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Meet Bob Welch in Sandy and see how his first children's book inspires kids

by: CONTRIBUTED GRAPHIC: TOM PENIX - This image of Comma, a kitten who sleeps in the shape of its namesake punctuation mark, shows it is devoted to an Oregon Ducks fan named Matt. In Bob Welchs story, Comma builds Matt's self-confidence by joining him at the keyboard to write a tale of Rain Boy.Soon local moms and dads will have an outlet for their literary desires as well as a way of drawing their children closer to the creation of literature.

Here’s someone the kids can look up to and perhaps set a goal to be like him.

An author is coming to Sandy who will show pictures and talk to kids and adults at their levels of understanding. This is an opportunity not to be missed.

Bob Welch, the author of 17 books and an award-winning columnist for the Register-Guard in Eugene, has written his first children’s book.

Parents who have read the book hope it will not be his last. In collaboration with graphic artist Tom Penix, Welch has shaped an Oregon story in poetic rhyme that speaks to every child.

Welch has woven all things Oregon into this tender story of a little girl kitten called Comma who is much more than a pet.

Welch uses the book’s poetry to weave a tale that teaches compassion, helpfulness, dedication, goal setting and persistence. These and other desirable character traits are woven almost imperceptibly into the storyline about Rain Boy, a character who becomes a super hero when Oregon rain falls in buckets. That’s when he could swim through the air with the greatest of ease.

“We want to leave readers with a message,” Welch said. “We hope ‘The Keyboard Kitten’ will help kids understand the idea that we need each other, and that we’re better off working together.”

Welch captures and entertains all audiences with this easily read book, one that could be read every day for a year, and readers would not be tired of the story. Such readers also would not be weary of the artful ways the author refers to Oregon artifacts that are recognized more by elder readers, instead of younger listeners.

After entertaining, he offers a glossary on the last page to help kids better understand the meaning of some words and phrases.

“We think this book is fun,” Welch said, “and will challenge and inspire kids to learn more about their state.”

Welch may have written in an eclectic variety of genres, but children’s books is one area where he should return again and again.

Each time he chooses his next writing project, he says he moves in the direction his heart and spirit lead him. For the benefit of us all, let’s hope he returns to engaging the imaginations of our youngest citizens.

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