Author delights children at library with first book

Published 12:00 am Thursday, May 3, 2007

Close to 50 youngsters and their family members gathered in the children's room of the Greenville-Butler County Public Library last Friday afternoon after following the trail of butterflies.

More of the beautiful winged creatures were suspended from the ceiling of the children's room.

That's where Children's Librarian Jean Bauer and Kathy Smyth, director of Safe Harbor, along with her co-worker Sara Jean Atkins, were busy applying colorful temporary tattoos featuring - you guessed it - butterflies!

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It was all a part of the celebration of author-illustrator Carolyn Spencer's very first book, &#8220Even Caterpillars Can Fly!”

Spencer, a resident of Wetumpka, is a former teacher and currently works as a play therapist and adjunct professor of play therapy at Auburn University Montgomery.

She also works with abused children through Safe Harbor in Greenville.

&#8220Miss Carolyn talks with boys and girls who need someone special to talk to, and she helps them. And now she has done something wonderful that you might enjoy doingŠshe has written a story and painted the pictures to go with it,” Smyth explained to the youngsters.

Spencer, who was accompanied by her husband of 34 years, sat down to read to the children her inspirational story about Casey the caterpillar, and his yearning to fly like the birds. In the end, the little caterpillar's dream comes true as he becomes a beautiful, soaring butterfly.

Casey learns it is important to always keep your hopes high in life.

&#8220Read it again,” one preschooler called out after the story was over, and so Spencer did with a smile.

Following story time, the youngsters colored their own butterfly cutouts with cotton swabs dipped in paint, before enjoying rainbow-hued cupcakes and fruit punch.

Parents and grandparents were able to purchase copies of Spencer's new book, with a portion of the proceeds going to support Safe Harbor.

&#8220Creating a book has always been a dream of mine,” Spencer, who describes her grandchildren as inspirations for her writing, said.

 &#8220Now that my children are grown up, I was able to find the time to write and illustrate this book, and I hope children and their families will enjoy it as they share it with one another.”