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BENNINGTON — The coronation of King Charles III provides the backdrop for author Dianne Sunda’s newest book for children, “The Call of the Bells.”

Once again, Sunda, who resides in Surrey, England, and recently worked on decoration projects for the May 6 coronation, is collaborating with publisher Debbi Wraga. Both women have ties to Bennington County.

Wraga is a resident of West Rupert, and Sunda, founder in 2006 of the International Children’s Museum Foundation in Surrey, lived in Old Bennington and taught at the former Southern Vermont College during its early years in the 1970s.

That was shortly after the SVC campus was established on the 341-acre Edward Everett estate, now the site of a planned luxury resort.

“The Call of the Bells,” which refers to the nationwide ringing that marks the coronation of a new British monarch, brings together many of the magical animal characters that populate Sunda’s previous children’s books.

Those include Snowy Owl, Top Hat the horse, Puppy Quincy and others.

As is often the case, her new story involves a quest — this one to create “proper coronation hats” for the big day and attend the event at Westminster Abbey in London.

That task also brought in some Goldcrest Songbirds, the Up-Enders Duck Team, the Kitties, the Dancing Mice and other characters, helping Snowy Owl to collect some of Charles’ favorite wildflowers and — along with some gold ribbon — create decorative Coronation Hats.

The friends then parade to Westminster Abbey, the location of royal coronations since 1066, and manage to scope out a great place to view the ceremony.

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The large 30-page hardcover book, measuring 9 by 11 inches, contains numerous color illustrations, as well as pages at the back where children are invited to color in line drawings of potential coronation hats.

As in the past, Sunda said a portion of proceeds from book sales will benefit Second Chance Animal Shelter in Arlington.

Wraga said the book is available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble and can be ordered from local bookstores.

Sunda said she was inspired in writing the book by her work as a volunteer during the coronation events, and by visits to the London Garden Museum, for which King Charles is the royal patron.

For the coronation events, Sunda designed and created floral arrangements, using flowers that were used in coronations throughout British history, for several historic buildings.

She also created and executed family art workshops for several English counties to produce coronation artwork in conjunction with the Coronation Hat theme in her book.

And she created displays and portfolios of the art she designed with Wraga for the story in several buildings “to share the importance of Bell Ringing and the traditional coronation ceremony.”

Other books by the author include her Snowy Owl series, and its annual Christmastime stories, and books featuring Puppy Quincy and other animal characters.

Jim Therrien can be reached at or by phone at 413-281-2646.



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