Archive for the 'Children’s books' Category

Shakespeare’s Amazing Traveling Adventure, by Nicoletta Barrie

Shakespeare’s Amazing Traveling Adventure is based on the true story of Shakespeare, a cat who adopted Fairport’s Nolan family. Trapped inside a moving van, poor Shakespeare was carried many miles from home—and then he found his way back.  Just as you start to ask yourself how anyone would ever know the real facts about a cat’s travels, you will learn the specific clues that led the Nolan family to discover Shakespeare’s story. Partial proceeds to Lollipop Farm.

Nicoletta Barrie will appear at the Local Author Book Fair at the Fairport Public Library, 1 Fairport Village Landing, on Saturday, December 7, 2013, from 2 to 4 PM.


Doot Bokelman, Knotties of Ganondagan

Knotties of GanondaganKnotties of Ganondagan, by Doot Bokelman

Modern-day Seneca children, residents of the Ganondagan State Historic Site, repel the forces of evil in this fantasy combining elements of Seneca culture with up-to-date ecological issues.

In the last few summer days before school begins, when the backpacks have already been filled and hung at the kitchen door, the youngsters meet the tiny knotties, creatures perhaps 6” high, who are seldom noticed because their bodies so closely resemble sticks.  It is difficult to win the knotties’ trust, because they have a well-founded fear of mistreatment by humans.  Eventually, the children learn of the knotties’ greatest peril and find a way to help.

Those who have visited Ganondagan will recognize the details of the setting, even to the golf course across the road.  However, this geographic familiarity is not a requirement.  The book includes a hand-drawn map for readers.

The story is illustrated with photographs of the knotties, little sculptures based on gnarled or knotty wood of various kinds with additional heads and hands of a wide variety of skin tones.  Each knottie has a character consonant with the traditional virtues of the wood from which it “grew.”

The author, Dr. Dorothy Bokelman, a sculptor and Associate Professor and Program Director, Art History at Nazareth College, has worked with the staff at Ganondagan for several years and credits them with helping her develop the adventures of the knotties.


Ellen Stoll Walsh, Balancing Act

Balancing Act

Balancing Act, by Ellen Stoll Walsh

Besides exploring the mathematical concept of balance or equivalency, Ellen Stoll Walsh offers a beguiling story of two mice, friends who have balanced a stick over a rock to create their own teeter-totter.  One by one, additional friends appear and want to join the fun.  Again and again, the teeter-totter becomes unbalanced and must be re-balanced by adding a friend or moving friends to the other side.  At last, the weight of the friends is too great for the stick, and it breaks.  The friends run off to play something else, all but the two original mice, who hunt up another stick and return to their balancing game.  So this cut paper collage with minimal text also provides for discussion of the values of playing nicely with friends and refusing to give up easily.

But most of all, this is a charming story to read to the little one you put to bed every night.

Fairport children will recognize that the mouse statues outside the library window are cousins to this story.  They come from Walsh’s earlier mouse book, Mouse Paint.

Baby Ballerinas, by Karen Tran

The author, a Certified Professional Photographer, has produced a loving meditation on preschoolers and dance.  The grace of ballet combines with the (different) grace of babyhood here, all seen through the eyes of love.  As the Fairport-East Rochester Post says, “Each page brings a softness that has come to characterize Tran’s sometimes surreal, always sentimental style.”

Meet Karen at the Local Authors’ Book Fair, Come Home for the Holidays, at the Fairport Public Library on December 4, 2010.

Balancing Act

Once upon a time there was Mouse Paint, the story of 3 white mice who found that red feet dancing through a yellow puddle make orange footprints.  In Kennelly Park, outside the Fairport Public Library windows, a statue of the three mice greets children who come for summer concerts at the bandstand beside the Canal.

Now, new this year, comes Balancing Act, in which two little brown mice create a makeshift seesaw and find ways to adapt and re-balance despite the arrival of more and more friends.

This is a story to read to a small child, stopping to delight in the speckles on a salamander.  It is also a book that tempts the reader to find a stick to balance over a stone.  The words are few, but the pictures are rich.  Is it math?  Is it science?  Is it fiction?  Never mind.  It is a story to love.

Mrs. Walsh will read her new book aloud to an audience of children at the Local Authors’ Book Fair on December 4, 2010.