characters so children could relate well to them. They represent many shades, too.”

A 30-year, second-grade teacher at Avondale Elementary School, which later became Michael Anderson School, Morales based her book on her students’ collaborations.

“The Krayon Kids also shares a message that might be helpful to our world today,” she said. “That is to celebrate our differences. We can accomplish more when we learn ways to work with each other instead of against one another.”

An Arizona native, Morales graduated from ASU with bachelor’s and master’s degrees in elementary education, and an associate’s in journalism. She is retired and teaches reading intervention. She and her husband, Tom, have a son, Marcus.

“I always taught my students to never give up on their dreams,” she said. “I thought I should walk the walk. Our school’s motto was ‘Dream big and work hard,’ per astronaut Michael Anderson. I really took that to heart.”