North Toledo Self-Made Author Returns to Toledo

Flowers and Mrs Redmond

By Tricia Hall
The Truth Reporter

Vincent Flowers, a self-made published children’s book author, returned to Toledo on September 2 to donate 60 books to Spring Elementary first and second graders. Flowers read the entire book for the two Toledo Public School classes and publicly thanked his fifth grade teacher, Mrs. Redmond, who was also in attendance.

“I retired in 2005 and this is my first time in the new Spring building. I am so proud of Vincent. As a teacher, you want to know what worked and where the kids are now,” shared Mrs. Redmond.

Flowers was inspired to write, Zoe and Zion Love to Build, because he noticed that there were few if any children’s books for Black and Brown children, except for books written about athletes and presidents. Flowers and his wife, Zelia, routinely read to their two children, Zoe and Zion, especially at night. One of the nighttime reading sessions led to the book’s creation.

“This book has provided an example to my children that with hard work and dedication anything is possible. Zoe and Zion absolutely love reading the book and the feedback received from readers have been nothing short of amazing. In addition, being able to share this moment with one of the chiefs of the village that helped to mold me, Mrs. Redmond, is beyond words,” shared Flowers.

Flowers wrote the book, found the illustrator, created the book cover and partnered with Mahogany Pen Publishing. The finished product was available for sale by Father’s Day 2022. Flowers decided to donate the books to Spring Elementary School because his teacher, Mrs. Redmond, signed him up for a program which elevated his post-high school opportunities. Flowers was signed up for the Ohio State Young Scholars Program, which provides first-generation students with the opportunity to pursue higher education.

Following the reading, Flowers answered questions from the students about the book and received a hand-crafted thank you note which was signed by all the children. A Spring Elementary shirt and flowers were presented to Mrs. Redmond.

“I liked when they started working together,” said one male student.

“I liked how they made up with love,” said a female student.

Zoe and Zion Love to Build is a story about two siblings who enjoy building different structures with their toy blocks. While Zoe is older and tends to create faster, Zion always wants to be included and provide his own input and ideas to the building process. At one point, Zion becomes frustrated with his sister and acts out.

After acknowledging his actions and receiving a gentle reminder from Dad, Zion apologizes to his sister which leads to them collaborating to build a giant castle. The book is leading in several Amazon new release categories including: #1 in children’s social skills, #1 in children’s safety books, #1 in children’s daily activities book and #3 in children’s value books.

Flowers was born and raised “Out Stickney” also known as North Toledo. Flowers graduated from Spring Elementary and Leverette Junior High before graduating from Central Catholic High School and The Ohio State University.

Flowers works for Johnson & Johnson and currently resides in Jacksonville, Florida. He plans to partner with additional sponsors to donate additional books to schools in both Toledo and Jacksonville.