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Great-Grandpa Fussy and the Little Puckerdoodles: 21 Stories Hardcover – May, 2000
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"Everyday family events and family members make up this wonderful collection of stories. The storyteller has a gift for helping the reader see the humor, fun, and excietment that abound in family life. Colorful illustrations enhance the stories beautifully, capturing the activities and personalities of this delightful intergenerational family." -- Sara Burneson, elementary language arts coordinator and elementary principal
"Great-Grandpa Fussy and the Little Puckerdoodles catches those magical everyday moments when age doesn't matter but family does. The book will delight children and their parents, grandparents, and of course great-grandparents. Mardo Williams' charming stories and Yukiko Mishima's captivating illustrations are rooted in humor, wonder, and love." -- P.M. Carlson, author of Renowned Be thy Grave
"Great-Grandpa Fussy is himself the biggest kid in these family tales, as he offers both childlike fun and parenting wisdom. Every family needs a relative so naturally tuned in to the real lives of children." -- Lilian B. Mullane, Director, Riverside Early Learning Center, NYC
"It's a fun, family read-aloud book. The names of the characters are sure to bring giggles galore." -- Victoria Grimes, Today's Family
"Mardo Williams is an author for the ages. Ms. Mishima's style is colorful, atmospheric, and primitive..." -- Ralph Gardner, Jr., New York Observer
About the Author
At age 88 he wrote a book about his mother, Maude (1883-1993): She Grew Up With the Country, which captures the spirit of the century. Maude, was chosen by booksellers and librarians for inclusion in Reading Group Choices, 1999. Great-Grandpa Fussy and the Little Puckerdoodles is his first children's book, based on adventures with his great-grandchildren.
Mardo Williams, who died February 2001 at the age of 95, is the first posthumous winner of an Ohioana Library Award in 2001 'for his many accomplishments as a writer, for his constant creativity, for the outstanding role model he provided as a Fearless Life Long Learner.'
Illustrator Yukiko Mishima, formerly of Hiroshima, Japan, is a recent graduate of the School of Visual Arts in New York City. This multi-talented artist was chosen to design a bank in Hiroshima. She has produced and sold her own line of greeting cards, calendars, and puzzles. She is also a professional wedding cake designer. One of her dreams is to study pastry in Paris. This is her first children's book. The goal of her illustrations is to make people happy and to give them a little moment of rest.
More About the Author
Nineteen years later, after World War II ended, the Columbus Dispatch recruited him to the copy desk. He moved up the ranks from the copy desk to travel editor . . . and in 1954 he was asked to develop and write stories about the world of business. Columbus was booming at this time. Dad, familiar with pounding the pavement to search out stories, did just that. Within the year, he was writing a daily business column with byline.
After he retired from the Dispatch in 1970, he freelanced for several years, editing a newsletter and doing publicity. He began his second career, writing books, at age 88, after his wife died after a long illness. At his daughters' urging, he learned to use a computer and began writing his first book, Maude. It was about his mother, who lived to be 110, and also about life at the turn of the century when everything was done arduously by hand. This was to be for family, but his daughter Kay read a few sections to her writers group. They loved it, and wanted more.
The manuscript grew from 50 pages to a 334 page book with a 32 page picture insert. The finished product was published in 1996--Maude (1883--1993): She Grew up with the Country. It has been adopted by some college American history classes as a supplemental text "to put a human face on history."
Then Mardo wrote an illustrated children's book, Great-Grandpa Fussy and the Little Puckerdoodles, based on the escapades of four of his great-grandchildren. He decided at age 92 that he would try something completely different--a novel, One Last Dance. His magnum opus.
He spent three years writing the first draft while touring with his first book, Maude. He persevered through illness and blindness, determined to finish it before he died. It was the most challenging piece of writing in his 73-year writing career--a long work of fiction when he'd been writing short non-fiction pieces for most of his life. After his death, his daughters Kay and Jerri spent another three years editing and revising One Last Dance, and after it was published, four more years touring with it as the centerpiece of their program, Keep Dancing!
One Last Dance fills a niche, especially now that the baby boomers have turned 65. The novel gives readers hope and laughs. Book discussion groups throughout the country have read it and loved it. Many readers have said, "Well, if Mardo could do this (embark on a new romance, write a book) in his nineties, I can certainly give it a try myself; I'm only 70 or 80 . . ."
Many honors came to Dad and to his writing after his death. In 2006 One Last Dance won the Independent Publishers Award for Best Regional Fiction. The book was also one of five Finalists in the National Readers' Choice Awards for 2005. Before that, Dad won an Ohioana Citation--their first posthumous--for his body of work as a journalist and author (for, at that time, Maude and Great-Grandpa Fussy).
And now his daughters, Kay and Jerri, have won a 2009 Ohioana Citation for "unique and outstanding accomplishment in the field of writing and editing" for finishing One Last Dance.