When people think of Lynn C. Skinner and children's books she writes, they most likely think of "Eugene," a mouse that always seems to find himself in complicated situations.
Featured in a series of five books, Eugene teaches children about problem solving, creative thinking and character building by always figuring out the best solution to his problems after his first choices do not work.
Skinner, the author that carried Eugene within her for several years before writing his stories on paper has just completed a new children's book that stands alone, "Bandit's Garden, Observing But Not Disturbing."
Skinner will be at Micklesen Drug in Hudson 10 a.m. to noon Friday, Aug. 18. She will be available to meet and visit with visitors. For more information call Micklesen Drug at 715-386-3344.
Imagine a cat (Bandit) with a wonderful garden at his house. He observes many interesting things while exploring, playing and resting in the garden. Skinner hopes the book will remind children to "slow down, take a breath and see the world around them." The new book was inspired by a real cat that the author enjoyed watching as he wandered in a garden. The book is illustrated by talented artist Ingrid Dohm. Skinner has collaborated with artists to illustrate other books.
The Skinners have three grown children and two grandchildren and retired to south Georgia in 2009. Skinner was a teacher and did not always plan to become an author.
"Actually I didn't know that I wanted to write. I always enjoyed telling stories, and my friend kept suggesting that I write books," Skinner said.
Her interest in inspiring children is apparent through her books and the lessons they teach. "Younger children have always captured my heart. Each Eugene book has a dilemma which must be solved, showing examples of creative thinking plus a message of helping, accepting, apologizing, etc. My books also include what I call 'expanding' words which I would hope that the child could use phonics to pronounce and then ask the meaning.....thus learning new words. I see books as another avenue for teaching," she added.
"Bandit's Garden, Observing But Not Disturbing," is the seventh children's book that Skinner has published. She also has begun a series, the "Sharing Happiness series," based on real people and their experiences. The first book in that series, "Happy Birthday Dolly" is about a woman who faces mental challenges and physical challenges and uses her sense of humor and tremendous capacity for love to deal with her trials.
"We all face difficulties, whether financial, dealing with relationships or health, etc. Whatever the problem may be, I believe that we can choose how to deal with these problems, in a negative manner or positive manner," Skinner said.
It is no surprise, that with such a caring and kind heart behind the words in her books, that "Bandit's Garden" has been nominated for the prestigious Caldecott Award for 2017 for the illustrations. The advice Skinner has for aspiring authors that dream of writing award-winning books is "write, write, write. Let the manuscript rest, then look at it again. Give the manuscript time. From manuscript to print is a long process."