Children's stories give Mom fodder for kids' book
Morinville's von Kanel hopes to get others published too
By: Scott Hayes
| Posted: Wednesday, Oct 24, 2012 06:00 am
The Search for Cuddles
By Liz von Kanel
Available for purchase at Coles stores and online at www.chapters.com, www.friesenpress.com.
Also available as an eBook.
It’s been a long time since Liz von Kanel of Morinville put pen to paper on the wonderful adventures that her three children had so many years ago. Natalie, Jonathan and Melissa were like so many other kids who had some fun, got into some mischief and even had interesting dreams.
Ever the dutiful mother, she kept track of as many of these tales as she could. There were lots of these, she admits, and she often used them as bedtime stories.
Now in her 60s, she has dug the records out of storage and taken a select few to the publisher. Her first children’s book, The Search for Cuddles, is now in print.
She said that it’s as much about her life as it is about her children.
“I just decided, you know what? I have two grandchildren … and I want to leave a memory of me. I’m not going to be on this earth forever.”
The book contains two true stories, including the titular tale about how the kids’ cat, Cuddles, went missing one day. It was not so much a panic as it was a quest, as they scoured the house looking for the lost pet. Without giving too much away, there is a bit of a surprise ending, but a good ending nonetheless.
“The cat always slept on my daughter’s bed … always, always, always. And then all of a sudden, it went missing.”
It is a children’s book after all. The second part features Jonathan’s Dream, the recounting of a midnight reverie about dinosaurs that her middle child – Jonathan, of course – had when he was a five-year-old.
“He loved dinosaurs,” she emphasized, adding that he even had a stuffed pet dinosaur that he called Dino.
“He loved dinosaurs! He used to have dreams about them. He had a dream about living in the dinosaur times and he was all alone. He dreamed that he made a little girl out of dirt, and rocks for the eyes, so that he had somebody to play with.”
The girl turned out to be his younger sister, Melissa.
“It’s a cute little story.”
Apart from giving these to the world so that other parents could share them with their own children, the book also commits the memories to the annals of permanent personal history. That’s good too, von Kanel said, because the children, now grown, don’t remember them all happening.
“I gave them each a book. Jonathan and Melissa remember parts of it but they don’t remember all of it. I said, ‘That’s why the book is here.’ ”
While von Kanel’s name is on the cover, it is more of a family affair with her own children as the protagonists. Daughter Natalie and a family friend, Erica Cassie, even did the illustrations.
She recently had a book signing at the local Chapters. A reading at the Morinville Community Library is also in the works. The author’s hope is that she can have another batch of stories out in another volume within the coming months. This time, she intends to self-publish.