the oyster that looked at the sky

The Oyster that looked at the Sky.

a new book by Darcy Bobell and Marion Syme

the letter 'W'Writer Darcy Dobell and artist Marion Syme combine their talents in a wonderful west coast children's book.

The leap from oyster stew to picture books is not necessarily obvious but, for two Tofino women, the transition has been remarkably easy. "When my family found a pair of pearls in our oysters on the same day that my cousin had a new baby, it was pretty clear that the pearls were for the baby - and that there had to be a story to go with them," says writer Darcy Dobell. As she researched story ideas, Darcy came across an old legend that pearls are the eyes of an oyster that has been struck by lightning. "That made me wonder: what on earth would an oyster be doing to get itself hit by lightning? At that point, the story pretty much wrote itself," says Darcy.

When Darcy landed a publishing contract, she already knew with whom she wanted to work to transform her manuscript into a picture book. And luckily, artist Marion Syme was more than willing. "I have always been entranced by children's books and the creativity and imagination that it takes to bring simple words to life," says Marion. "This story was alive with imagery. The hard part was that the characters are a family of oysters. After all, oysters are interesting creatures (especially on the halfshell), but how do you draw an oyster with a personality?" Up for the challenge, Marion set to work with a few models that she'd picked out of her beachcombing collection. From a jumble of oyster drawings emerged the smallest oyster, Grandmama and Grandpapa oysters, and a whole chorus of other oysters down on the pebbly end of the beach.

The result of this team effort is The Oyster Who Looked at the Sky, the story of a wilful small oyster who breaks with family tradition in order to remain true to her own adventurous nature. As she discovers the world around her, and gradually inspires her family to see it for themselves, young readers will delight in a series of playful shifts in perspective that ultimately bring the small oyster's big vision back home. Beautifully illustrated with vibrant artwork that evokes all the magic of the west coast, this book celebrates the natural curiosity of children in a way that will inspire readers of all ages to see the everyday world as an extraordinary ground for imagination and transformation.

Wildside Booksellers presents a west coast book launch for The Oyster Who Looked at the Sky during the Tofino Oyster Festival.

Please join Darcy & Marion at the Tofino Botanical Gardens for this free, family-oriented afternoon of stories, art, and refreshments. Each child will have the opportunity to create his or her own oyster momento.

Saturday, September 22nd from 2 - 4 pm. For more information call 250.725.4222

The Oyster Who Looked at the Sky is published by Oolichan Books,

Tofino Books

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Tofino Time Magazine November 2008

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Tofino book launch of Darcy Dobell and Marion Syme's book 'The Oyster that looked at the Sky' at Tofino Botanical Garden

tofino time november 2008

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