Local authors pen the perfect gifts for kids | AspenTimes.com

Local authors pen the perfect gifts for kids

Joel Stonington

Title: "The Littlest Cowboy's Christmas"Author: Michael Chandler, illustrated by Terry JacobsenPublisher: PelicanPrice: $15.95

When picking out Christmas books for kids, why go beyond the Roaring Fork Valley? The following picks by local authors would warm the underside of any Christmas tree in the valley. “The Littlest Cowboy’s Christmas,” by Glenwood Springs resident Michael Chandler, is an illustrated book about a Christmas Eve in Woody Creek shared with John Denver.

Told with charm and a light touch, the book paints a hopeful, joyous picture of a holiday night spent walking through the snow to the barn of an old bronco buster and his horse. There, Chandler and his son find warmth and music. “You remember one Christmas most of all …” the book begins. In its simplicity, “The Littlest Cowboy’s Christmas” reminds the reader what a wonderful place the Roaring Fork Valley is to live. “Rocky Mountain Mammals” is a smart field guide by Aspen Community School teachers Garrick Pfaffmann and Hilary Forsyth. Designed by local Kelly Alford and locally published by Warren Ohlrich, the book is planned to be part of a series of kid-oriented local field guides; other topics will include birds and plants.Complete with illustrations, photos and touches such as “human threats,” “Rocky Mountain Mammals” opens the world of this region’s megafauna. From where the animals live to their tracks, names and sense of smell, it should help any budding naturalist with easy-to-navigate pages and vocabulary.

Michael Chandler is holding book-signings at Town Center Booksellers in Basalt on Saturday, Dec. 16, from 2 to 4 p.m., and at the Aspen Book Store at the Little Nell on Monday, Dec. 18, from 4 to 6 p.m.