HALLOWELL — Hall-Dale Elementary School invited children’s book author Christopher Lockwood to the school on March 31 and April 3 in celebration of Read Across America.

The event is an annual reading motivation and awareness program that calls for every child in every community to celebrate reading in March, the birthday month of children’s author Dr. Seuss.

The author visit took place during the final week of the Read to ME Challenge, a monthlong public awareness campaign launched by Maine’s First Lady Ann LePage to promote childhood literacy, according to a news release from Maine Authors Publishing, according to a news release from the school.

Lockwood, of Hallowell, is the author of “The Tennis Ball Trees,” a children’s book published in 2013. It’s a whimsical story about his chocolate Labrador retriever’s love of tennis balls. Lockwood retired in 2015 after serving 36 years as executive director of the Maine Municipal Association. He is pursuing his interest in writing.

“We were very excited to once again have a Maine author visit the school to read to the students and to discuss the process of writing. This is the second year in a row that we’ve been fortunate to have a local author visit the school. It was a bonus that Mr. Lockwood’s visit also coincided with the final week of the Read to ME Challenge. We appreciated his willingness to spend a full day and a half at the school. We scheduled sessions for him to meet with our 380 students in Pre-Kindergarten through Grade 5,” said Susan Lobel, principal of Hall Dale Elementary School, according to the release.

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