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Spots Before Stripes, by Jonathan Kumar



Epicello is a leopard who appears to have everything – a supportive family, friends throughout the animal kingdom, and a lioness who is in love with him. He has been given all that he needs without ever having to work for it. This to Epicello seems like the perfect crime, but his laziness and selfishness soon lead to division between him and his family and friends. Soon, Epicello finds himself alone and unable to provide for himself. Epicello must return to the lessons he once ignored to prove to those around him and more importantly, to himself, that change is possible. Spots Before Stripes is a story for anyone who has ever struggled with self-identity, for anyone who has ever wondered where they fit in the grand scheme of things. Told through beautiful prose and humor, it explores the hurdles that stand in the way of our happiness, hurdles that are often of our own creation. However, in our pursuit of fulfillment, we must remember too what our obligations are to others, or our success is without meaning.

Jonathan Kumar is a middle school English teacher. Before teaching, he studied music as an undergraduate and psychology as a graduate student. Although these three fields of study may seem unrelated, each led him to writing. Music showed him the beauty in rhythm; psychology, the redemptive qualities of art; and teaching, the obligation to mold the minds of younger generations as Jonathan’s teachers did for him. His love for reading and writing began in his beloved elementary school in Brookfield, Wisconsin where he was introduced to the literary canon of the classics. Jonathan was particularly drawn to books involving animals and adventure.

Spots Before Stripes is his second novel. It is his attempt to summon the daydreamers staring out of their classroom window, waiting for the right book to lead them on an adventure.

Feel free to contact Jonathan for speaking engagements, questions, or just to say hi at

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