For some, it’s the season of fun and plenty of food, but Lester Bowles Pearson Parker’s mother and 39 brothers and sisters are hungry, and the house humans’ Jack Russell terrier, whose bite is definitely worse than his bark, is on the prowl.
Lester spends most of his time alone. No one listens to him. Can he find the courage and voice to save his family from starving?
The Adventures of Lester Bowles Pearson Parker: The Nut is the first of a series of adventures for this tiny mouse who carries a weighty name and has no experience at all with being a hero.
Author/Illustrator, Jocelyn Reekie, grew up in the heart of a busy prairie city, but from as far back as she can remember she was drawn to the outdoors and animals. When she and husband, Bill, moved to Quadra Island, they purchased an acreage which they shared with their two young children and a variety of critters.
“When we lived in that first old farmhouse, I often talked to a mouse that crept into the kitchen at night, where I sat and wrote stories while my family – and our cat and two dogs – slept,” Reekie writes. “Eventually I captured the mouse and put it outside with a warning to not come back in if it wanted to live, and I wished it a long and happy life. That mouse has become the impetus for this series of stories.”
A published author of novels, short stories and non-fiction, Reekie’s art is a more recent passion.
She has produced watercolour paintings that hang in homes across the country, participated in group shows, and her art cards are a perennial favourite in local outlets. For her picture book illustrations, she uses a variety of media and styles.
“The style is largely dependent on the story,” she says.
“Era, place, and who the characters are all play a part. Genre also comes into it. If it’s a fantasy or cartoon, anything goes; if it’s a realistic story the illustrations tend to be more realistic.”
She has long been involved in teaching writing workshops for youth and adults because, she says, “I like to pass things on, too. In the fall, I enjoyed teaching a course on creating picture books through Elder College.”
In March, she is scheduled to teach another picture book course at the college, through Continuing Education.
The Nut is Reekie’s fifth picture book.
Join her at the Campbell River Museum Nov. 21-22, anytime between 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., to celebrate its release.