on September 14, 2017 by test_editor in Archive_2017, Coming Events, Print Articles, September, Comments Off on September 14, 2017: Literary Tastes of Wellington West; Local authors add child-like flavour.

September 14, 2017: Literary Tastes of Wellington West; Local authors add child-like flavour.

September 14, 2017: Literary Tastes of Wellington West.
Local authors add child-like flavour.

By Barbara Clubb.

“Ottawa comes alive in this entertaining and spirited alphabet book featuring the city’s well-loved landmarks and symbols. …”

While there are any number of generic alphabet books available, An ABC of Ottawa takes a local twist to encourage young readers.

The first-ever children’s alphabet book set in Ottawa, is a labour of love by two long-time Kitchissippi residents, Miriam Bloom and the late Julie Mason. Miriam has lived in Wellington West for 40 years; Julie was born at the Civic Hospital and grew up in Westboro where she attended Broadview PS and Nepean High School.

A gorgeous 60 page paperback, An ABC of Ottawa was launched this year as part of Ottawa’s Canada 150 celebration. Since then, the author has been invited to schools, bookstores and museums, and the book has been selling briskly over the summer all across the city.

While there are any number of generic alphabet books available, An ABC of Ottawa takes a local twist to encourage young readers. Relying on familiar Ottawa experiences and places, the authors seek to inspire kids to enjoy reading by using their own hometown, and people they might know or encounter on the street, to illustrate the alphabet.

The “K is for Kids” page, for instance, features a photo of a youngster on a swing in Clare Park. That youngster is Scarlet Page, grand-daughter of co-author Julie Mason. The photo was taken by Julie when Scarlet was about seven years old. Scarlet is now a lovely, poised young woman of fifteen who really misses her grandmother.

“It’s cool.” says Scarlet when asked about seeing herself in print. “I like being in the book because my Grandma Julie did it. I’m really proud of her. I love her, I miss her and it makes me think of her. It reminds me of how excited she got about things and how creative and fun she was. I really like knowing that she did this book. I wish that I had had it when I was a kid”.

But An ABC of Ottawa is more than just a book. Miriam has also created a Parent and Teacher Resource guide, to encourage using the book as a gateway to topics such as Canadian history and geography, the Canadian North, and art. She has also developed and led a popular series of related craft activities for events at local museums and bookstores.

Reviewers have been enthusiastic about An ABC of Ottawa. “Ottawa comes alive in this entertaining and spirited alphabet book featuring the city’s well-loved landmarks and symbols. It’s a lovely book to curl up with and look for familiar haunts and new spaces to explore, while learning to recognize letters, words and shapes. Highly recommended.” says Alexandra Yarrow, local librarian and president of Twice Upon a Time, an organization providing free books to Ottawa’s kids.

On Saturday September 16th, World of Maps is partnering with An ABC of Ottawa author Miriam Bloom, to celebrate Tastes of Wellington West in a literary vein. At the Wellington Street store, Miriam will be signing copies of her best-selling book, and sharing stories about its creation and publication. A copy of the book will also be raffled for visitors to the store.

An ABC of Ottawa is available at bookstores across the city. In West Wellington it can be found at World of Maps, Fab Baby Gear, and at Mrs Tiggy Winkles on Richmond Road, as well as on-line at http://www.miriambloomart.ca .

Image of girl on swing with text on the left; "K is for Kids, What do you like to do at the playground"

Clare Park with a “K”

Photo Caption: Scarlet Page swings into the alphabet in Clare Park, where “K is for Kids” in a new and immediately popular children’s book, An ABC of Ottawa, co-authored by Scarlet’s late grandmother Julie Mason. Photo by Julie Mason.

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