Some gift books for kids are home-grown

By Ron Hayes There’s a world of titles to choose from when deciding which children’s books to give this holiday season — and some of them were written close to home, by local neighbors. Here’s a sampling set in Palm Beach County and written by Palm Beach County authors:

The Tree That Went Sailing Author: Dennis Johnson, West Palm Beach Illustrator: Sherrie Tengbergen For ages: Kindergarten-age to 9 years What’s it about? A Palm Beach family looking for the perfect tree to grace its garden finds a green buttonwood on Ibis Isle in the Intracoastal Waterway and has it moved by crane and barge. Where can I get it locally? Main Street News, Classic Bookshop and Green’s Pharmacy, all in Palm Beach Price: $21.99; coloring book version, $4.99 Author’s Web site: www.thetreethatwentsailing.com

Dead Fred, Flying Lunchboxes And The Good Luck Circle Author: Frank McKinney, Delray Beach For ages: 9 and up What’s it about? Inspired by the author's walks to school with his daughter, this fantasy adventure features a 50-foot prehistoric Megalodon shark who lives under a drawbridge, a dead fish that talks and flying lunchboxes escorted by flying fish. Where can I get it locally? Barnes & Noble, Borders Price: $18.95 retail. Author’s Web site: www.dead-fred.com

The American Jungle: The Adventures of Charlie Pierce Author: Harvey Oyer III, West Palm Beach Illustrator: James Balkovek For ages: 7 to 12 What’s it about? Based on the actual diaries of Charlie Pierce, the author’s great granduncle, this fictionalized account dramatizes pioneer life in South Florida during the 1870s. Where can I get it locally? The Richard & Pat Johnson Palm Beach County History Museum; Jupiter Lighthouse gift shop, Hand's bookstore, 325 E.Atlantic Ave., Delray Beach Price: $19.95 Author’s Web site: www.theamericanjungle.com

Whispers From The Bay Author: John Tkac, Delray Beach For ages: Fifth-graders and up What’s it about? Winner of the 2008 Florida Book Award for young adult literature, Whispers From The Bay is the story of a young boy living on Key Biscayne in the 1950s who mysteriously learns how to telepathically talk to dolphins. Where can I get it locally? Barnes & Noble (or online) Price: $22.95 in stores, $13.77 online Author’s Web site: www.whispersfromthebay.com

The Popup Story of Delray Beach: The All-American Village By The Sea Author: Roger Culbertson, Lake Worth Illustrator: Al Margolis For ages: 5 and up What’s it about? A historically accurate account of the city and all it has to offer, with each popup page highlighting a different aspect, from Delray Beach history to arts and culture and parks and recreation. One hundred percent of the sale price supports Delray Beach public and private schools. Where can I get it locally? Delray Beach Chamber of Commerce; Hand’s, 325 E. Atlantic Ave., Delray Beach Price: $25.00 Author’s Web site: www.delraypopupbook.com
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