Left Bank Books, 109 Church St., will welcome author and illustrator Douglas Coffin Friday, Oct. 16, at 7 p.m. to celebrate the launch of his new book, “One Maine Christmas Eve.” The public is warmly invited to this free talk and signing.

The multi-talented Coffin is nationally known for his work as professional letter cutter in stone (there are only about two dozen in the country), but this is his first published book. He said he wrote and illustrated a Christmas poem many years ago, with the same flavor as “The Night Before Christmas” by Clement Moore, and has expanded it into this book. “One Maine Christmas Eve” — told in verse — celebrates Mainers’ can-do approach to problems and the joys of simply giving.

On Santa’s most important night of the year, he is grounded by sick reindeer at Miss Moody’s farm. It turns out that Santa could not have picked a better spot for an emergency landing, though, because who is more adept than a Maine farmer at getting a broken-down machine (or sleigh) back into service? Working together, a rag-tag assemblage of reindeer replacements is cobbled together.

Coffin’s charming, colorful illustrations complement his story, from the opening two-page spread of an aerial view of the farm to the colorful final spread showing Santa driving his earnest-yet-zany pick-up team. Esteemed Maine author and illustrator Dahlov Ipcar has said Coffin’s book is “a delightful variation on the Santa Claus legend, in which not Rudolph but a whole gaggle of critters save the day, or rather the eve.”

Coffin has a background in graphic design, calligraphy and typography, and produced a nationally syndicated cartoon strip in the early 1980s. He published editorial cartoons in a weekly newspaper in Maine for 20 years and, in 1987, began his career as a letter cutter in stone. He also demonstrates and teaches the history of letterforms and the alphabet. He lives in Stockton Springs and works from his studio in Belfast. “One Maine Christmas Eve” is his first book.

Space and seating are limited, so advance reservations are highly recommended at 338-9009 or leftbank@myfairpoint.net. “One Maine Christmas Eve,” published by Tilbury House Publishers in Thomaston, sells for $16.95. The bookshop will take advance orders, as well as ship copies for those who cannot make it to the book launching party.

Courier Publications’ A&E Editor Dagney C. Ernest can be reached at (207) 594-4401, ext. 115; or dernest@courierpublicationsllc.com.