Submitted to The Record
“I thought about the gem of the story years ago,” said author Heather Malboeuf as we met at Zocalo’s Café in downtown Courtenay to discuss her new book, Sammy Makes A Friend. “But I didn’t believe I could actually write a children’s story, until friends encouraged me to commit my thoughts to paper.”
Written for kids aged 4-12 years old, the tale is about a young mollusk named Sammy, who ventures off to bird and mammal school for the first time and finds it a very stressful and embarrassing experience. He decides it’s easier to skip school than to deal with all the teasing. While he plays hooky he makes his first friend and soon learns of an opportunity to prove to all those who made fun of him that he was actually one of the boldest and bravest creatures of the woodland.
Heather grew up on Glacier View Drive in Comox, and spent hours there as a child exploring the woodlands near her home. She drew upon these experiences for inspiration to write her first children’s book.
Writing short stories and poetry as a kid, Heather says she enjoyed reading the classic fairy tales, and Bible stories. The influences of this are evident in her work, as there are morals to her story, of honesty and acceptance.
“I was shy as a kid like Sammy, but adventurous, with a love of nature,” Heather said. “I had lots of friends, but like Sammy, only one I was really close to. My mother prepared me for the teasing I would face at school, so when it happened I could just laugh it off. After I didn’t react negatively to the teasing the mean kids left me alone.”
Some of her childhood experiences ended up on the pages. “My sister and I would climb the trees on windy days in the woods near our home, and laugh as we went as high as we could in the swaying branches.” This scene is replayed in the book when Sammy plays in the woodlands with his newfound friend.
If you ever wondered what it would be like to be a young banana slug in the Comox Valley this is the book for you.
Children’s author Heather D Malboeuf will be signing copies of her new book; Sammy Makes A Friend, at the Courtenay Public Library July 21 at 2:30 p.m. It is also available for purchase at several online bookstores. Search www.bookfinder4U.com to find a vender.