This Is An event The Kids Will Not Want To Miss
Authors: Alyson Dehmcke &
Anita V. Mittelmark
Illustrators: Collin Dehmcke &
Kitrina A. Ayers
Anita Mittelmark and her daughter, Alyson Dehmcke, lived in Hunterdon County for close to forty years, and referred to Califon and Clinton as their hometowns. Mittelmark taught piano and worked in local businesses while Dehmcke attended Lebanon Township Elementary School and North Hunterdon Regional High School. The two women, along with a handful of other individuals, created Voorhees Village Preschool in 1992. Mittelmark worked as the aid/song and poem writer for the new school, and Dehmcke was the director and head teacher. The Lonely Little Mouse was just one of many poems Mittelmark wrote during her tenure at the Preschool.
When mother and daughter (husbands and children) relocated to Bedford in 1999/2000, Mittelmark met Kitrina Ayers. Ayers had always wanted to illustrate a children’s book, and Mittelmark was looking for an illustrator for The Lonely Little Mouse. The two became fast friends and began their collaboration. The project was put on a “back burner” for years, and finally resurrected in 2011 when it was self published. The Lonely Little Mouse is a heartwarming, at times comical story about a little mouse who finds a wonderful home with a young boy. It’s written for children ages two through six, and beautifully illustrated with Kitrina’s watercolors..
During the time that Mittelmark and Ayers resumed serious work on their book, Dehmcke had the idea to write a book about her dog and six rescue cats. It was then that My Life with Cats was born. The book is written through her dog's voice as he, Pippin, recounts how he came to the family followed by all the cats. Many funny tales are told and brought to life through photographs and cartoons drawn by Dehmcke's grown son, Collin. My Life with Cats book is written for seven to nine year-olds (approximately), but younger and older children enjoy it, as well.
Anita Mittelmark was born and raised in Bronx, New York. She was classically trained in piano and taught lessons for many years. She moved to Califon, New Jersey in mid-1960, and remained there until she moved to Bedford in 2000. Mittelmark was an integral part of Voorhees Village Preschool as she provided the students with regular poetry and music, much of it original. She is now retired, but working with Ayers on a sequel to The Lonely Little Mouse.
Alyson Dehmcke lived in the Califon/Clinton area for most of her life. She taught special education in the Clinton Township School district before starting a family and working at Voorhees Village Preschool. Upon moving to Bedford in 1999, Dehmcke worked as the Director of Bedford County Arts Center, a facility similar to Hunterdon County Arts Center. She is currently self-employed, and volunteers for multiple organizations in her area.