Title: N.C. book joins 'Cool Stuff' series
Author: BROOKE CAIN
Publisher: News Observer
"Raleigh and the State of North Carolina: Cool Stuff Every Kid Should Know" is part of a new series of books from Arcadia Publishing of Charleston, S.C., that delivers some painless summer learning in a child-friendly blend of facts, photos and graphics.
Arcadia's "Cool Stuff" series, which currently features books on 22 U.S. cities, is written by Kate Boehm Jerome, who also conceived the series. Jerome, based in Charleston, has been producing educational materials for children for more than 25 years.
Many local kids may already know some of the information in the book, which is aimed at ages 7 to 11: Raleigh has a hockey team and a giant acorn, and hosts the State Fair. Notable here is Jerome's deft delivery of educational trivia designed to enlighten children (and perhaps adults) about more cultured aspects of the town, tidbits on the local ballet, symphony and theater scenes, as well as facts on history and science.
Jerome says teachers, parents and grandparents love the books and the educational motives behind them, but her inspiration for writing is children.
"I love their curiosity and perspective," she said. "I'll go to downtown Charleston and see kids with their parents on the popular horse and carriage rides. The parents are always listening intently to the tour guide and looking at the beautiful buildings, but the kids are constantly glancing at the diaper on the horse, just praying for a malfunction!"
Jerome says she has traveled to Raleigh many times and finds it a "delightful city." She tapped into many different sources to research the book, she said, and also asked Ryan Smith of the Greater Raleigh Convention Bureau for feedback on the finished project.
A small point of pain for parents perusing the book may be the part where Jerome touts Raleigh Wide Open as a fun downtown street festival. And it was. But the Raleigh City Council canceled the festival for this year, citing economic woes.
Of the book's 48 pages, about a quarter are devoted solely to Raleigh.