26 October, 2008

Two Bobbies: A True Story of Hurricane Katrina, Friendship, And Survival

Kirby Larson was at Village Books today to talk about her new book, Two Bobbies. The book was co-authored with Mary Nethery, a lifetime friend of Kirby. It's a true story about a cat and a dog that survived the devastation of Hurricane Katrina. The illustrator, Jean Cassels is a resident of New Orleans and so she brings a depth of personal perspective to the drawings. Kirby Larson traveled to Louisiana and Mississippi to participate in relief efforts. She described the work of "mucking out" - which is basically going into people's wrecked homes and pulling everything out and loading it onto a truck that is headed for the dump. What do you do when nothing is enough? Kirby Larson just did what she needed to do. The pictures of some of the people she met while volunteering were quite moving.

Kirby also talked about her own journey as a writer. She mentioned a moment of revelation that she experienced when she was reading to her children - almost twenty years ago. The book was Ming Lo Moves the Mountain by Arnold Lobel. She finished the book, closed the cover and at that moment, she knew that what she wanted to do more than anything else was write books for children and teenagers.

A very significant and "life saving" group during the early period of writing was the support of
The Western Washington Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators Kirby encouraged anyone who has the desire to write or illustrate for children to join this group for support and advise.

The grand finale of this wonderful event was a presentation by The Alternative Humane Society of Whatcom County This group was started 31 years ago as a alternative to the Humane Society and practices a no kill philosophy. Adoption of animals is a primary goal of the AHS. A beautiful border collie, who is available for adoption, nuzzled and wagged as the presentation ended. What a great time and what a great book!

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