Children’s book author Kathleen Davies grew up in Caledon East. After relocating elsewhere for a few years she returned in the mid-nineties, moving into the family home. The backyard of that home became the inspiration for her art and eventually a children’s book.
Kathleen holds a Master degree in Environmental Studies from York University, so soon she became a volunteer with the Caledon Environmental Advisory Committee (CEAC). She was also involved in the local arts scene.
“I did a series of water colours in my yard of the small animals that inhabited our back gardens, as well as the family cat and a little girl called Kate” says Kathleen. “I accompanied each of these watercolours with a rhyming verse.”
“One day I was doing an inventory of my work and I looked over this series of water colours and verses and thought that children would like them if I turned them into a book. They are based on real observation of the little dramas that go on in our back gardens. I felt they might help encourage kids to observe nature and get away from iPads and screens for a while.”
Although she had previous writing experience writing academic papers, family stories, and “verses made up for Children and grandchildren’s birthdays” Kathleen had never previously tried to publish anything.
Persevering she networked and contacted bookstores where she had been a customer. She also approached the local library about the names of publishers that might take a look at work by someone that didn’t have an agent.
“I was asked for a synopsis of my story which I sent off with a couple of photos of water colours to a publisher. I needed some technical help putting the pictures and verse into book form and forwarded that to the publisher and waited” she explains. “The response was positive. I then contacted the Writer’s Union of Canada for some information about reading author/publisher contracts. Once I understood the contract, I signed it.”
Kathleen’s book ‘Stories From The Back Garden’ has been recently published by Rock’s Mills Press in Oakville.
The author describes her book as happy, playful and especially suitable for children aged 3 to 7 years. “Because the verses rhyme, they are easy to remember and the child will match the rhyming verse to the picture.” Kathleen says. “As well I think that parents and grandparents will enjoy reading the book to young children.”