Sunday, October 28, 2012

Apples and Butterflies: A Poem for Prince Edward Island, by Shauntay Grant (illustrated by Tamara Thiebaux-Heikalo)

Apples and Butterflies:

A Poem for Prince Edward Island
Author: Shauntay Grant
Illustrator: Tamara Thiebaux-Heikalo
Publisher: Nimbus Publishing
Publication Date: October 5, 2012

It's the cold days of fall in the Maritimes ("my dad has bagged up all the leaves / a shadow hides the place I call home") and a young girl is reminiscing about her family's vacation in Prince Edward Island, remembering all the sights, sounds and smells of the island in the late summer and early fall. From butterflies to apple picking, sandcastles to books by the campfire, she uses the memories of her family's trip to keep her warm as the weather grows colder. Told in Shauntay Grant's rich poetic style, Apples and Butterflies is a love letter to those every day moments of childhood that stay in our memories forever.

I want to go where there are no alarm clocks
and no chores
only time
lots and lots of time

I just want to breathe
breathe air that tastes like apples:

I was lucky enough to go to the Halifax book launch for this book, with live performances by Shauntay Grant and musical guests including Verena Rizg (who appeared--in illustrated form--in Shauntay's previous book, The City Speaks in Drums). Shauntay talked about how this book was inspired by real trips her family took to PEI, as well as by moments of "everyday magic" that her parents created for her throughout her childhood. 

The illustrations are rich and detailed but also whimsical and fantastical. The sun smiles down on the family walking along the beach, the colours of the sky swirl together like cinnamon rolls, and the little girl's magenta scarf twists and twirls for miles around her. Gorgeous!

For photos from the book launch on October 25, 2012, in Halifax, NS, head over to Cozy Little Book Journal!
Magda's Take:
(at the book launch, which was just before Magda's bedtime and allowed her to stay up a little later) 
"Shauntay and Verena read me my bedtime stories and sang me lullabies! That was so nice of them!"

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