Harwood resident Betty Sydow’s bucket list wish to have a book published came true via a fable about a sparrow that evolved into a children’s book “The Adventures of a Sparrow Named Stanley.” Sydow, who wrote the story in a creative writing class at Harwood Place, turned to her friend and artist Carolou Lennon Nelsen to illustrate the book. With the help of Milwaukee-based publisher Hidden Timber Books, “The Adventures of A Sparrow Named Stanley is now available in print and online.
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The sweet and inspiring picture book for children ages 3-11 chronicles the adventures of Stanley the Sparrow, who wants to be famous and have more friends, but doesn’t know how. A wise gray owl helps him along the way. It includes 15 original watercolor pencil drawings by Nelsen and valuable lessons on friendship, persistence and individuality.
As part of the Lutheran Home’s 110th Anniversary celebration, Harwood Place, its sister retirement living community, created the Bucket List project and asked residents to share their requests. “We are so excited that Betty was willing to share her wonderful story, “The Adventures of A Sparrow Named Stanley” with us. When I found out that she and fellow resident illustrator, Carolou, had been working on this project for over a year, I was immediately impressed. Our residents have amazing talents, and this book showcases their determination and creativity,” stated Amy Bielawski, Director of Life Enrichment & Volunteers at Harwood Place.
“I am so grateful to everyone for the opportunity to have this book published and to Carolou for bringing the book to life with her beautiful illustrations,” said author Betty Sydow. “The sparrow is one of the most underrated birds and I wanted to tell the story of the importance of being the best you can be, no matter how unoriginal you think you are,” she added.The book is available in hardcover, paperback and online nationwide at amazon.com, BN.com, iBooks, and other online retailers, as well as at the Harwood Place Gift Shop located inside Harwood Place at 8220 Harwood Ave, Wauwatosa. This is the first book for both women.