If you look in the archives of previous posts you can read a book review on Basil Bear and the Honey Jar Disaster. This book launched a new picture book series by Dr. Connie Palm, published by Gospel Publishing Mission. The warm and fuzzy illustrations by Nancy Blackmon, make this book a treasure!
Connie Palm grew up on a farm in southern Indiana and was one of ten children. She spent 32 years as an elementary school teacher, principal, and college instructor before going to Taiwan as a missionary and pastor’s wife. When her husband passed away, she spent four more years in Taiwan. She then moved to Florida where she taught classes in a local Chinese church, and decided to write picture books about a bear named Basil.
My good friend and colleague, Ava Pennigton, introduced me to Connie when she was seeking direction in picture book publishing. Her charming personality combined with a humble spirit made me love her instantly. The three of us met over lunch, I agreed to help her with some editing, and Connie was soon on her way to being published by her denominational publishing house. She sent me a copy of her first Basil Bear book in 2013, which I featured on our blog. Shortly before Christmas of 2014, she sent me her second book, Basil Bear and the Orchard Mystery. Connie included a sweet note of appreciation on a note card shaped like an angel. I left the book on my kitchen table as a reminder to write her a thank you note. The days passed and I got caught up in the busyness of the holidays. I spent Christmas with my daughter’s family in Texas, and we had a family gathering in Florida over New Years. When all the holiday activities were over, I finally sat down to write Connie a thank you note and congratulate her on the second Basil Bear book. In the note, I told her I would feature the book on our blog, as I did with her first Basil Bear book.
The day after I mailed my note, Ava sent me an email saying that Connie had passed away suddenly from a heart attack. She never got my thank you note, but I can keep my promise and feature Basil Bear and the Orchard Mystery on our blog.
In this charming story, the town is in an uproar when the bears notice half-eaten apples hanging on an apple tree. Rumors about thieves and monsters spread quickly until the police get involved. In the end, Basil learns the consequences of telling half-truths, as he and little brother, Barney, were guilty of eating the apples from the tree. As in her previous book, Dr. Palm included vocabulary words throughout the story, some Bible verses at the end, as well as a glossary.
Connie wrote more Basil stories, and I hope they are in the hands of the publisher. This series could continue with the help of others who may have caught her vision to teach good moral lessons through charming stories about a Bear named Basil.
Thanks for the book, Connie!
Books may be obtained from:
Gospel Publishing Mission
PO Box 1065
Hobe Sound, FL 33455
Phone 772-546-1113 Cost: $10.00