(Feb 2, 2022) Catherine Read talks with children’s book author, Mary D. Gauthier. This long-time resident of Fairfax City was inspired to write a children’s book about the robots that roamed the streets of the historic downtown of this small city making food deliveries. Mary is a former kindergarten teacher who retired from a long career in government service. Her interest in robots stems from an early fascination with the NASA Space Program and the emerging technology of that era.
Her first book, Robin’s Robot – How a Lonely Pizza Robot Found a Friend, is a melding of a childhood memory of her mother and grandmother adapted to a fictional child living in a current world that includes robots as a daily experience. Mary has a sense for the universal experiences of children and how they can be adapted to include things that didn’t exist in our own childhood experiences. In working to find a connection to the manufacturer of the local robots, she was aided by Chris Bruno, Director of the Fairfax City Economic Development Office. He passed along her book and made that connection for her which sparked a number of communications about future children’s books.
Her follow-up book, Rover – the Pizza Delivery Robot Takes a Bow, is another book in what she is planning to be a series. As she continues to do research about the different types of robots in our community, she finds herself welcomed into the community of robotics researchers and developers, and even invited to competitions. Her enthusiasm for understanding robotics as part of our everyday lives is contagious. To her surprise, her inquiries, outreach, and requests are being met with interest.
Mary sells her book at local events and also online. Profits from the sale of her books and accompanying CDs are donated to the local nonprofit Britepaths, which serves families in Fairfax who are working toward establishing self-sufficiency.
You can find more about Mary’s endeavors and interests at www.MaryDGauthier.com