weather icon Clear

Former teacher’s book educates as well as entertains

Former teacher Rhonda Gatlin had more on her mind than just entertaining children when she wrote her first book, “Granny’s Cobbler: A Counting Book.”

“When I was first putting it together, I knew that I wanted the book to entertain kids,” Gatlin said. “But I also wanted to teach, so it’s a story of young girl gathering ingredients and counting berries by fives and tens, using repetitive language.”

The book tells the tale of young Aggie helping her grandmother make a cobbler and was inspired by memories of Gatlin’s own childhood in the small town of Hartford, Alabama. It is aimed at grade-school students, who are around the same age as Aggie.

Over the past few weeks Gatlin has done readings for classrooms at multiple elementary schools in the Las Vegas area. She will read to Boulder City children at Mitchell Elementary on Feb. 22-24 and Feb. 27, as well as for children at King Elementary on Feb. 28.

After writing the story and having another former educator edit her work, Gatlin set out to find an illustrator. She said she could not find the right fit until she was pointed toward local artist and Dam Short Film Festival co-founder Lee Lanier, who had just finished illustrating a book for the first time.

“I’ve been painting a lot the last few years and my style is already kind of illustrative,” Lanier said. “So when I met with Rhonda we went over some old photos and the text of her book, and I did a drawing and then a sample page for her. It was a great fit and ended up being a great experience.”

Little more than a month later, Lanier had produce 10 original digital paintings and Gatlin was ready to publish. As a first-time writer, that part of the process was initially a bit intimidating, but, according to Gatlin, it ended up being the easiest part.

“I went with a company called AuthorHouse, and they help writers self-publish with step-by-step instructions the whole way,” Gatlin said. “I finished writing the book in September, and the book was published in time for the holidays, on Dec. 16, 2016.”

Gatlin and Lanier will host a book signing from 4-8 p.m. Feb. 25 in the lobby of the Boulder Dam Hotel. It will feature kid-friendly decorations and a live pianist.

“Granny’s Cobbler: A Counting Book” is available for $16.99 at Amazon.com, AuthorHouse.com and Barnesandnoble.com, as well as in person at the book signing.

Contact reporter Hunter Terry at hterry@bouldercityreview.com or call 702-586-6711. Follow him on Twitter @HunterBCReview

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
Restaurant favorite made easily at home

Piccata: the Italian restaurant classic. You’ve seen it, you’ve ordered it, you’ve fallen in love with it, but what the heck is piccata? I’m glad you asked.

Program aims to help veterans fight loneliness

To help combat the isolation and loneliness many veterans are feeling because of the COVID-19 pandemic, they are being “connected” with area volunteers who will check on them and see if there is anything they need.

One-pot chicken dish like hug from grandma

Arroz con pollo literally means “rice with chicken” in Spanish. Nearly every culture has a rendition of this dish because it’s inexpensive, feeds a crowd, it’s easy to throw together and everyone loves it.

Centers offer alternatives to larger VA facilities

The Department of Veterans Affairs, more traditionally known as the VA, has several offices in and around Las Vegas. Although physical access has been somewhat limited due to the current pandemic, the agency still manages to offer many services including assisting with applying for government benefits.

Dish helps ring in fortune, happiness, health

Over a billion people in China and millions around the world are now celebrating the Lunar New Year. In the U.S., though, it’s most associated with what’s often called Chinese New Year, the American version of China’s 15-day-long festivities.

Whiskey played big part in securing mine operations

The mountain mining town of Pioche was one of the toughest places in all of the Old West. In the early 1870s, the six-gun was the only law, and it spoke often. Miners, desperadoes, deserters from the Army, Chinese laborers, a few escaped fugitives and would-be or real gunfighters were known to frequent the town.

Valentine’s Day: Couples celebrate every day

February and Valentine’s Day are times when many people celebrate love for their spouses, families and partners.

Wall’s ‘holey’ messes require more than spackle

Walls can start to look like Swiss cheese after removing, let’s say, cabinets or picture frames. Even minor mishaps can ding or put full-blown holes right through your drywall. Recently, a rigorous game of “monster” procured a hole punched right through the wall from my niece’s heel as she jumped down from the vanity trying to escape monster-auntie. Thankfully, her heel was fine. But, the wall wasn’t.

Make elegant Valentine’s Day dessert at home

Are you planning something sweet for your sweethearts on Valentine’s Day? May I suggest this impressive and memorable dessert for your loved ones? Let’s make creme brulee.