Though Phoebe and Chub was written five years ago, author Matthew Henry Hall continues to share his characters with young and old alike. Hall entertains throughout Arizona, visiting a number of area schools, rec centers and other locations. He visited Williams March 18, where he entertained at the Williams Recreation Center. Audience members included youngsters and oldsters alike. Hall entertained the group with songs, audience participation and more.
"I do school visits a lot, especially this time of year, with Dr. Suess's birthday, reading month and all of this," Hall said. Besides writing Phoebe and Chub, as well as other books, Hall is also an accomplished cartoonist. Artist Sheila Aldridge provided the illustrations for Phoebe and Chub.
Hall will be entertaining in Cottonwood at a local school next week, among other local engagements. Phoebe and Chub was released in 2005 by Northland Publishing under their Rising Moon imprint for children. Hall said he decided to write the book in 2003 after he visited the Grand Canyon area.
"I went on a camping trip," he said. "I got my pass and I went down to Hermit Rapids. When I got to the bottom of the Canyon, I kept seeing all these tree frogs. There was one tree frog right by the Colorado River watching the river go by. As I was walking up alongside the Colorado I saw this fish. It followed me. I don't know if it was a humpback chub, but I thought it would be kind of fun to have this frog and this fish be friends, and especially to have an animal from the Canyon sort of writing this book."
His books are available through Xanterra and the Grand Canyon Association. It can also be purchased online through retailers such as Amazon.com and other locations. In Flagstaff, Phoebe and Chub can be found at Starlight Books and other locations.
"It's definitely a Canyon book. All the animals in Phoebe and Chub are animals you'd find in the Grand Canyon," Hall said. "The main character is a Canyon tree frog and she's writing her own book. It has three rules. It's her Canyon survival guide. The three rules are make lots of friends, make your wishes known, and enjoy every moment. The other main character would be her best friend, which is a humpback chub. The climax of the book is (she wishes she could fly) and she gets her wish. She gets to fly over the Canyon. The thing that's helping her fly over the Canyon is a California condor. At the very end of the book there's a little note about endangered species and a little bit about California condors. There's a big horn sheep in (the book) as well."
Following the success of Hall's children's book, he said he is currently at work on a novel for young adults.
"It's called Apples from Heaven, that is sitting with an editor right now. Hopefully they will say yes. But who knows?" Hall said.
Hall's Web site can be found online at www.matthewhenryhall.com.