Best friends continue book series with latest launch

Best friends continue book series with latest launch


Two longtime friends and co-authors, Dekota Cheatham and Krissy Long, are excited to launch their latest book, “Watson Goes Fishing,” at their Second Annual Poodle Party.

The event will be held at Northside Park’s Imagination Fun Station on Friday, June 28, from 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.

“Watson Goes Fishing” marks the third installment in their children’s series, following last year’s “Watson Goes to the Fair” and “Watson Goes to the North Pole,” all illustrated by Abbey Rigdon Tingle. 

“We decided to do ‘Watson Goes Fishing’ because Abbey was so excited about the illustrations in this book,” Long said. “She’s fantastic.”

The event will begin with a book reading, followed by a Watson meet-and-greet and several children’s activities, including a bouncy house and free arts and crafts. 

Rooster Ridge food truck will be on hand, along with a snow cone stand, a boater safety booth hosted by the U.S. Corps of Engineers, and Debra Veeder from MWF’s Adopt-A-Stream program, who will teach the crowd about watersheds, pollution, and creating safe environments for animals. 

Following the success of “Watson Goes to the Fair,” Cheatham and Long have decided to re-launch the book in a limited edition at the launch party. This edition will include a map of the Fairgrounds with little paw prints marking Watson’s travels and a checklist of must-do activities at the Fair.

“Watson Goes Fishing” will be available for purchase at the book launch. It will also be sold at Kademi and wholesaled across the state. Additionally, the authors are setting up a booth again at this year’s Flea Market during the Fair.

“That was a fun part of last year’s Fair, with all the kids being so excited to have a book about something they’re interested in,” Long said. “We try to create culturally relevant reading material for kids here in Mississippi.”

Cheatham said the inspiration behind continuing the series came from the success of the first book and seeing children connect with it. 

“Being teachers spurred our goal for increasing literacy in our state,” she said. “Since we have this talent and people that support us, we thought we could take it a step further and continue doing this.”

Cheatham, a biology and nutrition teacher at East Central, and Long, a fifth-grade math teacher at Neshoba, both cherish their experiences with the 10-year-old Standard Poodle, Watson, who is the heart of the series. 

After owning Watson for eight years, Cheatham found his mischievous nature a little too much to handle after her second child was born. So, she turned to her friend Krissy and her husband, Matthew, who were the perfect fit. 

“I wouldn’t have given him to anybody else,” she said. 

Long added, “He and my husband always had a special bond. When he made the transition to our house, he fit right in.”

The two friends still keep joint custody of Watson if either of them goes out of town, and they love to include a picture of him in their books, showcasing his real-life antics. 

Their families, including Cheatham’s husband Daniel, have swapped countless Watson stories over the years that continue to inspire each book. 

“Everything we’ve talked about in our books he has done,” Cheatham said. “We knew he was a rockstar from the moment he arrived in Philadelphia.”

In “Watson Goes Fishing,” the story follows Watson as he tags along with grandpa and a little girl, first stopping at a bait shop before heading to the pond on a fishing trip. Despite wreaking havoc like spilling the bait and more, Watson never loses the much-needed love of his family.

The book features Mississippi native species like bluegill, alligator gar, catfish, and largemouth bass, with an educational section in the back. 

It also includes community nods and easter eggs like Jake Myers’s Shoba Outdoors business logo on grandpa’s hat. 

The first printing of the self-published “Watson Goes Fishing” will include 500 copies. At the launch, they will have all three books, Watson stuffed animals, and a DIY tie-dye booth with limited-edition poodle party shirts for kids to enjoy.

“Every time we have one of these events and see all the people show up and all the kids interested in literature, we just get more and more excited,” Long said. 

Cheatham added, “I cried the first time because it was so overwhelming with the amount of support we received. We are just so thankful for the community and everything they do to support us.”

Cheatham and Long also co-own The Local Authority, a cooperative for local artisans and merchandisers that promotes Philadelphia by supporting local talent. 

“We would love to help other people get out there and publish the books they’ve written,” Long said. 

Cheatham added, “We are looking for books that fit our model of cultural relevance for young children to increase their comprehension skills and desire to read. Reading is not just learning, reading is exploring.”

Watson’s adventures won’t end at fishing as the two creative authors said they plan on adding more to the collection and already have a few titles in mind.

If you are unable to make it to the book launch, “Watson Goes Fishing” can be purchased online at or at Kademi.

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