Santa Monica Author Flying High With Second Book Called "Fidget's Folly"

Monday, 29 Apr 2013, 9:11:00 AM

Brenton Garen

Patterson's second book is called 'Fidget's Folly.'
Courtesy Photo
Patterson's second book is called 'Fidget's Folly.'

St. John’s Breast Imaging Center supervisor Stacey Patterson has penned her second book called “Fidget’s Folly” that educates and entertains children and adults while being set in one of the most successful conservation movements in history, the recovery of the American Peregrine Falcon.

Readers will relish the personalities of Fidget and Echo and learn a few life lessons while they learn about falcons and life in the wild.

Fidget and Echo are two young peregrine falcons embarking upon their first adventures of freedom. 

Both falcons were hatched in an incubator by humans and are now living in a “hack” box nestled on a cliff. 

This is their home as they learn to hunt and fend for themselves. 

Their caretakers, both falconers and scientists, were concerned about the plight of the peregrine due to the use of the pesticide DDT in North America. 

DDT caused egg shell thinning and, without intervention, extinction in some parts of their native territories was a possibility. 

When the hack box was opened, Fidget threw caution to the wind and encountered an eagle on her first flight. 

New adventures are now in store for the two youngsters while they learn to maneuver and hunt on their own, as they become wild and independent “masters of the sky.”

Patterson combines honest self-portrayal with her avocation: working with birds of prey.

“I have worked with birds of prey for 25 years and with peregrines specifically for 16 years,” Patterson said. “I hold permits to practice falconry (hunting with birds of prey), and volunteer with a local wildlife rehabilitation and education organization. All of this time and experience has given me insight into the biology and behavior of these magnificent birds.”

She said she was profoundly grateful to the falconers and scientists who saved the American Peregrine Falcon from near extinction due to pesticide exposure in the 1950s to 1970s.

“This is one of the greatest conservation efforts in history, and I wanted to bring this scientific story to a mainstream audience,” she said. “While ‘Fidget’s Folly’ and my first book ‘Fidget’s Freedom’ are nature oriented books, the stories are also a journey into the passion and inner workings of the human heart.”

Patterson said both “Fidget’s Folly” and “Fidget’s Freedom” were written in 2001.  

“As any writer will tell you, while creating and writing a story has its challenges, getting works published is a very difficult venture,” she said. “Along with publication by two established trade publishing houses, both books were published in cooperation with the Raptor Education Foundation based in Brighton, Colorado. ‘Fidget’s Freedom’ was published in 2006 and ‘Fidget’s Folly’ was published in October of 2012.”  

She said “Fidget’s Folly” is in picture book format and roughly geared to children ages four to eight.

“It teaches fundamental concepts of science and biology through the actions of the young peregrine heroine and her brother,” she said. “However, many adults enjoy the stories as well. I hear continually that they have learned a lot about a subject they knew nothing about in a relatively short period of time. Therefore, ‘Fidget’s Folly’ reaches audiences aged four to 80!”

Patterson said she has been the supervisor of Imaging in the Breast Center for 14 years.  

“I have a wonderful and dedicated staff, and work with the best colleagues anyone could ask for,” she said. “I am grateful and very proud to be part of the Saint John’s team.”

“Fidget’s Folly” is illustrated by Vadim Gorbatov, considered by many to be Russia’s greatest wildlife artist.

The hardcover book sells for $18.

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