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PostHeaderIcon Spider On the Step: A Moving Tale

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A "Spider on the Step" was inspired by stories Gina Gotsill’s father told her about the pet tarantula he had growing up in South America.

"Peludo" or “hairy” in English, was her father's sidekick and accompanied him on many adventures.

Through the stories, Gotsill, an East Bay writer, grew up to love spiders, particularly tarantulas, and see them as gentle and harmless.

About  four years ago, Gotsill wrote a book about a young girl who finds a mysterious spider in a box on her front step with a note written in Spanish that she must translate. In the process, the girl discovers a new language and the truth about her new pet. She and her husband, designer Chris Gotsill, decided to create an ebook about the tale.

But the duo needed illustrations to accompany the story. Over last summer, the couple reached out to friends and family of children under 12. The response was enthusiastic and soon the Gotsills were delivering crayons, markers and paper to all the would-be artists, ages 6 to 11.

“I'm not an artist, but I remember how much I loved receiving brand new art supplies when I was a child. I think every kid is an artist -- I am always delighted by what children come up with when given an opportunity to be creative,’’ said Gotsill, who is also the author of   "Surviving the Baby Boomer Exodus: Capturing Knowledge for Gen X and Y Employees” with Ken Ball.

In addition, each child was paid for the drawings. “I really wanted all the kids to know I valued their time and effort and I thought one way to express that would be to give them brand new supplies,'' she said.

What came back to the couple were drawings from five children. Gina also did two illustrations herself. “I just couldn't resist. I guess I'm still a kid, too,’’ she said.

The book was published on Kindle and is available online. And you may have not heard the last from “Peloo,” as the spider is called.  “I've thought about doing more stories about Peloo,’’ she said. “Peloo Goes to Washington... Peloo Goes Home (to South America). One theme is emerging: Peloo is a little rambler.”  --KJB

Last Updated (Sunday, 16 December 2012 19:40)


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