Reception Saturday honors authors, illustrators in View

TEAM — Gary, Carol and Justin VanRiper, co-authors and interior artist for The Adirondack Kids® series of children’s chapter books, will be honored at a reception from 1 to 3 p.m. Saturday in View, 3273 State Route 28 in Old Forge. (Photo submitted)

The Adirondack Kids® #12 ­ The Pond Hockey Challenge

OLD FORGE — Gary and Justin VanRiper of Camden (and Fourth Lake), creators of The Adirondack Kids® series of children’s chapter books, have been writing together for 12 years. Saturday, an exhibit of artwork from their book series will begin a three-month run at View, the arts center in Old Forge.

A reception is planned with the authors and the artists on the opening day from 1 to 3 p.m. which will also feature the release of the new book, The Adirondack Kids® #12 ­ The Pond Hockey Challenge.

"We are very excited about this generous opportunity View has provided to celebrate the work of our artists who over the years have helped to bring our characters to life," said Gary VanRiper.

More than 40 pieces of original art by illustrators Susan Loeffler and Carol VanRiper will be displayed, including the full-color cover art for all 12 books, poster and coloring book art, and a host of interior black-and-white illustrations.

The exhibit area will also feature mounted animal and bird life featured in the Adirondack Kids adventures ­ and every child accompanied by an adult will receive a free copy of The Adirondack Kids® Story & Coloring Book.

The Adirondack Kids® began as a writing exercise at home when Justin was in third grade. Encouraged after a public reading of their piece at a Parents As Reading Partners (PARP) event at school, the project grew into a middle-reader chapter book.

When 2,000 copies of their first book sold out in three months, they began another story and for 12 years have released one Adirondack Kids book per year. More than 100,000 copies in the series have been sold.

It was while working on The Adirondack Kids® #4 ­ The Great Train Robbery when Justin handed his mom, Carol VanRiper, a photograph of the conductor at the Upper Hudson River Railroad and urged her to try drawing for the series. Upon seeing the results, he "hired" her on the spot. Carol has drawn all of the black and white interior illustrations ever since, making The Adirondack Kids® even more of a family affair.

The fifth book in the series, Islands in the Sky, won the 2006-07 Adirondack Literary Award for Best Children’s Book and volumes in the series are used in schools throughout New York State. Oct. 6, 2012 marks the first Adirondack Kids Day to be held in Inlet.

Spring hours at View are Monday through Thursday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Fridays and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sundays from noon to 4 p.m.

Exhibition admission is $8/$4 members and includes admission to all exhibitions that run concurrently including the Northeast National Pastel Exhibition.

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