Local History and
Programs and Events
What Do I Read Next?
excerpts from Bruce's Tricycle Wash Story
Library is delighted to
host the Bruce McMillan Corner in the
Children's Room of the
library. Katahdin Award winning author
and illustrator Bruce
McMillan has been a library supporter for more
than thirty years
he has lived in Shapleigh, Maine.
Springvale Library became his
library, and he became our author from the
time when he was a
struggling writer until today, when he is an
author of more than forty-five highly honored
generously donated nine of his original hand
tinted photographs from
Grandfather's Trolley to hang on permanent
display in the Children's
Room. Come in and visit, borrow one of
Bruce's fine books and
enjoy the trolley pictures.
Massachusetts, Bruce McMillan
was raised in Bangor and Kennebunk,
Maine. He graduated
from the University of Maine and worked
as producer-director in
public broadcasting and then as a caretaker of
McGee Island off Port
Clyde Maine. While
island-living, he polished his writing
skills. He has
since combined writing and photography to
create more than forty five
children's books including Nights of
the Pufflings, The Baby Zoo, Fire Engine
Shapes, Wild Flamingos, My
Horse of the North, and Salmon
Summer. McMillan speaks at
conferences and to school
children throughout North America, and teaches
a children's book class
at the University of New Hampshire.
He has written more children's books set in
Iceland than any other U.S.
author and, when he isn't in Iceland working
on another book, he lives
in a home he built himself in Shapleigh,
Bruce McMillan credits his father with his
early interest in
photography. His father gave him his
first camera at the age of
five and his first professional camera at the
age of nine.
McMillan learned photography by "doing."
Even as a child,
McMillan tried taking creative photos - "one
of a burning candle from
above!" In high school, he took photos
for his school newspaper
and yearbook. McMillan claims he takes
many "bad" pictures, but
the key to his success is shooting thousands
of photos, if necessary,
in order to get the few "perfect photographs"
that he uses to
illustrate his books. McMillan also
takes great pride in
designing his own books which often include
playful borders like the
colorful jelly beans in Jelly Beans
For Sal. "Parts of me are in
all my books," claims
McMillan. Some of his books reflect his
training in biology, some
of his love of the sea, and all derive from
his "Maine roots." In
2007, he was awarded the Katahdin Award in
recognition of the lifetime
achievement of an outstanding body of work of
children's literature in
Maine by one author or illustrator.
Maine's Children's Books
1998 by Lynn Plourde and Paul Knowles
On July 2,
McMillan held a
special Tricycle Wash Story Time at the
Springvale Library. He
created a one-of-a-kind book about the
event and donated it to the
Library. The book can
be found in its entirety in the
children's room. The following
text and pictures are excerpts from
Bruce's book. Thank you Bruce!
Excerpts from the
Tricycle Wash Story
Time with Bruce at the Springvale
July 2, 2012
Text by Bruce McMillan with photos by
Sheila Dube, Dawn Brown, and
The lilies were blooming ready.
The parking lot was too.
Sheila greeted ninety-two young readers
and parents too.
"Is everybody here? Hmm, is the
remarkable riderless runaway
tricycle here? YES!"
So the story began.
Everyone, including the tricycle, was
"Instead of landing with a splash, it
"Crash!" Once it was pulled up onto the
dock, the story rolled on to a
happy ending. And then onto part
two, the tricycle movie
For part three, we went upstairs and
outside to the tricycle parking
It was time to wash the tricycles, even
the remarkable one.
It was splashing fun for everyone, no
matter your age.
you couldn't get a free tricycle book
unless you washed the
Amy Bennett Albert came all the way from
Dayton with her children.
Amy brought the book she'd been in
twenty-three years ago, Everything
Grows, holding her beagle puppy
for Bruce, a nice surprise to
holding the book.
Pat McDougal came down to say hello,
another nice surprise. Her
orchard was where I photographed Apples,
How They Grow
Everywhere you looked, there was fun,
The wonderfully wet runaway tricycle was
a happy clean tricycle.
How was the day? A good time was
had by all.
Retired S.P.L Children's Librarian
Joanne Vermette (left), Bruce
McMillan (center), and Sheila Dube
(right), the current S.P.L.
Children's Librarian celebrate a great
day at the library.