Alabama Book Festival attendees first to see state’s bicentennial children’s book

[Photo Credit: Alabama Book Festival facebook page]

Attendees of the Alabama Book Festival at Montgomery’s historic Old Alabama Town on Saturday received a special treat: they were the first to see the brand new book, Alabama My Home Sweet Home, by Charles Ghigna.

Ghigna, also known as Father Goose, is an award winning author who lives in Homewood, Ala. He wrote Alabama My Home Sweet Home as a bicentennial book for young readers; the book features a bear cub named Camellia who accompanies readers through the book as they come across famous Alabamians like Helen Keller, Rosa Parks and Jesse Owens during their own time and place in history.

“We are thrilled to have a bicentennial book especially for young readers,” said Alabama Bicentennial Commission Executive Director, Jay Lamar. “What better time than the celebration of the state’s 200th birthday to introduce them to important Alabama people and places.”

Another Alabama native, Michelle Hyde provided illustrations for the book. A graduate of the Ringling College of Art & Design, her work has appeared in The Birmingham News and several other publications. Hyde and her family reside in Birmingham.

“It is even more special that Alabama My Home Sweet Home was written and illustrated by two people who call Alabama home,” said Lamar. “Father Goose is, of course, a beloved Alabama children’s writer. Michelle Hyde’s cheerful illustrations clearly show how well she knows the state. They make a great team.”

Ghigna is the author of 5,000 poems and more than 100 books from publishers such as: Random House, Time Inc., Disney, Scholastic, and Highlights magazine. He is a former poet-in-residence and chair of creative writing at the Alabama School of Fine Art, who currently serves as an instructor for creative writing at Samford University.