It was a beautiful first day of summer on English Bay. The launch was a big success thanks to Susan McGuigan of Kidsbooks who organized everything, including making the poster and handling the book sales, and the Sylvia Hotel who hosted the event. The hotel put us in the bistro with a gorgeous view of the beach and people enjoying themselves on the patio.
They served coffee and tea and the chef made fantastic iced cat cookies.
For the kids, we had an activity table with crayons, pencil crayons and scissors. I made a colouring page of the endpaper map with a second page of cutouts with folding tabs to stand up the buildings, boats and characters to create a 3D effect. If you weren't able to come to the launch you can download these here. For the map, you can print out the right and left sides of the map and gluestick them together, or print out the 11x17 size if your printer allows.
There was a long table of art for sale, and displays of sketchbooks and reference materials. Art sales were very satisfactory.
The queue for signed books was so long, I didn't stop signing for 2 solid hours. It was very moving to discover what love people still have for this picturebook series.
I gave a very brief talk, remarking that this is my favourite of Lois Simmie's three manuscripts, and how thrilled I was that the story not only featured Vancouver's beauty spots but included the downtown east side and the kindness of one homeless man towards the cat. I also spoke a bit about new techniques in children's book illustration and explained how two of the book's illustrations only exist digitally, holding up the original watercolour of the Granville street neon lights and telling how the neon effect was achieved by turning the art into its colour negative in photoshop. You can see my blog post on how that was done here.
I didn't manage to take any pictures but I hope people who attended may send me a few. Here's one of me at the end of a wonderful afternoon, all packed up and heading out for a celebratory ice cream.