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Local journalist, author pens first children’s book


Oct. 11, 2013

Molly O’Neil

molly@thereminder.com

CHICOPEE – After 30 years of writing, author and journalist Pam Robbins just can’t get enough of the written word.

“Oranges and Giraffes: A Story About Friends” is the author’s first children’s book and one she hopes parents and kids will read together.

“[I feel like I] accomplished something,” Robbins said of her latest work. “[It’s a] sweet book, adults even like it.”

The book tells the story of Molly, a young student who arrives at school one day only to discover that her friend wants nothing more to do with her. It is through Molly’s experience that Robbins teaches readers how to trust and value new friendships.

When asked how oranges and giraffes played into the narrative, Robbins referenced her book when Molly said, “Oranges are nice but there are a lot of them. Almost everybody who wants an orange can have one. Not everybody can even know a giraffe [a special friend for life].”

Molly’s story is enhanced by the illustrations of Chicopee Comprehensive High School graduate and self-taught artist Tony Hufnagel. He worked with Robbins to create the character’s world in black ink on white canvas.

“I knew it would be a great opportunity for me [to illustrate this book], and an interesting experience as well,” Hufnagel said. “I took on the task of illustrating the book to try something new as this book marks a jump from my normal style of artwork into a more illustrative style.”

When asked about her plans for the future, Robbins replied that she’s been making appearances to promote “Oranges and Giraffes” at World Eye Bookshop in Greenfield and St. Michael’s Church in East Longmeadow.

She also still has strong ties to her previous works: “Laughing Matters: Selected Columns by Humorist Pam Robbins,” “Abiding Sorrow: A Daughter’s Account of Loss and Grief.”

To obtain copies of her works, visit www.lulu.com.

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