Bender to visit Familiar Grounds
By Scott Bellile
For parents with a grade-school child in New London, chances are their youngster knows of “The Lindie Lou Adventure Series” chapter books.
“Lindie Lou” author Jeanne Bender and her cocker spaniel La Petite Lindie Lou toured New London’s four public elementary schools, two private grade schools and the public library last year.
Next month Bender is returning to town and looking to reunite with her young readers amid the launch of her third book, “Harvest Time: A Celebration on an Organic Farm.”
Rather than touring the schools again, the Wisconsin native-turned-Seattle author will appear at Familiar Grounds Coffee Shop, 206 N. Pearl St., from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday, Nov. 4. She and her dog will pose for photos with children and provide some education on farming.
Children who want to prepare for Bender’s November visit can purchase “Harvest Time” at Familiar Grounds starting this week.
Lindie Lou is a globetrotting puppy who in her first two books shared lessons on handling plane rides and exploring large cities.
“Lindie Lou encounters many of life’s difficulties and overcomes them with exemplary courage, acting as a role model for young readers,” editor and New London resident Nancy Kiefer said.
Book three’s farm setting might resonate with rural Wisconsinites. The eight-to-10-page chapters are loaded with self-contained Lindie Lou adventures – so many that “Harvest Time” is 110 pages longer than Bender’s first installment, “Flying High.”
“I found in my research that there’s so many parts of farming that need to be told that I couldn’t do it without describing it properly,” Bender said, “from hay lofts to corn mazes to chicken coops to angus cattle grazing freely on the free range … to crop rotations to harvest parades and harvest celebrations. There just wasn’t any way to not tell the whole story and there wasn’t any part of it that I felt I could cut because each chapter is so different.”
“Harvest Time” offers youth practical advice such as staying safe around heavy machinery, what not to eat in the wild and how to navigate out of a corn maze. The importance of nutrition and organic farming and nutrition serve as broader themes.
“Really, students don’t know a lot about farming and organic farming and so I think it was a good subject matter that in the end of the book encourages children to perhaps plant their own organic gardens,” Bender said.