Dawn Rodman, author, illustrator and song writer, is launching her first children’s story, Hideous Horrible Bart, with a reading at the Nelson Library on Saturday, May 4 at 1 p.m.
This is a family event, suitable for pre-school and elementary school aged children. Rodman is looking forward to teaching the “Hideous Horrible Bart” song to the kids. Afterwards, her dear friend, Lenora Trenaman, will be providing one of her amazing cake creations — the kind you hate to cut into, but they taste too good not to. Rodman will be happy to sign books, and share her experiences. The book is being sold at The Looking Glass, Otter’s Books and Coles in Nelson.
The story, which includes the “Hideous Horrible Bart” musical score, is written in rhyming verse with colourful illustrations done in pencil crayon and ink. It features the adventures of a young knight, Sir Randolph, and his faithful horse companion, Prancelot, as they set out to rescue the townsfolk of Castlebridge from the evil giant, Hideous Horrible Bart.
Rodman explains the similarity of her fantasy town of Castlebridge to Nelson, “I love the medieval-style stone masonry buildings in Nelson, and I thought it would be fun for children and parents to recognize some of these beautiful heritage buildings in my fairy tale — although the Court House has been somewhat razed by the fiendish Bart.”
Rodman’s love for nature and the Kootenay Mountains are also evident in her story. Rodman keeps a few horses, although none are named Prancelot nor, unfortunately, are as well-behaved. “I like to believe I share some character traits with Randolph, not that I’ve fought off any swamp slugs, but a couple of large spiders come to mind…..”
“I literally dance about the house, when I get a verse or an illustration just so. I really strive for expression in my characters, including Prancelot. At one point, Randolph and Prancelot are slogging through muck, and Randolph is trying to be upbeat, ‘It could be worse’ and Prancelot is clearly not buying it. That’s one of my favourite illustrations. I suspect some of the double entendre and humour in the story might be beyond the average child, but books are more entertaining when parents can elaborate on the ideas. I envision parent and child reading this story snuggled on the couch or at bedtime, sharing the Indiana Jones- style adventure, humour, suspense, and great insightful lessons.”
Rodman is a graduate of Simon Fraser University with Communications and English degrees. She, her husband, and four children have made Nelson their home for the last 17 years. Before that, they lived in North Vancouver for 10 years.