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New interview with Kirsten Pendreigh by Open Book!

Open Book interviewed Kirsten & myself for our new book "Maybe A Whale" in this behind-the-scenes look at making the children's book! (Published by Groundwood Books 2023)


Excerpt:

When I first received the synopsis for the book from our editor, Emma Sakamoto, I immediately latched on to the idea of illustrating whales—something I love! Then, when I started reading the longer description and Kirsten’s manuscript, I realized that they never actually see whales on their journey! “Oh no, how do I illustrate a book about whales without any whales in it?!” I had to go on my own journey through the story and find the hidden moments where the whale’s peeked through (whether in the ocean, sky, or imagination)—letting the viewer see the whales, even as the characters felt and heard them through their other senses. —Crystal Smith
I hope children feel like they went on a voyage too! I hope the story inspires them to look for comfort and connection in natural spaces near where they live. It might not be going on an ocean kayaking or camping trip, it could be walking in a city park, listening to different birdsongs, the buzz of bees, perhaps noticing seasonal changes and rhythms that affect how we feel in our bodies. Remembering that we are part of the natural world is so important for our mental health!
At a deeper level, if one of our young readers has experienced loss, I hope they find solace in this reminder that the ones we love are still with us, even if we can’t see them anymore. —Kirsten Pendreigh

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