story & photo
by Maren Schober
Despite this cold blustery wintry day in Niantic, children with their parents pour into the Children’s Museum of Southeastern Connecticut on Saturday, February 6th. Excitement is in the air. The children are eager to meet some of their favorite Connecticut children’s authors and to listen to their stories.
“This is our first time hosting this event,” Melissa Gula, Director of Guest Services, tells me. “We are very excited about the opportunity!”
Connecticut Loves To Read Day is sponsored by the Southeastern Connecticut Reading Association whose goal is to promote literacy. It is celebrated every year. Four gifted authors are on hand to read and interact with the children today.
Leslie Tryon, Westerly, author and illustrator of the Albert Series, is on hand to read from Albert’s Alphabet. Albert the school carpenter is assigned a task that seems virtually impossible! He has to build an alphabet for the walking path on the school playground by six o’clock using all twenty six letters. How is he ever going to finish in time? The children listen in rapt attention.
“I began drawing almost as soon as I learned to walk,” Leslie comments. “I toddled into my father’s art studio and discovered his art supplies! I wrote and illustrated my first full story when I was in the fifth grade. I am delighted to know that my books are embraced by teachers and librarians.”
Joe Podurgiel’s Fresh Blueberry Buttermilk Pancakes is a delightfully dramatic tale of a young robin whose love for blueberries gets him into trouble with Farmer Brown who loves blueberry buttermilk pancakes. The illustrations are outstanding watercolors by Katerina Green.
“About ten years ago I went on a business trip,” declares Joe, who is from Quaker Hill. “During that trip I decided to try and write a story to bring home to my kids. I wrote this story in 45 minutes.”
Cheryl Kling, Branford, reads from her book Nature’s Royal Tea Party. “In my story characters from Nature’s Royalty are invited to the May Queen’s tea party. The little Firefly is the messenger who delivers invitations to Queen Mum, Ladybug, Queen Bee, the Frog Prince, the Monarch Butterfly and other royal characters who prepare to celebrate with a secret guest of honor.”
Bob Crelin’s Faces Of The Moon is treasured by school teachers and librarians alike. This book teaches about the Moon and its phases. Each turn of a page the reader watches the moon change. Bob is from Guilford.
“Do you wonder, when you see the Moon, at dusk, or dawn, or midday noon, just why her face is curved, or round, or why she sometimes can’t be found?” reads Bob. “I probably was first inspired as a baby, when my father would always point out the Moon in the sky with me in his arms. ‘Moon’ was the first word I spoke.”
“Everybody, young or old wonders about the Moon in our sky,” Bob continues. “It is the nearest world to Earth in our universe, and is there for all to see-no matter where they live. Learning that the changing Moon is actually telling us clues about her orbit in space is fascinating to any child – from age 5-105!”