The Erie Canal Discovery Center welcomes local author Ron Mazzarella who will present a free, family-friendly program and book reading at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Nov. 10. Material will come from his children's publication, "There's a Whale in the Canal."
Mazzarella said his book project was born from nothing more than a dad who loves to read to his daughter. The idea for the book came to him one night when his daughter, Samantha, was 4 years old and in the first year of preschool. One night after reading her some bedtime books, they started playing a rhyming game. She said, "There's a Whale in the Canal!"
To Ron, that sounded like a good title for a children's book. So he started writing down some ideas on how or why a whale might be in the canal and soon the story started to take shape. Samantha enjoyed listening to the parts as they were written and helped tweak the story. Finally, one day the story just flowed and ideas came fast and furious. When the dust settled, a rough copy of the manuscript was born. Artist Tom Fox was hired to illustrate the book, plus help edit it in a way that allowed his drawings to tell the story.
Mazzarella lives in Upstate New York in the canal town of Spencerport with his wife, Francine, and daughter. "Whale in the Canal" is the first children's book he has written. Copies of "There's a Whale in the Canal" are currently available for $17.95 (hardcover) at the Erie Canal Discovery Center, 24 Church St., and the History Center, 215 Niagara St (both in Lockport).
Mazzarella will sign copies of his book at the program on Nov. 10. For more information, call 716-439-0431.