Catherine Bolden is particular about what children have to read. Too often, she said, the language in books is dumbed down. On other occasions, she said, their lessons can be too preachy.
“Why,” said the longtime fine-arts faculty member at Girls Preparatory School, “can’t they have an adventure about real children written in appropriate language?”
Instead of waiting for such a thing, Ms. Bolden began telling and writing such stories, based on specific life occurrences, for her now-grown son and her nieces and nephews.
Those stories, including the Christmas Eve adventure “Coozoo the Goblin” and “Reese and the Bobo Mojo,” and the family play “Zalozar and the Hidden Treasure of Osiden: A Hollywood Screenplay,” are available as e-books at www.Marzipan Studios.com.
E-books, short for electronic books, are available for reading or downloading on any computer connected to the Internet.
“Building a reader begins with being read to by the person you love most in the world,” Ms. Bolden said.
Her involvement with Hamilton County Mayor Claude Ramsey’s Read 20 initiative and WSMC radio’s Read-With-Me program convinced her to put the stories to pen, she said.
Ms. Bolden said her e-books, which will include a family educator and mentors guide, over the past year have been test-marketed in area public and private schools.
Shula Yelliott, program manager for Read 20, said e-books are an option for children who have that access.
“Children absolutely love that — putting it on their hard drive or into their iPod to listen to again and again,” she said. “Every time a book gets into a child’s hand is beneficial.”
Ms. Bolden, a nine-time Best Actress winner at the Chattanooga Theatre Centre, envisions the e-books will stimulate family discussions, family plays and homeschool lessons and be a spark to children learning to read.
In the meantime, her Marzipans! reader’s theater troupe — composed primarily of GPS students — will continue to do live performances.
“It’s very important to me to put together adventures to be enjoyed by the family,” she said.
TO HEAR A SELECTION
Catherine Bolden’s reading of her story “Coozoo the Goblin: A Christmas Eve Adventure” is expected to be aired on WSMC radio’s Web site (www.wsmc. org) this week. The Web site already has available mp3 files of Ms. Bolden reading “The True Story of the Three Little Pigs” and other stories by other readers as part of WSMC’s Read-With-Me program.
E-BOOKS IN THE WORKS
Catherine Bolden said her first e-book, “Coozoo the Goblin: A Christmas Eve Adventure,” is about friends, what to do when you’re alone and the courage to do the best thing when no one around is doing that best thing. The ebook also will contain character education, vocabulary and art units.
“Reese and the Bobo Mojo” is the story of a boy and his school friends who are bullied about their names by Arnie and the Snarly Boys. A new boy at the school, though, seems to be immune to the bullying and remains in a positive mood. Reese eventually learns a lesson about things he can’t change and solves the mystery of the Bobo Mojo.
“Zalozar and the Hidden Treasure of Osiden: A Hollywood Screenplay,” a read-aloud family play, will accommodate different reading levels.
Clint Cooper is the faith editor and a staff writer for the Times Free Press Life section. He also has been an assistant sports editor and Metro staff writer for the newspaper. Prior to the merger between the Chattanooga Free Press and Chattanooga Times in 1999, he was sports news editor for the Chattanooga Free Press, where he was in charge of the day-to-day content of the section and the section’s design. Before becoming sports ...