PITTSFIELD — In addition to dictionaries donated by the Rotary Club of Pittsfield, city third-graders got another literary gift this school year, orchestrated through the district's reading coordinator, Kay Latham.

The students received "The Gift of You, The Gift of Me/ El Regalo Tuyo, El Regalo Mio" the bilingual English-Spanish edition of a book by author Nila J. Webster, illustrated by George M. Ulrich.

In her book Webster, who resides in Revere, tells the tale of a little creature, Jamile, his enduring friendship with the trees at the end of the lane. The book aims to teach others about being kind to all living beings, the author's mission since she was diagnosed with Stage 4 lung cancer.

In a note included with each copy of 900 books she sent this fall, Webster wrote, "You are receiving these books thanks to the generosity a very special person, and this is my Mom. My Mom gave me a great gift that I would like to pass on to you ... She taught me that by writing, we can create sparkles and bring gifts to the world, and to ourselves."


This year, third-graders were asked to give additional copies to their second-grade counterparts. Webster, in another letter told the students: "When you hand-deliver the book, YOU are letting your light shine, because you are giving a gift and you are being kind. You are a role model for the second-graders and this is a chance to reach out to the second-graders and make them feel special. You are encouraging them to love reading, as you love reading. Remember, the second graders respect you."

Webster donated to Pittsfield in particular because she and her mother used to travel through the area. "We would always wonder about the magic of Pittsfield. Now all these years later, I feel so happy to meet you through this book," she said in her notes.