My Cape Cod Magic is a beautifully-illustrated early-reader written by Cape Cod residents Chris and J. Bean Palmer, author of the popular Little Cape Cod Witch book series, and illustrated by award-winning artist Jenny Kelley. Written in a poem format, the book introduces children to reading through fine art, picture-postcard images of classic Cape Cod scenes, each connected to a sentence from the poem. The book is based on an engaging poem, reminiscent of children’s picture books more commonly found a century ago, but also refreshingly today.
My Cape Cod Magic arose from a visit with the Palmers’ granddaughter Emelia. The four-year-old expressed frustration at not being able to read. This gave Ms. Palmer an idea. "I had written the Little Cape Cod Witch magical adventures for middle-graders. It was clear Emelia loved beautiful pictures and rhyme and the rhythm of words. I think most kids do. I know I did. And I thought it would be helpful and fun to match an engaging poem with classic, picture-postcard images that iconically captured the Cape. When I was learning to read, the images really pulled me in, and I wanted this book to do the same." The fact that her husband was a fourteenth-generation Cape Codder only strengthened her conviction in this project.
Jenny Kelley, the illustrator, is the art department head at Pope John Paul II High School in Hyannis, and holds a BFA in painting from the Rhode Island School of Design. Her paintings have appeared in Cape Cod Life and other publications, while her portraits and murals have been displayed from Massachusetts to Florida. She has also illustrated numerous children’s books.
“I tried to capture the moods of the different parts of the poem,” Kelley says. “The scenes in this book range from underwater swimming with lobsters to cranberry bogs to harvesting beach plums. The Palmers wanted something a little retro, that harkened back to illustrations of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, so I was excited to work on this.”
A portion of the proceeds of all sales of the book goes to the Cape Cod Cultural Center in Yarmouth for educational programs for children because, as Ms. Palmer said, "They do a wonderful job and we want to help contribute to their mission with the book."
30 pages, saddle stitched, 8.5 x 7
Fifteen, full-color, double-paged illustrations (8.5 x 14 each)
For ages 0-6