Thursday, December 9, 2021
6:00 pm EST - 7:00 pm EST
Catholic Information Center
1501 K Street NW
Washington, DC 20005 United States
Join best-selling author, twenty-year school teacher, professor of government, and father of eight, Dr. Matthew Mehan for a discussion of his newest, beautifully illustrated children’s book, The Handsome Little Cygnet, the story of a family of swans in Central Park raising their baby swan or cygnet. Using original watercolors from the book, Dr. Mehan will offer a guided tour of the formative symbols and themes from The Handsome Little Cygnet, and in so doing, help us to see more clearly how to counter the great wave of often subtly harmful images on offer from our currently chaotic culture.
This event is free and open to the public. Registration is required. A book signing and a light reception will follow the lecture.
The Handsome Little Cygnet (TAN Books 2021), by Hillsdale professor and former 20-year Catholic school teacher Matthew Mehan, is a surprising revision of the Ugly Duckling, with nods to Make Way for Ducklings as well. The story models for the imagination both strong families—especially that rarest of birds in kid lit, a good father—and the virtue and heart required to resist the strong pull of identity politics that tempts us to try to be something we truly are not. Featuring landmarks and wildlife from Manhattan’s Central Park, this short, touching, and elegant book features beautiful prose and more than twenty gorgeous watercolors by master artist and illustrator, John Folley. (Matthew is the father of eight little cygnets, and John is the father of five little cygnets.)
Beauty, grace and order attend the home life of a family of swans—mother, father and fluffy gray cygnet…. // [A]uthor Matthew Mehan and illustrator John Folley offer a vision of the traditional family as nothing less than a bastion against barbarism. // [R]ichly colored ink-and-watercolor paintings….
Wall Street Journal Review
Matthew Mehan and John Folley have produced a memorable, beautifully illustrated children’s story written with charm and a wonderful message. It’s a marvelous book for the very young.
Charles J. Chaput, O.F.M. Cap.
Archbishop Emeritus of Philadelphia
The Handsome Little Signet is a wonder. In a seemingly simple tale, Mehan reminds us of the charm, grace, and love—as well as some of the peril—of genuine family life. The illustrations are themselves a wonder, worthy of their theme’s high beauty. This is a book to be read often and cherished.
Dr. David Whalen
Author of "The Consolation of Rhetoric" on the thought of John Henry Newman
The Handsome Little Cygnet is “a beautifully illustrated story of obedience, family, and growth.”
Jeremy Wayne Tate
President and Founder of the Classical Learning Test
The Handsome Little Cygnet…evokes the joy and beauty of a soul’s pilgrimage through life….”
National Catholic Register
Too much today children are taught that the distinction between the real and unreal is arbitrary, and this leaves them in doubt about everything including who and what they are. This splendid book will set them on the road away from this madness and toward the good that they are made to love.
Dr. Larry P. Arnn
President of Hillsdale College
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