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Gardnerville woman publishes children’s book

by Merrie Leininger

Reading and writing has always been a part of her life, and now Carson Valley resident Cherry Jones is a part of the professional writing world with the publication of her first children’s book.

The book, “‘Movin’ to the Music’ Time,” is part of a reading program published by Waterford Institute of Provo, Utah, and distributed by Electronic Education, of Menlo Park, Calif.

“When I hear the music, I know just what to do. I move my feet and turn around, The way it tells me to,” the story begins. The story previously was in the top 10 of a bookseller’s contest for picture book text.

For eight years, Jones owned a children’s book store in Palo Alto. Before that she was a preschool teacher for 15 years. Now, she does storytelling in between her writing.

She won the third place in the humor division of the Nevada State Poetry Contest last year for her poem, “Two Foolish Cowboys.”

– Great thrill. Jones said that she saw a small notice in the newsletter of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators that said Waterford was looking for stories to be used in the reading program, and she submitted the poem she wrote.

“This society has a quarterly newsletter, and there are always things in there that say who is looking for new things,” she said.

The book was illustrated by the publisher’s employee, artist Wayne Andreason. The illustrations show a little girl dancing around and playing guitar.

Because Jones writes everyday and has been trying to get published for eight years, the notice that came telling her they wanted her story was a great thrill, she said.

She said the common practice is submitting work along with self-addressed stamped envelopes so they can be sent it back – usually with a rejection letter.

“I sent out this manuscript, and I got the letter back in six weeks, which is fairly quick, and it wasn’t in my envelope, so I just thought they lost my envelope. I read they were interested in my story and I couldn’t even read the rest of it,” she said.

After writing so long without being published, Jones said, this has only strengthened her resolve and determination to keep trying to get published.

Jones advised other writers trying to get published not to get discouraged and to do your research.

“Make sure you’re not sending publishers the kind of stories they do not want,” she said.

n Reading is important. As the mother of two grown children, Jones said reading is imperative to small children.

“It is incredibly important for children to be read to. You hear so much about children watching TV, I’m convinced so many quick changes on TV causes their brain cells not to develop the way they should,” she said. “If you only read 20 minutes a day from the time they are a baby to the time they can read themselves, it will help them so much.”

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