Neighbors in the News

Former North teacher publishes children’s book


“A Sweater for Duncan,” a picture book by author Margaret Gay Malone, a former teacher at Valley Stream North High School, was published on Sept. 16. The book tells the story of Little Duncan the penguin, who is proud of his fuzzy coat. He knows he is the handsomest one in the frozen south. Trouble jumps in when his fuzz flies off in clumps and floats on the wind like butterflies. What’s a penguin to do? His mother agrees to knit him a sweater with the fuzz he gathers, but will that solve the problem? A happy surprise awaits a handsome, grown-up Duncan.

The book, in soft pastel colors by illustrator Lorraine Dey, is a gentle story about the challenges and rewards of growing up. The theme is a natural for use in schools, and for parents and grandparents to read to children, especially if they have concerns about something new in their lives. The publisher, Raven Tree Press, is a division of Delta Publishing Co. of McHenry, Ill.

This is Malone’s ninth children’s book. She is also the author of a romance novel. After graduating from college, Malone taught English at North High School, when she wrote her first picture book. “It was definitely not publishable,” she said, “but it was a start.” After leaving North High in the mid-1960s, she practiced public relations in Manhattan, finally working as public affairs director for the North Shore School District. Subsequently, she taught English as a Second Language at Touro College. She now devotes full time to her writing.

“A Sweater for Duncan,” in English and bilingual Spanish editions, is available at Barnes & Noble and Borders, and at