A new picture book takes children on a history tour of Marblehead through the letters of the alphabet.
Marblehead resident Garrett Callahan illustrated the pictures and penned the rhymes in “M is for Marblehead,” a children’s book that deploys amusing, fun rhymes and pictures to teach children the ABCs while exploring the town’s history, traditions and landmarks.
From Old Burial Hill and the Lighthouse to Fort Sewall and Abbot Hall, Callahan captures the major landmarks as well as the changing seasons. His rhymes accompany each letter and represent something special to Marblehead, and each page has an interesting fact about the town as well.
“I wanted to create a very accessible, all in one way to learn about Marblehead for kids,” Callahan told the Marblehead News. “I figured this could be a good addition to how you do it.”
He attributed his motivation behind creating the picture book to his affinity not only for the town’s history but also for his family.
“I love teaching my nephew and nieces and my daughter (well she doesn’t quite understand it as much yet) about stuff in Marblehead,” Callahan said.
He got the idea for “M is for Marblehead” from a picture book created for Boston.
“I was actually reading a book with my niece about Boston, ‘B is for Boston,'” Callahan recalled. “I started thinking like this would be pretty neat to have for Marblehead.”
With the exception of a small break to care for his newborn daughter, Catherine, Callahan spent about two years writing the book’s rhymes and illustrations as a side project. The 29-year-old has a background in journalism and copy editing.
“Reading the book to Catherine has probably been my favorite part of this experience,” he said. “She’s still a bit too young to recognize all of the places, but I’m really excited to teach her about Marblehead and for her to explore this town.”
Folks can find the children’s book at the following locations:
- Mud Puddle Toys, 1 Pleasant St.
- Marblehead Mercantile, 132 Washington St.
- Sweetwater Trading Co., 33 Atlantic Ave.
- The Abbot Hall Gift Shop, 188 Washington St.
- Shubie’s Marketplace, 16 Atlantic Ave.
“The book is also available online for Marbleheaders that no longer live in town,” Callahan said, “but I would love to direct as many people as possible to the local stores.”