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By THE BAKERSFIELD CALIFORNIAN
For the first time on "First Look with Scott Cox," a bright green pelican puppet joined simulcast host Scott Cox in the studio.
Pelly the pelican belongs to Shirley Castro, a local children's book author. Pelly talked about the importance of reading.
"The more you read, the more you'll know, the more you know, the smarter you'll be," Pelly said through Castro's voice Tuesday.
Pelly is the main character in a series of five books Castro wrote. She will be at this year's Festival of Books and said she is excited to share Pelly's story with kids.
So what's the story behind Pelly the pelican?
Castro was standing at the Manhattan Beach pier one day and watched as pelicans flew overhead in a line.
"I started counting them myself and then the idea of making a counting book for kids using pelicans came around," Castro said. "But it's not just about the counting; it's also to encourage kids to observe what's around them."
Castro, along with 10 other local authors, will be at the festival from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday.
Jeff Nickell, executive director of the Kern Adult Literacy Council, said he wanted to bring together a group of successful and strong writers for people to meet.
"We have talented people in Bakersfield and there will be a wonderful team of authors that people will enjoy," Nickell said.
But the book festival doesn't just bring together authors and the community. Nickell said the goal is to help make Kern County a more literate place.
"It's all about Kern County residents having the ability of reading books, their medications, the newspaper," Nickell said. "We still have a long way to go but we are getting there."
The entrance fee for the festival is $10 for adults, $8 for seniors/students with ID and $5 for children. It will take place at the Larry Reider Education Center, 2000 K St. The entrance fee benefits literacy council programs.
For more information, visit www.kernalc.org or call 324-3213.