WALNUT CREEK -- Deborah Lee Rose's life has been about raising her own family while imparting important messages through her children's books.

The author of "Into the A, B, Sea: An Ocean Alphabet" and "The Twelve Days of Winter," said the book that has had the most profound influence on her is the classic, "Charlotte's Web."

Rose has teamed up with Barnes & Noble in Walnut Creek who will host a 60th anniversary of "Charlotte's Web" and the store's anti-bullying campaign.

Students are invited to submit artwork, essays, poetry and music that connect the story of "Charlotte's Web" to an anti-bullying situation today. Submissions will be displayed during Educators Appreciation Week Oct. 13-20 and the Oct. 18 Educator's Tea and Writer's Talk presented by Rose, who was inspired by the works of E.B. White.

"My kids went through local schools so it's a pleasure to talk to educators at the Barnes & Noble event and especially with a connection to the anniversary of 'Charlotte's Web', which has been my favorite book since childhood," said Rose, a Walnut Creek resident.

She will be telling educators about E.B. White's love of nature and how he wove facts into his fiction -- much of which Rose learned about from a recently-published book "The Story of Charlotte's Web," by Michael Sims.

"I will also talk about parts of 'Charlotte's Web' where this love of nature comes through so clearly, as in the chapter called The Miracle."

Rose said this link, between E.B. White's love of nature and the words he puts in the web, lets her talk about the power of words, something that teachers care about very much.

"Charlotte is not only a spider but a writer and there are many parallels between the way she works in the book and the way real writers, including students, create literary works," said Rose, who will talk to the California School Library Association in San Jose about "Charlotte's Web" and how it has inspired her to weave nature into her own books.

Barnes & Noble Walnut Creek continues its commitment to reaching out to the community with its anti-bullying campaign which started Oct. 1, said Kathie Cima, the store's community relations manager.

"Words can heal and help," Cima said. "Let's see if kids can connect the dots of helping rather than hurting with words."

She hopes students will express their thoughts through essays, artwork, poetry or music.

Cima has invited Vivian Boyd, a California Young Reader Medal committee member, to speak at 4:30 p.m. Oct. 18, at the store about how students and schools can get involved in the CYRM reading program.

"The goal is to show appreciation for the teachers for their guidance and their conscientiousness," Cima said. "The teachers' goal is to encourage kids to be good citizens through positive examples of literature, art and music."

With all the confusing and often negative messages children are getting from the Internet and TV, Cima said teachers are faced with the challenge of how to maintain a positive outlook on life. Teachers need to be supported even more so now for their efforts, she said.

One way to do that is to give students a subject matter they can tackle using a medium to creatively express themselves, Cima said.

—We're putting the future of young citizens in our hands," Cima said.

if you go
WHAT: "Using the Power of Words to Help not Hurt," 60th anniversary of "Charlotte's Web" and Barnes & Noble Walnut Creek's anti-bullying campaign
WHEN: Oct. 18
WHERE: Barnes & Noble, 1149 South Main St., Walnut Creek
INFORMATION: 925-947-0104 or e-mail Kathie Cima, crm2569@bn.com