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Member Showcase: November 2014


Barbara Dietz

Author of 

Chippiepierre’s Magic Paintbrush Tail: A Steamboat Adventure


Tune in to XTRA 99.1FM to hear the Author interviewed by Neal Steele on CBW's Second Monday monthly broadcast, November 10th at about 8:05AM. If you missed the live broadcast,

play the podcast:


About the Book and its Author

Chippiepierre's Magic Paintbrush Tail: A Steamboat Adventure is a heartwarming and humorous tale of feline friendship, cooperation and adventure on the Chesapeake Bay. Chippiepierre’s penchant for oil painting lands him and his very best friend Gidgett on a Chesapeake Bay Side-Wheel Steamboat in 1894. Who do they meet? What do they learn? Can they find their way back home? The answers to all these questions are in this story.  The Steamboat "Lancaster" on the book’s cover is a painting by my husband, artist, Richard Kantor. The pen and ink illustrations are the work of George W. Frayne, an artist from Reedville, Virginia.

​​This is a charming, educational, adventure reminiscent of the books we all loved growing up. It is a wholesome story that teaches about the Chesapeake Bay Steamboat Era; a bygone time when life in the tidewater region was dependent on steamboats plying the waters of the bay, from Baltimore to Norfolk.

"I have very fond memories of my mom reading to me when I was a very young child. She would bring books to life using different voices for the characters in whatever book we were reading. Once a week we would walk to the book mobile on Maple Avenue, about three blocks from our home. I would pick out new books, but many times I would choose my favorites, and my mom would dutifully read them to me, again and again. Those were some of my favorite days. So, from a very young age, I thought that one day, I would write a children’s book that someone would hopefully want to read again and again.

Passionate about animal welfare, I have been involved with animal rescue for over 25 years. My love of animals, and their endearing characteristics seemed like a natural fit for my first children’s book. In 2002, my husband Richard and I moved from the New Jersey Shore to Virginia’s Northern Neck. I enjoyed learning about the Chesapeake Bays fascinating 125 year steamboat history, and quickly learned that there are no children’s books specifically about the Chesapeake Bay Steamboat Era. This topic, combined with my love of animals has resulted in Chippiepierre’s Magic Paintbrush Tail: A Steamboat Adventure.

I am a member of the Society for Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, The Chesapeake Bay Writers and its Rappatomac Writers Critique Group."


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