By Laurie Lunsford—
MUNCIE, IN—The solar eclipse is coming April 8, 2024. Laurie Lunsford, a local artist and writer was inspired when she attended a planning meeting for this occurrence, which is special to Muncie and those cities along the “path of totality” from Texas, crossing through Indiana and up to Maine. A large number of people from outside of Muncie are expected to come here to view the total eclipse. During the meeting, she thought about the possibility of a children’s book and was inspired to write “The Solar Eclipse is Coming.” It is a picture book that prepares children for the eclipse. It includes a preface that gives the adult reading the book, information that can be explained at a deeper level and the importance of wearing protective glasses.
“The Solar Eclipse is Coming” is primarily about the wonders of creation and builds to the end with the eclipse. Page after page there is day and there is night. The pictures show various views of the sun and the moon and all the beauty of creation. A boy plays with his dog in the day. An owl opens his eyes in the night. Children work in the sun during the day. Fireflies and stars sparkle in the night. The story continues through a week of days and nights. There is growing anticipation as the days and nights pass, and then comes the eclipse. As the moon passes between the sun and earth, it becomes like night time in the middle of the day.
“I want children to learn to look up every day and see not only the beauty of the sky and creation, but also the changes in color and light,” Laurie explains. “I call it God’s art gallery.’’
Laurie illustrated most of her paintings in the midst of the watchful eyes of neighborhood children in her front yard. The open air was fitting for her use of spray paint and pastels. Laurie’s love is children and nature. All ten of her books focus on discovery, nature, exploring new things, and imagination. She is passing this on to her three grandchildren, and to many other children she encounters. You might see her splashing with kids in the White River or hopping around on large rocks and exploring the prairie at Dutro Ernst Preserve. Several of her neighborhood kids were models for the children in the book.
“I create books because I have a message to get out. I want children to experience all five of their senses and exercise curiosity in their exploration of the outdoors,” Laurie says. “The Solar Eclipse is Coming” projects this message very well.
“It is much needed for the health of our next generation. I like to picture close moments between a child and a beloved adult enjoying books together; adults that take time to talk about the pictures.”
“The Solar Eclipse is Coming’’will be marketed to other communities in the path of the eclipse.
You can view this book along with Laurie’s other 9 children’s book on Amazon at https://www.amazon.com/s?k=laurie+lunsford&ref=nb_sb_noss
You can also buy the book for $8 at Café at the Crossing on Jackson Street.