Friday, August 8, 2008

New book is foxy

Marriner Eccles reveals new children’s book

Express Staff Writer

Illustration by Jill Hall from “Franklin”.

From swans in Sun Valley and elk in the field to trout in the streams and foxes in the wood, the Wood River Valley is filled with wildlife. A year ago Marriner Eccles turned one of the stories he'd spun for his children into "Samantha," the story of the Sun Valley cygnet.

The Community Library in Ketchum will debut Eccles' new book about a young fox, "Franklin" at the Children's Library Story Time, at 10 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 9. Refreshments will be served, and Ann Christensen will discuss the scientific aspects of a fox's life in the Wood River Valley.

Illustrated by Jill Hall, the book is the second in a trio of stories about animals in the Sun Valley area written by Eccles.

His family are longtime visitors to Sun Valley. His grandfather was a colleague and friend of Sun Valley founder Averell Harriman. Eccles resides in Marin County, Calif.

The stories were inspired by watching the young members of his family on visits here play around the swan pond in Sun Valley, and making up stories about the creatures, as he did as a youth.

"They were doing what I was doing when I was their age," he said. "Each tree canopy was a hotel for the shaggy dogs, a hotel for the bad ducks. It went on and on. Franklin is sort of the same thing. We just love foxes. When (Eccles' wife) Leni and I take a walk, invariably there will be a fox out there. We were on the Elkhorn Golf Course and one paced us for a solid 10 minutes. They're very curious. They keep their distance, bobbing and weaving within 20 to 25 feet."

"Franklin" is about how foxes are raised.

"It's about the relationships between parents and their children," Eccles said.

All proceeds will go into an endowment for the Children's Library, to be called Samantha's Fund.

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