About the Book
With a title that echoes a fairy tale, Once Upon Peoria showcases some classic storybook elements seen in the most quintessential of American towns: Peoria, Illinois. Told in verse, the book features a castle on a hill, an enormous stuffed bear, little roads built just for bicycles, a talking Christmas tree, a unique kind of gondola (and no, it's not a boat), a very tall woman named Vanna Whitewall, sandwiches as big as dinner plates, planets found in unusual places, and exotic animals like Zambian mole-rats and diurnal domestic zebus. Other Peoria attractions—museums, parks, libraries, historical sites—are featured as well.
Once Upon Peoria was written for children, but will also appeal to adults who grew up in Peoria—or live there now—and like to recall and pass along their fondness for the community. The book touches on Peoria’s past as well as its present, as it highlights some of the most beloved and iconic landmarks in the Peoria area.