Jack Perkins Books

Parasols of Fern
A Book about Wonder

Written by Jack Perkins

Illustrated by Mary Jo Perkins

Bar Island, Maine, is a place --- and a metaphor.

The merry memories of a girl romping that island a century ago are a delight --- and an inspiration.

When NBC newsman Jack Perkins, after 30 years in television, moved with his wife Mary Jo to Bar Island in 1986, they became its first human residents in many years.

What and who prededed them, they wondered? What previous walkers had its flower-spattered meadow enticed? For what other eager mouths had it ripened wild cherries? To reward what climbers of its peak had it spread sublime panoramas of sunglint seas?

Their search to understand today led them deep into yesterday where they discovered a remarkable 10-year-old girl named Eugenia who would speak to them across generations of the simple joys which a child finds but adults forget to seek.

  • Like gathering fustfuls of violets.
  • Like settling down to a serene summer sunset.
  • Like promenading beneath parasols of fern.

She spoke to the two of them. Now, through this evocative book, may Eugenia, after all these years, speak to you.

AUTHOR: after a quarter-century of traveling the world as a correspondent and commentator for NBC News, Jack Perkins found Maine. By 1994, contentedly ensconced on Bar Island, he pursued television from a distance, hosting programs on the A&E Network, and contributing television essays to PBS's MacNiel-Lehrer Newshour. Those are avocations. His occupation was island-living.   ILLUSTRATOR: Only after raising three children and moving to Maine did Mary Jo Perkins resume a career in the arts. She began producing illustrations for bird and nature guides, and whimsical art for children's books. Parasols of Fern represents the first opportunity she and her husband had to collaborate.


Sample pages:

Parasols of Fern
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