Thursday, 07 December 2023 13:23

Saratoga Author Releases New Children’s Book

The Animal Menagerie Launch Party at Saratoga Arms. Photo provided The Animal Menagerie Launch Party at Saratoga Arms. Photo provided

SARATOGA SPRINGS — Local author, Fran Dingeman, releases her first book, called The Animal Menagerie. The book was officially launched last week at a celebration for contributors, family, and friends at Saratoga Arts. 

The Animal Menagerie, written by Francine Dingeman and illustrated by Marta Maszkiewicz, is an A to Z picture book for children ages 4-7. The characters are animals for each letter of the alphabet. The book is written to entertain and educate by introducing dozens of creative new words to a child’s vocabulary. The Animal Menagerie uses rhyme to help children remember animal names, learn new words, and teach their meanings through the use of imagery and animal tales. 

“Writing a book was something I talked about doing for years,” said Dingeman. “In 2021, I decided to act on it. The Animal Menagerie was created with a goal of elevating a child’s vocabulary while entertaining them in the process. Fabian the Fly takes the young reader on a learning adventure to meet new animal friends and hear of their tales. Parents will enjoy sharing this book with their children and may even learn something new in the process.”

Dingeman continued, “I am grateful to so many who offered their guidance through the self-publishing process, and in particular to Saratoga Arts, who helped make this project financially possible through the Community Arts Regrant Program, funded by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of the office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature.”

The Animal Menagerie retails for $21.99 plus tax and is available for purchase locally at Celtic Treasures (, G. Willikers Toys (, and Saratoga Outdoors ( in downtown Saratoga Springs, as well as at Allerdice in Malta ( In addition, books can be purchased through the author’s website, designed by Brand Science NY. The website includes a list of local events where Dingeman will be in-person throughout the holiday season with books for purchase including a reading at the Saratoga Springs Public Library on Saturday, Dec. 9 from 10-10:45 a.m.; A Local Author Fair at the Saratoga Farmer’s Market at the Wilton Mall on Saturday, Dec. 16 from 9 a.m.-1 p.m.; Nacre’s performance of the Nutcracker at the Egg in Albany on Saturday, Dec. 16, prior to the 7:30 performance; and Saratoga Outdoors, 490 Broadway, on Sunday, Dec.17, from 12-3 p.m.

About the Author: Francine Dingeman is a first-time author who passionately enjoys the art of rhyme and has a deep appreciation for the creative use of words. Fran is the owner of the event development/marketing company, Network Saratoga (learn more at, and General Manager of Loud Media (Star Radio 93.3FM and Lake George Radio 93.5FM).

Visit for more information. Follow The Animal Menagerie on Facebook.

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