Writer Bernice Morgan had been thinking about the toys that were important to her when she was a girl, toys that defined her childhood in St. John’s.
“I started trying to recall every toy I could remember in my life. I was making little sketches of each one and I was going to make a book out of the memories associated with the toys,” said Bernice.
But a writing assignment for the internationally-recognized Shallaway Youth Choir changed the project’s focus.
“Then Shallaway asked me to do the little bits of narration between the music at their Christmas concert at St. Mary’s Church. It had to be five minute segments, which was perfect,” said Bernice.
There were four segments. So Bernice’s focus naturally shifted from the toys themselves to seasons. Later, when Bernice sat down to write her first children’s book, she built on these short segments to write a book about the sights and sounds of the different seasons of a St. John’s childhood in the years before the war.
It isn’t the only children’s book published this year that was inspired by working with a local choir.
Robert Chafe’s new children’s book,Shiny and New, began with as a special piece for the Lady Cove Women’s Choir. The book is a holiday tale about a new girl moving into a small Newfoundland community.
The similar origin stories behind their books has led to some shared publicity and promotion, interviews, and reviews.
The telegram wrote a story following a shared interview with both Robert Chafe and Bernice Morgan. https://www.thetelegram.com/living/robert-chafe-and-bernice-morgan-release-first-ever-childrens-books-254437/
In a delightful introduction to a review of both books for Atlantic Books Today, Chris Benjamin wrote:
“In the kind of coincidence that can only happen in Newfoundland, two new Newfoundland children’s books have been published, separately, each as a result of choral concert performances.”
They’re letting everyone know that there are two books you can give this year that were inspired by holiday choir performances: one that takes place in a modern-day small town over the holidays when a girl from far away moves to town; and one that walks through the seasons (lingering on Christmas) in a St. John’s childhood brimming with play just before the war.
Michelle Porter has worked her magic again! Here's a link to the newest RTG BookBit - a lovely one featuring illustrator Brita Granstrom. Enjoy!
The Ferryland Visitor isn’t just a ghost story, says author Charis Cotter. It’s also a story about a family facing a tough, cold winter, a family hoping that when spring comes they’ll be a bit better off. It’s so cold that first winter in the lighthouse they all sleep in the kitchen. But they believe [...]
Bad poetry? Probably written by a tyrant or villain, according to Andy Jones, author of Jack and the Green Man, the first chapter book in his Jack tales series. “The Green Man is that kind of powerful tyrant who has no sense of nobility, no sense of obligation to anyone but himself. “Even his poetry: [...]
The illustrations in Jack and the Green Man offer a rare glimpse of a visual style that was part of southeastern Europe before the Former Yugoslavia fell apart, before the war and the fall of communism changed the area forever.That European link is part of the history of Newfoundland fairy tales, says writer and performer [...]
Thanks to Lisa Doucet and Jo-Anne Elder for the lovely review of PB's Comet in the Fall issue of Atlantic Books Today. The reviewers say: "Another delightful and quirky picturebook offering from Running the Goat, Books & Broadsides, PB's story is sure to charm young readers. The jaunty and lyrical text begs to be read [...]
Congratulations to Lori Doody, whose delightful picture book The Puffin Problem has been shortlisted for the Bruneau Family Award for Children's/Young Adult Writing, one of the Newfoundland and Labrador Book Awards. The other nominees are Sheilah Lukins for Full Speed Ahead: Errol's Bell Island Adventure and Rebecca North for Eliot and the Impossible Fish. Looking [...]
"It's abundantly clear there's no topic that Paddon can't put his signature twist on," so says Inderjit Deogun in his review of Half the Lies You Tell Are Not True. A great appreciation of Dave Paddon and Duncan Major's wonderful collaboration.Here's a link to the full review: http://www.umanitoba.ca/cm/vol24/no38/halftheliesyoutellarenottrue.html
"Mallard, Mallard, Moose is a gem you don't want to miss," writes Courtney Crocker in CM Magazine. We couldn't agree more!Here's a link to her full review:http://www.umanitoba.ca/cm/vol24/no38/mallardmallardmoose.html
A little something funny about each of Dave Paddon’s thirteen recitations in his new book Half the Lies You Tell Are Not True.1. FOG. Is the east side of Placentia Bay really the foggiest place anywhere? Dave admits that “people dispute that and there’s a little bit of history there.” The fog in this recitation [...]