Reading of ‘Jolly Woodman’ story set
Kent Memorial Library in Kent will present a reading of and reception for the release of the book “The Jolly Woodman: The True Story of the First Christmas Tree Market in America” Dec. 14 at 2 p.m.
Resident E. Barrie Kavasch will read aloud the book, which was written by Joanna Kelly and illustrated by Katie Atkinson.
The story introduces Mark Carr, an enterprising New York State farmer who started the first Christmas tree market in America.
The year was 1851 and Carr and his young sons chopped down 36 shapely firs around their modest farm and sold them at the Washington Market, an open-air bazaar in New York City that began in 1812.
The market was razed in 1967 to make way for The World Trade Center.
Kelly’s love of history and nature drew her to the true story of a New York State woodman named Mark Carr.
After considerable research she discovered a late 1800s newspaper article that referred to him as “The Jolly Woodman,” an enterprising individual who started the first Christmas tree market in America.
Kelly shares Carr’s risks and triumphs in her first children’s book.
Before joining the staff of Kent Memorial Library, from which she is now retired, Kelly worked as a columnist, historical feature writer and reporter at Citizen News, a Fairfield County newspaper.
She is the author of “Hooligan's Alley,” a Civil War novel,” Tomato Pie: The Frank Pepe Story,” The Man Who Loved Kennedy: The Ned Coll Story” and “Written in Stone.”
Atkinson lives with her husband and two boys in Norfolk.
After spending her junior year in France, she received a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Connecticut and then moved to New York.
There, she spent several years working in advertising and freelance illustration.
Atkinson has always loved art in children’s books.
When her boys were small, she was inspired by their love of winter and created a new body of work. These scenes were published as holiday greeting cards.
Her work is represented by the Illustration Source and has been published internationally for a wide variety of uses.
Her projects and clients include Christmas Seals for the American Lung Association, holiday gift cards for Land’s End, and numerous covers for Bookmarks magazine.
In addition, Atkinson works with clients doing therapeutic artwork for recovery and rehabilitation.
For more information, call the Main Street library at 860-927-3761.