Thursday, 19 April 2012

On the road in Peace River country

This week I've been travelling with the BC Book Prize, the Peace leg of the book tours. We've been to Dawson City, Fort St. John, Fort Nelson, Hudson's Hope, Chetwynd...we've been everywhere, man. I've never been this far north. We're mainly travelling the Alaska Highway. In Hudson's Hope, we were only a couple of hours from the Northwest Territories and 300 miles from the Yukon border. The highlight of the drive so far was today, the road from Fort St. John to Hudson's Hope. What a breathtaking view of the Peace River valley!  I don't use exclamation marks lightly, but this view calls for it.
Rae Mate and Bryan Pike
My travelling companions are Bryan Pike, our driver and the executive director of BC Book Prizes, and Rae Mate, artist and children's book illustrator. I have to tell you about her book, called Pussycat, Pussycat, Where Have You Been. The book starts with that short little rhyme (4 lines) and builds on it, telling the story of where pussycat travelled. Rae calls it the hero's journey and a love story. It's beautiful, a real instant classic in the category of Goodnight Moon. There is a spiritual depth to this little tale that just captured me. And the illustrations are stunning. It's the kind of book that, even as an adult, I want to own. Here's a photo of Rae Mate reading at the Dawson Creek library.
Rae Mate
You can see some more photos and read blogs from the tour on the BC Book Prize website. And here's a link to more about Rae Mate's book: