A Glens Falls graduate spent this year’s National Read Aloud Day with students from the Kensington Road School, introducing them to his new book.
Anthony Richichi graduated from Glens Falls High School in 2005, and worked as a custodian in the Glens Falls City School District for three years after he graduated. He always had an affinity for the arts and knew he one day wanted to find a way to make painting and writing his career.
“Storytelling has always been something I’ve loved since I was a kid,” said Richichi. “When I started with Saratoga Springs Publishing in 2020 and illustrated a few books with other authors, I knew there was a story I had in me I also wanted to tell.”
That passion for the arts is what led Richichi to write Colorworld. The story introduces young readers to a boy named Henry, whose art work comes to life and embarks on adventures with characters he creates. He says his passion for telling stories through art was something he discovered at a young age.
“I was in Mrs. Carey’s art class at Big Cross Elementary, and I remember very vividly a Starry Night project where we copied Van Gogh’s painting with crayons. I also had a King Tut collage of mine exhibited downtown in third grade or so. I didn’t really imagine being a writer that young, but I was all about being an artist. I would write out little comic stories about some of my favorite TV shows, like Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Doug, and Rugrats when I was at home.”
Richichi’s mom Pam continues to work at Kensington Road in the school’s cafeteria. Anthony calls the chance to help inspire students with his work a dream come true.
“I remember being obsessed when I was a kid with books and my school’s library,” said Richichi. “To now have a book of mine in there that kids can enjoy and draw inspiration from is the best feeling an artist or writer could ask for.”
On top of reading to students, Richichi made sure to share advice with young students who may be curious about what it takes to write a book of their own.
“I would say to start now and don’t wait! Don’t be afraid to try creative things or express yourself and share your story. If you want to start but don’t know where to begin, write about things you’re passionate about. If you love cats, imagine a cat that goes on an adventure. Where are your favorite places? Send the kitty there and have them make friends! If you write what you’re passionate about, that will be your best work and the most exciting work to get lost in and be creative with.”
Anthony says the second book in the Colorworld series is set to be published later this year. He’s also hard at work illustrating other stories under the Saratoga Springs Publishing umbrella. For now, Richichi said he cherished the opportunity to read his book to the next generation of Glens Falls authors.
“My favorite part about sharing this book is feeling like I’m inspiring kids to want to be creative and use their imaginations,” Richichi said. “I think it’s super important for kids to believe in themselves and follow something they love, and the arts can be a huge outlet for that. It’s given me everything I have in my life and I want to be an example to kids that if they follow their passions and really want to do something, they can achieve it.”