Literary Las Vegas: Kenneth Ian Segel

Summerlin-area resident Kenneth Ian Segel, a rabbi who trained at the Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati, has served congregations around the United States and Canada. Recently Segel set his sites on teaching values through children’s literature with the release of two picture books. “The Amazing Sparkey,” illustrated by Amory Abbott, focuses on the antics of a dog named Sparkey, who can read, talk and even agrees to let the neighbor’s cat ride on his back in the pool. “A Big Decision,” illustrated by Sonny Heston, follows the adventures of 9-year-old Jake, who is known for the diligent care he gives to his menagerie of pets.

Excerpt from ‘The Amazing Sparkey’

Sparkey could talk. He was always entering into family conversations with strange sounds and an occasional bark, expressing his opinions with great emphasis and effort. His head moved rapidly from side to side, and his nose would wiggle as he tried to make his point. He would get very frustrated if you didn’t pay attention or understand what he was trying to say.

Sparkey could read. After he would bring the newspaper into the house each morning, he would carefully open the newspaper, place his nose on the print, and move his head from line to line. At times, he would talk to the newspaper.

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