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'Sabrina' author to appear in national park

Posted by | 06.17.2015

Young and old alike are invited to Great Smoky Mountains Association’s upcoming “Meet the Author” event featuring Lisa Horstman Saturday, June 27, at Sugarlands Visitor Center in Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

Horstman, author and illustrator of such popular children's books as “The Great Smoky Mountain Salamander Ball” and “The Troublesome Cub,” has outdone herself this time with “Sabrina: A Great Smoky Mountains Story,” the retelling of the classic “ugly duckling” story from a flying squirrel’s point of view. This is the tale of a special kind of squirrel who finds herself in a strange new home after a run in with an owl.  Throughout the story readers are invited to follow along as Sabrina learns how to survive, and then thrive, in her new environment.

Sabrina and her ilk are denizens of the rich and rare spruce-fir forest that clings to the Smokies highest peaks. Children will cheer Sabrina’s heroic effort to protect her new family, then discover that a much larger danger is approaching.

“Northern flying squirrels are endangered because the spruce-fir forest where they live is getting smaller,” Horstman tells her readers. “This forest in the southern Appalachian Mountains is found only on the highest mountains where the weather is always cool or cold. Scientists are concerned that if the climate gets warmer, this kind of forest will disappear.”

“Sabrina: A Great Smoky Mountains Story” is Horstman’s tenth book. Combining her love of books with the craft of illustration began with the publication of “Fast Friends” in 1994, when she was the recipient of the Dr. Seuss Picturebook Award from Alfred A. Knopf.

“Great Smoky Mountain Salamander Ball,” her first collaboration with Great Smoky Mountains Association, led to six more picture books with the nonprofit organization: “The Troublesome Cub,” “Wee Ones,” “The Smokies Yukky Book” (written Doris Gove), “We're Going to the Mountains” (written by Steve Kemp), “Scavenger Hike Adventures” (written by Kat and John LaFevre), and “Sabrina: A Great Smoky Mountains Story.”

Horstman’s adorable illustrations for “Sabrina” are the result of a technique she pioneered using handmade puppets and her usual whimsical style of painting. “This books is a perfect ‘sit on my lap and I’ll read you a story’ book,” said Kemp.

Horstman will be discussing her work and autographing copies from noon to 3:30 p.m. Saturday, June 27, at Sugarlands Visitor Center near Gatlinburg, Tenn.

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