Monday, July 8, 2013

Professor spent summer sharing lessons of friendship and tomato sandwiches

Lucy and Kerry Madden-Lunsford
This summer, scores of bright-eyed kids across Alabama were treated to colorful stories of  friendship and tomato sandwiches as professor Kerry Madden-Lunsford and her artist daughter, Lucy, toured the state to tout their new children’s book.

Madden, associate professor of English in the College of Arts and Sciences and author of several children's books, penned “Nothing Fancy About Kathryn and Charlie,” and her daughter illustrated the book published by Alabama-based Mockingbird Publishing. It is the tale of the real-life friendship between the late Kathryn Tucker Windham – a renowned Alabama journalist, author and storyteller – and the self-taught folk artist "Tin Man" Charlie Lucas; both fans of a good tomato sandwich, treasure hunting and comb playing on the lawn. 

Madden and Madden-Lunsford (joined at times by Madden's youngest daughter, Norah, and family dog, Olive) traveled to libraries and book stores from Birmingham to Butler, Fairhope to Selma and many other places in-between. They told children tales of Kathryn and Charlie, then gave the youngsters an opportunity to create their own stories and craft works of art with buttons, balls of string, puzzle pieces and paper bags. 

Along the way, the two visited BBQ joints, Windham's grave and civil rights landmarks. Everything was chronicled in their "Nothing Fancy About a BookTour" blog at

The two plan more stops and several workshops in the fall. The book is available at area bookstores. Proceeds will be donated to Windham's beloved Selma-Dallas County Public Library.

About the blogger: Marie Sutton,, is a media specialist in the UAB Office of Media Relations. Her beat includes humanities, social sciences, the School of Education and student life. 

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