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SERVING ARTICHOKES PUTS A NEW TWIST ON PARTIES; FOSTERS FRIENDSHIPS, TOO, AUTHOR SAYS

 DES MOINES, Iowa, Nov. 23 /PRNewswire/ -- To answer the challenge of how to put a new twist on holiday entertaining, or parties at any time, author Mary Kay Shanley says, try artichokes.
 Her new fine art gift book "She Taught Me to Eat Artichokes" (Sta-Kris, Inc., $13.95) presents an intriguing opportunity to use artichokes as a thematic focus for a gathering of friends.
 "The story is about two neighbor women who gradually peel away the borders formed by the time constraint of careers and family needs to discover the heart of friendship. It's a story that truly does communicate that the heart of the artichoke and the core of friendship are very similar, both requiring learned skills," Shanley said.
 In one scene of the book a woman hosts a party for new-found friends. As guests enjoy the artichokes, their conservation is peppered with shared experiences that represent bridges to closer friendships.
 "When you've peeled off all of your petals, you'll find a treat. A surprise. It's the heart of the artichoke. The gift of the plant," the hostess says.
 Shanley describes her book as "a sincere, simply story about friendship that is particularly useful as a gift or source of entertaining inspiration for close friends."
 Paul Micich illustrated "She Taught Me To Eat Artichokes" with 16 beautifully rendered original alkyd and pastel paintings on linen and canvas. Micich won national acclaim for his recent illustration of the best-selling new edition of the children's classic, "The Littlest Angel."
 "In illustrating the book, I wanted to create a scrapbook of a friendship everyone can share," said Micich. "It is intended to be a keepsake, with memories folded between the pages. There is a painting done on a linen tablecoth, old photos, and an old lace collar from a first dress."
 "She Taught Me to Eat Artichokes" (40-pages, hard cover, $13.95) is published by Sta-Kris, Inc., publisher of Thoughtful Books(R) and is available through booksellers and fine gift stores nationwide. For a nearby store, call Sta-Kris, Inc., at 800-369-5676.
 Thoughtful Books is a registered trademark of Sta-Kris, Inc., Marshalltown, Iowa.
 -0- 11/23/93
 /NOTE TO EDITORS: Interviews available. Review copies, color slides, and black and white photos available. Artichoke recipes also available./
 /CONTACT: Brenda Jones of CMF&Z, 515-246-3575, for Sta-Kris/


CO: Sta-Kris, Inc. ST: Iowa IN: ENT SU:

LV -- NYHFNS9 -- 7071 11/23/93 06:54 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Nov 23, 1993
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