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From left, Guilford High School seniors Natalia Perez, Arthur Dolimier, and Mia Bloss present a copy of their children’s book to local historian Joel Helander. (Photo by Zoe Roos/The Courier | Buy This Photo)
(Photo by Zoe Roos/The Courier | Buy This Photo)
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This isn’t your typical school project. Three Guilford High School (GHS) students recently unveiled a children’s book they wrote, illustrated, and published for a one of their classes. Copies of the book were recently presented to town officials, the Guilford Free Library, and will be available for sale throughout town.
The book, Guilford Fair Days, is by Mia Bloss, Arthur Dolimier, and Natalia Perez. The three students opted to make a children’s book for their “creativity, activity, service” project through the GHS Class of 2019 International Baccalaureate (IB) program.
The story follows two main characters, a dog and a cat, who move though time learning about the history of the Guilford Fair. Bloss, who illustrated the book, said the authors wanted to create something that would help younger students learn about the history of the fair in a fun and accessible way.
“For this project, we were tasked with making something of value for the community,” she said. “I knew I wanted to do something personal to Guilford and I looked at what was out there and I realized there really wasn’t anything geared towards children for the fair, something that really celebrates local history.”
Perez, who wrote the book, said it was challenging to try to write for a younger audience. She enjoyed the research component of the project because she said she realized that she, too, had a lot to learn about the history of the fair.
“The researching process was very interesting to me,” she said. “I read a lot of Mr. [Joel] Helander’s works and I collaborated with Mia on the best way to structure the book and write it in a way that was engaging to 3rd and 4th graders.”
Dolimier was in charge of figuring out how to publish the book. He said he went through numerous companies and the whole book went through multiple revisions.
“I started searching around to see about prices and how this actually works,” he said. “I landed on a service called Blurb and when I thought that it was the right service, we started revising the book and looking at the restraints we had to adhere to for printing.”
By IB regulations, the book can only be sold at cost, so the students won’t be cutting a profit. The book will be up for sale in the Guilford Keeping Society house museums and possibly Breakwater Books. The students also presented a copy to the Guilford Free Library, GHS Principal Rick Misenti, First Selectman Matt Hoey, and local historian Joel Helander at a small ceremony on June 13. Helander said he is very impressed by the book and the students.
“I am not sure any of you knew Dr. [Elizabeth] Adams, but if Dr. Adams were here right now, she would say, ‘I salute you,’” he told the students. “That was her way of recognizing something significant and this is incredibly significant.”
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