Local children’s authors Terri Mainwaring and Bonnie Apperson Jacobs are excellent examples of doing well by doing good. Throughout their long careers as public school teachers and administrators, they devoted themselves to the intellectual and emotional development of kids.
Now in “retirement,” that commitment has not weakened; they have merely changed hats. As writers and publishers, they have produced, with the help of illustrator Adam Turner, two picture books celebrating the joys and mysteries of grandparents, with a third to come next year.
In the first book, “They Call Him Grumpa,” young Brady can’t be fooled, he knows his grandfather and best friend isn’t really the “Grumpa” that other family members think he is. Brady lets readers and listeners, ages 3–8, in on the real story.
In their wise new offering, “Grammy Likes Me Best,” the creators revisit the big, busy extended Walker family of “Grumpa” fame. Each one of Grammy Pammy’s three grandchildren gets special, one-on-one, alone time with her, so naturally, each one believes that Grammy likes him or her best of all. But who is her real favorite? Kids can find out when they listen to this clever preschool-to-second-grade read-aloud.
Both books are designed for maximum and repeated readability, using laugh-out-loud, lots-to-see-and-talk-about artwork, repetitive verses, age-appropriate vocabulary and logical sequencing techniques.
In order to share their delightful, insightful creations with young audiences, Mainwaring and Jacobs have taken their show on the road numerous times, reading in preschools and classrooms Valleywide. Most recently, they visited six Title 1 schools in Phoenix, Peoria and Tucson, where they read the “Grammy” book to first- or second-grade students and surprised the kids with books for everyone.
The “Grammy Likes Me Best” formal book launch was Saturday, March 11 at The Tucson Book Festival, but Mainwaring and Jacobs are bringing their tour home to Phoenix, when Changing Hands Bookstore hosts a book signing and reading from 2-4 p.m. Sunday, April 2. Lemonade and cookies will be served, and the bookstore’s First Draft Book Bar will be open for additional delicious sustenance.
Rumor has it that Mainwaring does a pretty great rendition of Grammy Pammy, and that Jacobs does wonders with their charming “Grumpa” puppet, bunny slippers and all. They are hoping this event will place a humorous focus on the important role of grandparents in a family, as well as encouraging parents to get a head start on Mother’s Day and Father’s Day gift giving.
This will be a fun-filled event, so arrive early to get the best seats. The Changing Hands launch party for “Grumpa” last spring was entertaining and well-attended.
If you go: “Grammy Likes Me Best” book signing, 2-4 p.m. (reading at 2:30 p.m.) Sunday, April 2. Changing Hands Book Store, 300 W. Camelback Road, Phoenix. 602-274-0067 or changinghands.com.