Chris Lockwood’s new kids’ book is a keeper

I can’t wait to read Chris Lockwood’s new children’s book to my young granddaughters. Titled The Tennis Ball Trees, and published by Maine Authors Publishing, Chris’s book features a Labrador retriever that loves tennis balls.

Whenever there was an adult nearby, the lab, named Fannie, would run over and drop a tennis ball, expecting the adult to pick it up and toss it. Fannie can even find her tennis balls buried under the snow.

But the best part of the story comes when dad digs up holes in his yard to plant bushes. Fannie manages to bury a tennis ball in each hole, and after the bushes grew tall, tennis balls grew on the branches!

Along with the story, the illustrations by Kathleen Fox will be something your kids and grandkids will really enjoy. I’m sure Chris’s eleven grandchildren are enjoying their grampy’s new book. And I wouldn’t be surprised if they plant some bushes, with a tennis ball buried with each bush.

Chris Lockwood was executive director of the Maine Municipal Association from 1979 to 2015. He lives in Hallowell and last year published a book, Why the Cane? I reviewed that book in which Chris shares his struggle after being hit by car. Chris was standing behind his van when a speeding car hit him, severing his left leg. His recovery took many years and he shared that experience in his book, also published by Maine Authors Publishing. It’s an important book for all who struggle with health problems

Now, I can’t wait for Chris’s next book!





George Smith

About George Smith

George stepped down at the end of 2010 after 18 years as the executive director of the Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine to write full time. He writes a weekly editorial page column in the Kennebec Journal and Waterville Morning Sentinel, a weekly travel column in those same newspapers (with his wife Linda), monthly columns in The Maine Sportsman magazine, two outdoor news blogs (one on his website,, and one on the website of the Bangor Daily News), and special columns for many publications and newsletters. Islandport Press published a book of George's favorite columns, "A Life Lived Outdoors" in 2014. In 2014, George also won a Maine Press Association award for writing the state's bet sports blog. In 2016, Down East Books published George's book, Maine Sporting Camps, and Islandport Press published George and his wife Linda's travel book, Take It From ME, about their favorite Maine inns and restaurants.