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Local children’s author shines light on nighttime critters

COURTESY PHOTOS
Story Monsters – Author and “favorite son” Conrad Storad joins manifestations of the Story Monsters.

“Night Watchers,” released July 15, is the first installment in his publisher’s new science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics series called “The S.T.E.A.M. Chronicles.”

By BOB MOREHEAD
BGNN senior staff writer

The newest offering by noted local children’s author Conrad Storad delves into the shadowy world of nocturnal animals.

“Night Watchers,” released July 15, is the first installment in his publisher’s new science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics series called “The S.T.E.A.M. Chronicles.”

“My publisher, Story Monsters, wanted to do something with S.T.E.A.M., of course involving the Story Monster,” Storad told BGNN.

Storad began his professional writing career at The Barberton Herald back in the late 1970s through early ’80s and went on to serve as a science writer for the National Cancer Institute and Kent State University, specializing in making science accessible to kids. He has more than 60 science and nature books to his credit aimed at children and young adults. Many of these have won awards. He lived many years in Arizona and returned to Barberton a few years ago.

This latest book finds the Story Monster, a timeless shapeshifting being always found on the edges of where stories are being told, meeting Storad’s original narrator, the elf owl Eduardo Owlington III.

“Eddie introduces all kinds of night creatures,” Storad said.

While Eddie is a denizen of the Sonoran Desert and starts with his nocturnal neighbors, he doesn’t stay there, moving across the U.S. to show us other Night Watchers.
To save money, the book only features color on the cover. Illustrator Jeff Yesh produces black-and-white line art drawings inside. The upside is this lets the kids get creative and add their own color inside, which they are invited to do with a glyph right on the cover. In the appendix is a teacher’s guide for incorporating the book in regular lessons.

Within two weeks of its release, “Night Watchers” was already the No. 1 Kindle purchase. Copies are also for sale at Barberton Local Tees.

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