Williston author leaps into the hearts of many with new book - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Williston author leaps into the hearts of many with new book

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WILLISTON, Vt. - A Williston man hosts an annual frog jumping contest every Fourth of July and now he's hopping into the hearts of many with his new children’s book.

Bill Skiff, 82, is hunting for frogs.

The slimy subjects are characters in his new children's book, "Willie the Jumping Frog."

Skiff is famous in Williston for his annual Fourth of July frog jumping contests. Friday will be year 26.

"The reason I did the frog jumping contest in the first place was because I wanted kids today to learn how to have fun with nothing," said Skiff.

So Skiff decided to make the frogs jump onto the page. He wanted to tell the story of the contest through the eyes of the croaking contenders.

"We see it as adults, kids see it as kids, but how about the frog? What about the frog? They jump," said Skiff.

Skiff spent his whole life working with children and teens as a guidance counselor. He says Willie the Frog's experiences in the book mirror what he saw real-life kids go through.

"There's a little bullying scene, there's a little self-esteem, there's a boy-girlfriend frog relationship, you want to do something but you don't know how but yet you get out there and do it," said Skiff.

He hopes that schools will want to use "Willie the Jumping Frog" as part of their integrated curriculum. He even included a section in the back on “Frogology.”

But for now, Skiff just hopes that his book will hop into the hands of his family and friends.

"I guess I'd be nostalgic and say you know, I hope my grand frogs remember the story and some of my life," said Skiff.

And he's ready for this year’s jumping batch of Willies.

"If they listen closely, they'll hear the new frog jumping class croaking to be chosen for next year's contest. It's funny how so many of them sound just like Willie," said Skiff.

This year’s contest will be held this Friday behind the Williston Library at 1 p.m. Bring your own frog and you can buy "Willie the Jumping Frog" there.

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