Archived Story

Costume party features author of children’s book

Published 8:26pm Monday, October 1, 2012

A Halloween costume party is being built around Niles children’s author Cheri Hallwood’s third book, “One Wish for Winifred Witch.”

There will be a costume contest with prizes, goodie bags, crafts and refreshments at Cass District Library’s Howard Branch, 2341 Yankee St.

“We’re hoping it’s a lot of fun,” Hallwood said Monday.

A special guest, Hannah Montgomery of Edwardsburg, and her dog, Dash, of the Dash to Read program, will be visiting, too.

Costumes will compete in two age groups, 4 to 7 and 8 to 10, for top prize for each category in each age group, Best Winifred, Best Aunt Broomhilda and Best Animal in the Book, of which there are cats, toads and caterpillars.

“One Wish for Winifred Witch” is a hardback rhyming picture book about a little witch with a big problem — she’s so afraid of the dark it might keep her from going out on Halloween, so she consults wise Aunt Broomhilda for advice.

Hallwood said it’s also becoming available as an ebook for iPad.

The book is illustrated by Patricia Rose of Niles. Hallwood also works with voice artists Debbie Grattan and her 10-year-old daughter, Natalie Rarick.

Hallwood and Rose won Mom’s Choice awards for all three of their books, which include “Winter’s First Snowflake” and “The Curious Polka-Dot Present.”

Hallwood is at work on her first chapter book with her husband and two grandchildren.

“Frogwilla” will be released in April for National Frog Month.

Hallwood embarked on writing and self-publishing in 2005. She always dreamed of writing for children, but it was her grandchildren who prodded her into action.

The forthcoming book about a tree frog was inspired by granddaughter Hannah, 12, and illustrated by Aubrey, 15.

The Hallwood’s three daughters have given them six granddaughters.

Cheri was born in Chicago and moved to Niles with her mother and grandparents before she turned 2.

She remained an only child until she turned 9. Before that her constant playmate was her 5-month-older cousin, Donnie.

“We would spend our days exploring the world around us with nothing more than a few toys, each other and our imagination. We would make up stories and imaginary playmates to fill our days with great adventures,” she said.

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