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Kids book author at Ripon Library
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Tank House Gift Shop owner Helen Catano reads to her grandchildren Macie McPeak, 6, Alaina Cornilson, 11, and Mark McPeak, 11. - photo by GLENN KAHL
RIPON — Ripon business woman Helen Catano has arranged for New Jersey children’s author Andi Green to come to the Ripon Library Monday on a book signing tour spanning the East and West coasts.

Green will be reading to Ripon children beginning at 3 p.m. The event is open to children from four to 10 years old.  Catano, who promises to have her grandchildren there as well, said she grew up in a family that cherished reading at an early age.

Owner of the Tank House Gift Shop, she said that when she received three sample children’s books along with WorryWoos plush toy monsters – showing them to Ripon teachers who complimented the author on her work.  That was all she needed to bring the book series to Ripon.

“I want kids to read – they are so into their video games and computers.  There is so much information for them to be reading out of books from the earliest age to adulthood,” she said.

She remembers her mother couldn’t read English having emigrated from Greece in the late ‘40s.  “She always told us that whatever we read, and put in our minds, no one could take away from us.”

Catano said her parents were married in Greece and came to the U.S. and immediately settled in the Ripon area in 1948.  Her dad Joseph worked for Sharpe Army Depot and her mother Maria raised six children sending them all through Ripon schools.

Catano added that she was the youngest of her siblings and remembers well her older brothers Steve and Tony reading to her from the story books that she brought home from school.  She fondly remembers regularly going to the library with her brothers.

Books to her were like a good friend that she could take to her room, close the door, and in the quietness of the room, learn about the adventure of the story.

In the WorryWoos book series there is one that stands out, “The Nose that Didn’t Fit.”  She said if you remember a time when you didn’t fit in, you’ll love that selection.

In the story children are introduced to the Worry Woo monster named Rue,  who finds himself trying to change what might be his most perfect feature.

Author Andi Green uses her artistic talents combined with her strong story-telling skills to convey the emotional journey Rue follows as he travels through the world of insecurity.

“I want to openly discuss emotions and not candy-coat feelings,” Green said.

As a result, her open ended stories with their whimsical illustrations offer the perfect opportunity for parents and teachers alike to discuss topics that don’t have easy answers.

A Rue plush toy with a “honkeriffic” nose, angelic smile and WorryWoo belly button is being released with the book, “The Nose Doesn’t Fit.”