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Illustrator Ashley Wolff’s artwork donated for Addison County Readers raffle

BRISTOL — Ashley Wolff, a local children’s book author and illustrator who just resettled to her home county from California, donated an original gouache painting of Baby Bear, the star of her children’s books “Baby Bear Counts One” and “Baby Bear Sees Blue,” to be raffled off on Dec. 5 by Addison County Readers, the providers of Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library. 
Wolff has become an ambassador for Addison County Readers. Over the last few years, while vacationing and now living at Lake Dunmore, she has given presentations at area libraries, engaging preschoolers and their families with her colorful drawings and explorations of early literacy skills in special story times. She finishes each presentation by creating unique drawings based on ideas she elicits from the young audience. 
In a recent conversation, Wolff talked about her enthusiasm for reading. “Sitting down with a child in your lap reading a book strengthens physical bonding, love and connections,” she said. “It is an easy way to engage with a child. Even the youngest child can enjoy it.”
“When you read, you don’t have to make up the story … it’s already there in pictures and colors. You can explore a world together that is beyond your immediate experiences. Once children are in school they can build on all the pre-skills and become readers on their own.
“When children have books in the home, they gain a sense of ownership. They are able to take a bunch of books into bed, read them as many times as they want to, take them to the beach, read them on the playground, in the backyard for fun discoveries. Books let children travel to new places, discover animals, imaginative stories, learn more about what they see around them.”
Raffle tickets for Wolff’s painting — one for $3 or four for $10 — are available at Classic Stitching in Vergennes, the Vermont Book Shop in Middlebury or Recycled Reading of Vermont in Bristol, as well as at addisoncountyreaders.org. In addition to the painting “Baby Bear Counts 10,” smaller prizes from Maple Landmark Woodcraft will also be raffled off at the drawing on Dec. 5. All proceeds will support Dolly Parton’s Imagination Libraryin Addison County.
Addison County Readers, Inc. sponsors Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library, which mails a free book every month to the homes of children, ages birth to 5 years, who are registered with the program. Any child living in Addison County can participate for free. There are no strings attached and the books are the child’s to keep.
For information about Imagination Library books, or to enroll, ask at your local library or visit addisoncountyreaders.org.

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