West Coast beauty inspires counting book by local author

One Eagle Soaring by Vickers, Budd comes out April 7

As the first in a series of children’s board books marked a milestone, the second is ready to launch in April.

One Eagle Soaring, is the second instalment in the First West Coast series of board books from

Robert “Lucky” Budd, a historian and writer who lives just beyond Oak Bay’s borders, and Roy Henry Vickers, a renowned First Nation artist and storyteller who graduated from Oak Bay High are the dynamic author duo behind the series’ bestselling, breakout board book Hello Humpback! The first book has been on the best seller’s list for the last year, achieveing the goal of bringing the West Coast to the world.

“It’s pretty incredible that this little board book has been received so well,” says Budd.

“There’s a lot of anticipation for this book based on the success of Hello Humpback!,” says Budd. “We’re incredibly encouraged and inspired that to many people are reading to their kids and engaging with the material.”

One Eagle Soaring is a first numbers board book, celebrating wildlife found across B.C.’s spectacular scenery. The title harkens back to the day the duo, who have created a number of books together, came up with the children’s book foray. Overlooking the Skeena River on an August evening, with eagles soaring overhead they wondered if they could share the beauty of the West Coast with the three young children playing on the lawn in front of them.

“That was exactly how this whole thing started, one eagle soaring high,” Budd says. “To use the landscapes and animals of the west coast to be able to introduce numbers was a really fun project to do.”

The book features the titular eagle, leaping frogs, orcas, hungry bears and even bees in a variety of habitat all from the mind of Vickers. His images introduce toddlers to the coastal animals and traditional Indigenous imagery used to represent them. Within each colourful forest, beach or underwater scene, children can locate their favourite animals and practice saying their names.

“We live in one of the most beautiful parts of the world. and one of the best things is the wonderful wildlife,” Budd says.

The rhyming words and the images encourage counting, with both the first obvious image, and then other little things in the picutres.

Three whales swim under three clouds, and a baby for the first time, might notice the clouds before they notice the whales, Budd notes. But the little surprises are there for the adult reader too.

“If you’re going to pick up a book several times, you want it to be engaging to you as well,” Budd says. “Roy’s incredible at that, finding layers and depth in a really simple way. It takes a master to do that.”

The next book in the series is set to focus on colours.

One Eagle Soaring releases April 7.


 

cvanreeuwyk@oakbaynews.com

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