Local Author wins three awards for children’s book

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  • Author Ed Raarup of Milford, Pa. wins three awards for his children's book.

Local author, Ed Raarup, from Milford, Pa. has won three awards for his children’s book, "Fireflies and Shooting Stars, The Tale of Enzo." During this first year of publication, the book has won the prestigious Mom’s Choice Awards Silver Seal of Excellence, The Moon Beam Children’s Book Awards Gold Medal and the USA Book Award Top Honor in Child’s Fiction.

Raarup’s idea for the book was sparked by Ronnie and Joe Biondo who developed an all-accessible playground for children named "Firefly Field" in Matamoras, Pa. The names for both the playground and book were inspired by the heartwarming song, "Fireflies and Shooting Stars," written by music director and composer, Michael Rice. The 10 chapter book has its own CD with additional songs written by Raarup and arranged by Rice. There are more than 80 illustrations by local artist, Lindsay D. Nery.

“This project has truly been a joyful experience and labor of love,” says Raarup. “The story is about Enzo, a little firefly without a taillight, who faces the challenges of being different. In search of his light, Enzo sets out on a fantastical journey which leads him to realize his own unique strengths and the importance of accepting the differences in oneself and others. It is an artful and musical tale of courage, truth and hope for children of all ages.”

“I worked on this endeavor for five years with a wonderful creative team, including renowned author and editor, Emma Walton Hamilton. We hope the message from Fireflies and Shooting Stars will make a difference in the lives of children and help promote projects such as Firefly Field nationwide. Just this year, we were invited to both Fort Lauderdale, FL and Little Rock, AR to provide presentations on how those communities could create their own Firefly Field.”

“In Little Rock, we were escorted by Mayor Mark Stodola to various potential sites for the playground. We also toured the beautiful new children’s library and presented copies of our book to the head of the Central Arkansas Library System, Bobby Roberts. This was particularly meaningful for us since Michael Rice is from Arkansas.”

“We’ve also had discussions with several theatres regarding the development of a stage production of the work. It has been an exciting year. Of course, we are incredibly grateful for the outpouring of support that has come from our local communities, and we are honored and thankful for the recognition we’ve received from these recent awards.”

For more information, visit: www.firefliesandshootingstars.com.

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