Author Ed Shankman and illustrator Dave O'Neill have created winning books on Boston, Cape Cod, and Maine. Now they turn their attention to Vermont and one of that state's great legends: Champ, the Monster of Lake Champlain (a sort of Loch Ness Monster for the Green Mountain State). Champ is seen through the eyes of a likable tomboy, who sets out from her favorite spot by a maple tree and finds herself by the lakeshore. She meets Champ, who turns out to be a very kid-friendly monster, inviting the girl to sit on his head and ride with him through the Vermont countryside. Together, these unlikely friends dash past farms and mills and over covered bridges, meet some cows, eat some maple syrup-covered cheese, and eventually return to the girl's favorite maple tree. The charming story ends as it began: If you come to Vermont / Near a lake called Champlain, / And you cut through the woods / On an old country lane, There's a chance you will see / My friend Champ and me / Playing happy and free / By the old maple tree.
Ed Shankman was born in the Bronx, New York, and lives today in Verona, New Jersey. As a creative director in the advertising industry, he has directed creative efforts for some of the world's best-known companies. Beyond the office, he has always spent his time chasing creative inspiration as a writer, guitar player, and painter. With illustrator Dave O'Neill, he has created four winning children's titles for Commonwealth Editions.Dave O'Neill made his published debut with The Boston Balloonies, alongside longtime friend and wordsmith Ed Shankman. Dave has worked as a graphic designer and illustrator since receiving his bachelor of fine arts (BFA) from William Paterson University in 2001. A native of Mount Olive, New Jersey, he now hangs his hat and sharpens his pencils in Montclair.