“Sam Saves the Mansion,” a new children’s book about the Kentucky Governor’s Mansion produced by four KDE staffers, is now available as a free, downloadable e-book. Paperback copies of the book also are available for students to read in public libraries and elementary schools across the state.
First Lady Jane Beshear, a former teacher, requested the book be produced as an educational resource for young Kentuckians in coordination with the Governor’s Mansion Centennial Celebration in 2014.
Rebecca Blessing, a long-time journalist, and Mary Ann Miller, a former teacher, wrote the book based on a story by Beth McDonald of Frankfort. Artist Anita Fleming illustrated the book, and photographer Amy Wallot supplied pictorial support.
“Sam Saves the Mansion” is the story of a stray dog named Sam, who sneaks into the Governor’s Mansion to escape from a thunderstorm. While inside, Sam befriends another dog, Tory, who lives in the mansion and gives Sam a tour and history of the 100-year-old residence. Afraid he will be captured and sent to a shelter, Sam, with Tory’s help, devises a plan to leave the historic home without being seen. Just as he’s getting away, Sam witnesses a disaster in the making and chooses to risk his freedom and stay behind to save the day.
The dogs in the story are named after two of Mrs. Beshear’s own dogs, one of whom, Tory, lives with the Beshear family at the mansion.
In early January, a print copy of the book was distributed to every elementary school and public library in Kentucky through support from the Kentucky Executive Mansion Foundation, Inc.
While the book is currently not for sale, it is now available as an e-book so that teachers, students and parents across Kentucky can access it. The e-book includes interactive features such as word definitions and optional narration, as well as additional information on the mansion. The e-book was produced by Marty Park, with narration provided by Neilsen Park.
An electronic version of “Sam Saves the Mansion” is available at no cost from the KDE bookstore. The e-book is also available for download through Google Play and Google Books (for Android devices), the iBook Store and iTunes U (for Apple devices) and the Kentucky Libraries Unbound, a digital resources repository for patrons of approximately100 Kentucky public libraries.