Wednesday, 4 January 2017

Stepping Stones founder releases first book in Henry Whiskers series

On Jan 2, 2017, “The Adventures of Henry Whiskers,” Gigi Priebe’s first children’s book was released. She had never planned to write a children’s book. She said that she is “new to this whole thing.”

The book, which is published by Simon and Schuster, is meant for children in the age group of 7 to 10. It deals with the adventures of a mouse called Henry Whiskers who lives in Queen Mary’s Doll House, one of the most popular exhibits at Windsor Castle. When the dollhouse is taken down for repairs, Henry and his family has to flee and Henry’s sister disappears. Now Henry and his friends have to find her, and in the process, they face an evil feline, terrifying enemy rats, and a scary car ride. The book’s illustrator is Daniel Duncan.

The idea of writing a story about a mouse family residing in a dollhouse struck Priebe when she was living near Windsor Castle, which she frequently visited. She noticed the dollhouse, which was gifted to the museum by Queen Mary somewhere in the twenties. 

The three-foot tall dollhouse has four floors, electricity, hot and cold water taps, two elevators, toilets with flush system, a grandfather clock, a garage full of luxury cars, a library full of books written by noted authors, and portraits of King George V and Queen Mary. Obviously, the dollhouse was made neither for children nor dolls.

Priebe has already signed a contract for two books with Simon and Schuster’s. She has already completed the second Henry Whiskers book and has started working on the third book of the series. She took eight full years to complete the first book, but the terms of the contract forced her to finish the second book in nine months. She is planning to visit a quiet place to work undisturbed on the third book.

Priebe is the founder of Stepping Stones Museum of Norwalk. It was inaugurated 17 years ago with the aim of helping children learn something about their environment in a fun way. She plans to return to the museum on January 21 for the official book launch and signing event. 

Those who attend the event can not only buy the books, but donate to a Connecticut-based nonprofit organization called Circle of Care, which helps families of children suffering from cancer.

Robert Townes, the community advocacy director of Stepping Stones, said that their mission is to serve children in the age group of 0 to ten, but they are trying to reach out to older children who feel that the museum is meant only for infants and toddlers. The book release could help achieve this purpose.

Meanwhile, “The Adventures of Henry Whiskers” can be purchased online.

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