Jody (Stiriz) Bird to sign books 2012.04.04

Written by David Green.

book.stirizBy DAVID GREEN

Jodi (Stiriz) Bird’s teenage son, Kyle, has had a special interest in trees and other plants since he was a young child. 

He’s given his grandparents, Don and Jane Stiriz of Fayette, a couple of trees for their home, including a banana tree.

Jane recalls hearing Don tell Kyle on the telephone when he was younger how tired he gets harvesting bananas from that tree.

A few years ago Jodi decided to take Kyle’s interest in trees and create a simple field guide for parents to use with their own young children.

“Kyle would love going for walks around town as a preschooler and would always ask me what kind of tree the different fallen leaves had come from,” Jodi remembers. “I really only knew a maple leaf and so we would bring them home and look them up on the computer or in a tree book.”

That wasn't always an easy process, she said, because there are so many species. 

“I felt there needed to be a book available for parents, kids and teachers that would take a few common varieties and simplify the process and then possibly ignite a passion for the outdoors,” she said.

She wrote the text, but waited a long time for the illustrations to be completed. The book was finally published last fall.

“Because I wanted the style of this book to be illustrated in a special way, I was a bit picky about who I wanted to do it,” Jodi explained. “I finally came across a publishing company in Indiana, AuthorHouse, that provided an in-house illustrator who did fine line drawings.”

She never met or even spoke with the illustrator.

Jodi has presented her book to school classrooms and at libraries and she’s pleased with the response from children.

“I think kids have a natural love for the outdoors, but they may not know what to look for while walking around,” she said.

Her book gives them a starting point, sort of an ‘I Spy’ format.

 Her tree book, “Going on a Hunt,” won’t be her last simply because Kyle isn’t her only child.

“I have two other children and they have already asked me when ‘their’ books are going to be written,” said Jodi.  “I have started the next book with my daughter as the main character. It will be a chapter book with Route 66 being the main theme and setting.”

• Jodi will travel from her home in Lancaster, Ohio, to Fayette this weekend for an Easter visit, and a book signing is planned. She will have books available for sale from 4 to 6 p.m. Saturday at the Stiriz’s Pizza Stop restaurant.

  • Homecoming Court
    HOMECOMING—One senior candidate will be chosen Morenci’s fall homecoming queen during half-time ceremonies Friday at the football field. In the back row are seniors Mikayla Price, who will be escorted by Mason Vaughn; Madison Bachman, escorted by Kiegan Merillat, and Mikayla Reinke, escorted by Griffin Grieder. Senior Ariana Roseman is absent from the photo. Her escort is Garrett Smith. In the front is sophomore Abbie White, who will be escorted by Ryder Price; junior Madysen Schmitz, escorted by Harley McCaskey and freshman Madison Keller, escorted by Jarett Cook.
  • Front.cross
    HUDSON RUNNER Jacob Morgan looks toward the top of the hill with dismay during the tough finish at Harrison Lake State Park. Fayette runner Jacob Garrow focuses on the summit, also, during the Eagle Invitational cross country run Saturday morning. Continuing rain and drizzle made the course even more challenging. Results of the race are in this week’s Observer.
  • Front.bear
    HOLDEN HUTCHISON gives a hug to a black bear cub—the product of a taxidermist’s skills—at the Michigan DNR’s Great Youth Jamboree. The event on Sunday marked the fourth year of the Jamboree. Additional photos are on page 12.
  • Front.crossing
    Crossing over—Jim Heiney was given a U.S. flag to carry by George Vereecke (behind Jim in the hat), turning him into the leader of the parade. Bridge Walk participants cross over Bean Creek while, in the background, members of the Morenci Legion Riders cross the main traffic bridge on East Street South. Additional photos appear on the back page of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.hose Testing
    HOSE safety—The FireCatt hose testing company from Troy put Morenci Fire Department hose to the test Monday morning when Mill Street was closed to traffic. The company also checks nozzles and ladders for wear in an effort to keep fire fighters safe while on calls.
  • Front.starting
    BIKE-A-THON—Children in Morenci’s Summer Recreation Program brought their bikes last Tuesday to participate in a bike-a-thon. Riders await the start of the event at the elementary school before being led on a course through town by organizer Leonie Leahy.
  • Front.train
    WRECKAGE—Morenci Fire Department member Taylor Schisler walks past the smoking wreckage of a semi-truck tractor on the north side of the Norfolk and Southern Railroad tracks on Ranger Highway. The truck trailer was on the south side of the tracks

Weekly newspaper serving SE Michigan and NW Ohio - State Line Observer ©2006-2016