“18 Wheels Rolling to Arkansas” is one of the cutest Arkansas-themed books to come along in a while. Geared towards young readers, the 24-page soft cover book by Lavaca elementary school teacher Dasha Headley is a labor of love dedicated to her late father, a truck driver. The $6.99 book is published by Tate Publishing of Mustang, Okla., a regional self-publishing house, and is a welcome addition to the selection of first- and second-grade books for young readers. Headley's late father was an over-the-road truck driver, jamming the gears while traveling all over the state and region. Readers join Headley, as a young girl, riding along with her dad across the state witnessing the beauty and uniqueness of Arkansas. Between jaunts in the Arkansas countryside, the book also includes a couple of pages about Headley and her father traveling past the Arkansas State Capitol in Little Rock. And what young kids book about the state would be complete without witnessing a real Arkansas Razorback scooting across one of the state's wilderness roads ahead of the 18-wheeler? Headley farmed the book out to several publishers before Tate Publishing latched onto the idea. After this success, Headley has already begun efforts to write another book about her children's 18-wheeler tour to Oklahoma. She dedicates the book to her late father, a man who loved kids and loved driving the big rig. It's a simple, welcome addition to the library of Arkansas.
A new work of youth fiction, “Running the Dogs” (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, $16 hardcover), by Thomas Cochran, comes dripping with family holiday warmth and a regional spice as true as sawmill gravy straight out of south Arkansas and north Louisiana.
Also, Red Octopus at the Public Theater, Alcee Chriss III at First Presbyterian Church, Harvestfest in Hillcrest, the Arkansas Times Hog Roast, Wildflower Revue at South on Main and Made By Few in Bentonville.