Yesterday was officially my last day as Children’s Book Publicist at Raincoast Books. I am starting my new life being creatively fulfilled each and every day through my writing and West Coast Creative Company.
My last day came with little fanfare, I think most people had forgotten that it was technically my last day. I had a month’s worth of vacation saved up so my last day in the office was on June 30th. Knowing that it was my last day was slightly terrifying (goodbye regular pay cheque twice a month), incredibly inspiring (I can’t believe how far I have come in just 1 month and the amazing, talented women who I am starting to work with) and a pinch nostalgic (goodbye beautiful books, farewell smell of paper fresh off the printing press, see you soon good friends I’ve made along the way.)
I was taking a moment to reflect on the ending of one chapter of my life and the beginning of another, when my door rang. It was our friendly UPS driver with a package for me. A huge smile came across my face and I once again realized that every single action I have taken over the past 16 years of adulthood has brought me to where I am today.
The package being delivered was a box of children’s books from Random House.
“What is it? What is it?” exclaimed Bean as she jumped up and down.
“Books.” I said with a grin.
“Books?” asked 2 year old Turtle.
“Yes, books.” I sighed smiling. A feeling of relief washing over me. Books, my one constant throughout my entire life will continue to be a huge part of my life… that makes me happy.
I cracked open that box of books, putting some in our big, wooden crate where we store review books, letting Turtle and Bean flip through others and settling onto our big, comfy couch with two that immediately grabbed my attention, spoke to me and begged to be read.
In my sewing studio I have a bookshelf. On that book shelf nestled among the sewing, crochet and hand lettering books there are children’s books. These are mommy’s books. Occasionally Bean comes into my studio and we read these books together, if she loves them just as much as I do we often add a second copy to our collection, but this collection of books is mostly for mommy. They are books that inspire me… the words, the artwork, the message. They are beautifully designed and speak to my creative spirit.
Here they are dear readers. Favorite Things Friday… two books that captured my heart the moment I laid eyes on them. These books will definitely be going on the shelf in mommy’s room, though my guess is that we’ll probably buy second copies for the playroom. ;)
About the book:
With enchanting words and whimsical illustrations, Julia, Child tells the fictional story of Julia Child as a… child. Julia and her best friend Simca love to cook. Together they explore markets on the weekend to gather ingredients and ideas for new recipes. Like everything in life, sometimes when they try a new recipe it flops but with practice, practice and more practice (and a few tricks up their sleeve) they start creating delectable meals.
Their rules for life are simple:
1. Some friends are like sisters
2. You can never use too much butter
3. It’s best to be a child forever
The girl’s give themselves a mission. To transport the busy, hustling, bustling, harried adults of the world back to childhood, where it was easier to enjoy the simple things in life. Of course, the girls decide to do this through food.
Julie Morstad has always been a creative inspiration for me, I love her work and this book does not disappoint. Her illustrations make me want to be a kid again and visit the farmer’s market with a young Julia and Simca. I love how she illustrates the adults in black and white and the children in color. It makes me take pause and evaluate if I’m living my own life as a black and white kind of life or a life full of color.
As someone who considers herself a foodie, Julia child is of course someone who I look up to and admire. Getting the chance to glimpse into an fictional retelling of her childhood is magical. Kyo Maclear’s message speaks to me, especially as I start this new chapter of my life. It’s a message that I want to remember, which will give this book a permanent spot on my studio shelf:
It’s always best to live life with a childlike wonder.
About the Book:
In Adventures with Barefoot Critters we follow a triceratops, a deer, a squirrel and 2 foxes through the course of a year, preparing for each season, exploring the world and spending time with good friends. Each spread in the book is a different month and the critters get up to different adventures including planting their garden in April, exploring the seashore in August and ringing in the New Year with good friends on December 31st.
The moment that I saw the Barefoot Critters they enchanted me. The dedication of the book reads “For anyone who went out and explored while everyone else was bored.” Teagan White does a wonderful job of telling a story through alphabet (not always the easiest task) while also incorporating each month and season into the story.
The critters are just as cute as can be. The illustrations rich and detailed. Each page reminds me of a print that you would buy through Etsy, frame and hang on your wall. There is something a little bit old fashioned about the book that transports me back to childhood, but at the same time it’s extremely modern.
This book makes me want to learn how to draw… and spend more time in my garden… and explore the seashore more often… and enjoy all of the little things in life!
Tell me… What children’s books inspire you?
Contest open to residents of Canada and the US.