CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Before the No. 15 West Virginia University Mountaineers (6-1) took the floor at the Charleston Civic Center against Western Carolina (3-5) Wednesday, the broadcaster who has called the game action for decades had some signing to do.
Tony Caridi, host of the MetroNews “Statewide Sportsline,” spent a couple of hours at Charleston’s Taylor Books signing copies of his new children’s book, “Where, Oh Where, Oh Where Could We Go? Traveling West Virginia High and Low.”
“It’s probably exceeded my expectations,” Caridi said of the response to his first book. “I didn’t really have an idea as to what people would think of the idea and then I noticed that what people really, really like is that it’s got a bunch of different combinations.”
The children’s book about West Virginia is written in a “rhythmy, fun style,” according to Caridi, and takes readers to some of the Mountain State’s most iconic locations.
“West Virginia is a very cool state, where some sides are squiggly, and some sides are straight,” he wrote.
Designed for ages three and up, kids are challenged to find the outline of West Virginia on every page.
On Wednesday morning, Pat Wilson from Tornado was getting three books signed for her grandkids. “He’s amazing,” she said of Caridi. “We’ve been following his career for years and we just love him.”
Chuck Stump, managing member, tells MetroNews Caridi brought an interesting viewpoint to the project.
“Tony’s personality is No. 1, but then you have his being a transplant in West Virginia who fell in love with the state that we love so much and he has a great following and the book, it’s just a fun, whimsical book for kids,” Stump said.
“I would challenge any kid that gets the book to make sure and go to every location that’s in the book.”
Caridi said his wife Joan’s involvement in the Read Aloud program inspired him and noted his first book may not be his last. “I don’t think I’ll be one and done, but I don’t know what the next one’s going to be,” Caridi said. He mentioned bullying as one possible topic.
A portion of the proceeds from sales of “Where, Oh Where, Oh Where Could We Go? Traveling West Virginia High and Low” will go to WVU Medicine Children’s. On Dec. 14, Caridi will be at the hospital to read the book and sign copies of it.
As of Wednesday, Caridi’s book was available at Charleston’s Taylor Books or online at tonycaridi.com.
More locations for book sales will be added in the future, according to Stump.