One Cool Friend

What is One Book Habersham?

About The Campaign

All around the country for the last decade people have been coming together to build community through stories. Habersham County has joined this national movement with One Book Habersham. Each year people throughout Habersham County Georgia are invited to read and share the same picture book.

In 2015, the inaugural year, thousands of people read and discussed Carmen Agra Deedy's Martina the Beautiful Cockroache. In March of 2015 Ms. Deedy spent three days at three elementary schools sharing her amazing storytelling gift. Hundred of adults and children were able to enjoy her stories at a public event.

The second year's book was Lester Laminack's Three Hens and a Peacock—a colorful, crazy book on the theme of accepting our own gifts. Once again, thousands of children and adults in Habersham County read the book.  Mr. Laminack spent two day in Habersham County in April 2016. During his visit all Habersham County elementary students were able to hear him speak, and many adults and families attended an evening community event.

This year's book is a Caldecott Honor: One Cool Friend written by Toni Buzzeo with illustrations by David Small. Hundreds of copies of the book will be circulated throughout Habersham County in the early months of 2017. Author Toni Buzzeo will be in Habersham County April 6th and 7th to speak to elementary students and meet the people of Habersham County.

Books will be available throughout Habersham County—at schools, libraries, businesses, and restaurants. Find a copy to read, sign your name inside the book, and share with a friend.

One Book Habersham is a community partnership between the Habersham County Schools, Volunteers for Literacy of Habersham, Habersham County Libraries, and Piedmont College School of Education with support from local businesses and organizations. We invite you to join in this fun approach to building community and promoting literacy in Habersham County.

This year's book: One Cool Friend

By Toni Buzzeo
One Cool Friend

Young Elliot isn’t your typical young man, but he is certainly true to his own personality. While on a trip with his father to the aquarium for Family Fun Day, Elliot discovers the pet of his dream—a Magellanic penguin. Since he is a very proper young man, he asks his father if he may have a penguin. His father mistakenly assumes that he would like a stuffed penguin and quickly agrees; he even hands over the money for the purchase. But the penguin that Elliot wants isn’t stuffed, it isn’t plush, it isn’t for sale. It is a living, breathing, flapping penguin, and it soon takes the place of Elliot’s backpack contents for a trip home.

This clever, quirky book recounts the challenges of hosting a live penguin in a Victorian home including climate control, exercise needs, proper diet, and keeping it a secret. But having an absent-minded, turtle-researching father makes it all a bit easier. The illustrations are as delightful as the story and help reveal three wonderful characters—Elliot, his father, and the penguin Magellan.

This book is about silly misunderstandings. It’s about that special bond between child and pet. But it is also about exploring those things that fascinate us. Paying close attention to the details in words and illustrations reveals the subtle humor that is woven throughout this tale. The surprise ending will delight adults and children alike and will have readers flipping back to the previous pages to enjoy the book all over again.

Where Can I Find It?

Books are available throughout the community for you to read. Public libraries and schools will have copies for lending. Look for them in banks, restaurants, businesses, and other places where people gather. Read a copy, sign your name inside the book, share it with a friend, talk about it with your neighbors, and help us build community through this story.

Storyteller Spotlight

Toni Buzzeo
Toni Buzzeo

Toni Buzzeo is the New York Times bestselling author of children’s books and professional books and articles. Although she is now a full-time writer and speaker, she is also a former college and high school English teacher and school librarian.

Her 21 books for children have won numerous national and state awards. This year’s One Book Habersham selection, One Cool Friend, illustrated by David Small, won a 2013 Caldecott Honor which is one of the most prestigious awards in American children’s literature. Her books celebrate the importance of family and new adventures in a wide and welcoming world as well as the fun of learning through books and libraries. She has three million books in print.

As a professional writer, she has published eleven books for educators as well as countless articles in the library and literacy fields.

Toni is also a well-known and sought-after speaker. She speaks extensively in schools as well as at conferences and district and regional professional development trainings, both nationally and internationally. She has keynoted many state conferences as well as international school conferences and has been a featured speaker at national, state, and regional International Reading Association conferences.

Toni holds degrees from the University of Michigan-Dearborn (B.A.), the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor (M.A.), and the University of Rhode Island (M.L.I.S.). She was the 2004 University of Michigan-Dearborn Alumnus of the Year.

She lives on 35 acres of a colonial farm in Buxton, Maine most of the year, but slips down to her sunny winter nest in Sarasota, Florida when the weather turns blustery at home.

When's it Happening?

Upcoming Events

Public Events

Make plans to help us give Toni a Habersham County welcome by attending the free community event. An informal Meet and Greet will be held at The Commons at Piedmont College at 7:00pm on Thursday, April 6th, 2017. Stop by to introduce yourself, meet others who have read the book, and enjoy refreshments.

(You don’t want to miss the penguin and bow tie cookies created by the Culinary Arts Program at Tallulah Falls School!)

The Commons is located at 375 Georgia St. in Demorest

Other Events

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