This year has been a good one for author Nancy Kelly Allen, whose second book of 2012 was recently released by Red Rock Press.
Her first book of the year, a children’s tale called Big C and Little Ox, is a fiction piece with an important lesson on friendship.
The book centers on the mutually beneficial relationship between Big C, a cape buffalo on the plains of Africa, and Little Ox, an ox bird. Allen gave Big C the personality of a quiet loner, while Little Ox is an extrovert, outgoing and talkative. Those personalities are inevitably going to clash, Allen noted, but her story illustrates that just because difference exist, that doesn’t mean there isn’t room for friendship.
“It shows kids that you can have an argument with a friend and resolve it in a way that you can continue to be friends,” Allen said. “In fact, your friendship can be stronger as a result as you learn more about yourself and learn more about the other person.”
Allen’s second book of 2012 was released in June. It is a nonfiction piece entitled What Sea Creature is This? Allen described it as “a story about the weird and wonderful sea creatures” in the ocean that have unusual aspects of their behavior or makeup.
An example from the book is the flashlight fish, which lives deep beneath the ocean, outside of the influence of the sun. The fish uses packets of bacteria to produce bioluminescence, or light, by which it can sea in the darkness of the ocean’s depths.
Allen is no stranger to nonfiction and educational books. Along with several fictional children’s tales, she has also written her “Rock It” series on geology that was geared for elementary students. She also authored her Little World Math Concept series.
A former school librarian in Hazard, Allen noted that the idea of a book about sea creatures was pitched by her editor at Red Rock, and that’s when she decided to take that idea a step further.
“I wanted to write a story about sea creatures that was different from what was already out there,” she said.
Dolphins, for instance, are common and for the most part well known. They are featured in her book, but what some may not know about dolphins is that they don’t sleep with both eyes closed, and only half of their brain is active during those times of rest.
“No one is going to come up with something that is totally different than what has ever been published, but you can approach it with a different slant toward a subject,” she said.
What Sea Creature is This? was released just this month, and both of Allen’s newest books can be purchased online, either at her website at nancykellyallen.com or through Amazon or other sites. She noted that her nonfiction book is also being sold in aquariums and at shell shops as well.
Allen will also be appearing at book signings later this year. You can find out details of those events when they are announced on her website or Facebook page.