Garner native (GSHS Class of ’91), Dolly Dozier, will be celebrating the launch of her first children’s book, “Peggy Noodle, Hula Hoop Queen,” on Feb. 10 by Peak City Publishing.
Readers aged 7 to 11 will quickly fall in love with the awkward, but charming, Peggy Noodle. This story is set in 1957, on the heels of Hillary and Norgay’s ascent to the top of Mt. Everest, and the advent of the simply super Hula Hoop.
Tall and adventurous, Peggy Noodle seems like a shoe-in for her school’s basketball team. But she’s the first to tell you that it’s not wise to judge a book by its cover. There’s not a lick of basketball skill in her body, and too late to convince the team otherwise, Peggy leads her team to a disastrous defeat. The loss is humbling, and neither Peggy Noodle nor her friends know how to get back on track.
So she sets out on her own, with her faithful red-caped canine companion, Penny Noodle, to find a way to spend the afternoons. She comes across her neighbor, the kind Mrs. Moore, whose son is one of the inventors of the hula hoop. Between Mrs. Moore’s kindred, adventurous spirit and inviting back yard, the two forge an unlikely friendship that helps Peggy Noodle’s confidence soar through the roof.
They hatch a plan to bring the First Annual Tri-City Hoopla to Peak City and along the way, not only do they draw Peggy’s friends into the fun of hula hooping, but they help the community to build a legacy and prove that when you find something you love to do, it’s easy to do it well.
“I love the idea that enriching children’s literature can help young readers to identify issues that may stick in their own minds, and figure out how the characters in their books work through them,” said Dolly. “There’s a definite positive correlation to learning how to cope with life and bumps in the road.”
Veteran illustrator and longtime friend, Monica Wyrick, illustrated the book.
“I knew that Peggy Noodle’s focus on self-confidence and empowerment would be a good match for Monica’s work with Audrey Penn and the Child Welfare League of America,” she said. “Plus, Monica’s whimsical illustrations captured the vision of the story and really brought the characters to life.”
The HOOPLA! Book Launch party for “Peggy Noodle, Hula Hoop Queen” will be held on Saturday, Feb. 11 at the Halle Cultural Arts Center in downtown Apex. The HOOPLA! is a hula hoop contest for hoopers of all ages and levels of expertise. It’s free, and a great way for young people and families to come in from the cold, get a little exercise and have a little fun. The publisher and the Town of Apex are co-sponsoring the event.
Dolly Dozier is a lifelong storyteller with an overactive imagination and great appreciation of language. As a result, she’s never bored. Before she started writing books for young readers, she had a very interesting career in advertising and the performing arts. She is a big community volunteer, and a firm believer that the world is what you make it.
Dolly lives in the wilds of central North Carolina with her husband and 13-year-old son and their companions Magnolia May (the beagle) and Dilly Freckles (the cat). When she’s not writing or telling stories, she likes to spend time outdoors hiking, kayaking, gardening and riding bikes with the boys. You can learn more at www.DollyDozier.com.