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Read Wisconsin

By NAN BIALEK

March 2014

Whether you are beachside or camped out indoors waiting for the weather to break, itís time to get cozy with a good read. Youíre sure to find something fascinating in this collection of books, each with its own Wisconsin-based point of view.

Chronicles of Whitefish Bay, Wisconsin
Edited by Thomas H. Fehring

Readers will likely be surprised by much of the local history told by the people who lived it in "Chronicles of Whitefish Bay, Wisconsin," edited by Thomas H. Fehring, a member of the Whitefish Bay Historic Preservation Commission and Whitefish Bay Historical Society.

Fehring put together "Whitefish Bay," a book featuring historic photos of the village about two years ago as part of Arcadia Publishingís "Images of America" series.

"Chronicles of Whitefish Bay" is a collection of personal stories revealing the villageís past as a farming community, fishing village, resort destination and weekend getaway spot for early 20th-century Milwaukeeans. A big attraction, Fehring says, was the old Pabst beer garden, located just north of Pandlís on Lake Drive. One chapter is devoted to Whitefish Bay residents who rose to national and international prominence.

Fehring says proceeds from both books are being used to support the Medallion Project. The initiative creates walking tours of the area and marks the villageís historic homes with medallions placed in sidewalks so, he says, "people can get a sense of the history of the village and its architectural jewels."

Noniís Secret Garden
By Sharon J. Stillman, illustrated by the author

On the deck of her condo, overlooking a pond and a wildlife refuge, Sharon Stillman created a "secret garden" to bring the wonder of nature closer to her grandchildren. The squirrels, rabbits and birds that count on Stillman for a daily dinner on the deck quickly became her grandchildrenís friends.

Stillman says she didnít set out to become the Beatrix Potter of Mequon. But her first book, "Noniís Secret Garden," is a step in that direction. Itís the true story of a noisy Mallard named Sophie and the rescue of her duckling, Donald, who lost a leg to a bulky bullfrog.

Stillman says she wrote and illustrated the book to coax children away from TV and computer screens and "into the reality all around you. Nature is just something joyous in this world."

 

The History, Art & Imagery of The Pfister Hotel
By Thomas J. Jordan, Photography by Jay W. Filter

Just like the local icon that is its focus, "The History, Art & Imagery of The Pfister Hotel" is an elegant treasure blending past with present, an opulent celebration of the cityís beloved landmark. The coffee table book was published in November to mark the hotelís 120th anniversary.

Whether youíve hustled through the lobby on the way to a ballroom function, lingered a while at Blu, or are a regular for brunch in the Rouge banquet room, youíve never seen the Pfister like this.

Photographer Jay Filterís keen eye reveals the stunning details that make the hotel truly grand. Thomas Jordan, former chairman of Milwaukeeís Hoffman York advertising agency, adds an engaging narrative, and art director Steve Biel curates historic photos with Filterís fresh images to produce the Pfisterís latest gem.

Smoochy Dog Earns a Badge
By Mark Siegrist, illustrated by Thay Yang

Milwaukee television viewers will recognize the author of the new childrenís book, "Smoochy Dog Earns a Badge," as broadcast journalist Mark Siegrist. "Smoochy Dog" is the story of an ambitious Australian shepherd who longs to serve in the Milwaukee Police Departmentís canine unit.

His thirst for adventure takes Smoochy from the comfort of his ownerís condo to a wild ride on a delivery truck to the stormy shores of Lake Michigan, where he becomes a genuine hero.

Throughout the story, Siegrist gives readers a glimpse into the world of broadcast journalism and punctuates the narrative with familiar Milwaukee places. Astute readers may also recognize some local characters in this charming story of a fearless dog whoís living the dream.





 

This story ran in the March 2014 issue of: