2017-12-01 / Community

Our NEIGHBOR: Local author wins award for latest children’s book

By Cindy Dugan

Lisa Batch at a recent holiday fair promoting her book. Lisa Batch at a recent holiday fair promoting her book. Start with a delightful children’s story, add watercolor illustrations, mix in original songs and stir in a lot of love. This is the recipe for a new, award-winning children’s book titled “The First Song,” by author Lisa Batch, also known as Lisa Manning Batchelder.

Batch hosted a book launch on November 9 at the ACSWF Co-op Art Gallery at Coconut Point mall. An accomplished multi-dimensional artist, Batch wrote, illustrated and composed songs for the book. Along with two students, Skyler Moore and Peyton McManus, she performed songs “It’s a Jungle Out There,” “Vocabulary” and “Believe” – choreographed with animated movements and jungle sounds – at the book launch.

Batch and the two students recorded the songs at WGCU’s Gulf Coast Studios at FGCU, and worked with FGCU students to incorporate her diverse watercolor illustrations of jungle animals and cave people using Photoshop. “I wanted to show different ethnicities,” said Batch.

“The First Song” tells a story dating back 30,000 years of a smart, brave cave girl who transforms a land of conflict into one of harmony through the universal language of music. The book begins with a photograph of an actual cave drawing, and ends with the musical score and lyrics to Batch’s song “Believe.” The story teaches compassion and peace through open communica­tion and is dedicated to the world’s peacemakers.

“The First Song” is Batch’s third book. Her charming works teach children valuable life lessons.

Batch sought a creative outlet after retiring from a career as a professional singer, a Broadway performer and a headliner on international cruise ships. “I wanted to write a book for my grandchildren, and my sister dared me to illustrate it,” Batch said.

She spent 2 ½ years creating this book, which contains 35 illustrations and three original songs. The book won the 2017 Moonbeam Children’s Book Bronze Award for exemplary children’s books.

The Bonita Springs Concert Band and The Estero High School Chorus will perform Batch’s songs on February 25 at 2 p.m. at Riverside Park in Bonita Springs. She is also scheduled to sing a medley from “The Sound of Music” at the concert.

Her quest is to create children’s books worthy of being read numerous times, books that bring smiles and target the brain as well as the funny bone. She hopes her books will become a child’s friends for life. “I want to leave a legacy behind,” said Batch, “to leave the world a tiny bit shinier.” For more information, go to LisaBatch.com.

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