Author of children’s book holding signing event

Image from Lori Radecki’s new book called “We Are Glad You’re Here!”

MARSHALL — What started out as a poem for a new grandson turned into a published children’s book for Lori (Moorse) Radecki.

Radecki, who grew up in Marshall, recently published a children’s board book “We Are Glad You’re Here!” She will be doing a book signing from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at Tattle Tales in downtown Marshall.

Radecki said she has written poetry on and off since she was young. So when she found out she was going to be a grandma for the first time, she thought she would write the new baby a poem.

“Once I had the poem written, I felt like I wanted it to be more than just a poem, so I made some artwork to go with it,” she said. “I started by doing detailed paper cuttings of animals and then took pictures of them. I incorporated the poem and pictures into a photo book to give as a gift to my new grandson.”

That was 10 years ago, and now Radecki has eight grandchildren. She said she wrote a book for each of them, and this was the first of the eight to be published. A second is in the works.

“We Are Glad You’re Here!” introduces lions, birds monkeys and other animals, one after another, who just can’t contain their excitement over the birth of a baby, Radecki said.

“I remember sitting down to write the poem and thinking about how the birth of every child should be celebrated by everyone and everything,” she said. “I could picture a forest of animals being ecstatic over a new baby and wanting to let everyone know it, each in their own way. Sort of a universal welcoming to the baby.”

Radecki loves to create in many different ways. She said she gets totally absorbed in one thing for weeks or months and then move on to something new.

“My art medium changes often, but my greatest inspiration for most things I create comes from family,” she said. “Eight of the past 10 years I have always been brought back to writing something special for a new grandchild and deciding what type of art will best highlight the words.”

She said she is not a trained artist, so everything she does it by trial and error.

“Sometimes it can get very frustrating because I can’t get something to look like it does in my imagination,” she said. “But when it does finally come together, I find myself thinking, ‘Wow, I can’t believe I did that!’ I have said that many times about this book.”

After a decade and much prompting from family and friends, Radecki looked into publishing it. She really wanted it to be a board book so it would hold up to the little hands and mouths of babies and toddlers.

“I have to say I have been astounded by the response to my book,” she said. “I knew family and friends would love it, but what has been amazing for me to see and hear is the response of those who have no connection to me whatsoever. They seem to love the chunkiness of the board book and the realistic, almost 3-D looking animals.” Many have said the “We Are Glad You’re Here!” will be their “go to” book for baby gifts for now on, she said.

Proceeds from the book are going to the organization Feed My Starving Children, Radecki said.

“Since this book was written for my grandson Max, I gave him the opportunity to choose which charity he would like to help,” she said. “He chose FMSC. I brought him to that organization a couple weeks ago with our first donation from book sales.”