Local author Diana Sare

September 2019

One of my favourite things to do is to read with my grandchildren. And this is exactly what I did recently while I was visiting with my son’s family. My granddaughter and I snuggled up on the couch, and I read Randy the ‘Runaway Raccoon’ from cover to cover including the questions and answers at the end of the book.

She hung on every word and was mesmerized by the illustrations. She had me pause while she studied each picture. Also she was delighted with the alliteration that was sprinkled throughout the story. She was quite pleased with herself as she pointed out another series of words all starting with the letter r.

The questions and answers at the end of the story held her interest and mine as we learned all kinds of interesting facts about raccoons. This feature makes the book into an easy learning experience. Now that we knew Randy, we were eager for more knowledge about him.

The book was written by Diana Sare, who has called Thunder Bay home for many years. Nowadays she spends part of the year here and part in Panama. Diana has her Honours Fine Arts Degree and produced a painting a day to accompany her story.

In speaking with Diana, she revealed that her motivation for writing and illustrating this wonderful tale about Randy was to do something for the young people in her life. “Sharing this story with my grandchildren has allowed me to spread that happiness a little bit further” said Diana.

The story’s idea and background came from living close to nature in the Thunder Bay region. Randy did pay a visit to Diana and did smash her delphiniums. And the inspiration for the lake is Pass Lake and Upper Pass Lake.

When you read the book, you will see that the conclusion leaves room for more adventures. My granddaughter and I will be awaiting the next step in the journey for Randy or perhaps Rhonda.

The book is geared towards early readers, grades 2-3. I have to add that my granddaughter is a bit older than that and was absolutely entranced with the story and the art of this book. The question and answer portion, which is rich with ideas and facts, makes it an ideal book for teachers.

What a happy little gift to share with a young person you know. It is available at Chapters or online at Amazon. Diana would be happy to receive your input, thoughts and ideas. She can be reached at onesweetdiana@hotmail.com

Karen Christie is a retired high school teacher and a regular contributor to Bayview. She can be reached at kchri@shaw.ca

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