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The Discus Thrower Meets Peter Pan

The Discus Thrower Meets Peter Pan

A Story of the New York City Parks

By (author) Pinky Keehner
Illustrated by Catherine Oerter


Publishing 1st Oct 2024
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    • A charming fable for all ages, about two damaged statues who meet in a storage facility and help each other return to their homes in the New York City parks
    • Based on the real-life story of the restoration of the statue of Peter Pan in Carl Schurz Park (near Gracie Mansion) and The Discus Thrower in Randall's Island Park
    • Written by Pinky Keehner, former associate director of Randall's Island Park, who was instrumental in restoring The Discus Thrower
    • Illustrated by Cathy Oerter, artist, athlete, and wife of four-time Olympic gold medalist discus thrower Al Oerter
    Full Description

    A charming fable for all ages, inspired by the true story of the restoration of two beloved statues in the New York City parks.

    “An invitation to dream, and a reminder of public art’s ability to continually inspire and expand imaginations.” — Michael R. Bloomberg, founder of Bloomberg LP and Bloomberg Philanthropies, and 108th mayor of New York City

    “This book captures the enigmatic, cockeyed, only-in-New York charm of classics such as E. B. White’s Stuart Little and George Selden’s A Cricket in Times Square.” — Adrian Benepe, president, Brooklyn Botanic Garden, and former New York City parks commissioner

    In a cruel act of vandalism, Peter Pan has been ripped from his perch near Gracie Mansion and tossed in the East River. Rescued by police divers, he finds himself awaiting restoration in a storage facility on Randall’s Island. There, among the disused lampposts and flagpole finials, he meets another bronze statue — the Discus Thrower — who has been languishing in the storeroom for a quarter century with a missing arm and a missing discus. Will the mercurial Peter Pan and the stolid Discus Thrower be able to get along, and perhaps even learn something from each other? And can Peter and Tinkerbell help the Discus Thrower get restored and placed back on his pedestal, at long last?

    This delightful work of fiction is based on the real-life restoration of Charles Andrew Hafner’s statue of Peter Pan (1928) in Charles Schurz Park and Kostas Dimitriadis’s Discus Thrower (1926) in Randall’s Island Park — a process that both the author and the illustrator had front-row seats to. New Yorkers of all ages will enjoy reading this fanciful tale and then going to visit the statues that inspired it.

    About the Author

    Pinky Keehner, a devoted New Yorker, served as Associate Director of Randall's Island Park for 20 years, working to create a state-of-the-art sports facility for NYC kids. When she found the life-size bronze Discus Thrower in storage, it became her mission to restore the statue and return it to its rightful place in the park for all to enjoy. Cathy Oerter's love for everything discus began with her husband, four-time Olympic gold medalist discus thrower Al Oerter, and today she chairs the Al Oerter Foundation/Art of the Olympians. An international track and field athlete and art major, she encourages children to use their voices through the arts.

    Abbeville Press
    Publish date
    1st Oct 2024
    World excluding USA, Canada, Puerto Rico, and Australia
    177 mm x 127 mm
    96 Pages
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