Willow’s Walkabout: Sheila S. Cunningham and Kathie Kelleher

Willow’s Walkabout: A Children’s Guide to Boston

Willow’s Walkabout: A Children’s Guide to Boston had a fabulous launch at the Agonquin Club on Commonwealth Avenue in Boston recently. This picturebook, written by Sheila S. Cunningham and illustrated by my friend Kathie Kelleher,  is about a wallaby named Willow who goes on a walkabout from the Stone Zoo in Stoneham, MA to explore the major attractions in nearby, lovely Boston. She is well organized, making an itinerary and packing necessities in her pouch, then takes a ride on the swan boats in the Public Garden and hops to the Children’s Museum. She visits the Aquarium, cruises the harbor and camps out in the Public Garden and even catches a home run pitch into her pouch at Fenway Park. She continues her journey through all the kid-friendly highlights of Boston, then “Willow had to head home now – no reason to lag / For her pouch was now full with the baseball and swag.” This picturebook is based on the true story of an escape from the Stone Zoo by a wallaby named Aardu, who may not have been quite as much of a tourist as Willow, but inspired this adventurous journey. The watercolor illustrations are lively and filled with extra details, bringing Willow and her friends to life.

Bunker Hill Publishing, the house responsible for making Willow’s story available, like many publishers, relies on their author and illustrator to help in promoting the book, which Sheila and Kathie have done amazingly so far. Sheila is a lawyer, has seven siblings, and her husband is a judge, and they are members of the Algonquin, the historic club that provided a lovely venue for this first book launch party. We were there from 2:30 until 4:30 and for that entire time there was a long line of people waiting to have their new copies of the book signed. Sheila and Kathie have also lined up signings at the Stone Zoo and Fenway Park, and there is a blog tour in the works. Willow’s story is off to a great start.

This just in from Kathie:

Bunker Hill Publishing sold 252 books at the Algonquin Club that day–pretty good start!
We’ll be signing at the Book Oasis in Stoneham, MA on June 6th from 10:00–11:30 am.
Patriot Place in Foxboro on July 10th, not sure of the time yet.
Old Town Hall Bookstore at Wheaton College on July 11th, 10:00 am until ?
Then, at the Stone Zoo on July 28th which I can’t go to…

Willow chocolate and cookie!

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