Two new authors will introduce their books on Dec. 3 at St. Elias Antiochian Orthodox Church, 4940 Harroun Rd., from 3 to 7 pm.
Donna Schroyer-Riesen, working with 10-year-old Azelyn Bosinger, will introduce their first book, “A New Horse Comes to the Barn,” the first of “Miss Donna’s Barn,” series published by Gracious Light, New York. Riesen, founder, and owner of Little Miracles Montessori School, first met her co-author when she came to Little Miracles as an eight-week-old infant. Through the years the two developed a strong bond, especially tied to their passion for horses. Riesen has had a horse farm, which has been part of her school, since its inception over 25 years ago. Each summer, she hosts a horse camp at the farm for her students and others, where the children have riding lessons and learn about jobs in the barn.
“Azelyn started riding at the age of 5 and loved it. She loves everything about horses just as I do,” Riesen explained. “When I decided to write this series of books about my barn, Azelyn was a natural to work with me as we share so many of the same experiences.”
“In the book, Azelyn recalls her experiences when our rescue horse Lucy first came to the barn, and she relates many of the tasks she learned to care for the horse,” Riesen stated.
The illustrations were done by 14-year-old AnaElise Bruck, also passionate about horses. She is part of the Little Blessings Veterans Outreach program and was referred to Riesen by its founder Jamie Paxton.
In addition, Muguras Maria Vnuck served as the editor for the book. It was she who introduced Riesen to her husband, Dave Vnuck, the author of “School for Baby Animals,” which shares the launch platform on Dec. 3. His book is also published by Gracious Light of New York.
For over 10 of the 43 years Dave Vnuck was in law enforcement, he worked as a school safety officer performing Active Shooter Training for school personnel. “I followed the increase of violent events in our schools across the country and saw how some procedures have failed to protect students and staff. I listened when teachers, school psychologists, counselors, and principals said they needed a book that is age-appropriate for younger students that will not instill fear but offer good advice,” Vnuck said.
“My book, ‘School for Baby Animals’ is easy to read with an easy-to-follow format that will interest younger students without creating fear.”
Vnuck outlines three animal families and how they each react to threats: run, hide, or fight depending on the circumstances. In the first story, the baby squirrels learn that running away from danger keeps them safe. Baby raccoons find a place to hide keeping them safe in the second story; and in the third story, a mother bobcat has no choice other than to fight to protect her babies in a cave. After each story, the students are asked, “What would you have done if you were in danger like each of the animals?” and “What could you do if you were in danger at school?”
Vnuck recommends that teachers and parents read the book to their children and discuss the questions.
“This is our number one job as parents, teachers, and police officers. If the animals can protect their children, so must we,” Vnuck emphasized.