Local Author Celebrates Diversity and Caring in First Children’s Book

Fullerton writer Gary Graves released his first children’s book, “Chippy the Cheetah Rides 545 Miles from San Francisco to Los Angeles” this September.

Ten years in the making, it tells the story of the young hero Chippy, an adventurous and caring young cheetah who joins the AIDS/LifeCycle ride and learns lessons about helping others. Chippy learns the benefits of being part of a team as well as seeing the rewards of his determination and goals. During the journey, Chippy is faced with challenges such as raising money for charity and riding his bicycle on the road.

Readers will enjoy how Chippy cleverly figures things out and positively solves his challenges. Mr. Graves’ goal is to inspire people who see the personal growth of Chippy, and how the cheetah sees the importance of caring and helping others throughout the ride. Gary Graves tells his readers, “The book is appropriate for everyone and celebrates the goodness of humanity. Deep down we are all the same! Chippy the Cheetah introduces LGBTQ+ themes and hopes to create positive role models for the LGBTQ+ community and those infected with AIDS/HIV. It reminds people that every person can do important things in the world, however big or small.”

Graves added, “I’ve written Chippy the Cheetah as a celebration of my 10-years of riding in and raising money for the AIDS/LifeCycle to combine my love of cycling, cheetahs, and charity. Completing my 10th year participating in the AIDS/Lifecycle, even during the ‘stay-at-home year 2020,’ has been a thrill. I encourage readers, family, and friends to support the AIDS/Lifecycle, an exciting 545-mile journey by bike from San Francisco to Los Angeles. The charity ride benefits AIDS organizations and provides prevention education and services to those afflicted with AIDS/HIV.”

Mr. Graves is currently a tenured and full-time professor of business management at Fullerton College. One of his entrepreneurial businesses, Cycle Animals, is a specialty fundraising site that develops cycling clothing and items featuring favorite animals. The net proceeds from purchases are donated to various causes and non-profit organizations.

“Chippy the Cheetah Rides 545 Miles from San Francisco to Los Angeles” sells in print for $25 and is available from Cycle Animals and a digital version on

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