Oliver is a lucky kid. His family lives along the shore of Virginia's North River, and his backyard is home to a variety of wildlife-from baby rabbits to the majestic great blue heron. Oliver spends his days playing along the river's edge among the animals, paddling around in the cove's calm waters in his canoe, and helping his family take care of the cove's wild inhabitants.
But one day, storm winds push Oliver and his canoe into the dangerous waters of the North River! Will Oliver be able to make it back home safely? Or will he drift out into the ocean and be lost forever?
Oliver's Adventure is a grandmother's love letter to her grandson and the home they once shared. This isn't just a story about a boy's adventure; it's a story about home, family, and how the love we give to the world around us carries on long after we're gone.
- 40 pages, illustrated in color throughout
- Story by Marjorie E. Masek
- Artwork by Parks Duffey
- Paper animals created by Sean Kelly
- 8 × 10 inches (20.3 × 25.4 cm)
About the Author
Marjorie Ellen Hayter Masek was born in San Diego, CA, in 1927. As a Navy junior, she lived in California, China, Manila, Texas, and then Hawaii, where her family witnessed the 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor. Her mother, sister, and baby brother were evacuated to Minnesota, but her father was subsequently killed during the Battle of Tassafaronga. He received the Navy Cross for his actions in saving crew members and the badly damaged ship. Heroism featured large in Marjorie's life. Marjorie majored in fashion design at Stephens College in Colombia, MO. Following graduation, her mother moved the family to Annapolis, MD, where the sisters were expected to meet and marry naval officers.
Marjorie met and married LTJG William (Bill) Masek, Jr., USN. Marjorie was a glamorous woman with gourmet cooking skills, a gusto for life, and a generous and gregarious nature. She was welcomed and loved wherever she went. Marjorie and her husband took advantage of the many and disparate Navy postings to travel and understand other countries and cultures, and to instill this awareness in their three children. Upon her husband's retirement in 1975, the couple discovered Gloucester, VA. With the acquisition of a beautiful and secluded waterfront home, small sailboat, skiff, crab pots, oyster tongs, and daffodils, they indeed found it to be the land of the life worth living.
Determined to share with her adored grandson all she found so unique and enchanting in Gloucester, she wrote Oliver's Adventure in 1993 and found an artist who understood and fancifully captured her vision. The manuscript and art were kept secret from her family while awaiting publication. Unfortunately, Marjorie was unable to get her manuscript published and she gave up. Following Marjorie's death in 2018, her children discovered the manuscript, paintings, and numerous publisher rejection letters. Trying to bring closure and resolution to this ambitious endeavor, her daughter, Mimi, submitted the find to Brandylane Publishers, Inc., who found it to be worthy of publication.
About the Artist
Self-taught artist Parks Duffey captures the world in a fanciful, colorful, primitive, and yet realistic style. A native of Richmond, Virginia, Parks is well known for his detailed and charming paintings of Virginia's prestigious colleges, universities, and secondary schools, as well as other architectural landmarks in Virginia, Washington, D.C., the Carolinas, the Caribbean, and Oklahoma City. His unique work is displayed in private and corporate collections around the world, including the White House Historical Association. Some are now available in jigsaw puzzle form.