Kate Salley Palmer

Learn, Laugh, Love: Children's Books | Saturday, May 16, 1:00 - 1:50, Carolina Meeting Room B
Genre(s) Childrens

Kate Salley Palmer, a native of Orangeburg, is former nationally syndicated political cartoonist with The Greenville News. Simon and Schuster published her first children’s book, A Gracious Plenty. After illustrating several more books by national publishers, Kate and her husband Jim started Warbranch Press, a regional publishing house in Clemson. Warbranch Press has published nine picture books – five family stories, including The Pink House, about Kate’s family’s annual beach trip, and most recently, Hostie, about Jim’s Champion 4-H Holstein Cow. Four more are about state history, including First South Carolinians, Palmetto: Symbol of Courage and Francis Marion and the Legend of the Swamp Fox. Kate’s books are available in bookstores and gift shops across South Carolina, and her history books are used widely as resources for teachers.

Book Title: Hostie

Hostie tells the story of a Holstein cow, the child who trained her for a 4-H project and their adventures competing at county and state fairs. Palmer’s husband, Jim, who grew up on a farm in Anderson County and raised a Holstein for a 4-H project, inspired the storyline. Like the main character in the book, he had to train Hostie to walk around the show ring, and prepare her for competition by bathing her, clipping excess hair, polishing her hooves and shampooing her tail’s switch. During fair week he had to take care of her at the fairgrounds. But for the book, the former nationally syndicated political cartoonist changed the main character into a redheaded girl named Sally. By story’s end, Sally and her family realize that the prize money won by Hostie over the years wouldn’t be enough to pay for Sally’s college education. Hostie is sold, something that happened to Jim in real life, too, Palmer said. In her book, Hostie is sold to (the) Happy Cow Farm. Jim Palmer became acquainted with Tom Trantham, owner of the real Happy Cow Farm in Pelzer in southern Greenville County, through Palmer’s work as the Sustainable Agriculture Coordinator at Clemson.