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Mom combines love of music, reading in children’s book

Kelly Pollark's new book.

Kelly Pollark's new book.

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Book launch

A book-launch party for “Rockabet” has been scheduled for Monday, Oct. 7, from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Fox Lake Library, 255 E. Grand Ave.

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Updated: November 6, 2013 6:04AM

The history of rock-and-roll might begin with pioneers like Elvis Presley, but when it comes to an alphabet book about rock, the King has to wait his turn.

“I don’t want to give away every one, but of course, E is for Elvis,” said Kelly Polark of Ingleside when asked about the selections in her new children’s book, “Rockabet: Classic Edition.”

As the name implies, Polark took the artists we hear on classic-rock radio and assigned 26 of them to present the alphabet to a much younger generation.

“One of the reasons I wrote this is that I really, really enjoy rock music and I’m combining my love for reading and my love for music in this book,” said Polark, a teacher’s aide at Big Hollow Primary School in Ingleside who began working on the book some six years ago.

“I guess the most current classic (band) would be M for Motley Crue, so there’s a good range of ’60s, ’70s and ’80s bands in there, and actually a few early ’90s,” she added. “I stopped in the ’90s, because what do you consider classic?”

Polark’s illustrator on “Rockabet” is Kelli Ann Little of Antioch, a Carmel High School graduate who is currently studying art at Colorado Western State University.

“This was her summer project — I contacted her and she did my illustrations for me,” Polark said. “I know her mom, actually, and I saw some of her illustrations on Facebook because I liked her illustrations page, and I really, really liked her artwork. So I contacted her to see if she wanted to collaborate, and luckily, she did.”

“Rockabet,” now available in both hard and softcover through and select bookstores, is Polark’s second published work following 2012’s picture book with illustrator Kajiah Jacobs, “Big Sister, Baby Brother.”

Polark, a mother of three, said she hopes the ABC’s approach taken by “Rockabet” will connect with the parents of younger children.

“I think any exposure to the alphabet or reading is very vital — from learning the alphabet, to learning to read, to learning to turn the page from left to right,” she said.

“I think reading is so important, and I think if a parent enjoys a book, the more they will read to their kids, too. So I know parents will enjoy this book, as well.

“I know that as a parent, you read the same books over and over and over, and you try to get a variety in there, so I hope that this will be a book that parents and kids will want to read over and over.”

Asked what books she has shared with her children, Polark said her favorite children’s book of all time is “Where the Sidewalk Ends” by Shel Silverstein.

Among the contemporary writers she follows is Adam Rex, author and illustrator of “The True Meaning of Smekday.”

Even as she gets one book off the ground, Polark said she already has plans for future projects — including a second “Rockabet” edition featuring current artists.

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