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Arts Playlist: Magnolia author pens first children's books

Award winning journalist and Magnolia resident Jennifer Antonik is taking a stab at writing for children.

Her first effort - The Music Man: Our Rootin’, Tootin’ Hero - was released last month.

She says the book is a biography of her late grandfather “Joe” Lear, Sr., following his path to a new passion as he founded the Milford Community Band 30 years ago.

Antonik joined Delaware Public Media’s Kelli Steele for this week’s Arts Playlist to discuss that book, and another one, Boops and Goobs Find A Home.



The Music Man: Our Rootin’, Tootin’ Hero was released on Christmas Day.

“And that’s really a biography about my grandfather Norman Joseph “Joe” Lear, Sr," Antonik said. "And he just passed away in June (I think it was). And his passing was really difficult for us as a family and also for us as a community in Milford.”  

Antonik explains that the book offers a look at how her late grandfather’s story founded the Milford Community Band 30 years ago.

“Grandad had founded the Milford Community Band, which 30 years later is still thriving - even though COVID is a thing right now and they can’t practice as much as they would like. But just for him to have that kind of impact on a community - people travel from three states away to be able to practice and perform with this group of amazing musicians.”  

A portion of the proceeds from book sales through the end of January will go to the Milford Community Band to help offset donation losses caused by the pandemic.

Over the years, Antonik has written all kinds of stories for Delaware and her hometown community. She currently works as the public relations coordinator for the Delaware Farm Bureau, helping tell the stories of farmers and ranchers in the First State.

Antonik also released Boops and Goobs Find A Home  to debut the tales of two lovable orange tabby cats who find a forever home together.

You can get more information about the books here.

Delaware Public Media' s arts coverage is made possible, in part, by support from the Delaware Division of the Arts, a state agency dedicated to nurturing and supporting the arts in Delaware, in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts.


Kelli Steele has over 30 years of experience covering news in Delaware, Baltimore, Winchester, Virginia, Phoenix, Arizona and San Diego, California.