Journalist Cynthia Kagan Frohlichstein releases first book


Writing a children’s book has been the ambition of countless journalists, but few if any have actually written one. So along comes Cynthia Kagan Frohlichstein, award-winning journalist with thousands of published travel articles and feature stories in her past (and present), who has produced her first book, The Perils of the Peanut Butter Kid. This is the whimsical story of Elmer Kay, an adorable little boy who is so addicted to peanut butter that his mother buys larger and larger jars of the gooey, drippy goop to satisfy his appetite. With charmingly colorful illustrations by Peggy Collins of Elmer’s parents, his dog Paprika and his plight, the book is a visual delight as well as a fun story. Cynthia calls it “…a peanut buttery tale that will stick with you.” Cynthia is already working on a sequel called The Perils of the Peanut Butter Dog.

The Perils of the Peanut Butter Kid celebrates Cynthia’s 32-year survival after breast cancer surgery. So that others can share and profit from this celebration, a donation from every book sold will be given to The Wellness Community. “They do something special. The Wellness Community gives people help and support, and that is really what you need.” Cynthia told me, and as a cancer survivor she should know. On Saturday, Sept. 15 at 11 a.m. there will be a “Let’s Laugh Luncheon” featuring Cynthia and her Peanut Butter Kid. I suspect that, like at other author events, she will read you her story about Elmer. Long an advocate for cancer causes, Cynthia served as Reach to Recovery chairman for the Parkview Chapter of Barnes-Jewish Hospital as well as on the boards of AMC, American Cancer Society and St. Louis Breast Cancer Coalition.

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Among Cynthia’s many interests is the Jewish Book Festival which she co-chaired for the festival’s 20th anniversary celebration. Previously she originated and chaired St. Louis Author’s Day featuring many local writers and authors who received long-deserved recognition. She continues to co-chair this event now known as Missouri’s Own. This year she will actually be on the panel of Missouri’s Own on Friday, Nov. 9 at 1 p.m.

The panel will be moderated by Charles Brennan.

Cynthia is an award-winning journalist whose background includes varied careers — fashion model, college instructor, elementary school teacher, travel and feature writer, actress, community volunteer and mother and grandma. In 2006 she received the prestigious Quest award for excellence in journalism and year after year she is among the winners of the Communications Contest sponsored by the National Federation of Press Women.

Those who read the AAA magazine know that her travel articles about far-away places and cruises appear regularly.

So Cynthia, I asked, what possessed you to write The Perils of the Peanut Butter Kid? She explained that she would make up stories and tell them to her grandson Eliah, her only grandchild now 22 and a student at Syracuse University. “My son, Michael, was crazy about peanut butter and this was one of the stories I invented. I told little Eliah that some day I would write the story for him.” Incidentally, son Michael Kagan, PH.D, an ordained rabbi, is department chairman and teaches philosophy at Lemoyne College, a Jesuit institution in Syracuse, New York.

The Perils of the Peanut Butter Kid ($17) is available at Imagination Toys, Left Bank Books and Spicers, and after Aug. 1 on line at www.Perilsofthe If your organization wants to book Cynthia for a talk or signing, you can reach her at [email protected]. Children of all ages will enjoy this delightful tale which will benefit The Wellness Community.