FRANKFORT, Ky.(April 13, 2015) – A new children’s book about the Kentucky Governor’s Mansion, titled “Sam Saves the Mansion” is now available as a free, downloadable e-book. Paperback copies of the book are also available for students to read in public libraries and elementary schools across the state.
First Lady Jane Beshear, a former teacher, requested the book be produced as an educational resource for young Kentuckians in coordination with the Governor’s Mansion Centennial Celebration in 2014.
“‘Sam Saves the Mansion’ is both informative and entertaining,” said Mrs. Beshear. “It not only provides young readers with a rich history and a visual tour of the mansion, but the story also imparts some important lessons on friendship, compassion and doing the right thing.”
“Sam Saves the Mansion” is the story of a stray dog named Sam, who one evening sneaks into the Governor’s mansion to escape from a thunderstorm. While inside, Sam befriends another dog, Tory, who lives in the mansion and gives Sam a tour and history of the 100-year-old residence. Afraid he will be captured and sent to a shelter, Sam, with Tory’s help, devises a plan to leave the historic home without being seen. Just as he’s getting away, Sam witnesses a disaster in the making and chooses to risk his freedom and stay behind to save the day.
The dogs in the story are named after two of Mrs. Beshear’s own dogs, one of whom, Tory, lives with the Beshear family at the mansion.
Kentuckians Rebecca Blessing, a long-time journalist, and Mary Ann Miller, a former teacher, wrote the book based on a story by Frankfort story/creator Beth McDonald. Artist Anita Fleming, of Frankfort, provided the illustrations. Photographer Amy Wallot supplied pictorial support. In early January, a print copy of the book, made possible through support from the Kentucky Executive Mansion Foundation Inc., was distributed to every elementary school and public library in Kentucky.
“The response to ‘Sam Saves the Mansion’ has been overwhelmingly positive,” said Mrs. Beshear. “Children love it and so do adults. The mansion has played an important role in the Commonwealth’s history and hopefully will continue to do so for years to come. I am pleased that we could share the significance of this state treasure with Kentuckians – young and old alike.”
While the book is currently not for sale, it is now available as an e-book so that teachers, students and parents across the Commonwealth can access it. The e-book includes interactive features such as word definitions and optional narration, as well as additional information on the mansion. The e-book was produced by Marty Park, with narration provided by Neilsen Park.
An electronic version of “Sam Saves the Mansion” is available at no-cost through Google Play<https://play.google.com/store/books/details?id=XGsaBwAAQBAJ> and Google Books<http://books.google.com/books?id=XGsaBwAAQBAJ&printsec=frontcover&source=gbs_ge_summary_r&cad=0#v=onepage&q&f=false> (for Android devices), the iBook Store<https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/sam-saves-the-mansion/id975033701?mt=11> and iTunes U<https://itunes.apple.com/us/itunes-u/sam-saves-the-mansion/id967827286?mt=10> (for Apple devices) and the Kentucky Libraries Unbound<http://kyunbound.lib.overdrive.com/D2E6727E-3156-41D9-B307-601A0A66696D/10/50/en/ContentDetails.htm?id=AE73AA5E-02FA-409F-B08F-AED98839E62A>, which is a digital resources repository for patrons of approximately100 Kentucky public libraries. The e-book is also available for download from the Kentucky Department of Education bookstore<http://education.ky.gov/comm/Pages/Free-Resources.aspx> at no-cost.