It’s just a month away — Santa is Coming to Ohio. That’s the title of a new storybook that shows kids Santa’s route over the Buckeye State. Santa comes south over Lake Erie and, with the help of Santa-nav, finds Columbus before filling stockings in Wooster and sliding down chimneys in Akron. The illustrations show Ohio landmarks like the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Newark’s basket-shaped Longaberger building.
There are about two-dozen books in this series, so grandparents might want to send gifts to kids who live in other states. The writers and illustrators are based in the United Kingdom. Santa is Coming to Ohio (32 pages, hardcover) costs $9.99 from Sourcebooks Jabberwocky.
Former Akron resident Corey Olds is a founder of the Excelsus Foundation, an Oakland, Calif.-based educational trust that offers “academic and mentoring services for African-American boys in grades K-12,” according to its website. His new alphabet book, A is for Afro, is for the youngest boys and girls.
Each letter has a main example, pictured in crayon-colored illustrations by Naila Zulfugarova, and several other words. “I” is for “igloo,” and also for “ice,” “iron” and “ivy.” Many focus on African themes (Z is for Zulu), but others are universal, like “L is for lightbulb.” Olds doesn’t shy away from unfamiliar words: “X-ray” is one of the words listed for “X,” but the main example is Xenophon, the Greek historian and philosopher.
A is for Afro costs $12.95 in iPad format from Blurb.com; it is available in a 58-page softcover print version for $32.95. Olds is an alumnus of Oberlin College.
What would a mouse do if he found a gingerbread house? In Charlie’s Gingerbread House, a storybook by Melissa Staehli of Stow, he eats it all up. Charlie finds gumdrops and lollipops and, with nothing to stop him, finishes off the floor and ceiling.
The book is not explicitly Christmas-themed, but with so many peppermint sticks and snowy sprinkles, it’s a cinch. The illustrations are by Amy Rottinger, a graduate of the Cleveland Institute of Art. The 24-page book costs $11.95 from online retailers. Melissa Staehli’s previous book is I Love You to the Moon.
“How courageous are you?” asks Cuyahoga Falls author Marilyn Weymouth Seguin in Young and Courageous: American Girls Who Made History. She tells five stories of young 19th-century women who braved wilderness, war or a raging blizzard for a greater cause.
The first story is of Sacagawea, the famous guide of Lewis and Clark; the four following stories are lesser-known, though no less intriguing, like enslaved sisters Emily and Mary Edmonson, whose 1848 attempt at escape from slavery was unsuccessful. They eventually gained their freedom and attended Oberlin College.
The 74-page softcover costs $16.95 from online retailers.
Akron author and philanthropist Vanita Oelschlager adds to her list of topical children’s books with Farfalla, which helps to explain the sorrow of miscarriage to a very young child, and I Came from the Water, about hardship and hope in Haiti.
In Farfalla, a beetle watches caterpillars become cocoons and then butterflies, and waits patiently for the final butterfly to emerge. His mother explains sadly that, this time, there will be no butterfly. The art is by Kristin Blackwood of Akron.
I Came from the Water is the first-person story of Moses, a real boy so named because he was orphaned during 2004’s Tropical Storm Jeanne and traveled downriver in a basket. Moses tells of the other children and nuns at the orphanage where he lives, the 2010 earthquake and the danger of cholera it caused, and his hope for rebuilding. The art is by Akron’s Mike Blanc.
The books, 40 to 42 pages, cost $8.95 in softcover and $15.95 in hardcover from Vanitabooks.com.
Learned Owl Book Shop (204 N. Main St., Hudson) — Sal Lizard, whose Being Santa Claus tells about more than 20 years of playing St. Nick, appears at 2 p.m. today; Jill Hardie signs The Sparkle Box, her Christmas-themed children’s book, 1 p.m. Saturday.
Cuyahoga County Public Library (Brecksville branch, 9089 Brecksville Road) — Gail Bellamy discusses and signs Cleveland Christmas Memories, 7 to 8:30 p.m. Monday. Registration required; call 440-526-1102.
Akron-Summit County Public Library (Ellet branch, 2470 E. Market St.) — Beacon Journal columnist Mark J. Price discusses and signs The Rest is History, 7 to 8 p.m. Tuesday.
Cuyahoga County Public Library (Strongsville branch, 18700 Westwood Drive) — Laura Taxel and Marilou Suszko sign Cleveland’s West Side Market, 7 to 8 p.m. Tuesday. Registration required; call 440-238-5530.
Akron-Summit County Public Library (Tallmadge branch, 90 Community Road) — Bob Treichler, author of History of Northeast Ohio Stoneware, talks about local potteries, 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. Wednesday.
Kent State University Bookstore (1075 Risman Drive) — Comedian Mike Polk Jr. signs his new humor book Damn Right I’m from Cleveland, noon to 2 p.m. Thursday.
F.A. Seiberling Nature Realm Vistor Center (1828 Smith Road) — Mary McClure gives a presentation and signs High Bridge Glens of Cuyahoga Falls, 7 p.m. Thursday.
River City Gift Shoppes (1265 Cleveland-Massillon Road, Copley) — Dolores Clay signs her novel Dying to Love Amanda, based on a local 1994 murder-suicide, 1 to 3 p.m. Saturday.
Barnes & Noble Booksellers (198 Crocker Park Blvd., Westlake) — Former Cleveland Browns cornerback Hanford Dixon signs Day of the Dawg, 2 p.m. Saturday.
Visible Voice Books (1023 Kenilworth Ave., Cleveland) — Carrie Steinweg signs Legendary Locals of Lansing, 7 to 8 p.m. Saturday.
— Barbara McIntyre
Special to the Beacon Journal
Send information about books of local interest to Lynne Sherwin, Features Department, Akron Beacon Journal, P.O. Box 640, Akron, OH 44309 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Event notices should be sent at least two weeks in advance.