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  • Children's book illustrator and author Dahlov Ipcar has called a farm in Mid-Coast Maine (Georgetown) home for 75 years. She turns 95 today. Yet she says she'd "maybe die of boredom" if she retired. So she's still hard at work painting from her home studio. She just published her "Maine Alphabet" board book, a whimsical, visual love letter to the lobsters, loons, deer, ducks and other wildlife all equally at home in her home state.

    Dahlov Ipcar is also quite generous with her time. Every year at this time, she sits for hours signing books for eager young families and older grandparents who come to meet their favorite (and local!) author. The hospital here hosted the signing. Ipcar donated 45 percent of all books sold towards health-career scholarships and a walk-in clinic for those without insurance. Everyone got to load up on holiday gifts and do good at the same time. After this year's signing Friday, the hospital honored longtime benefactor Ipcar with a birthday luncheon featuring her favorite, lobster rolls. After all, she's beloved for her 1962 classic book, "Lobsterman."

    Ipcar has written and illustrated more than thirty books for children and young adults. Her first was "The Little Fisherman" (written by the author of "Good Night Moon"). She's nostalgic about the years she lacked electricity when she first moved to Maine. "It was a 19th century life," she reminisces. "I sort of wish we were still living that way."

    She often invokes Churchill, who said that for most people, their work and pleasure are separate. Yet for some people, their work and pleasure are the same. Dahlov Ipcar is one of the lucky ones.
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