Press Room


2020 Purple Dragonfly Book Award Winners Announced

July 2, 2020 
Story Monsters LLC

“Gracie (Spanish/English)” receives two Purple Dragonfly Book Award Honorable Mentions in categories Animals/Pets and Picture Books 5 & Younger.
Read the full list of winners here

“Gracie” featured in The Old Schoolhouse Product and Curriculum Reviews

June 2020 
The Old Schoolhouse Magazine (

I think that Gracie, A Bilingual Adventure in the Blue Ridge Mountains is a wonderful way to introduce young children to different languages. I loved the audio feature. It reminded me of my record player and books that I had as a child. My daughter loved all three of the books. She had fun listening to all three of the audio versions of the book. By listening to the audio versions, she was able to catch on to how to pronounce almost all the words for each of the languages on her own. The illustrations are charming and will draw in young children. You and your children can go to the website found in the heading and read all about the real Gracie. I would recommend this book to parents and educators looking for a way to introduce a foreign language to their young child.

Read the full review

“Gracie” featured in Book Nook from Carolina Mountain Life Magazine

June 17, 2020 
Carolina Mountain Life Magazine (

Summer and reading go hand in hand. And during the summer break, parents and grandparents typically want to spend more time reading with the children in their lives. 

Gracie: A Bilingual Adventure in the Blue Ridge Mountains is a new picture book with easy reading, written by local author Kathryn Leslie and illustrated by Anita Morra. Kids will not only enjoy the story of Gracie, a dog in search of something very previous, they will enjoy learning and practicing a second language at the same time. It’s a fun way to help develop your child’s potential for foreign language fluency. And while this book is primarily written for children, monolingual adult readers will appreciate the opportunity to put together words and short phrases in a language that may not be familiar to them. Each time you read the book together, you’ll both be building language skills! …

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“Gracie (Spanish/English)” Featured in Midwest Book Review Children’s Bookwatch

June 15, 2020 
Midwest Book Review (

This sweet tale of a happy dog trying to find her own special place comes with a free audio download in French, German, and Spanish. It also has a seek-and-find section that introduces us to the beautiful foliage of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Set out with Gracie, and discover your own special happy place! (Ages 5+) Reviewed by Darleen Wohlfeil.

See the full list

West Falmouth Library Will Host Virtual Author Visit

May 29, 2020
The Enterprise (

In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, the West Falmouth Library will host a virtual author visit on Thursday, June 4, at 10:30 AM with Kathryn Leslie, author of “Gracie: A Bilingual Adventure In The Blue Ridge Mountains,” a children’s book written in both Spanish and English.

This Zoom virtual visit will include an interactive presentation for children of all ages and activity sheets featuring characters from the award-winning Spanish/English version of “Gracie.”

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Summer Learning Program at Ashe County Public Library to Begin June 15

May 27, 2020 
The Ashe Post and Times (

… Special guest performances will include interactive shows by Bright Star Theatre and Sigmon Theatrical, a virtual visit with Aunt Katie, mountain music and a bit of history with Jeff Robbins, a storytime featuring the Tooth Fairy in Disguise and an online tea party.

… “Where is Wilma?,” a virtual scavenger hunt will run June 1-Aug. 2. This scavenger hunt is a collaboration between Ashe County Public Library and Aunt Katie’s Place, LLC.

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Local Libraries Hosting Author

May 15, 2020 
The Mountain Eagle (

In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, a collaboration of local northern New York libraries will host a virtual author visit Wednesday, May 27 at 2:00 p.m. with Kathryn Leslie, author of Gracie: A Bilingual Adventure In The Blue Ridge Mountains, a fun, colorful children’s book written in both Spanish and English.

Libraries participating in the event are the Morton Memorial Libraries in Pine Hill and Rhinecliff, the Mountain Top Library in Tannersville, the LaGrange Association Library in Poughkeepsie, the Clinton Community Library in Rhinebeck, the Brewster Public Library in Brewster, and the Rosendale Library in Rosendale. 

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Winter 2020 Pinnacle Book Achievement Award Winner 

April 27, 2020 
National Association of Book Entrepreneurs 

“Gracie (Spanish/English)” wins Best Children’s Bilingual Book
Read the full list of winners here

2019 Story Monsters Approved! Winners Announced

March 23, 2020 
Story Monsters LLC

“Gracie (Spanish/English)” wins a Story Monsters Approved! Excellence In Literature Award
Read the full list of winners here

WC graduate Peter Leslie provides the soundtrack to sister’s shaggy dog story

March 10, 2020
Worthington Christian School Alumni News

You never know when taking in a stray dog can change your life. Ask Peter Leslie, a 2010 Worthington Christian graduate, and his sister Katie, who attended Worthington Christian from fifth to tenth grade.

What was supposed to be a typical grocery run turned out to be a life-changing experience for the Leslie family. When Katie and her mother Nancy were stopping for groceries at a rural mountain gas station in North Carolina, the two discovered a stray dog wandering through the parking lot. Katie, a budding writer, took the dog in.

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Aunt Katie’s Place: Bilingual Audiobooks For Language Learners 

March 4, 2020
Mommy Maestra (

There is so much to love about this first book! The illustrations, the storyline, the audio… every last one of them is sweet and lovely and engaging. When you first open the book, you are directed to the author’s (Kathryn Leslie, aka “Aunt Katie”) website – dubbed Aunt Katie’s Place – to download the free audio. You have two options: a bilingual version (English and the target language), or an immersion version (target language only). I chose the bilingual version to go with my book. 
When I first sat down to read it with the accompanying Spanish/English audio, my 2-year-old happened to walk by and he was immediately captivated. He climbed onto my lap and quietly listened and looked at the illustrations as I turned the pages in time with the audio. He pointed to different items on each page as we read along.

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Local Author Writes Bilingual Books For Children

March 24, 2020 
All About Women Magazine – March/April 2020 Issue

Read the full article here

Local Author Writes Bilingual Books For Children

March 4, 2020
Ashe Post and Times (
Mountain Times (

Read the full article here

New Children’s Book by Ashe County Author Features Appalachia Scenery While Educating Kids

February 28, 2020
High Country Press (

“Gracie: A Bilingual Adventure in the Blue Ridge Mountains” is a recently published children’s book that features the Appalachian Mountains as the backdrop. The story is also bilingual, promoting young children to start learning another language. Written by Ashe County, N.C. resident, Kathryn Leslie, the book showcases 24 watercolor illustrations and includes a look-and-find of the local mountain foliage. The sweet story follows a lonely dog, Gracie, on her search for fun and companionship. Children will enjoy Gracie’s adventure through the colorful countryside, her passion for dancing and her encounters with some familiar farm animals. Each page features English and a foreign language. The story is currently translated into three versions: Spanish/English, French/English, and German/English with free bilingual and immersive audio downloads available.

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Language Learning Book Features Appalachian Scenery

February 25, 2020
The News Herald (

LANSING — “Gracie: A Bilingual Adventure in the Blue Ridge Mountains” is a recently published children’s book featuring the Appalachian Mountains as a backdrop.

The purpose of the book is to help young children to learn another language, so each page features English and a foreign language. The story is translated into three versions: Spanish/English, French/English, and German/English, with free bilingual and immersive audio downloads available.

Read the full article