Pinellas News

Nationally renowned children’s author in Tarpon for signing event

TARPON SPRINGS — Loukoumi the Lamb is coming to town to spend Sunday with Tarpon Springs families.

The city and the local chapter of the Hellenic heritage group Daughters of Penelope are sponsoring an event at 1 p.m. Sunday featuring nationally renowned children’s author Nick Katsoris. It will be held at the AHEPA George Washington Chapter 16 house, at 20 W. Tarpon Ave. That section of Tarpon Avenue, from Pinellas Avenue west to Spring Boulevard, will be closed for other activities.

Loukoumi is the main character of Katsoris’ six-part book series named after the gentle, young ovine. Katsoris has been holding events around the country promoting the little lamb’s latest experience, “Loukoumi And The Schoolyard Bully.”

Discouraging bullying and teaching children how to respond to it is the overarching theme of Sunday’s event, dubbed “A Day at the Farm, Where Kindness Matters.”

Demetra Tsavaris-Lecourezos, owner of the Tarpon Springs boutique Given With Love and a coordinator of the event, said the timing of Sunday worked out perfectly with recent anti-bullying campaigns in Pinellas County schools.

“We managed to get Sunset Hills Elementary involved and all their kids are creating artwork of some sort with an anti-bullying message,” Tsavaris-Lecourezos said.

The children’s works will be displayed Sunday, and Katsoris will then select the top three.

Doors open to the event at 1 p.m. and Katsoris will be introduced at 1:30, after which he’ll do a book reading for the children and bring in the life-sized Loukoumi.

Outdoor activities are scheduled 2-4 p.m. Featured will be a petting zoo, hayrides, pony rides, a Tarpon Springs Fire Department truck, Tarpon Springs Police officers with tables for arts and crafts, and childhood self-defense demonstrations.

To wrap up the event Katsoris will sit down for another book reading around 4:30.

An audio download of the author’s latest book features two Hollywood personalities. Nia Vardalos, who was in Tarpon Springs for her own “Instant Mom” book signing event last year, narrates the story, while Oscar-winning actor Morgan Freeman voices schoolyard bully, Igor the Alligator.

“It’s pretty exciting to know that we here in Tarpon Springs have had a part in both their book tours,” Tsavaris-Lecourezos said.

(727) 815-1071