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Corning children's author pens latest book
"Farmer Terry is a spud guy."
That is the first line in Kathy Coatney's newest children's book in the local author's Farmer Guy/Farmer Gal series.
This fourth installment, like the rest, focuses on the world of agriculture, while at the same time implementing children's math, science, spelling and reading skills.
The cover of "Spuds, Taters and the French Fry Kids" features two children eating French fries as they sit in front of a potato field.
Featured in the book is Farmer Terry, a real, live potato farmer who lives in southern Oregon.
"I knew he would be a great character for this book and the kids would love him," Coatney said.
The book tells how potatoes are planted, the different varieties, where they are sold and the assorted ways of eating them.
First in Coatney's farmer series was "Four Quarts Makes a Gallon," about a dairy cow that had quadruplets.
Next came "Beekeepers Pat and the Amazing Dancing Bees."
Coatney's third book in the series was about olives — "Pizza, Tacos and the Olive Fingered Kid" — and featured as the main character her husband, Nick.
"That one was easy as my husband and I are olive farmers," Coatney said.
In each booked she has underlined words that are second-grade vocabulary words.
In this latest addition, those words are biggest, cellar, distance, examined, peculiar, prefers and surrounded.
Hitting on math and science, Coatney writes about the impacts of elevation, altitude, temperatures, harvest per acre and mileage, in raising potatoes.
A Corning native, Coatney started writing and publishing her children's book series due to her love of agriculture.
"My family is fourth generation dairy farmers and I was raised on a dairy," Coatney said. "Agriculture and the outdoors have always been a big part of my life."
As a photojournalist traveling the state and conducting hundreds of interviews, Coatney became concerned about the lack of understanding and knowledge children have about the relationship between their food and where it originates.
"Ask most kids today where milk comes from and they will say the grocery store," Coatney said. "Most children have never seen a cow milked or even been to a dairy. They really have no idea where milk really comes from."
Add to that list where honey or olives come from, and Coatney knew she was going to take on the task of teaching children about the magical world of nature and how we use it to grow and produce our food.
"I write real-life stories to educate children, using real-life people and farms," she said.
Her books are for children of all ages and can be educational and enjoyable for adults as well.
Coatney said her next books in the series will be about "peaches, olive oil and beef cattle."
In addition, she plans on writing another series of children's books focused on "amazing animals."