Upcoming events in the area provide opportunities for both, with two new children’s books just published by Anniston writers, and Birmingham Children’s Theatre’s The Wizard of Oz performing for the Oxford School System on March 18.
A book signing featuring books by Alice Duckett and Annie B. Lee will be held in the Public Library of Anniston/Calhoun on Sunday from 2 to 4 p.m. Duckett has written One Step At A Time (illustrated by Lee), which deals with issues that children face daily. Choo Choo Monkey Talks to God is Lee’s glossy paperback with a Christian theme. Both books were printed by Book Surge Publishing.
The small voices in One Step At A Time come from three centipedes, dressed in tennis shoes, cowboy boots and jewelry. They learn that having 100 legs is a real blessing. The story, which has elements of interest to preschool through sixth-grade ages, encourages young readers to solve their problems by thinking things out, trying hard and not giving up.
Lee won a cash prize on Wheel of Fortune in 2008, part of which was used to finance her dream of writing children’s books.
“I had the opportunity to read my draft of Choo Choo Monkey in a oneroom Zion Methodist School,” she said. “The children were so attentive, and their reaction was gratifying. It was the highlight of my trip.”
Her ultimate goal is to get her books into the hands of foreign missionaries, she said, in order to give more visual emphasis to their mission.
A trip to a faraway land supplied the motivation for Duckett’s writing.
As Digging From Attics to Basements (a workbook on genealogy) was taking shape in her mind, she was on a mission trip with Birmingham Southern College’s Methodist ministry to Russia just after the breakup of the Soviet Union. Duckett was attending services at Moscow Baptist Church and a Methodist church in Tallinn, Estonia, when she realized that an active interest in family history there would have to come from the children.
“The parents looked so weary, but the children seemed so energetic,” Duckett, a retired teacher, said. “If I could teach children how to follow clues in tracing family backgrounds, and make it fun, then they could later pass the interests on their children and grandchildren.”
Her workbook, published in December 2006, contains activities for the whole family.
A self-taught artist, Lee is the creator of murals that have been placed in churches, schools, businesses and homes throughout Calhoun County.
One of her largest paintings is on the wall of a Sunday school room in Saks Baptist Church. It is a large wall map of the Holy Land, pinpointing the places of Jesus’ ministry.
Both authors invite families to come to the book signing in the library’s children’s department to see how soft pastels combine with the written word to create lessons in positive living. Refreshments will be served.
The Wizard of Oz
There are valuable lessons in TheWizard of Oz, too, as seen through the characters of Dorothy, the Cowardly Lion, the Scarecrow and the Tin Woodsman.
This is one reason that the Oxford Arts Council is bringing the musical to students from Oxford, DeArmanville and Coldwater elementary schools on March 18. And this version from BCT is one that will be new to children.
“The unique thing for the students is that this is the original story, true to the book, without the Hollywood embellishments,” George Culver, Executive Director of BCT, said.
The production, at 9 a,m. is for second-, third-, and fourth-graders, will be at The Civic Center in Oxford.