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Seniors inspire picture book

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CANTON — A picture book for seniors that was published Thursday received its inaugural reading Friday at United Helpers Canton Nursing Home.

"Lavender Ladies," chronicles the stages of life, from childhood to old age, in 20 pages, using alliteration and colors such as crimson children and amber adults to separate the ages.

"This particular book, I think anybody would like it," said Sharon L. Caldararo, Watertown, co-creator of Ageless-Sages Publishing. "It's simple enough a grandchild could pick it up and read it."

The idea for the book, the first in a series Ageless-Sages has in the works, came about through a conversation Mrs. Caldararo's sister, Natalie Tucker Miller, Hinesburg, Vt., had with her daughter, Beth Miller, the book's author, after a visit to the nursing home with Fern J. Thompson, formerly of Richville, Ms. Miller's grandmother.

Mrs. Thompson liked the pictures in the children's stories they had brought to read, but they didn't want to be condescending and thought about cross-over books that might have a more mature plot line.

Miss Miller, a creative writing student at Chester College of New England, wrote the story over a few weeks.

The self-publishing company seemed like the right avenue for the genre because most bookstores wouldn't know how to categorize it, Mrs. Tucker Miller said.

The book is available on the Web site for $29.95, plus shipping. It includes a CD with a reading of the book and two songs, one a lullaby written by Mrs. Caldararo.

"Lavender Ladies" sparks memories and can act as a stimulus for discussion, she said.

"We see families going in the nursing home and they just don't know what to do," Mrs. Caldararo said. "The book just brings back smiles and laughter. We had one 83-year-old lady who heard it and remembered a memory from first grade."

About two dozen residents of the home listened Friday to a reading of the book. There was a book-signing afterward. The event continued Saturday.

"Our inspiration is you," Mrs. Caldararo told the residents.

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