Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Four authors to talk about their new children’s books

Note: This event was cancelled due to Tropical Storm Cindy but will be rescheduled.

Four New Orleans authors who have written children’s books will discuss them and talk about the unique process of creating children’s literature at 7 p.m., Wednesday, June 21, at the East Bank Regional Library, 4747 W. Napoleon Ave., Metairie. This event is free and open to the public and registration isn’t necessary.

The authors are: 
Kathy Schrenk, “A Dog Steals Home”
Zach Stewart’s life has never been more complicated. Between preparing for the arrival of his baby brother (“the little lizard”) and keeping up with the baseball team, Zach can hardly catch his breath. All he really wants is to adopt a puppy, but his parents insist that the timing isn’t right. In order to prove that he’s responsible, Zach decides to do his final research project on the animal shelter. Zach is sure that he’ll not only get the dog he wants but also prove to his team that he’s the best choice for pitcher. Everything is going perfectly—until Audrey, a girl in his class with a tragic past, disappears without a trace. Zach knows he is the only one who can find Audrey and convince her to come home. He might have to put his new puppy and his baseball career on the line—but he might hit a home run anyway.

New Orleans native Kathleen Schrenk has been pursuing her passion for volunteering since 2001. She received her bachelor’s degree in speech and language pathology from Louisiana State University and went on to work as a speech therapist and classroom teacher. Following Hurricane Katrina, Schrenk worked actively with volunteer groups to replant marsh grass in City Park and to restore sand dunes on the coast. A founding member of NOLA City Bark dog park, Schrenk also serves on the Louisiana SPCA board and is a member of the Society of Children's Books Writers and Illustrators.

Dalt Wonk, “The Laughing Lady”
“The Laughing Lady” is the fantasy villain in this children’s book. She lives in the Fun House with her fiancé, Boss Bones, a dapper (and greedy) skeleton. Florence, the little girl who is the hero of the tale enters the Fun House to save her pet Cockatoo, after the Laughing Lady steals it.
Florence, whose real father died several years ago, has a problem. Her mother wants to marry a rich man that Florence hates. Amid many adventures, Florence and her friends (including a shy skyrocket) discovers the answer to her real life problem. The book is accompanied by full-color illustrations.

Dalt Wonk was born in New Jersey in 1942. He attended Bard College, where he graduated with a B. A. After living a decade in France and England, he set sail on a cargo ship for New Orleans, where he has lived ever since. Wonk is a poet, a playwright and an illustrator. His plays have been produced in New York, London, Munich, San Francisco, Minneapolis, Atlanta, and New Orleans. His musical collaborators in theater have included Charles Neville (of the Neville Brothers), Julius Hemphill (of the World Saxophone Quartet) and Alvin Batiste, the late New Orleans Jazz composer.

Del-Rio Gardner, “A Promise Fulfilled”
Each day, Azyria prays for God to use her as a blessing. She feels that she is too young to make a big difference, but she knows God's grace reaches a lot farther than she can. Mrs. Jay recognizes God using the unlikely incidents to bless his people, so she prays for a small reminder that God loves her. When Azyria's kind deeds inspire others in the community to do the same, everyone is blessed, and Mrs. Jay realizes that a promise has been fulfilled.

Del-Rio Gardner is the owner of Divine Intervention Publishing located in Kenner. She says her goal is to write children’s books that will inspire children to love their community, to bring about change in the world. Gardner has a series of books coming out: Storytime with Jazzy the Giraffe and the Crew. The first book of the series is titled The Story of Creation and is told by Jazzy and her friends. This book also contains a bonus story titled Beauty and the Butterfly.  

Vernon Smith, “The Littlest Streetcar” 
Small and clunky, sandy and dull, Charlie is the smallest streetcar on the tracks in New Orleans. All the other cars are big, bright, shiny, and popular, and they leave sad little Charlie behind. They have jobs to do and they are much more important than the dusty, squatty car—or are they? When calamities strike, it’s Charlie who stands tall and finds his purpose. As he overcomes obstacles and fixes things, his confidence soars and Charlie realizes that he is an important part of the streetcar family. Being different makes him special.

Louisiana author and illustrator Vernon Smith based this story on the oldest New Orleans streetcar, NORTA 29. Built in 1896 and the last of the FB&D cars in existence, NORTA 29 is still in use today, traveling the tracks making sure the bigger cars can run safely. A graduate of the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts, Smith received a BFA from the University of New Orleans. He provides marketing artwork for businesses in both independent and corporate arenas through his studio, MacFearsome Comic Squares. Smith’s work is featured on and He has worked on several comic-book series, including his own “The Adventures of Dexter Breakfast” and the successfully crowdfunded Hide.

For more information regarding this presentation, contact Chris Smith, Manager of Adult Programming for the library, at 504-889-8143

Cheré Coen is the author of “Forest Hill, Louisiana: A Bloom Town History,” “Haunted Lafayette, Louisiana” and “Exploring Cajun Country.” She writes Louisiana romances under the pen name of Cherie Claire. Write her at