Award-Winning Children's Authors To Appear At New London Waterfront Festival On 7/25

By: May. 28, 2009

What do all 10 of this year’s Fish Tales, Tugs & Sails children’s authors have in common? They have all published books that make it fun for kids of all ages to learn about what it really means to be green: meeting current needs without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.
Now in its fourth year, this popular family festival is being held Saturday July 25, 2009 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the New London Waterfront Park. According to Cris Staubach, who has been the Children’s Librarian at the New London Public Library since 2002 and who has been responsible for securing children’s authors for this festival since its inception, the 2009 event will feature author Jeanine Behr Getz, who was recently named a Connecticut Green Woman by CT GreenScene, a Woodbury-based organization with a mission of promoting and amplifying the incredible work of individuals, groups and organizations.
Getz is the founder of Kids Think Big, a non-profit, that brings big ideas to children, via eco-friendly print and electronic media, and empowers them with knowledge at every age. Her book Think Green! won the Green Coast Award, has been Green America Approved for People and Planet, and is Dr. Toy Best Vacation Children’s Products 2008.
The stunning natural and poetic paintings of Thomas Locker, done in the Hudson River School style, are prominently featured in his children's books, including Water Dance, and The Boy Who Held Back the Sea. Locker will be on hand with his newest book, Rachel Carson: Preserving Sense of Wonder. His paintings have been honored with the prestigious Christopher Award, the John Burroughs Award, and The New York Times Award for best illustration.
Laura Blackman, whose real-life experience with a disabled duck inspired her to write Lemon The Duck. Blackman is an elementary school teacher in Portsmouth, RI, and it was in one her classes that Lemon was born without the ability to walk. She and her students helped to build equipment that allowed Lemon to have a more normal life.
Irene Boland is the co-author of Wind the World Over and works in the sustainability office of the Environmental Protection Agency. Her book follows two children as they are transported around the world and through time while learning about the powers of wind.
Nancy Castaldo is the author of many books packed with inspiring ideas for childhood discovery and learning. She was selected to speak at the 5th World Congress for Environmental Education and received the Arts and Literary Award from New York State Outdoor Education. Her books include Keeping Our Earth Green, Sunny Days and Starry Nights and Oceans, An Activity Guide for Ages 6-9.
Bob Crelin, who was a popular Boats Books & Brushes author, is back with a new book, Faces of the Moon, and learning tool, the Moon Gazer’s Wheel. His previous book, There Once Was A Sky Full of Stars, has become a resource for public outreach in the International Year of Astronomy 2009.
Mary Newell DePalma is the author and illustrator of three books: The Strange Egg, a whimsical tale of wonder, curiosity and friendship; A Grand Old Tree, a simple and beautiful life-cycle tale; and The Nutcracker Doll, about a child’s role in the Boston Ballet Nutcracker.
A field trip to Ocean Beach right here in New London is the setting for The Cat Who Lost Its Meow, a book about loss written by Susan Paulson Epstein, LCSW, and illustrated by Antoinette & Richard Ledzian.
Dana Meachen Rau has written more than 200 books, many of them award-winning, for children. Pertinent to the “green” theme are A Star In My Orange, A Box Can Be Many Things, Rubber Duck, and Stickers, Shells, and Snow Globes.
Every first grade student in New London Public Schools will receive a complimentary copy of A Box Can Be Many Things from New London Youth Affairs-Whale's TaLes Children's Book Bank, a co-producer of Fish Tales, Tugs and Sails.
Local seaweed expert Margaret A. Van Patten has published Seaweeds of Long Island Sound. She will answer questions about the seaweeds of Long Island Sound and introduce children to the Long Island Sound Fact Pack game of cards.
The selected books range from reading levels of pre-school through 5th grade.  All book titles will be available for sale courtesy of Bank Square Books and authors will be available to sign purchases. The Whale's TaLes Children's Book Bank of New London will collect new or gently used children’s books to recycle, by distributing them back out to children in the community.
In addition to the authors and illustrators, Fish Tales, Tugs & Sails will feature working tugboats on City Pier, and festival-goers can also enjoy tours of Project Oceanology’s Envirolab and the schooner Mystic Whaler. Live entertainment and a host of interactive children’s activities will be available.
Admission to the event on the New London Waterfront Park is free. For a complete list of participating authors and illustrators and other activities visit or call 860-444-2489 for more information.
The festival’s major sponsor is Dominion, with additional sponsor support from Thames Towboat Co, Bob’s Furniture and Mitchell College. Additional funding for the festival is provided in part by the Community Foundation of Southeastern Connecticut and the Connecticut Commission on Culture and Tourism. The Day, WFSB Channel 3, MetroCast and Citadel Broadcasting are media sponsors. The event is co-produced by New London Main Street, the Public Library of New London, Mitchell College’s Hospitality and Tourism Program and New London Youth Affairs.

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