Local author releases fifth book in kids’ series
PUNXSUTAWNEY — Author/illustrator Julie Branken's magical "Bubble" is back in a fifth book, and this time, even more members of Branken's family are along for the ride.
"Bubble's World Book 5: Frogs and Fairies," which Branken wrote under her pen-name, Jules, again features three of the stars from her previous books: Grandsons Vincent (age nine) and Ben (age seven) Gigliotti and their English cousin, Rosanna.
But this time, the children are joined by Vincent and Ben's five-year-oldsister, Isabella.
In "Frogs & Fairies," the Gigliotti children camp out with their uncles — Daniel and Jesse Branken — at the Plantation Bed & Breakfast, which the author owns, before Bubble takes the children to England again to visit Rosanna.
While Rosanna and Isabella want to look for fairies, Vincent and Ben want to looks for frogs. And their adventure takes off from there, until Bubble transports Rosanna safely back to England, and Vincent, Ben and Isabella back to Plantation, before saying goodbye until their next adventure.
The books teach children to not only let their imaginations run wild, but they also teach love, tolerance and patience. Branken said teaching these values is important at young ages, whether those values come to them as bubbles, fairies or frogs.
"Boys and girls — all children — can see fairies," she said. "Fairies come to the children, and teach them that we can live in peace and harmony, and they whisper things in their ears to guide them. We can live in a peaceful world, and it all starts with the children.”
Since they have been the stars of five books now, the Gigliottis — children of Dr. Dave and Carla Gigliotti — enjoy the stories their grandmother writes. Their teachers have even read the books to their classes in school.
"I think it's pretty cool," said Vincent, who will enter Punxsutawney Area Middle School this fall.
"It's awesome," added Isabella, starting kindergarten at Longview Elementary, where Ben will enter second grade.
Their youngest sister, Lily, age four, isn't quite ready for school yet and will make her official debut in a future "Bubble Book."
As for the next "Bubble" book, Branken has that one pretty much figured out already, as it will feature Isabella and another famous celebrity, Punxsutawney Phil.
Branken said she tells stories to the children that sometimes wind up in future books, and they respond by offering their own ideas and stories.
"The kids are putting out a lot of good things," she said. "It's good to get their imaginations going."
In another two months, Branken is also the planning of her novel, "Love Life or Diamonds."
"Bubble's World Book 5: Frogs and Fairies" is available at the Book Nook in the Punxy Plaza or via www.bubblesworldbooks.com.