Una Belle Townsend is an award-winning former teacher/librarian. She lives in Oklahoma with her husband, Virgil. They have two sons. She has four picture books published by Pelican Publishing Co., and five picture books and a haiku/photography book published by Doodle and Peck Publishing Co. She’s often found signing books at schools, libraries, and museums.
She enjoys writing stories about Oklahoma and animals and often combines the two when she writes. She enjoys photography, crafts, and writing haiku.
Townsend received an Oklahoma Center for the Book Award and an IRA/ Children’s Choice Award for her book, Grady’s in the Silo. Her book about the Yukon cow that jumped in a silo in 1949 has been read by many teachers working on farm units.
Townsend received an Oklahoma Writer’s Federation Best Juvenile Book Award for her book, The Great Elephant Escape. This story of two elephants escaping from the circus grounds in Hugo, OK in 1975 made headlines for weeks until the elephants were found.
In 2017, she received a Creative Woman of Achievement in Poetry Award from Delta Kappa Gamma for her book, Sunsets and Haiku. She not only wrote the haiku for the book, but took photographs of Oklahoma sunsets to accompany the book.
About Toby and the Secret Code
Toby and the Secret Code is a multi-cultural book which is dedicated to Oklahoma’s Choctaw code talkers who were sworn to secrecy after their service in World War I. It's the story of a young boy named Toby who gives his "My Hero" report in class on his great great grandfather, Tobias Frazier. Tobias was a member of the Choctaw Nation, and he was one of the original 19 code talkers in World War I.
Toby helps his friend, Charlie, learn some Choctaw words including some of the secret code words used by the Choctaw code talkers during World War I. They pretend to play their "war games" up and down the banks of Frazier Creek. Eventually, they becomes heroes, too. The book includes a glossary and Choctaw words for some numbers, colors, and days of the week.