“Do you think anything’s looking at us?” Shae Archambault, then-5-years-old, asked her father last December as the pair looked out to the ocean during a trip to Monterey.
From there, the curiosity grew into the Encinitas father-daughter duo’s first book, “The Christmas Shark.”
The 34-page Christmas-themed book tells the story of a lonely great white shark named Lightning who lives in the deep waters of the Pacific Ocean and decides to visit a seaside town on Christmas Eve.
Worth Archambault, Shae’s father, said the pair sat down after that trip in December and began writing the book immediately.
Shae, now 6, said the process of writing her first book was “fun.”
“My dad and I talked about it and then my dad wrote it down,” she said excitedly, with her father adding that he enjoyed the bonding time with Shae. In the future, the two plan to possibly work on a book about a young girl and her father being transported to a far-away land by balloon, Shae said.
Archambault, who manages a sales group full-time and also has a 2-year-old daughter, said he hired an illustrator from South America named Marcelo Simonetti to create the drawings that accompany Shae’s words in “The Christmas Shark.”
The Archambaults self-published the book Nov. 18, with all proceeds going to the Surfrider Foundation to help the nonprofit protect the ocean and its creatures.
“We live in Encinitas, and the ocean is very special to us,” Archambault said. “We believe in what they do in trying to preserve the ocean.”
Since publishing the book, the pair have sold about 200 copies, with Archambault crediting his wife Laurie for doing all the marketing work.
Archambault said the family doesn’t have a limit on how much they’d like to raise for the Surfrider Foundation.
“This was written to be kind of a timeless story, so this isn’t the only year we want to do this,” he said. “We hope each year it grows in popularity and we can continue to support the Surfrider Foundation.”
Shae said she hopes that the book changes people’s minds about sharks, which can have a poor reputation.
Last month, the kindergartner shared the story with her classmates at Paul Ecke-Central Elementary School.
“My friends said they liked penguins but now they like sharks after reading the book,” she said.
For more information about “The Christmas Shark,” which is available on Amazon.com for $9.99, visit thechristmasshark.com.