City Native Writes Little Golden Book On Lucille Ball

Passion Project

A former Jamestown resident has penned a Little Golden Book on Lucille Ball.

The Little Golden Books have been around for many years and are published by Random House. Their main purpose is to encourage younger kids to read and there are many different types of Little Golden Books that can range from things like biographies and the weather to Star Wars and E.T. There are over 200 of them in print.

The Lucille Ball Little Golden Book is the latest in the biography series.

The book’s author, Wendy Loggia, grew up in Jamestown. She attended Jamestown High School, Jamestown Community College and SUNY Buffalo. Following graduation she moved to New York City and began her work in book publishing, which she still does today as an editor for Random House Children’s Books. She currently lives in New Jersey, just outside of New York City.

“When I first started in publishing, I worked on a lot of move tie-in projects,” Loggia said. “This basically means I wrote the books that came from movie franchises, things like Jurassic Park and Ever After. I also wrote for Disney, some originals and some short stories that connect to their franchises like Cars and Toy Story.”

Wendy Loggia, a former Jamestown resident, is pictured with copies of her Little Golden Book about Lucille Ball. Submitted photos

While editing is her main job, Loggia continues to write on the side. On Election Day in 2020, she finished her young adult romance novel, “All I Want For Christmas.”

As a part of Random House, Loggia saw how successful the Little Golden Books were and pitched the idea of a biography on Ball.

“I saw the success of the Little Golden Books and how fun the biography ones looked,” Loggia said. “I pitched the idea to the editor and they liked it and I started writing. I have one on Taylor Swift that I am working on as well. I have a lot of fun with these.”

Loggia was inspired to write the biography on Ball because of her history with the Jamestown area.

“I think if you live or grew up in the Jamestown area I think you are required to love Lucy in some way,” Loggia said. “I grew up with stories about her from my mom who was also a fan. I loved the show and what Lucy represented as a small town girl who moved to New York to pursue her dreams. She is so impactful and still has fans to this day.”

Loggia added that some kids might not know anything about Ball, and some adults as well might not know much about her background.

“I don’t think a lot of people know about the hard childhood she had,” Loggia said. “When I started working on it I thought I had to be the one to write it because I am a fan of hers and my history with the Jamestown area. I’m glad it could be me.”

Loggia also learned more about Ball during this project, and said her goal was to tell her story in a way suitable for kids, making it positive and inspiring.

Her Little Golden Book on Taylor Swift is set to be released next May. Loggia said because of the fun she had writing her Christmas romance novel she hopes to be able to write more in that genre in the future, but she said it is hard to find time to write and balance her time between writing and her editing career.

“I work with other creators all day and sometimes I feel like I don’t have enough energy to write my own stories,” Loggia said. “I started an Instagram account when I published my romance novel and it has helped me to connect to other Lucy fans across the world. I definitely will keep writing, but I will have to start thinking of things soon. As an editor we are already working on books that will be published in 2024.”

Additionally, Loggia said when it comes to illustrations authors usually do not get a say in the pictures that go with their books, but she thought the illustrator for the Ball book was wonderful.

“I did feel that the Random House editor found an amazing illustrator,” Loggia said. “I was very excited about that. Authors don’t necessarily get to connect with the illustrators of their books, but I was allowed to give some suggestions as to what I wanted.”

Loggia believes Ball is a role model to everyone.

“Whether you love Lucy like me or grew up a fan, or are not a fan, I think Lucy’s story is incredible,” Loggia said. “She was a TV star and one of the first women to have her own studio. She is a role model not only for kids but their parents and grandparents as well.”

The book is even more special for Loggia because she dedicated it to Jamestown.

“I have friends and family that still live in the area,” Loggia said. “I try to visit several times a year. I have a soft spot for Jamestown and Chautauqua County. It is a place that is very dear to me.”

The Lucille Ball Little Golden Book is now available at any major retailer.


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