Years ago I passed a farm stand and this sign “50 pounds of potatoes $3.00″ caught my eye. Not able to resist a bargain, I stopped. The stand was closing so the farmer threw in two extra bags and I came home with 150 pounds of potatoes. I had my kids going up and down the street giving potatoes out to everyone until they said, “No more. We have enough.” I made potato pancakes, puddings, soups, and didn’t make a dent in the mounds of potatoes on my counter tops. Word spread, people started sending me recipes, and my interest in the potato grew. My latest book, Potatoes With Appeal; 105 Mouth-Watering Recipes, is the result. in addition to the recipes it includes a brief history of the potato, its proper care and maintenance, and cooking hints.
This is the website where you can find my latest essay, “Searching for a Heritage”. I hope you enjoy it. It is in the May 26, 2017 edition of MothersAlwaysWrite.
Exciting news. One of my essays, “Searching for a Heritage” will be featured on Friday, May 26, 2017 in MAW (Mothers Always Write). www.mothersalwayswrite.com
I was interviewed by News 12 Brooklyn on May 14, 2017 for my latest book, Grandpa and Me and the Park in the City and wanted to share the video with you. You can find it at this link on Faceboook: https://www.facebook.com/carren.wagnerstrock/videos/vb.1136507318/10211628002432403/?type=2&theater
When I wrote my rhyming picture book, “Grandpa and Me and the Park in the City,” I based it on Kolbert Park, the park down the street from where I live. There was a ground breaking ceremony this afternoon because the park is going to be completely renovated. I attended, and gave a copy of my book to the media relations person. But I was stunned when City of New York’s Parks & Recreation Commissioner, Mitchell Silver, began to speak: he held up my book and said, this park is so special that it had a wonderful book written about it. He acknowledged me and thanked me for writing it.
“Grandpa and Me and the Park in the City,” written and illustrated by Carren Strock, celebrates the bond between a child and his grandfather and the rewards that effort and persistence can bring. Braden is a seven-year-old who spends time with his grandfather during the summer months. Although he lives in the country, Braden discovers that city-life has its attractions. He especially enjoys the park, with its swings, slides, and monkey bars. However, the day comes when Braden outgrows childish things, and he is disconsolate. Fortunately, Grandpa has some pleasant activities in mind that anyone can enjoy, such as Tai-Chi.
The author celebrates diversity, showing people of different ages, ethnicities, shapes, and sizes enjoying city life together. In addition, she uses rhyme effectively, making this a good choice for a read-aloud. The illustrations are awash with eye-catching pastel colors. However, Strock’s drawings of facial expressions and the human body in motion are not as strong as those depicting apartment houses, stores, and the park.
“Grandpa and Me and the Park in the City” leaves us with a warm feeling. The connection between a growing boy and his devoted grandparent can be precious and lasting, and it is heartening to watch Braden mature and learn practical skills and values from his wise and loving grandfather.
Grandpa and Me and the Park in the City, my first rhyming picture book for children just came out. It had me, once again, stepping out of my comfort zone as I wrote and illustrated it. This project began fifteen years ago. I woke very early one morning and went for a walk. As I passed the park, I saw a large group of people doing Tai Chi. They invited me to join them and I was reminded of the fun I used to have in the park with my dad when I was little. I used my cousin and his small grandson as models for my book. Then my project was replaced by several other books I was working on and only recently went back to it. Mathew is now in college. I tell this story to remind myself that when the right time comes, I do get my work done.