Posted by Literary Titan
Shadow and Friends Celebrate Ellsworth, KS 150th Birthday is a lovely children’s story that gives the history of the town of Ellsworth Kansas. Why was this an important book for you to write?
When your town is having a 150th birthday, and your town is rich in history, then that history needs to be included your children’s picture book. The huge four day celebration also included re-enactments, 150 prime longhorns, a cattle drive, two day rodeo, and much more. An adult commemorative book was in the works, so we thought one for kids should be done as well, leaving out the blood, death, and salacious parts. The kids loved it. So did the tens of thousands of people who traveled to this town from across the USA and overseas.
What kind of research did you have to do to maintain the accuracy of the history?
I used extensive curate material from the historical society for the parts and dates I wasn’t sure of.
Do you think it’s important for children to learn the history of their city or town?
Of course it is. One’s heritage is important, and children need to know where they come from, their roots.
“Shadow and Friends Celebrate Ellsworth, KS, 150th Birthday” is a wonderful and fun children’s book that both children and adults will enjoy. The story hits the targeted age range of 4-8. The painted illustrations provided are a delight, and my grandchildren loved them. Who would have thought to write a book using dogs and squirrels as friends, and the old west thrown in? This book is perfect for home, schools, and libraries. I highly recommend this book. Susan Vance, Author and Realtor In this children’s picture book and seventh book in our ‘Shadow and Friends Series’, Shadow and Friends Celebrate Ellsworth, KS, 150th Birthday, two dogs and a family of squirrels decide to help Ellsworth celebrate the 150th birthday of the town’s history. This book coincides with the actual 150th birthday of Ellsworth in the summer of 2017. Illustrations are found on each page, most of them painted. Big Whitey tells the history of Ellsworth, and Fort Harker, with historical buildings, notable landmarks, and scenes painted by the author. At the end of this story, Little Whitey asks his father if they can re-enact the old west, dress like cowboys, and do a pretend cattle drive just like Ellsworth, KS. The squirrels dress in cowboy and cowgirl gear, and they even have a chuck wagon cook. They herd longhorn cattle, sing the state song of Kansas, and have lots of fun during their re-enactment. At the end of the story, they enjoyed a barn dance, celebrated the 150th birthday of Ellsworth, and Uncle Stubby took pictures and ‘selfies’. Children will love seeing the old west come alive with two dogs and a family of squirrels dressed in western attire, and using a small amount of cowboy slang. This delightful and funny book for children, targeted at ages 4-8, is easy to read and perfect for home or classroom. The story illustrates how cattle drives worked, the long dusty trails, life in the old west, and illustrations that produce pure imagination in children. Note: Actual gunfights and ‘adult type’ history were left out in this wild western history of Ellsworth, KS.
Posted in Interviews
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Posted by Literary Titan
Surviving Ghosts by Tom Bridges continues the adventures of James W. “Buck” Buckler, M.D., and Detective Allyson Mancuso. The novel starts as Buck and Allyson travel to Rome for a medical conference Buck is attending. While exploring the Roman sites and shops, Allyson swears she sees a ghost – her father’s ghost. When it happens again, Buck and Allyson are determined to find the meaning behind the appearances – the “ghost” is actually Allyson’s father in the flesh, who had convincingly died four years earlier. The couple sets out to find answers to their questions – Why did her father fake his death? What are his ties to the mafia? And, what secrets are the government hiding?
In the beginning of the novel, Bridges describes various Roman landmarks and tourist destinations that Buck and Allyson visit. This allows Bridges to set the scene. I believe it is important for readers to visualize where a story takes place, and Bridges’ descriptions allow his readers to do so. The facts and tidbits about the architecture add a level of complexity by incorporating nonfiction descriptions.
The majority of the novel is told using first person from Buck’s point of view. I think choosing this point of view allows Bridges to share the emotions Buck is feeling as well as questions Buck may have. In the other chapters of the book, Bridges uses third person to give information about JB and the government situation.
In using a technique that allows him to switch point of views, Bridges allows the reader to understand the emotions and thoughts from different characters. This helps give a more thorough understanding of the novel.
Surviving Ghosts is built of great ideas! I think they just need to be developed a bit more. Bridges is very good at describing scenes, but I felt that there was often a lot of telling, not showing. There are some very high emotional scenes in the novel, the scenes are setup superbly, but the emotional intensity is muted when we’re told what someone is feeling, instead of being shown.
Bridges has amazing ideas that beg to be explored and developed more. Allyson and Buck’s skills of logic and reasoning are on great display as they uncover a jarring mystery. What you’ll enjoy most about this novel is how well you are transported into the scenes.
Pages: 229 | ASIN: B01AH4EO1E
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