Morinville woman publishes first children’s book

Children’s author Liz von Kanel poses with her book at the Morinville Public Library Thursday afternoon. The book is available in print and electronic format from Internet booksellers and from approximately 26,000 brick and mortar book stores in North America.

By Stephen Dafoe

Morinville – A local woman has taken stories she once told her children and turned them into an illustrated children’s book for others to enjoy. Liz von Kanel, a resident of Morinville, has recently published A Search for Cuddles and Jonathan’s Dream, two stories compiled into her first book.

“My kids are in these books because I used to write bedtime stories for my kids instead of reading them from different books,” the author said. “It’s about things that used to happen – what they did during the day or week. That’s how that started.”

The children the two stories were originally written for are now in their late 20s and early 30s, but Von Kanel said she was motivated to put the stories in print as a legacy for her grandchildren.

“I always had them hidden and my kids loved them. Then I decided why not try it and see where it goes,” she said of taking the plunge into publishing. “I’m getting close to retirement and I actually wrote it for my grandchildren so that they have something to remember their grandmother about. I just decided to do something else, time to try something else and see if I get anywhere.”

Although her first book is just coming out of the gate, published by Friesen Press and available at some 26,000 book sellers in North America, Von Kanel said she has many more stories yet to come. The author said she will try and publish her next book herself and enter the world of self publishing.

A Search for Cuddles, the first of the two stories in the book, was illustrated by her daughter; the second was illustrated by a family friend. A Search For Cuddles is the story of a family kitten. “We always had cats in our house, and one of our cats had kittens,” the author said. “It’s about Cuddles and her kittens and where Cuddles went to have her kittens.” The second story, Jonathan’s Dream, is about her son’s love of dinosaurs and a dream he had in which he and his sister had an adventure with the prehistoric creatures.

In addition to writing children’s stories, the author also writes poetry and hopes to publish a volume of her work in that genre in the future.

Her first book is currently available online from Chapters, amazon and Barnes and Noble. Von Kanel said she has arranged a book signing at the St. Albert Chapters, tentatively set for November. A reading at the Morinville Community Library may also be in the works.

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