A few years ago, W.C. "Dub" Tomlinson, Lake Park, wrote a compelling book, a memoir really, recounting tales from his boyhood in the Echols County turpentine and timber regions of the 1930s and '40s. "A Lad in the Piney Woods" was like a detailed time capsule delving into the customs, practices and work methods of another age, while presenting a narrative coming-of-age tale.

Interviewing Tomlinson about "A Lad in the Piney Woods" and writing in general, he said he was working on several writing projects, which included a children's book about a rooster.

Well, the children's book is finished, printed and available. It is called "Barnee: The Rooster That Couldn't Crow," with illustrations by area artist Cathy Lynn Herring, 19.

Like "A Lad in the Piney Woods," "Barnee" is entertaining while it enlightens readers on the ways of rural life.

The book follows the birth of several chicks on a Southern farm and how one of the chicks, Barnee, grows into a young rooster faced with a peculiar dilemma: His voice is a squawk rather than a cock-a-doodle-do.

Like many children's books, Tomlinson has a message here. In Barnee's case, the moral is patience for some skills must be developed and come with time.

But "Barnee" also demonstrates the workings of farm life, how chicks slowly get their feathers, the nature of a chicken coop, the hazards of the farm, and other trappings of rural life that may seem strange to youngsters being raised in a city.

Throughout "Barnee," Herring illustrates the book with a direct and simplistic style with which children can likely identify. She has always enjoyed drawing since a young age. In 1999, Herring was involved in a four-wheeler wreck that has left her paralyzed from the waist down, according to her illustrator's bio in the book.

"Art has always been Cathy's way of coping with her situation," according to the book. Last month, she graduated from high school and she plans to major in art education in college.

Meanwhile, even though he has a new book in "Barnee," Tomlinson continues writing his tales. "Hunter's Creek Wind" and "Black Water Branch" will be ready for release soon.

More information on how to get a copy of "Barnee: The Rooster That Couldn't Crow," or other Tomlinson books, or book signings, see the web site (www.inthepineywoods.com).

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