ELKHART — Can a mermaid help kids discover the right pet for them? Local children’s author Judith L. Roth’s latest book suggests so, perhaps.
“Cadence and Kittenfish: A Mermaid Tale” will be released on Tuesday. Cadence, a mermaid, discovers kittens and desperately wants one. But how can a mermaid have a pet kitten? Cats hate water! Through a series of problem-solving and goal-setting activities, Cadence is finally able to find the perfect pet for her, the “kitten”, a sea otter.
“I was thinking about when you’re a kid and you want a pet, sometimes you’re allergic or you live in an apartment and you can’t have one,” Roth explained. “It seemed like the hardest way to do that would be if you were a mermaid and wanted a cat.”
A cat mom herself, “Cadence and Kittenfish” isn’t the first cat book she’s written. Her collection includes “Serendipity & Me,” another book about cat love; “Good Night, Dragons”, “Hold Cups”, “Hide Baby Moses”, and “Venetian Lullaby”. She has also had a number of short stories produced in magazines such as Highlights magazine.
Roth has been an author since before she graduated from college, when she had her first poem accepted for publication in a magazine in the 1980s.
“I’ve always had much better luck with poetry than with children’s fiction,” she said. “Poetry, for some reason, was easier.”
Anyway, she always loved children’s books.
“I love creating and that’s where I want to put a lot of my creative energy,” she said. “It’s very rewarding to finally get an acceptance and a contract.”
Roth’s work is also gaining popularity. On August 2, amid production on the new book, Roth learned that his previous book, released April 27, 2021, was shortlisted for the Eugene and Marilyn Glick Indiana Authors Awards. “Hiding Baby Moses” is a lyrical retelling of the Old Testament story of baby Moses hiding from the Pharaoh, told from the perspective of his protective older sister, Miriam. There’s even a song at the end of the book that Miriam de Roth sings to baby Moses for a totally immersive experience for kids called “The Shelter of God’s Wings.” It was written by her and her husband Marc, and they posted the song on YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Oz50NugLtVs. Roth said she actually wrote the book several years ago, but as a religious book it was difficult to find a publisher. Nevertheless, when the book was released, it was one of 40 books to make the shortlist, and one of six in the children’s category.
Roth, a former youth minister, boasted a history of jobs before becoming a full-time author. She has been an editor, ASL performer and piano teacher. Now she helps her husband to keep the accounts of his business
“Cadence and Kittenfish: A Mermaid Tale” is published by Starry Forest Book, with art by Jaclyn Sinquett. Roth said she enjoyed how Sinquett’s illustrations added to the story.
“She had the father mermaid being an underwater farmer, which was nowhere in the text but was a nice edit, and the older sister’s underwater bedroom looked like a teenage girl’s bedroom under the water. It’s very exciting to see the story come to life with images.
“Cadence and Kittenfish: A Mermaid Tale” is slated for release on Tuesday. The book will be available on Amazon, Barnes & Nobles, Bookshop.org, and Fables in Goshen should have it soon as well.
Meet the author at three local events after the book’s release.
• On Tuesday, Roth will present his book at Stories in the Garden at Wellfield Botanic Gardens at 5.30pm.
• On October 5, she will be at the Goshen Public Library to read the book for story time.
• Next, on October 7, Roth will be on hand for First Fridays for a book signing event at Fables.