After Sault Ste. Marie’s Kirstin Dias had her second child this past November, she decided to use her maternity leave - not to mention a couple pandemic-related lockdowns - in order to write her very first children’s book.
Entitled C is for Camp: An Alphabet Adventure, the recently released picture book follows two bears as they go through the alphabet of all the fun things that people can do at camp during the summer.
“I obviously wanted to write a book for my own kids. I have two children, so I spend tons of time reading books to them, so that’s the genre I’m most immersed in at the moment,” said Dias, speaking with SooToday Sunday. “It’s really something I made for them as a legacy.”
“Also, I do love writing in rhyme. So that only really works in children’s books.”
Dias says C is for Camp is focused on outdoor recreation, imaginative play and experiencing the natural world in northern Ontario. Realizing that it would be tough to sell publishers on a regional children’s book, the new author decided to publish the book herself.
“You don’t see our world a lot in children’s books, so it was important for me to write a book that was for kids in northern Ontario,” she said.
Dias has donated copies of her book to the local library and other organizations that provide books to children. She is also donating a portion of the proceeds from C is for Camp to First Book Canada, which delivers literacy resources to low-income children.
“My job and my family are my top priorities for sure, but this has been such an amazing creative outlet. It’s a great way to connect with our community, such a great way to engage other parents and provide educational resources to our community,” said Dias. “I’ve had so much fun with it that I obviously want to keep going, so I will continue to run my website and sell my books.”
“I offer not only books on my website, but play-based learning resources that complement the book, and everything I stock in my store is Canadian made by small shops and makers.”
Since launching C is for Camp in late June, Dias has managed to sell approximately 1,200 copies of the children’s book.
“The response has been incredible, and I’m so grateful to our community and northern Ontario shops for taking a chance on me and buying my book and loving it so much,” she said.
Dias intends to write another children’s book - this time, with a winter concept - with an anticipated release date of November 2022.