A published children’s author with ties to Great Bend is in town this week, visiting relatives and reading to children.
Cathy Streul will read her first book, “Adventures from the Farm: The Beginning,” at 10:30 a.m. Thursday, Nov. 8, at the Great Bend Public Library, 1409 Williams St., in honor of Kansas Reads to Preschoolers Week.
Library spokesman Jennifer King said this morning’s activities will also include a reading of “Lola Loves Stories,” by Anna McQuinn. “Following the story time, the Barton Community College Early Childhood Education Program will have activities for the children,” King said. There will be another program at 7p.m. Thursday with another reading of “Lola Loves Stories” and more activities.
Tate Publishing describes the 32-page “Adventures from the Farm” this way:
It’s the first day of school at the farm, and the children are eagerly gathering in the Big Barn School. Ms. Susie Q Goose tells them they’re going on an adventure. What excitement awaits Mary Moo, Penny and Peggy Chick, Porker T Pig, and Timmy Turtle? Children will love the delightful Adventures from the Farm as the animals go on their first field trip.
The children learn about colors, shapes and counting in this book. As the title implies, that is only the beginning, and two more books of “Adventures from the Farm” will be released in the next year, Streul said.
The Peru, Ill., writer visited a Hoisington school last May and read her book to children there. She’ll also be reading it at local preschools this week. It’s family that brings this published author to central Kansas. She lived in Great Bend for a time, and two of her three children were born here.
Streul said she didn’t set out to become a published author.
“I began writing my book one night when I was missing my grandkids,” she said. “They were coming over the next weekend and like for me to tell them stories. I thought of a story and wrote it down so I would not forget.”
Some of the animal characters are based on Streul’s children. “A story popped into my head and it just kept coming.”
The grandchildren loved the story, and her daughter urged Streul to get it published. With no agent, she did some research on the Internet and submitted the story to five publishers. Three expressed interest.
Tate Publishing, based in Mustang, Okla., plans to release a total of 10 books in the series. The farm animals will be learning about sharing and cooperation, and other things Streul hopes to share with her own grandchildren. The next book is “A Very Special Christmas Tree: Adventures from the Farm.”
“We’re coming out with a coloring book, and finger puppets to get kids interested in reading and to keep their attention,” Streul said.