What would do you if your favorite stuffed toy came to life to play with you for the day?
That’s the premise behind a new book by a author and former teacher, which will celebrate its release with a launch party in the coming months.
Kimberly Smith said her magical tale, “Monkeying Around: Meet Chippey and His Friends,” invites readers to join Kenna and Callie on an adventure as they spend the afternoon with Chippey, their mischievous monkey.
The fun-loving story celebrates the idea that a parent is a child’s first and most influential teacher who possesses the gift to spark a child’s lifelong passion to read at an early age.
Looking at the big picture, Smith said with information streaming to us with a click of a button, wonderful accomplishments have been made, however—as a teacher—she said she has seen this mindset trickle down into the classroom when it comes to reading.
“Although I am in favor of challenging students, I believe that we must first instill the love of reading, of interacting with a book, digesting it, taking the time to visualize different scenes—all of which increase reading comprehension, which is paramount in a student’s ability to succeed,” she said.
The '94 grad said the book entices fun, singing, counting ... and baking—a recipe for banana bread is included in its pages.
Smith graduated cum laude with a B.A. in English and a minor in education from Washington & Jefferson College. She taught high school English at until the birth of her first child.
She returned to education, but chose a different route—early childhood education. Smith has taught at in Peters for the last several years.
“Monkeying Around” includes a letter to parents explaining pre-reading, interactive reading and post-reading strategies to help moms and dads—and children—embrace the idea as a fun and educational process.
Early readers can fashion their own song using rhyming. Also, the story includes figurative language—similes, alliteration and onomatopoeia, which help to enhance the story, while introducing these concepts to young children, Smith said.
In celebration of her book release on Sept. 1, Smith is giving away a copy. Visit www.facebook.com/funwithchippey, like her page and leave a comment between now and Sept. 1 and you will be entered into the giveaway.
Smith has also scheduled a book launch party at on Saturday, Oct. 6 from 1-3 p.m. Stay tuned to Patch for details.
Click here to pre-order your copy of "Monkeying Around."
The book's publisher, The Artists' Orchard—based in Peters—also published "" by former PT resident Alison Kartevold and "," a novel written by former Patch contributor Sarah Beth Rem-Martin.