Read All About It – “The Outer Banks”

cute happy kids -boy and girls- read books on beach, family vacation concept

One of the best things about vacationing on the Outer Banks is sitting back, relaxing, and reading a good book by the sea. But have you ever read a book about the Outer Banks while enjoying your OBX vacation? We at Joe Lamb Jr. & Associates would love to share with you books about the Outer Banks for adults and kids too.

Children’s Books

Book cover of Tammy Turtle by Suzanne Tate showing a sea turtle entering the ocean
Photo Courtesy of Suzanne Tate

Tammy Turtle – This book is great for kids who want to learn more about loggerhead turtles and how to help protect them. The author, Suzanne Tate, a local resident of the OBX has many other books about the beach and nature that will make your kids want them all. Other books include Salty Seagull, Sammy Shrimp, Spunky Spot, and Flossie Flounder. With so many books to choose from, which would be your favorite?


picture of a dog surfing surf dogs beach safety tips
Photo Courtesy of Kim Mosher Designs

Surf Dog’s Beach Safety Tips – If you have young children and are looking for a way to help them learn about beach safety, this book is for you! Surf Dog’s Beach Safety Tips is a book that will help them learn about safety when on vacation. The author is Kevin Mosher, and his wife, Kim Mosher, did all of the illustrations in the book.

Picture of a black cat on a beach ball on the beach with sand dunes behind it
Photo Courtesy of Tamara Hoffmann Shipp

Bosley the Cat – Bosley the cat loves adventures and has two books in the series, The Bosley Books. The first book is Bosley the Beach Cat, and the other is Bosley the Pirate Cat. These books take place in the Outer Banks and are so much fun to read for kids. The author is Tamara Shipp and illustrated by Sarah Glaser.

Photo of two children sleeping in beds with the outer banks lighthouse in the background
Photo Courtesy of Adam Gamble & Mark Jasper

Good Night Outer Banks – This book is a great book to read at bedtime for the younger kids and highlights several locations on the OBX. Those locations include Wright Brothers National Memorial, Cape Hatteras National Seashore, Jockey’s Ridge State Park, and Duck Town Boardwalk. Written by Adam Gamble and Mark Jasper, this book will soon become a favorite for your kids every night!

Picture of book cover with young girl drawing and window in background showing people walking on the beach
Photo Courtesy of H.C. Friesen

Janey Olsen, Famous Artist of the Beach – This book was written and published by a long-time guest, H.C. Friesen. It’s based in one of our rental houses, unit 016, and back when it was yellow. This is a book to get and keep in your children’s book collection at home.

Photo of book showing a little feature of book with a picture of the Outer Banks and a picture of Unit 016

Adult Books

On This Day in Outer Banks History – This book is about the Outer Banks and how it’s so much more than a vacation destination. It tells the stories of the OBX and how amazing it is with all the history it holds. The author, Sarah Downing, is a former Joe Lamb Jr & Associates employee, and we couldn’t be any prouder of her success!

Hatteras Island, Keeper of the Outer Banks – Written by Ray McAllister, a regional author who visits the OBX often with this family. This book portrays the beauty and history of the Outer Banks and how it has remained like a secret vacation destination. He has another book about the OBX, Ocracoke, The Pearl of the Outer Banks, that you must also check out.

The Beach Lover’s Guide to the Outer Banks – If you’ve been searching for a guide on how to fall in love with the beach of the OBX, this is the book for you. Written by Tamara Shipp, you’ll find this series has two volumes. The first is The Beach Lover’s Guide to the Outer Banks Volume 1 focuses on Kitty Hawk, Kill Devil Hills & Nags Head. Volume 2 focuses on Avon, Buxton, and Hatteras.

We hope you enjoyed this fun blog post on books about the OBX as much as we did writing it. If you pick up one of these books while on vacation and want to share it, be sure to check out one of the Little Free Libraries around the Outer Banks. Staying in one of our OBX vacation rentals will have you wanting never to return home!

30 Years and 39 Books for Melvin and Tate

Artist signing for an artist. That's Suzanne Tate signing one of her books for mystery author Joseph Terrell. Artists James Melvin is on the left side of the photo.
Artist signing for an artist. That’s Suzanne Tate signing one of her books for mystery author Joseph Terrell. Artists James Melvin is on the left side of the photo.
Tate’s Nature Series Celebrates 30 Years Between James Melvin and Suzanne Tate

Suzanne Tate and James Melvin have been working together on Suzanne Tate’s Nature Series of children’s books for 30 years. That’s a pretty amazing accomplishment, and tonight their collaboration was celebrated at the Dare County Arts Council Gallery

Part of the first First Friday Celebration of the year, Suzanne and James also included the release of their latest book, Merr-Lee Monarch, A Tale of a Big Trip in their evening.

James Melvin is an amazing artist in his own right—a man of remarkable talent and vision that seems comfortable working in a wide variety of medians. In this book that talent seems to leap off the pages in depictions of butterflies and gardens that are rich in color and captivating in their complexity.

The story itself is one of Suzanne’s more adventurous.

She remarked in an interview that a friend who lived in South Nags Head had monarch butterflies that returned every year. As she investigated she found that this particular swarm of butterflies migrates between the mountains of Mexico and the Outer Banks very year.

As is always the case with her books, it is scientifically accurate, although of course, written for children between the ages of 3-7/

Children will certainly enjoy the story and identify with Merri-Lee or her brother, Monty. Adults may very well find the pictures fascinating in their complexity and use of color.

As First Fridays go, this was a wonderful way to begin the annual celebration of downtown Manteo. The weather was beautifully spring-like. We’ll have a pretty strong front drop temperatures by 25 degrees or so on Saturday, but the evening celebration did manage to sneak some good weather in.

The next First Friday will be May 4. For anyone on the Outer Banks at that time, it should be on the to do list.

Spring Weather Welcomes Outer Banks Spring Events

Time to Get Outside and Enjoy the Outer Banks
Cover of one of the 36 books Suzanne Tate and James Melvin have created.
Cover of one of the 36 books Suzanne Tate and James Melvin have created.

It seems as though spring was never going to come to the Outer Banks. Sure the official first day of spring was 10 or 11 days ago, but there wasn’t much about it that suggested spring.

But the sun has been out for the past few days, daytime temperatures have climbed into the upper 60s and lower 70s and the breezes have been from the south. That’s spring on the Outer Banks.

Just in time for Easter, too.

For anyone thinking about sunrise services, it will be chilly but Easter Sunday is looking like a perfect spring day.

It looks as though all of the Easter Egg hunts are on Saturday this year. Check out Kitty Hawk Kites, the Elizabethan Gardens and the Roanoke Island Aquarium if there are young ones who want to see how many eggs they can find.

As the days get longer we start to get more happenings on the Outer Banks.

There are two event that are occurring in Manteo that we think are worth checking out.

The Bayard Wooten photography exhibit is on display now through May 31. We’re giving this one our strongest recommendation. It’s not a large exhibit but really worth checking out.

Bayard Wooten was a woman photographer capturing images between 1905 and the late 1930s. Her ability to capture the emotional content of the people she photographed is mesmerizing.

Born in New Bern, she was a true pioneer in her field—both as a woman when women were not accepted in what was seen as a man’s profession and artistically as an artist.

The other exhibit worth checking out will be at the Dare County Arts Council Gallery—the old Dare County Courthouse beginning Friday, April 6.

Author Suzanne Tate and Artist James Melvin have been cooperating on Tate’s nature Series of children’s books for 30 years. The Arts Council will have on display some of the original artwork that was used in the books as well as some commentary from the creative team.

Suzanne and James will be on hand for the April 6 Manteo First Friday celebration.

A New Outer Banks Author Comes to the Scene

book cover nautical theme

Cover of Creatures of Imagination by Carol Willett.

Outer Banks authors are a diverse lot writing everything from children’s books—Suzanne Tate and her Nature Series; to history—David Stick; mystery—Joseph Terrell, and even a best selling novelist who has settled here. That would be Matthew Quick, author of Silver Linings Playbook and his latest novel, Love May Fail.

Add to that list Carol Willett’s Creatures of Imagination-A Journal of Discovery.

Words fall short in describing how marvelously different this book is. Carol has been creating art in the form of whimsical mythical creatures for a number of years, and her book takes that whimsy to a whole new level.

Telling the story of intrepid 19th century world-traveller, Gwendolyn Remington-Burke, Carol traces her heroine’s journey from her native England to the four corners of our planet. Her story is recounted through journal entries, primitive photographs and paintings that recreate the creatures she encounters as she circles the globe.

Typical of her entries is this from 3 August 1889.

“Tracing the path of the notorious pirate Blackbeard past the Island of Ocracoke and up the Albemarle Sound, I encountered a deep-billed sea bird that seemed a cross between a pelican and a cockatoo . . . This Frilled Pelican answers to the name ‘Elvis.’”

The journal entries are guaranteed to keep the reader chuckling; Carol’s artwork is spot-on and adds perfectly to the sense of adventure the book evokes.

A large format book, beautifully produced by Linda Lauby of Outer Banks Press, this is the kind of book that will engage just about everyone.

Just published, the book is available at the Dare County Arts Council in Manteo, Glenn Eure’s Ghost Fleet Gallery in Nags Head and should be making its way to other locations soon.