This blog represents most of the newspaper columns (appearing in various Colorado Community Newspapers and Yourhub.com) written by me, James LaRue, during the time in which I was the director of the Douglas County Libraries in Douglas County, Colorado. (Some columns are missing, due to my own filing errors.) This blog covers the time period from April 11, 1990 to January 12, 2012.

Unless I say so, the views expressed here are mine and mine alone. They may be quoted elsewhere, so long as you give attribution. The dates are (at least according my records) the dates of publication in one of the above print newspapers.

The blog archive (web view) is in chronological order. The display of entries, below, seems to be in reverse order, new to old.

All of the mistakes are of course my own responsibility.

Wednesday, May 27, 1992

May 27, 1992 - young authors

This week's column in written by Jeff Gregory, the Branch Manager of the Parker Library. Jeff is proud of the accomplishment of a Parker resident -- and as you'll see, with just cause.

Ten-year old Parker author Mariesa Oxford will be signing copies of her recently published picture book, Going to Grandma's on Sunday, May 31, from 1 pm to 5 pm at the Parker Library in Parker, Colorado. Mariesa's story is the 1991 winner of a nationwide Young Publish-A-Book contest sponsored by Raintree/Steck-Vaughn Publishers of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. She wrote the book as a third grader at Pine Lane Primary School in Parker as part of a classroom project. Mariesa's teacher at the time was Mrs. Marjorie Oliver.

Contest rules included writing a 300 to 500 word essay based on the theme "My Favorite Place." The story was to be about a real or imaginary place. Mariesa's Going to Grandma's is a combination of fictional and nonfictional events in her life. Copies of the book will be on sale during the autograph session at a discounted price of $12.50 per copy.

The Parker community can share in the pride of Mariesa's achievement, as hers is a rich, touching story of family life and love. As adults, we may not look entirely positive toward the hassles involved in visiting relatives, such as the planning, the packing and unpacking, and the long drive.

But in Going to Grandma's, Mariesa reminds us that for children, visits to relatives are truly tremendous fun!

The main character is a young girl who's family is preparing for the long trip to Grandma's. For the girl, packing is pure pleasure. Items are gathered to make the ride in the family van the utmost in travel comfort-- a favorite teddy bear, a large pillow, snack foods, and a puzzle book. The character reminisces about past visits to Grandma's, such as the mouthwatering food lovingly prepared in the cozy kitchen and the fun-filled afternoon spent with Grandpa at the fishing pond.

The illustrations, as done by artist Sally Bhandhugravi, assist in promoting the happy, warm feelings of family life. From the clothing styles to the modern family vehicle, objects are drawn in a way to elicit a timelessness in keeping with the book's theme.

The success of the book stems from the powerful imagery it evokes from our own childhoods, reminding us of what is important in life, which is our family; and the joy, love, and care that can be shared on our visits.

A fourth-grader at Pine Lane Intermediate School in Parker, Mariesa lives with her parents, David and Pamela; her older sister, Rachel; her younger brother, Michael; her two cats, Bini and Sylvester; and the family mutt, Dudley. Refreshments at the book signing will be provided by the Friends of Parker Library. Accompanying the author will be Raintree/Steck Vaughn Publishers representative Grant Edwards.

Don't miss your chance to obtain a copy of Going to Grandma's. The Parker Library is located at 19801 E Mainstreet in Parker, CO.

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