James Bay Author Publishes Children’s Book
By Robert Hawkes
(Above: The two main figures from the story, Timothy Mouse and his younger sister Squeaky. Image copyright Astra Crompton and Marcia Mae Nelson Pedde.)
James Bay author Marcia Mae Nelson Pedde has just published a wonderful children’s book called The Adventures of Rainbow Mouse. The book is beautifully illustrated by Victoria illustrator Astra Crompton. The 48 page picture book tells an inspiring story of finding confidence in your own abilities so that you can help others. The main character, Timothy, was always timid and afraid to make his own decisions. However, one day his younger sister gets into trouble and needs his help. That day he finds the confidence needed to make a decision and save the day.
I attended an engaging book launch in May at New Horizons here in James Bay, where both the author and the illustrator spoke passionately about how the book became a reality. I love the illustrations in the book, and Astra explained the process that she used to produce them. Essentially, she first sketches the drawings and then digitally fills in the colours. The result is images that look crisper and more lively than many children’s book illustrations. While the book would resonate with children of many ages, the target audience is from about ages 5 to 9.
Marcia Mae Nelson Pedde is formerly from Ontario, but has lived in James Bay now for a number of years. She published an earlier book of poetry (A Year in the Life of a Bus-Traveling Poet) as a tribute to her new home city of Victoria. This is her first children’s book, although the author and illustrator have plans for a series, as well as possible publication in other formats. The author will weave the rainbow theme and colours through the books of the series. All will share a positive message of overcoming challenges in life and respect and caring for others.
The book is written in memory to the author’s father and is written for her grandchildren, one of whom, at only age eight days, attended the book launch. The idea for the rainbow came from a mask that the author had been given as a gift. You will have to read the end of the book to see how the idea of a rainbow is woven into the story of Timothy and his friends.
The book is self-published, but quality printing was done by one of Canada’s oldest and best known presses, Friesens Corp. of Altona MB. Friesens is a Canadian employee owned company that has been printing books since 1907. The ISBN for the book is 9780986673221, and the hardcover version sells for $24.95. It is also available in electronic forms at lower prices. The book is printed with a dyslexia friendly (OpenDyslexic) font that makes it easier for those who have difficulty with transposed letters.
The Adventures of Rainbow Mouse is available at Munro’s Books here in Victoria in the Kids Health section, or purchased through the author’s website or online. Information on obtaining the book, along with figures from the book that your children can colour, is available at the author’s website: https://www.wolfnowl.com/shop/
The inscription that the illustrator and author wrote in the copy I purchased for my grandchildren expresses perfectly the key message of the book for us all: “Courage is found in your very own hearts!”