In her first work as a children’s author, Ladner’s Diane Chubb takes kids around the world through the imagination of a little girl.
The idea for Hello World! sprang up in May 2014, as the sleep-deprived Chubb would observe her infant daughter Taylor May while she slept and wonder where her imagination was taking her. The girl in the book, who resembles Chubb’s five-year-old daughter, travels to seven continents in seven days, where she meets animal friends and has tea and muffins with them.
But the book is not just a fun trip, Chubb explained; it also asks kids and parents what their legacy will be.
“[I want to have] the book available to children all over the world so that they can learn about the world outside of their backyard,” said Chubb, following up with a quote from the book.
“So each morning you wake with an adventurous smile on your face, full of wonders about your travels to a faraway place on our planet called Earth. There is much to explore, with endless places to visit. Now, let your imagination soar. Bon voyage.”
It took Chubb more than four years to find a publisher for her book. Throughout those years her students in Burnaby, where she works as an education assistant, gave her motivation to keep trying, and eventually Kelowna publisher Big Heart Publishing Inc. took her book on.
“So the [response to my] first letter [to a publisher] was, ‘Yeah, it’s great, but not the right fit for our company,’ and the second time I sent it off, they just didn’t reply,” Chubb said.
“The students were actually the ones who were always encouraging me. I would show them the book in photo format, and they would say, ‘When can we buy this at a store?’ So they were the ones who were there to push behind me.”
As for what’s next, she said she’s always musing about possible stories, but does not have a concrete concept for a new book yet. There may even be a follow-up to Hello World!.
“[My daughter] was my inspiration as a baby,” Chubb said. “Her being five, just about to start kindergarten in September, who knows what she’ll get up to. I am sure she’ll get up to lots of good stuff that I probably could write about.”
The book will be turned into musicals at Vancouver’s St. Joseph’s Elementary (May 1) and in Burnaby at Stride Avenue Community School (May 14). For now, the book can be purchased directly from Chubb for $12, but she said it will be available at the Chapters bookstore in Surrey’s Morgan Crossing mall within two weeks.
Chubb will also be signing copies of the book at the George Mackie Library on Saturday, March 9, from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.