Local author pens Christmas book for youngsters

“Thimbo Jack” by local author Marge Alley is one of those special children’s books that will make adult readers smile just as much as the lucky youngsters who are being read to — or reading it for themselves.

The story is told in simple rhymes from the point of view of a young boy on Christmas Eve. After a long day of decorating, his grandma has fallen asleep by the fire. As he sits on the floor, he is visited by an elf named Thimbo Jack, who is on an important mission.

“Just what would you say if Jesus came to visit you on the Christmas Day?” asks the elf as he teaches the young boy what truly is the most priceless Christmas gift he can give and receive.

The book is beautifully illustrated with full-page paintings by a Spanish artist discovered by Alley’s publisher.

Alley moved to Pagosa Springs 12 years ago from Denver with her husband, Pat. She says she loves everything about Christmas — the music, the decorating, the festivities, the food and, especially, the magical time spent with her family in and out of church during this magical season.

She enjoys writing stories for her three grandchildren and for many years she wrote stories and poems to include with her Christmas cards. “Thimbo Jack” is one of those stories — and the only one that now has been published in book and e-book form.

Judging from the requests for repeated readings from her grandchildren, “Thimbo Jack” is destined to be a bestseller.

The author has donated a copy of the book to the library for everyone’s enjoyment this Christmas season. It is written for youngsters aged 2 to 8.

Lifelong Learning Lecture tonight

This evening, Thursday, Nov. 20, at 6 p.m. marks the last of the library’s free six-week fall Lifelong Leaning Lecture series.

Tonight’s topic is “Living and Working with Rescued Wolves” by Paula Watson, director of a wolf and wolf/dog refuge in Ignacio.

Come learn the truth about these amazing animals — their physical attributes, communication skills, behavior and life cycles. Lectures last about an hour, followed by time for questions.

Family Fridays

Join us for the free family program called Family Fridays tomorrow, Friday, Nov. 21, and every Friday at your library from 2 to 3:30 p.m., timed so that children can come after school.

This is a special time every week for the whole family to come to the library together — parents with kids, all siblings regardless of age, or whatever combination of the family is available at that particular time.

Each week features a different activity. Tomorrow is a board and card games day.

Art fun for kids

Kids in the first through third grades are invited to a free Art Attack session tomorrow, Friday, Nov. 21, from 2 to 3 p.m. This is creative fun that is always different and always gives you something to take home.

Math club

Kids in kindergarten through second grade are invited to Crazy 8s, a free math club where youngsters build stuff, run, jump, make music and make a mess — a new kind of club that makes math fun.

Registration is required for this eight-week session that continues this Saturday, Nov. 22, from 11 a.m. to noon. The group is limited to 10 kids. Each session builds on the week before, so it’s best if your child comes to all eight events.

Teen Gaming

Join us Tuesday, Nov. 24, from 4 to 5:30 p.m. and every Tuesday for fun for teen gaming fans. Practice your skills on the Wii and Xbox, as well as board games.

Card Battles

Join us Monday, Nov. 24, and every Monday from 4 to 5 p.m. for card battles for kids in the fifth-12th grades. Bring your own Pokemon, Yu-gi-oh or Magic cards to battle your friends. We have a limited number of Pokemon and starter Yu-gi-oh cards to borrow.

Technology classes

Meg Wempe is available for the highly popular Tech Tuesdays and Thursdays sessions from 10 a.m. to noon on Tuesdays and from 3 to 5 p.m. on Thursdays.

A more formal session requiring registration focuses on Microsoft Word Templates runs from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. today (Thursday, Nov. 20) to learn how to create a resume, cards, certificates and more — just in time for the holidays.

More Christmas books

“Mr. Miracle” by Debbie Macomber is a romance that is available as a book and on CD. “Winter Street” by Elin Hilderbrand follows a delightfully dysfunctional family at a holiday get together in Nantucket. “A Quilt for Christmas” by Sandra Dallas is set during the Civil War. “2 A.M. at The Cat’s Pajamas” by Marie-Helene Bertino is a large-print book set in a Philadelphia jazz club. “The Nightingale before Christmas” by Donna Andrews is a humorous mystery. “Jane and the Twelve Days of Christmas” by Stephanie Barron is a Jane Austen mystery. “A New York Christmas” by Anne Perry is a suspense story.

Memoirs and biographies

“Alone in Antarctica” by Felicity Aston is the memoir of a British explorer who became the first woman to ski solo across the entire continent. “Possibilities” by Herbie Hancock is a memoir by the legendary jazz musician and composer. “Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow: My Life” by Sophia Loren is a memoir by the Academy Award-winning actress. “Yes Please” by Amy Poehler is a collection of stories, thoughts and lists from the Golden Globe-winning actress. “My Wild Life” by Roland H. Wauer provides a naturalist’s view of his career with the National Park Service. “Charlie Chaplin” by Peter Ackroyd is a new biography of one of film’s greatest legends. “It Ain’t Sauce, It’s Gravy” by Steve Martorano tells how food saved this restaurateur from the streets of South Philadelphia. “Watch Me” by Anjelica Huston is the story of her life in Hollywood. “The Woman Who Would Be King” by Kara Cooney is the biography of the longest-reigning female pharaoh in ancient Egypt. “Just Mercy” by Bryan Stevenson is the story of the founder of the Equal Justice Initiative. “The Fast Times of Albert Champion by Peter Joffre Nye explores the life of this bicycle racer and auto industry tycoon.

We also have three personal stories related to the Appalachian Trail: “Becoming Odyssa: Adventures on the Appalachian Trail” and “Called Again: A Story of Love and Triumph,” both by Jennifer Pharr Davis, as well as “46 Days: Keeping Up with Jennifer Pharr Davis on the Appalachian Trail” by Brew Davis.

Other nonfiction

“Bright from the Start” by Dr. Jill Stamm describes how to nurture your child’s mind from birth to age 3. “The Nazis Next Door” by investigative reporter Eric Lichtblau reveals how America became a safe haven for Hitler’s Nazis. “Your Water Footprint” by Stephen Leahy shows the shocking facts of how much water we use to make everyday products. “Fifty Places to Bike Before You Die” by Chris Santella is a guide to biking destinations around the world. “Farm Fork Food” by Eric Akpkan tells the story of Black Cat Farm and the author’s restaurants and provides healthy recipes. “This Changes Everything” by Naomi Klein explores global warming from a new perspective. “Empire of Sin” by Gary Krist is a story of sex, jazz and crime in New Orleans. “Being Mortal” by surgeon Atul Gawande explores the limitations of current medicine as life draws to a close. “The Short and Tragic Life of Robert Peace” by Jeff Hobbs is the true story of a man who escaped from the ghetto, graduated from Yale and then returned home to teach at a Catholic high school he had attended. “Top 10 of Everything 2015” by Paul Terry lists the best Wii games, movies, medical marvels and much more.

Novels and poems

“Dreamer’s Pool” by Juliet Matillier is the first in a new Blackthorn and Grim fantasy series. “Narrow Road to the Deep North” by Richard Flanagan moves from a POW camp to Australia. “Blue Horses” is a collection of new poems by Mary Oliver.

Thanks to our donors

For books and materials, we thank Lyn Dryburgh and several anonymous donors. We are also grateful to Scottie Gibson for her generous monetary donation.

Quotable Quote 

“Tact is the art of making a point without making an enemy.” — Isaac Newton (1643-1727), English physicist and mathematician.


For more information on library books, services and programs — and to reserve books, e-books, CDs and DVDs from the comfort of your home — please visit our website at pagosa.colibraries.org/.

This story was posted on November 20, 2014.