Richard Perkins took advantage of his childhood summers at Lake Lucerne and turned them into a series of children’s books.
“This is about a young boy who encounters a large salamander, which is much larger than any other salamander,” Perkins said from his home in Maine. “And he speaks.”
Perkins, who had spent his summers visiting his grandparents at Lake Lucerne since 1953, owned a collection of salamanders and newts when he was a young boy himself.
“I had hundreds of them,” Perkins said.
Now retired from his job as a safety manager at a construction company, he has started his own publishing company – Brilliant Kids Book Publishing – and has already written and published two of the five books in the series called “The Salamander. King “.
The books address environmentalism, family values and bullying, while also using places and names of places and people from Lake Lucerne.
Every summer his parents went on vacation to Lake Lucerne. Her father, Wayne Perkins, grew up in Lake Luzerne, and her grandparents, Lynn and Cecile Perkins were longtime residents.
After 10 days, his parents would go home and leave Perkins with his grandparents. The subtitle of his first book is “Just Like Grandpa Taught Me”.
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“I would go out and collect the little critters,” Perkins said, “and I would come back and grandpa would help me create an environment for them, and he would say,“ Richard, you can only watch them for two or three. days, then you have to take them straight to their home where you found them.
The scenes in the book take place at Stone’s Pond in Lake Lucerne, a place Perkins often visited as a child.
He also took long walks with his grandfather. During a walk, they heard a very loud noise. His grandfather explained that it was a beaver hitting his tail.
“He said, ‘the beavers are hitting their tails on the pond to warn the other beavers that we’re in the area,” “recalls Perkins.
His first two books present a family of beavers. He also named characters in the books after Fred Gardner, owner of the local IGA market, and Edie, his wife. They bought the soda fountain and opened Papa’s Ice Cream Parlor in 1977.
The first book is available on Amazon for $ 13.99 and the second for $ 14.99.
“The books don’t just have a great story and an interesting story, there’s a tremendous amount of information in books about animals, about the environment, about everything,” Perkins said. “And a big part of the book is a strong family, who care and love each other.”