Author publishes children’s book set at Allerton Park

Former Shaw Media journalist Jillian Duchnowski of Bloomington has published “Cassidy and the Lost Fairy of Allerton,” a children’s tale about using your imagination to beat boredom.

The story for children ages 4 to 8 is set in Allerton Park & Retreat Center near Monticello, Illinois, and brings to life in colorful illustrations many of the park’s most celebrated statues, including the Fu Dogs and The Sun Singer.

“The story came to me when my husband and I were walking through the formal gardens,” Duchnowski said in a news release. “I love how Allerton Park brings together so many elements – structured formal gardens next to unfettered nature, a grand estate and a desire to experience the woods, large sculptures set next to spaces virtually untouched by humans. My mind wandered to what else might have found a home there after Robert Allerton’s extensive travels abroad.”

In addition to beautiful illustrations, the book also features photographs of the park as an introduction for readers unfamiliar with the park’s history.

“Cassidy and the Lost Fairy of Allerton” can be purchased online at More information about the project and Duchnowski can be found at

Jillian Duchnowski, 38, wrote for the Northwest Herald and Daily Chronicle. Now, she writes for Townsquare Media, a media and marketing solutions company. She’s a 2003 graduate of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

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