Grand Lake: Author signs ‘A Mouse in the Rabbi’s Study’ |

Grand Lake: Author signs ‘A Mouse in the Rabbi’s Study’

by Cyndi Palmer
Sky-Hi Daily News

The first-ever work of children’s book author Nancy Larner is now out on shelves and the Grand Lake Art Gallery is hosting a signing this afternoon.

“Grand County is such a magnificent place to live. For the past 12 years my husband Ken and I have felt so fortunate to be part-time residents here,” she said. “Our joy has been compounded by being able to share my first book with our friends, neighbors and visitors to the Grand Lake area.”

Her story, called “A Mouse in the Rabbi’s Study,” tells of Mazel (luck) the Mouse who learns about the Jewish holidays and the enticing delights associated with the religious culture.

Larner, who can laugh at the ordeal now, came up with the idea for the book after dealing with a mouse problem at her Evergreen home during the High Holidays. A longtime early childhood instructor, she was teaching Religious School at Congregation Beth Evergreen when she began to capture the experience on paper.

The imagination which she shared with so many of her students sparked images of what would happen if a mouse found its way into a rabbi’s study at Rosh Hashanah. As the story goes, the Rabbi Saltzman leaves crumbs on his desk and he makes a new friend ” a mouse.

Their relationship grows, as does Mazel’s belly. Humor and education fill the pages.

Mazel and readers also learn about challah, latkes, hamantashen and other Jewish holiday traditional treats.

Her students, who got a sneak peek when she read them the manuscript, were so enthusiastic Larner was encouraged to pursue publishing the work. The book is aimed at children kindergarten through second grade, but she says the story is educational “for youngsters of any age,” as well as for adults interested about Judaism.

Illustrations by pastel artist Pegi Ballenger, of Woodland Park, lend to the endearing quality of the new April release. The book also comes with a CD dramatization of the storyline with holiday songs by Daniel Stellini, former music teacher and cantorial soloist for the congregation.

Copies of the book will be available for purchase and Larner will be at the Grand Lake Art Gallery to sign them. Ten percent of the (retail price) sales from the gallery (July 4 and on) will benefit the Grand Arts Council. It is also available through her Web site, at about 15 independent book stores throughout Colorado, and on the shelves at all the Grand, Summit, Jefferson and some Clear Creek county libraries.

Her story will also be a feature during two presentations at the Juniper Library in Grand Lake. She’ll be the guest of honor at a children’s storytime program at 11 a.m. July 11, and an adult program about her self-publishing journey and book signing at 1 p.m. July 12.