Note: The following information was included in a news release from the Saucon Rotary.
Local author and philosophy professor Tara Michele Zrinski is returning to her childhood alma mater, Freemansburg Elementary School, to share her new book with third grade classes May 19.
The book, “All Ducks Are Birds (But, Not all Birds are Ducks),” written and beautifully illustrated by Zrinski, is an introduction to logic for children. In addition to doing a logic exercise with the children, Zrinski will share with them how she created the book and give them the opportunity to color some of their own illustrations.
“Programs like this inspire the children to imagine what they could be when they grow up,” Principal Michael Alogna said. “We are honored with Tara Zrinski taking time to meet our third graders personally. Visits like this help the children realize they are part of a larger community.”
Zrinski, an Adjunct Professor of Philosophy at Northampton Community College and Lehigh Carbon Community College, will visit the third graders at 1 p.m. Thursday, May 19 at the school in Freemansburg.
“Walking the halls of the school will certainly bring back some memories for me,” said Zrinski.
She was invited to the school by Alogna at the suggestion of Mimi Afshar, the team leader of the Saucon Rotary Club Book Fairy Project at Freemansburg.
Since 2011, the Book Fairy Project has given two books to each first grader in every Title 1 school in the Bethlehem Area School District. Over the course of the project, more than 50 donors have personally delivered more than 6,000 books to the classes. At Freemansburg, the Book Fairy Project is partnering with the school’s Student Activities Fund to give each third grader a copy of the large format, color-illustrated book at the end of Zrinski’s program.
Zrinski ‘s book, published by AuthorHouse, was inspired by a walk along the Monocacy Creek with her son, Bryton, not far from her home in Bethlehem, more than a decade ago.
As they watched the ducks along the creek, Bryton asked, “Mommy, are all birds ducks?” Her response, “Not all birds are ducks,” made her realize “we were doing logic,” she writes in a Note to Parents at the beginning of the book.
From a book like this, children can learn to use language skills to qualify their observations in conversations. Thus some, but not all birds, are ducks.
“Parents can use this book to start a conversation with their children,” Zrinski writes, “much like the one I had with my son, which will help children to become more fully aware and engaged with the reality they observe.”
In the book, Zrinski takes the reader from ducks to other waterfowl and birds to look at differences in the species. Geese, swans and ducks fly, but penguins and ostriches do not. Some birds swim, while others do not. But all birds have feathers.
Zrinski’s colored pencil bird drawings are large and full of life. She also paints with acrylics and has sold paintings in cafes, restaurants and galleries.
She studied philosophy and English at Drew University and holds Master’s degrees from Moravian Theological Seminary in theological studies and pastoral counseling.
As an environmental/nature activist, Zrinski is a local coordinator for Food and Water Watch and writes a monthly blog on Shalereporter.com. She has also written a parenting column for Patch.com.