Inspired by a little boy, who was overheard in a library expressing his disappointment upon learning that renowned poet Dylan Thomas’ A Child’s Christmas in Wales was not about festive mammals, Jackie Poon set about writing her own version of the Welsh author’s classic “tail.”
And that’s when the Steveston writer created A Child’s Christmas in Whales, harnessing the young boy’s imagination and raising funds for a local, not-for-profit childcare drop-in centre, as well.
Poon — who has been writing creatively as a hobby since she was a child and now does contract work as a freelance writer — thought it would be fun to publish a story for her two boys, Daniel and Thomas, to have and keep.
“I’ve written lots of stories and plays, but most of them are buried on my hard drive, never seeing the light of day,” said Poon, explaining that her boys, who now attend Westwind elementary, used to go to the childcare centre in question; the Good Shepherd Drop-in Centre, on No. 1 Road near Steveston Highway.
“I’m trying to change that...it’s a bit of a risk putting some of my creative work out there for others to read, but I’m encouraged by the response and thankful to the independent businesses and bookstores that have taken a chance on me, as well.”
Poon officially launched her book Sunday evening at the Emmanuel Christian Community (same location as the Good Shepherd Drop-in Centre) and sold-out.
“The children sat quietly as the story was read and illustrations were projected on the big screen,” beamed a proud Poon.
Fun whale-themed decorations also added to the ambience, as kids and adults enjoyed the desserts as Poon signed copies of her $15 book, which can still be bought in local stores, including Pieces in Steveston and Steveston Village Maternity, as well as Kidsbooks in Vancouver and Black Bond Books in Ladner.
A Child’s Christmas in Whaleswas illustrated by Langley-based creative artist Victoria Park.
Fifty-three per cent of the book’s cover price is being donated to the Good Shepherd Drop-in Centre.
For more information, go online to AchildsChristmasInWhales.com.