Singily Skipping Along

Jamie Heap
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Fitch and Fitzpatrick overwhelmed by huge turnout at book launch

Singily Skipping Along illustrator (Deanne Fitzpatrick) and author (Sheree Fitchh, right) sign copies of their new book Friday afternoon at Deanne Fitzpatrick's Rug Hooking Studio in Amherst.

AMHERST-Who says that the third time is the charm? The reviews are in and author Sheree Fitch and illustrator Deanne Fitzpatrick’s first collaboration (Singily Skipping Along) has been deemed a success.

“This is the best book launch I have ever been to,” exclaimed rug hooker, author and illustrator Deanne Fitzpatrick Friday inside of her studio. “It’s wonderful to see all of the students and teachers from West Highlands, as well as the retired teachers,” she added. “I’m overwhelmed by the support.”

West Highlands was not the only Amherst area school represented as past and present teachers/support staff from Cumberland North Academy in Brookdale, Fitzpatrick’s hometown, as well as River Hebert Elementary, also turned out in droves to listen to Sheree Fitch read from her latest book.

“I think everyone should write at least one children’s book,” said the prolific award-winning author Fitch who has been penning children’s classics since 1987. “I can’t knit or rug hook very good, but I love to write about what people do with their hands. It’s the equivalent of what words are to me.”

Fitch read and acted out lines from her new book prior to sitting down with Fitzpatrick to sign copies of it. “When I learned that this woman in Amherst (Fitzpatrick) had made those rugs that I saw, I was like a kid in a candy shop,” explained Fitch. “I knew it could be magical if we did something together, even though no one had ever head about a book with pictures of hooked rugs in it,” stated Fitch. “Everything that Deanne put in it is exactly what I wanted to say. I wanted to make everyone feel safe and warm at end.”

 Children of all ages enjoyed milk and cookies prior to Fitch’s encore reading from her and Fitzpatrick’s collaboration that went on past 5:00 pm Friday.

 “This is amazing; this is like the best (book) launch ever,” stated Fitch. “I’ve never seen such a large turnout for a Friday afternoon. This was fantastic.”

 “I would love to do this again,” stated Fitzpatrick about collaborating on a children’s book with Fitch. “Thank you all for bringing your children out.”

Organizations: Cumberland North Academy

Geographic location: AMHERST, West Highlands, Brookdale

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  • B A Lewis
    October 19, 2013 - 20:19

    Where will this be available? As there are no bookstores near me, I wonder if it will be available from Amazon?