Beth Rand didn’t plan on writing a children’s book from her Peaks Island, Maine home, but she couldn’t be happier that Islandport Press is publishing her “ABC Gulls” in hardcover.
Visiting Beth on a bitterly cold day, we looked out over Whitehead Passage to Cushing Island and she described her surprising path toward becoming a children’s book author and illustrator,
I was just teaching myself how to use a computer program for drawing. I picked a seagull as a fun character to draw. Then I wanted to focus more and draw one seagull for each letter of the alphabet. All of a sudden, I had drawn from A to Z and had the beginning of an alphabet book.
This rollicking and colorful alphabet book introduces more than 26 seagulls, each named for a Maine Island. Beth imagined a mini-adventure for each letter of the alphabet and let alliteration drive the story.
Then I realized the pun in the name “ABC gulls.” To my surprise, no one had taken this as a book title.
After composing the children’s book, Beth decided to approach Islandport Press in Yarmouth,
It was a cold day in March last year, just like this one, and I submitted the book with the pages all laid out. This is not how you’re supposed to do it and I figured I would never hear back from them. But, they called just a few days later. I was surprised.
A quick glance through an advance copy reveals Beth’s connections to the island; the “D” page features a seagull riding a dog who looks remarkably like Beth’s schnauzer, Charlie (although the book dedication assures us that Charlie would rather chase seagulls), and the “R” page reveals the classic rooflines of Peaks Island cottages. And since lobstermen do live on Peaks Island, who could resist having the “L” page feature Maine’s most iconic seafood?
“ABC Gulls” will be available by April 1, 2017. Stay tuned for information about a Portland, Maine book launch.
Written by Patricia Erikson, Peaks Island Press offers behind-the-scenes glimpses of a vibrant, literary community perched on Peaks Island, two miles off the coast of the beautiful and award-winning city of Portland, Maine. If you haven’t already, you may subscribe in the upper right corner at http://www.peaksislandpress.com.