'Wilderman's Treetop Tales'
Elliott to perform library concert for new book
Monday, Chad Elliott released his first children's book "Wilderman's Treetop Tales." In addition to writing and illustrating the book full of silly songs and poems, Elliott also recorded the complimentary CD that accompanies the book.
To promote his book, Elliott is conducting a library book tour across Iowa. One of his first stops will be a free concert at Spencer Public Library at 7 p.m. Nov. 19.
"I lived in Spencer on and off for about 12 years. It feels like my surrogate hometown," Elliott said. "The Spencer library has always been very supportive of me and my work, so I thought it should be one of my first stops."
"Chad reached out to us through Facebook about being a part of the tour, and we agreed," Paula Brown, Spencer library assistant director, said. "We were just really tickled that he thought of us. It's nice to know that he had such a great experience here in the past that he wanted to come here for his tour."
According to Elliott, "Wilderman's Treetop Tales" is a book 17 years in the making.
"It's been in the work since my 17-year-old son was very little. That's when I started making up these songs for him," he explained. "All of my songs always had pictures that would go with them in my head, and I would paint them or draw them in journals. So I brought the songs and the pictures together for this book."
Elliott said he was inspired by the works of children's author and songwriter Shel Silverstein.
"A lot of it is about getting kids outside and being adventurous," Elliott explained. "It's about embracing the wild side of your imagination and exploring."
He continued, "One of the very first songs is about finding the music deep in the woods, which is a key component of all the fairytales we grew up with about going deep into the woods and finding adventure. I think that is something that is deep inside all of us as children and adults."
Elliott's Spencer library concert is billed as an all-ages show that will take place in the library's main space to the left of the front desk with the stage set up in the genealogy section.
"I'm really going to mix it up by performing some of the new kids songs from the book, some of everyone's old favorites and take requests," Elliott explained. "There will be an interactive portion that should be a lot of fun for everyone. I am going to do a few songs where the kids participate, and then, I will write a song right on the spot with the help of the kids. They will come up with different ideas for the song."
He added, "Adults will have fun, too, because I am going to share the stories behind my songs."
"We always get a good sized crowd to open up the library for Chad," Brown said.
Since Elliott is performing at the library for free, a freewill donation will be accepted.
"He deserves it," Brown said. "He has done concerts for us in the past pro bono because he is such a sweet guy. He is doing this concert for free as well. What he asks is we pass the hat around for donations. We hope to get enough money, so he can pay for a tank of gas to get home."
"I know funding is tight for public libraries, and I want to give back to them," Elliott said. "We will pass the hat around so to speak, and everyone can show their support for the many events the library does. This way the library gets to put on a great event and doesn't have to worry about paying me."
After the concert, Elliott said he will donate a copy the "Wilderman's Treetop Tales" book and CD to the Spencer Public Library for all to enjoy.