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'Baby Penguins' Author Visits Maplewood Bookstore Saturday

Children's author Melissa Guion will read her two books while kids create arts and crafts and enjoy penguin-shaped snacks.

Courtesy of Melissa Guion.
Courtesy of Melissa Guion.

Essex County native and children's author Melissa Guion will be visiting Words Bookstore in Maplewood, Saturday, for a book reading, crafts and fun for the whole family.

Guion, who grew up in West Caldwell, will be reading from her new book “Baby Penguins Love Their Mama” as well as her first book “Baby Penguins Everywhere.”

Both were written and illustrated by Guion and, ironically, published by Penguin Publishing.

Children and families are welcome to attend the event at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Feb. 1 at Words Bookstore located at 179 Maplewood Avenue.

In addition to reading her books, Guion will have penguin arts and crafts, serve penguin-shaped cookies and give a demonstration on drawing penguins.

The first book, “Baby Penguins Everywhere,” is about a penguin who sees a hat floating in the icy water. Out of the hat pops a baby penguin. But not just one baby penguin . . . or even two. But a third, and a fourth, and on and on! 

At first the mama penguin is happy for the company. Until she realizes that taking care of a family is very hard, very tiring work, and what she could really use is just a moment alone.

“Yet as newcomer Melissa Guion reminds us in her adorable debut picture book, alone time is all well and good, but, it's together time that's best of all,” Penguin Publishing writes.

The books are inspired by Guion's own family, especially her daughter.

“I wrote the first when my daughter was little and it was about an overwhelmed mother penguin,” she said. “It's something all parents can identify with.”

Her daughter, now 7, is able to do things for herself and gets into mischief along the way, themes which are reflected in the second book.

“The second book is about kids growing up and learning to do things on their own,” said Guion. “It's also about kids doing something nice for their parents.”

It also makes a great gift for Valentine's Day and Mother's Day, she added.

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