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Henry Winkler And Co-Authors Launch New Book in Manhattan Beach

Oct 17, 2023 03:19PM ● By Jeanne Fratello

Co-authors Dan Santat, Henry Winkler, and Lin Oliver unveil the cover of their new book at the Manhattan Beach Library on Monday.

Three best-selling authors - among them Emmy Award-winning actor Henry Winkler - visited Manhattan Beach on Monday for the official launch of their new children's book. 

Along with {pages} a bookstore, Winkler and his co-author Lin Oliver and author/illustrator Dan Santat gave local kids and adults an exclusive first look at "Detective Duck: The Case of the Strange Splash" at the Manhattan Beach Library. The book will officially be released today, October 17.

Winkler and Oliver have written together since 2003 and "Detective Duck" marks their 38th book. 

Winkler, wearing a yellow sweater in honor of Detective Duck, told the crowd that he was dyslexic and struggled in school. His German parents, frustrated by his poor grades, called him "dummer Hund" (dumb dog), he said, and he had to repeat geometry four times to finally pass it and get his high school diploma. "I didn't know I was learning challenged until I was 31 years old," he added.

(Winkler displays a childhood photo of himself wearing a tie that says "Henry.")

Nevertheless, said Winkler, he always knew he wanted to become an actor. After attending Emerson College and the Yale School of Drama, he headed to California and, during his second week in Los Angeles, landed the iconic role of Fonz on the sitcom Happy Days.

"I lived my life by tenacity and gratitude," said Winkler, whose career continued with multiple collaborations with Adam Sandler as well as roles in the popular shows Parks and Recreation, Arrested Development, and Barry, for which he won an Emmy.

Oliver told the crowd that she had always imagined herself as a writer and storyteller, and would ride her tricycle up and down the street asking her neighbors, "Do you want to know what happened at my house last night?" (True story that she told her neighbors: Her sister snuck chocolate cake into her underwear drawer so that she could have a secret midnight snack.) A film and television writer and producer, Oliver also co-founded the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators.

Together, Winkler and Oliver have collaborated on the Hank Zipzer series about a boy with learning differences as well as the Ghost Buddy and Alien Superstar series.

Their writing process, according to Winkler, is, "I talk. Lin types. Then Lin has an idea. She types. I wait."

(Santat entertains the crowd with a simple drawing lesson.)

Next Santat, himself a Caldecott-winning author and the creator of an animated Disney cartoon series, led the crowd in a lively drawing lesson. "All you need are a few shapes and a few letters," he said, as he transformed a cloud into a tree and then into an ice cream cone with just a few strokes of his marker. 

Detective Duck

The new book follows the adventures of Willow Feathers McBeaver, a.k.a. Detective Duck, a crime-solving duck who lives with her animal pals on Dogwood Pond. Dogwood Pond is encountering puzzling problems—mysteries that arise from human-caused disruptions in nature such as water pollution, garbage, warming climate, and human encroachment.

Fortunately, Detective Duck is on the job, solving these puzzling mysteries before they get out of hand and destroy their habitat. Determined to unravel the mysteries and solve any environmental problem that besets her beloved pond, she is determined to unravel the mysteries and solve any environmental problem that besets her beloved Dogwood Pond.

A second Detective Duck book is in the works, according to the authors. 

Meanwhile, Winkler's autobiography - "Being Henry" - is coming out on October 31.

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