Illustrated by Duncan Brooks
The Turnip Tune Up, a children’s book aimed at ages 2 and 5 years, is being launched at the Confederation Centre Library in Charlottetown on February 3 at 2 pm.
With ten books to her credit, including a novel, Island author Kathy Birt says she had no plans to do a children’s book until she read a rhyming poem about the turnip to her writers’ group. “TWiG (The Writer’s in Group) members were enthusiastic about the poem and agreed that it would make a great children’s book with the right illustrations,” said the author.
She had no problem finding the right person to do the illustrations. Fellow writer and children’s author Carl McNally had his children’s book illustrated by Duncan Brooks and Birt liked the entire book so much she gained permission to copy the book design from McNally and utilized the talents of Brooks to get just the right illustrations. Birt called upon Kelly Gray, who is studying graphic design at Holland College, to design and complete the book.
Doing a book about eating turnip for Birt was essential at some point in her life. “I wrote the rhyming poem about turnip back in the late 90s at a time when I was interviewing turnip growers. I simply stored it in my Word files with many other pieces of work.
“Pulling it out in 2015 was simply to provide something to read at my weekly meeting with TWiG. But as I read this poem over and over to myself, the notion of using it in a children’s book took form.”
“My plan is a little unusual. I’m rewarding each child who buys a book on the day of the launch, with a turnip, donated by Brookfield Gardens.”
Memories Birt has about turnips include the making Jack-o-lanterns from them in the 1950s for school Halloween parties. Purchase the book to find out more interesting things about turnips.