BILINGUAL CHILDREN’S CHRISTMAS BOOK A GIFT FROM ST. AUGUSTINE ILLUSTRATOR
On Dec 15 and 16 from 1-4 pm, at the St. Augustine Lighthouse Gift Shop, St. Augustine illustrator, Deborah L. Spiller, will be signing and selling copies of the new bilingual edition of SNOWBALL, THE BEAR WHO SAVED CHRISTMAS. With the original illustrations still in place, this larger format softcover edition tells Snowball’s story in English and Spanish and sells for $14.95. Proceeds will benefit the St. Augustine Lighthouse and Maritime Museum.
The original story was penned by Dr. Jerry Gamache of St. Augustine, to cheer up his wife, Millie Koeger, who had been ill for an extended time. The first edition, illustrated by Ms. Spiller, was released in Oct of 2013, several months after Dr. Gamache passed away from a stroke. Millie saw the hardcover book go on the Christmas market before she passed away in 2014.
Debbie, as she prefers to be called, has been a professional artist for over 45 years and has lived in New Jersey, Venezuela, and Grand Bahama Island before settling in Florida. She earned a master’s degree in Fine Arts from Chamberlayne College in Boston, Mass and sold her first art at the age of 23. A full-time resident of St. Augustine, with her husband Peter, her paintings hang in homes, schools, orphanages, and museums. She’s painted everything from flowerpots, walls, and stair treads to a 100-foot by 14-foot mural in the city of Caracas, Venezuela and the pages of children’s books. She laughingly suggests that no one stand around too long or she may just adorn them with a hand-painted fern or flower.
Her friendship with Dr. Gamache began after an introduction by her husband. Gerry had heard about a children’s book illustrated by Debbie and asked her if she’d consider doing his. After his passing, Ms. Spiller presented Snowball at a variety of venues around the county with the profits all benefiting a local charity from animals to libraries. But, she thought offering it in Spanish was important, too.
The Lighthouse Museum and Gift Shop are open daily from 9 AM to 6 PM daily. For more information about the Lighthouse signing and gift shop, contact Sam Andrews at 904-829-0745. For more information or to contact Debbie Spiller, visit her website at DeborahLSpillerArt.com