“Olympos” is a book about mountains. It starts with this disclaimer: “Any resemblance to Mount Olympus in Washington State is unintentional, or that is what we tell Mother Earth if she asks. She does her best to keep track of her mountains but they are adventurous sorts. It is not an accident that the name Mount Olympus in the Olympic Mountain range is a derivation of Olympus. Either that or someone misspelled it.”
Author and illustrator DeAnna Kauzlaric Kieffer introduces readers to Greek stories about where Greek Gods were supposed to have lived, and that would be Mount Olympus.
There are brief descriptions of Zeus and Hera and Apollo, and information about their skills. Then the author gives readers a look at the stories and legends of this imagistic mountain. Next comes God Olympus’ story as he visits other very large mountains in other parts of the world like in the Sahara, the Himalayans, the Indonesian Java fireworks, and how he finally finds the Olympic National Park.
This is a small book about big mountains and their locations, but such a fun story and told so well it would be of interest for all ages. It could be a read-to-me book for younger children, a middle grade book, or enjoyed by teens and adults.
Another of Kauzlaric Keiffer’s books is titled “Legend of the Kelp Maiden.” It is a modern fable.
“A tale of love and mortality that implicates the sea and sky,” is its description by the author. This story involves the Hood Canal, the Olympic Mountains and informational about Kelp. This book is not only written by her, but also illustrated as well and includes several photographs. Both books are available on Amazon.com
Now, I want to tell you about another small book of poems written by Milly Royce and assembled into book form by her husband Bob Royce after Milly passed away.
When I talked to Bob about this book, he said that he found these poems tucked away in books, on scraps of paper, in drawers and on backs of envelopes. When he found them, he gathered them into a special place. Then, with the encouragement of a friend, he decided to have them printed in a book for all to enjoy. Millie wrote with insight and humor and a caring heart.
Bob and Millie lived in Puerto Rico for 28 years where Bob was a school librarian. When they moved back to Seattle, he also worked for a library.
This is one of my favorite poems Milly wrote. It’s called “Prejudice.”
For the first time we sit together, side-by-side
at lunch. As we unwrap our sandwiches,
I smile down at her, but from under her
bow-tufts of kinky hair she only eyes me
sidelong, munches in silence while the others
laugh and chat. Now she watches me at work
peeling an orange, leans close and asks, not
quite touching me with her brown finger,
“What are those dark spot on your hands?”
I laugh, “Oh, those are like freckles, from
when we lived a long time where it’s hot,
and the sun…” But she shakes her head,
frowns up at me. Her voice is steady, soft,
“You’re old. I hope you know.”
This book not only contains poems but pictures of she and Bob and pictures of Millie’s art work. It is available at Eagle Harbor Book Store on Bainbridge Island.
Quote for today: “No matter how busy you may think you are, you must find time for reading, or surrender yourself to self-chosen ignorance.” Confucius
Donna Lee Anderson writes a weekly literary column for Kitsap Weekly. You can email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.