Two women from central Alberta have teamed up to create a new children’s book.
Sandra Ladwig, 81, of Red Deer, started creating stories in grade 6 by writing them on paper napkins, brown paper bags and in newspaper margins. In 2021, she comes out The tiger in your dreamswhich features 14 short stories about adoptees researching and contacting their birth families.
His latest creative project, The Pelican and the Hooting Owlis his first foray into children’s literature.
“I first had the idea of the names. I thought an owl named Horace was good. Then I thought a pelican would fit in with an owl, so that’s how it all started,” Ladwig said, adding that the pelican’s name is Priscilla.
The Pelican and the Hooting Owl is described as a story of wisdom, joy and true friendship between two creatures who learn to get along and share through hardship.
Last spring, Ladwig contacted the Golden Circle Seniors Resource Center to ask if he knew of an artist who might be interested in illustrating a children’s book. This is how Ladwig met the artist Penhold Annie Burik, who was the illustrator of The Pelican and the Owl Hoot.
Burik is an artist and graphic designer born in Montreal and mother of a teenager. She says art has always been a passion for her.
“In grade 5, I won the 1988 Calgary Olympics drawing contest,” Burik said.
“I was so excited to win a Calgary Olympics hoodie. This kind of gave me pride and perseverance to pursue art. … I have always drawn, painted and now give art lessons to children.
Burik said the story features characters with positive qualities.
“Priscilla is a caring and compassionate bird. These characteristics you need to spread so that children can identify with a caring mother or someone who takes care of them,” she said, adding that Artistic inspiration comes from nature, so illustrating a book with animal characters was a good choice.
Ladwig, who is a mother, grandmother and great-grandmother, said she hopes to help inspire children to write their own stories.
“Write down your thoughts and bring them to life by giving them characteristics,” she said.
“They can be animals or people. I want to encourage children to draw and write stories, even if the story is only one page long.
Ladwig already has a second children’s book in mind. But in the meantime, the goal is to free The Pelican and the Hooting Owl over the next month at local bookstores and libraries.