In August, the New England Boating TV crew was shooting a dock-and-dine segment at the Town Docks restaurant on Lake Winnipesaukee when we struck up a conversation with a fellow diner and his family. It turned out the guy knew a thing or two about both television and Lake Winnipesaukee boating!
Andy Opel is an associate professor of media-production at Florida State University, and has summered on Lake Winnie all his life. A few years ago he was struck by the dearth of children’s books about the lake, so he set out to write one. The Witches: A Winnipesaukee Adventure, was released in 2011 and awarded Best Children’s Book in that year’s New England Book Festival. It centers around 3 children who take the family skiff to a nearby island. The ensuing adventure, involving an infamous lake hazard, serves up some important lessons in boating safety.
In March (2013) Opel published The Weirs: A Winnipesaukee Adventure, in which the young characters introduced in The Witches enjoy a cruise around the lake in a classic runabout before docking at the famous resort town of Weirs Beach, where they play skee-ball, eat ice cream and encounter a mysterious fortune-telling machine. The evening run home holds a surprise as well.
Both Opel books feature watercolor illustrations by Karel Hayes that are beautiful and technically accurate in terms of the lakeside scenes they depict. If you are a fan of Lake Winnipesaukee and have kids, you’ll want these books in your home or cabin library.
Both retail for $17.95