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Benton writes second book

WORTHINGTON -- It is rare that a community library can boast books written by a local author, but what Jackie Van Horsen, children's librarian at Nobles County Library, has learned is that it's even more rare to find the books still on the shelf.

Since receiving a copy of Sherry Benton's November 2005 release, "The Story of Foxy Sox," Van Horsen said children have had the book continuously checked out.

Wednesday afternoon, Van Horsen accepted a copy of Benton's second book, "The Story of Dew Drop and His Little Nose." This particular gift is one that is hoped to keep on giving for children served by the local library.

Benton, through the auspices of the local Early Risers Kiwanis organization, will donate all net proceeds from the sales of "Dew Drop" to purchase new books for the children's section at the library. Proceeds from her first book were donated to the Community Christmas Basket project.

The release of Benton's second book coincides with the Kiwanis campaign, "Read Around the World," which runs from Feb. 1 through March 3. The local Kiwanis organization will take donations through the month of February, with monies collected going to the Nobles County Library.

Benton said the book will also be introduced at the Kiwanis district meeting in Redwood Falls in hopes that other groups might help to sell copies. The motto of the Kiwanis organization is to serve children around the world.

"I just want to give and encourage reading," Benton said. "Reading and children are after my heart -- (reading is) just a precious gift you can give to everyone."

"Dew Drop" is the story of a fawn who is considered to be a pest by the other animals in the forest. They shut their doors to keep his nose out of their home, but when a snowstorm blocks them from getting out, Dew Drop comes to the rescue. The animals quickly realize that Dew Drop's nose can be a great asset.

Copies of Benton's books are available by calling her or stopping by Johnson Jewelry in downtown Worthington.

One thing children will notice in Benton's second book is the return of Foxy Sox -- a surprise even to Benton. Derek Ahlberg and Amy Teerink, who illustrated both of Benton's books, drew the fox into one of the scenes. Ahlberg, a Worthington High School senior, drew scenes for the book's 13 pages and the cover, while Teerink, a 2005 WHS graduate, colored in the pictures.

The teens became involved in Benton's project while working at the Coffee Nook. Benton had stopped in with a draft of her first book and, in talking with the staff there, Benton learned of the pair's artistic talents.

"We both really appreciate Sherry letting us be a part of this," Teerink said. "It's nice to see the community pull together in support of Sherry."

Teerink and Ahlberg are already planning to illustrate Benton's third book later this month. That book, titled, "Susie Snowshoe," will be published sometime this spring.

Van Horsen said Benton's books will be incorporated into the library's pre-school story time for children, and they will also be shared with children during school visits. Both books are available to be checked out as well.

"I know the kids will really enjoy these," Van Horsen said.

Benton's second book, as the first, is dedicated to Jaden Louise Nickel, daughter of former Worthington residents Jeff and Tina Nickel. Jaden underwent four heart surgeries before the age of 1, and has served as an inspiration to Benton.

Julie Buntjer

Julie Buntjer joined the Globe newsroom in December 2003, after working more than nine years for weekly newspapers. A native of Worthington, she has a bachelor's degree in agriculture journalism. Find more of her stories of farm life, family and various other tidbits at

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