Uncorked: The Elf Child Book Launch
By Mike Butler
Recently, I was quite fortunate to meet up with dynamic storytelling duo Kenneth Michael Davidson and Donna Louise Moore, author and illustrator of the dazzling new book The Elf Child. They’ll be celebrating its publication with a book launch on Saturday April 28 at The Box of Delights Bookshop in Wolfville.
The Elf Child was first conceived as a whimsical lullaby before it became a book. “While in Manitoba working as a music teacher,” author Davidson says, “I had the happy chance of meeting a young girl named Monique, and her sweet voice would become the inspiration behind The Elf Child. Back home in Nova Scotia, the well-known vocalist Erin Anne Montgomery later recorded a version of The Elf Child. Erin’s stylistic sensitivity to the poetic nature of the lyrics soon encouraged a literary interpretation. Although lyric writing and prose may share the same pen, in our case the challenge would be to presuppose certain lyric adjustments accompanied by meaningful illustrations to embrace the imaginative text.” And so the incredible journey began from mind to page!
And who are the brilliant minds behind this creation? Well, Kenneth Davidson retired from the School of Music at Acadia University after almost 30 years, spent almost a decade teaching for Frontier School Division, MB, and is presently a curriculum writer for the Nova Scotia Department of Education. He also works part time for the Annapolis Valley Regional School Board, and NSCC in Kentville. The Elf Child is, hopefully, one of a series of books.
Behind the outstanding, bright, and cheerful illustrations is Donna Moore. Donna has had a longstanding passion for the arts and over the years has produced many works that reflect this love. She is very proud of the final product of The Elf Child.
There’s so many reasons why I love this book, but let me share two of them with you. A lot of children (and adults) these days do not use their imaginations to their full potential. This book encourages thought and reflection from its readers, which is a wonderful benefit. The Elf Child is more than inspirational. The story is enriched by the cast of curious characters who also appear in the “Tell Me Time” pages inserted throughout the main story.
The other reason I love this book is that The Elf Child is gender neutral. There are no gendered pronouns found in the text, and the gender of The Elf Child is not given anywhere in the story. This allows for reader input as exemplified in the bubble on the last page in “Tell Me Time,” where the moon asks, “do you know what the Elf Child’s name might be?” The book leaves this to be the reader’s choice.
So, have I piqued your interest? Well, you can meet and greet the creators of The Elf Child and pick up a copy (or two!) at the book launch on Saturday April 28, from 1pm-3pm, at The Box of Delights Bookshop in Wolfville. It’s going to be a great event that you don’t want to miss! See you there, and happy reading!