by Town Reminder
Mass. Academy of Ballet to bring children’s book to life
By Matthew Couto
Turley Publications Correspondent
SOUTH HADLEY – Families are invited to visit the South Hadley Public Library on Wednesday, April 18 for a free program where local author David Rottenberg will read his children’s book, “Gwendolyn, the Graceful Pig,” while dancers from the Massachusetts Academy of Ballet in Holyoke make the tale come alive.
“This is a one-time program,” said Meg Clancy, the host of the event and youth services librarian at the library. “Mr. Rottenberg has never worked with the Massachusetts Academy of Ballet although he has worked with several other ballet studios.”
“Gwendolyn, the Graceful Pig” tells the story of two best friends, Gwendolyn and Omar, who both have big aspirations to do what they love. Gwendolyn dreams of being a ballet dancer while Omar wants to join a football team and show off his skills. However, being pigs, they are unsure of what they are capable of doing.
The story has inspired many children who have experienced the tale of Gwendolyn at their local library or at special events such as birthday parties. Both girls and boys will be thrilled to learn about the tale of how two best friends followed their dreams to do what they love. Children will become inspired as they hear the uplifting journey of the two pigs, while ballet dancers interpret the story into movement, miming different parts of the tale.
Books will be available at the library for a price of $10 after the book reading and ballet performance is over. After the program, Rottenberg will be available to sign the inspirational, beautifully illustrated book.
“We have never had this type of performance at our library,” said Clancy. “We are looking forward to it – it should be a fabulous program that families will enjoy.”
Rottenberg, a graduate of Columbia University and Natick resident, has published a novel, a book of poetry and has co-authored three business books. In addition to these achievements, Rottenberg has also written for publications such as Boston Magazine and the Boston Globe, along with many other poetry magazines throughout the United States.
“Gwendolyn, the Graceful Pig” is Rottenberg’s first attempt at a children’s book, and it has received great praise from book reviewers and parents alike. The forty-page, hardcover children’s book was illustrated by the talented Lesley Anderson who grew up in Rockport where art galleries and inspiration can be found all over. A sequel to “Gwendolyn, the Graceful Pig” came out in October of 2011 and is titled, “Gwendolyn Goes Hollywood.”
Families are encouraged to come early in order to snag good seats, as there is no pre-registration necessary. The program is free. It will begin at 11:30 a.m.
WHO: Author David Rottenberg, Mass. Academy of Balley
WHAT: Reading of “Gwendolyn, the Graceful Pig” with ballet performance.
WHEN: Wednesday, April 18 at 11:30 a.m.
WHERE: South Hadley Public Library, 27 Bardwell St., South Hadley.