Earlier this month, Sicklerville resident Paulette Cox published her debut book, Kalvin the Groundhog from Kahli Road, through Dorrance Publishing Co., Inc. The 30-page illustrated book aims to teach kids from preschool to third grade about groundhogs by following Kalvin on an interactive adventure.
Cox shared that the book is based on observations she has made about groundhogs that live in her backyard, and that the illustrations shown in the book are based on pictures she took of them.
“I happened to notice them in my yard, probably around three years after living here, and at first, I went, ‘What is that?’’’ Cox recalled. “And my son said, ‘Mom, it’s a woodchuck!’ Apart from Phil and Gus on TV, I’ve never really seen one in person and they were fascinating to watch, and I’d also find that they made me laugh. I would giggle at their antics. I think that’s basically why I ended up penning my observations.”
Cox hopes the book will help readers become more self-aware and ask questions like How can I help a friend? or How can I protect myself?
Though it has taken over a year for the book to go through the publishing process, Cox said she wrote the story in about an hour, noting that it was easy given the many observations she had made about the local groundhogs over the years. The book can also help kids learn more about the animals.
“They’ll learn that [groundhogs] are shy. They’ll learn that they’re industrious in their building structures,” Cox explained. “They’ll learn a little bit about the set-up of their homes, and they’ll also learn that they can be helpful to other people just like the groundhog helps its neighbor.”
Cox hopes to one day turn Kalvin’s story into a series. When she’s not writing or observing the groundhogs, Cox works as a court reporter.
Kalvin the Groundhog from Kahli Road is available for purchase at https://bookstore.dorrancepublishing.com/kalvin-the-groundhog-from-kahli-road/.