HAZARD — Nancy Kelly Allen, a local author from Cordia, recently published two new children’s books. She will be available for book signings. One is scheduled for later this month, the other for early December.
Allen has written more than 40 books.
When Allen was a little, she was afraid of the dark. She drew inspirations from those emotions to create her new picture book, “Forty Winks.” The book is intended to be read as a bedtime story.
“I wanted the kids not to be so fearful of the dark, because of monsters that might be there and if there is a monster, they might be a fun monster,” said Allen.
In the picture book, a boy meets a book-loving monster in his closet. Allen said the monster isn’t scary at all. The monster has only one book, but it is a magical book. The boy, on the other hand, has countless books, but he wants the monster’s magical book.
One night, the monster lets the boy borrow his magical book and the boy becomes a part of the fictional universe. He goes sailing and meets dragons.
On the second night, the boy attempts to borrow the book again, but the monster won’t let him. The boy wins the tug-o-war between the two. The monster then cries after the boy steals the book.
The monster asks the boy why he stole the book. The boy replies that the monster’s book is magical, while his books are not. The monster tells the boy that all books are magical when you read them.
“All books are magical when you read them. That is the premise of the story,” said Allen.
In the end, the boy and the monster able to work out their conflict. She hopes that kids will use to the book to solve peer-related problems in the real world.
Her second book is titled “The Riddlers.” It is set in Appalachia. The story follows the bond between a grandfather and his granddaughter. Each day the grandfather tells his granddaughter a riddle because he believes riddles keep the brain sharp.
During the course of the story, the grandfather develops Alzheimer’s disease. The roles are reversed. Instead of the grandfather taking care of her, the granddaughter takes care of him. She does this in different ways, such as labeling the refrigerator with labels and creating a photo book to help her grandfather’s memory.
“They (children) need books like this, that mirrors our culture. That reflects who we are in a positive light. Every child deserves the right to be proud of the place where they are from,” said Allen.
Allen said a lot of writings about Appalachia are negative. She wants to put a positive light on this region through her stories.
Allen’s books are available on Amazon and autographed copies can be purchased from her website, www.nancykellyallen.com.
The Kentucky Artisan Center will also have books available for purchase.
She will be offering book signings on Nov. 19-20 at the Sportsplex in Knott County during the Christmas Bazaar and Dec. 1-2 at the Perry County Library during the Christmas Arts and Crafts Fair.
TJ Caudill is a reporter with The Hazard Herald and he can be reached at 606-629-3245.