Fall Festival is the time for special treats—this year at Kauffman Museum that meant introducing three new books with local ties.

Swords to Plowshares, by Lisa Weaver, Bluffton, Ohio, is a children’s book that tells a true story of violence turned to hope through the eyes of a fictional boy in 1920s Ukraine. The publisher is Lion and Lamb Peace Center at Bluffton University.

Central to the story is a medallion that Mennonite artist John P. Klassen created from spent bullets.

Klassen, who taught art at Bluffton University for more than 30 years, was born in the Mennonite colony of Chortitza (in what is now Ukraine) in the late 1800s. He found the bullets in Chortitza, where the violence of war and political revolution had left deep scars.

In 1922, recipients of food and relief aid supplies in the villages of Chortitza and Rosenthal gave the medallion as a gift to Mennonite Central Committee leaders. The medallion is now part of the Kauffman Museum collection and is on display at the museum where the books are for sale.

Author Lisa Weaver has a local connection, too—her parents-in-law, Edna ’76 and George Dyck, live in North Newton.

Bob Regier ’52, North Newton, also has a new book now for sale at Kauffman Museum.

From Avocet to Yellowthroat: 25 Prairie and Woodland Birds is a collection of some of Regier’s bird illustrations.

For over a decade, fans of these simple yet stunning illustrations, produced as notecards, have eagerly awaited each new design, often collecting groups of the cards, said Andi Schmidt Andres ’84, Kauffman Museum curator of education. Now part of that wait is over.

Regier has published a small book containing all 25 of his bird illustrations. His description of From Avocet to Yellowthroat: These illustrations, representing many of my favorite birds, were created on my computer with the use of Freehand software. The illustrations are stylized in my effort to capture their essence in both appearance and behavior.

Finally, Kauffman Museum has copies of another new children’s book, Big Brutus, the Kansas Coal Shovel, by Brenda Eck of Goddard in collaboration with her cousin, Marilyn Kuhlman of Maize, and with illustrations by Bethel senior Jessie Pohl.

Big Brutus is a gigantic electric mining shovel, used to strip-mine coal in the 1960s and ’70s in southeast Kansas.

Not only are we excited about introducing our new director, we are excited to have three unique new books for sale, Schmidt Andres said.