PLYMOUTH — Pease Public Library will host a reception for the launch of three children's books by Plymouth artist Marcia Santore at 4 p.m. on Thursday, December 5 in the library's Community Room
At the event, Santore will read from the new books; she is donating a set of the StorySongs books to the library. Copies will be available for purchase, which Santore will sign at the event. Refreshments will be provided.
The three books, Good King Wenceslas, The Snow Lay on the Ground, and In the Bleak Midwinter, follow a group of modern-day characters through stories told in pictures that address themes of compassion, acceptance, and love. The contemporary illustrations are contrasted with ancient and familiar Christmas carols. Each book includes sheet music for voice and beginner piano arranged by prize-winning composer Jonathan Santore, so kids and families can sing and play along. The books also provide some history and context about the carols and a child-friendly glossary of terms.
Published this fall by Forward Movement of Cincinnati, Ohio, Santore's books were sparked by an idea between sisters. "My sister, Jessica Salinas, shared her idea for setting Good King Wenceslas in a modern family," said Santore. Salinas, a Montessori teacher and preschool director in Austin, Texas, is credited on Good King Wenceslas and acknowledged in the other two books for the idea that sparked the series. "Many years ago, Jessica jotted down a few ideas in a notepad and gave me the pages. I loved the idea, because it worked on so many levels. There is the beautiful carol. There is the opportunity for children to learn about caring for others. And there is a lesson of compassionate parenting—that sometimes, even when you're doing something very important, everything just needs to stop while you help your child."
A few years ago, Santore found those notebook pages, which had been waiting for many years. "I had just moved into a new art studio and the time just felt right to create the book," she said. When Forward Movement accepted them for publication last January, they asked her to turn the concept into a series.
Salinas said, "I held onto the idea for this book for so long, because every time I thought about it I got teary-eyed. Marcia's artwork for it was the best present ever. I'm overjoyed that Good King Wenceslas is now published, and that there are more stories from its world!"
The books are available in paperback for only $8 each in order to keep them affordable for all. To order the individual books or the StorySongs collection, visit www.forwardmovement.org or Amazon.com.
Marcia Santore is a contemporary painter whose work is known for its vivid color and intriguing texture. She has exhibited her paintings in solo, juried, and group exhibitions throughout the United States. She and her husband, Jonathan, have two sons, Peter and Thomas. Examples of her work can be found at www.marciasantore.com.