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Grandpa, What's a Super Skunk? cover

  • eBook Edition
    • 978-1-03-911663-4
    • epub, pdf files
  • Keywords
    • Trains,
    • Super Skunk,
    • California trains,
    • History of trains,
    • How trains work,
    • Grandfather,
    • Grandson

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Grandpa, What's a Super Skunk?
by Marcia Douglas

Across our country, there are numerous historic steam railroads that transport passengers through beautiful landscapes and stunning vistas. The steam railroad in my town, Ft. Bragg, CA, is no exception. Built in the late 1800's to carry lumber from the coast mainly to other parts of California, the railroad has transformed into a visitor attraction in the region, appealing to people all over the world. What started as three small, diesel "rail buses," (called "Skunks" because "you could smell 'em before you could see "em) has now been replaced with a classic steam engine, historically preserved and fully functional. Over 70,000 tourists come every year to enjoy the curvy, scenic ride through the mighty redwood trees, over creaking, wooden trestles, and through dark hand-dug tunnels. This book is told by a grandpa to his grandson, relating his own personal experiences as its conductor, engineer, and brakeman - how the story unfolded and became a reality.

Recommendation from the railroad... "As the president and general manager of our railroad, I am privileged to work with many talented people like Marcia, who help me protect, preserve and grow this railroad - a living, breathing piece of American history we so lovingly call the Skunk. "Grandpa, What's a Super Skunk" transported me back in time and made me fondly remember my first ride on the Skunk, as a three-year-old boy with my grandfather." Recommendation from my children's author friend... "Grandpa, What's a Super Skunk?" is a treat for young and old. Children will be drawn to the colorful illustrations and delighted to “climb on board” and hear the train’s history rumbling through the pages of this story. —Jeanette W. Stickel, author of the children's books: Mama’s Needle, Sh! Sh! Marie, The Ghostly Night and The Wild Waves Speak

Marcia Douglas photo

Marcia Douglas has been an elementary school teacher for 30+ years of her life. She grew up in the small town of Ft. Bragg, CA, on the rugged, northern California coast, went to college, and then came back to teach at home. The railroad has been part of her life and the fabric of the town for over a century. Recently, she started making art quilts as a hobby and donated her "Super Skunk" quilt to the railroad. As she walked around the gift shop, she noticed there were no storybooks for children about how the steam train became a reality. So, she casually asked if she could write one. The "Chief Skunk"consented and encouraged her to do so. After interviewing her friends who had worked on the train and also knowing their children and their grandchildren, Marcia created this charming fictional story, based on actual experiences they had had working for the railroad in an effort to preserve some of the fascinating tales she heard them tell. Marcia and her husband, Paul, an architect, have three grown children and still live in Mendocino. She smiles as she hears the train whistle every day as it begins its delightful journey. Cady Motherwell was born and raised in Fort Bragg and began exploring all styles of cartoon art at a very young age. She says she derives most of her inspiration from animation and video game design, particularly anime. As a child, Cady used to ride the Skunk Train with her sister and grandparents. They would hop off about halfway on its route to picnic and swim in the river all day and then later, they would catch a ride home on its return trip. It is a cherished childhood memory for Cady so creating the art for this book was the perfect opportunity to highlight some of the history of her beloved Skunk train. Cady has also illustrated other children's books, one featuring the beginning letters of the alphabet, and the other introducing numbers. She hopes to continue her artistic career in years to come.


Marcia Douglas
Cady Motherwell

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