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NKY Authors Win Best Children's Book Award

Florence author Marcie May recently traveled to Honolulu, Hawaii to accept the Best Children’s Book Award from the Pacific Rim Book Festival for Penny and Tubs: The Mystery of the Crystal Waterfall, the second book in her popular children’s series.

May, her co-author Margaret Zerhusen, and the other 82 winners of the competition were honored during an awards presentation and private reception on Saturday, March 31 at the Moana Surfrider Hotel in Honolulu.

This is the second award for Penny and Tubs: The Mystery of the Crystal Waterfall. It won a silver Mom’s Choice Award in the juvenile books category last year.

Published last fall by Headline Books, Penny and Tubs: The Mystery of the Crystal Waterfall follows Penny and her loveable cat Tubs on a Hawaiian vacation and features the new song, “Are You a Friend of the Island?” Both the book and the song are available for sale at

“Our latest Penny and Tubs adventure delights young readers with its exotic setting and intriguing new characters, while also teaching them about the unique culture of Hawaii and the importance of using our imaginations,” said May.

May and Zerhusen’s first book, The Adventures of Penny and Tubs: The City on the Sea, was published in 2013 and has received a Paris Book Festival Award, a Mom’s Choice Award and a Reader’s Favorite Book Award.

For 20 years, May wrote music for an eight-time Emmy award-winning daytime television show before she decided to change career paths. The idea for the first book came to her in a dream, and after receiving encouragement from family and friends, the characters and song quickly followed. May joined forces with Zerhusen, a special education teacher, to co-write the book. Zerhusen also lends her talents to the character of Mrs. Z. The co-authors regularly host free readings for young readers at local elementary schools, libraries, bookstores and camps.

For more information about Penny and Tubs or to schedule a reading of their book, please visit To learn more about the Pacific Rim Book Festival, go to

-Staff report/Photo: Marcie May (second from right) read to kindergarten students at Waikiki Elementary School during her visit to Honolulu (provided)

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