I’m moving at the speed of turtles this week (to quote Oscar at Hermit’s Door), but it’s been a turtally wonderful time for Myrtle (to quote Gallivanta).
First: Is this not the sweetest face?
Meet Aggiliki, 6, whose photo was taken by mom Theano, of Whitby, Ontario. Thank you, Theano and Aggiliki, for this delightful photo, and for loving Myrtle the Purple Turtle!
Second: Myrtle has been translated into French, thanks to Jean Long and Jessica Charnock.
When they first read Myrtle the Purple Turtle, Jessica noticed that Jean was translating the words into French as he read. They quickly offered to do a written translation for publication, and of course I said, “Yes, thank you very much!”
You may remember Jean and Jessica. A French-Canadian couple, he’s a former teacher and vice-principal, and she’s a former high fashion model, secretary and wine importer. Both are extremely creative (see my blog posts about their remarkable creations).
Myrtle will also get a French name! More on that later.
Third: At my family church, St. Thomas’ Anglican in the village of Brooklin (northeast of Toronto), 7 year old Makayla marched up to me this morning. She clearly and politely requested her very own copy of Myrtle, paid for it, and waited as I signed it.
It was part of a successful fundraising book-sale at St. Thomas’ today. Money raised will benefit the parish’s good works.
Fellow author Paul Mason also kindly contributed books to the sale. We both feel privileged to do this. Our families have both experienced the loving kindness for which this church is known.
Fourth, Myrtle has been blessed with more positive reviews. I’m over the moon with gratitude to these terrific bloggers who took the time to read Myrtle the Purple Turtle recently and review it. This is a magnificent gift and I thank you all:
And finally, an elegant, well-known friend of mine, who — to protect the guilty — shall only be identified as Rita D, decided to one-up my friend Mandy and me after we painted our fingernails purple. Yes, she had her toenails painted purple.
Having recently recovered from injuring her leg, Rita decided to celebrate by getting a pedicure, and she chose purple to honour Myrtle.
Mandy and I are pleased to be one-upped by you, Rita. Thank you!
So there we go. A series of events that have a certain purple turtle — and tons of loving kindness — in common.
Be well, my friends! Thanks always for being there.
Paul Nicholas Mason is an actor, playwright and novelist. He’s acted in multiple films but confesses he has few photos of himself because he is bad at self-promotion.
So I told him to have some taken! He sent a few, apologizing:
“With nearly 35 projects (including ten feature films) under my belt, you’d think I could offer you more.”
I wanted to introduce Paul on my blog for three reasons. He’s created a new career in film for himself after taking early retirement from teaching; he will be appearing at the Festival of the Arts in Cobourg, east of Toronto on Friday Nov. 3 and Saturday Nov. 4; plus he has a new book on the market.
The new book, A Pug Called Poppy, is his first chapter book for children. It’s illustrated by artist Sarah Berrino.
Paul says he’s excited about the book because he feels its central characters — Poppy the Pug and Smudge the Maine Coon Cat — “will meow and snuffle their way into a great many hearts.”
“I have such fond and powerful memories of the books I enjoyed as a little boy — Winnie-the-Pooh, Paddington Bear, The Borrowers, Swallows and Amazons, the Narnia Chronicles. It would make me happy to feel that I had introduced a character into the imaginative life of children.”
A Pug Called Poppy is meant to appeal particularly to 8 to 10-year-olds. But then there are adults like me, who love it too.
“There are a lot of little grace notes, little touches, that will amuse adults,” Paul says.
Yes! I stand amused.
But let’s head back to Paul’s acting career. He has one of the most beautiful voices I’ve ever heard, and as a result, does a great variety of voice-over work for film. (One of his first roles was playing the part of a “lecherous duck”.)
To be closer to his beloved family and have greater access to movie shoots, Paul recently moved from Peterborough to Newcastle, a quaint lakeside town east of Toronto. Though he misses his Peterborough friends, he says he’s delighted with his neighbours, with the town’s library and swimming pool, and by being closer to family.
Meet some sweet young readers of Myrtle the Purple Turtle!
Above are Elias, almost 5, and Ava, 7, reading the book at their home near Toronto.Their mother Wendy kindly sent this photo and captions it: “Big Sis reading to Elias. It was picture day at school, hence why Elias has a tie on. :)”
And here’s Ava’s review:
And this is Arianna, at home in Wisconsin.
Arianna’s grandmother Karen adds this advice for anyone thinking of buying a copy of the book:
“Buy two. One for your bookshelf and one for your local school.”
Great advice. I’ve also heard from two individuals in the U.S. who told me they each bought an extra copy and gave it to their local library.
A common refrain I hear from adults about Myrtle? It’s this, voiced by Ava and Elias’ mom Wendy:
“Myrtle has such a powerful message and one that Shawn and I try to instil in both our kids. I wish this story was around when I was a kid.”
Thank you, Ava, Elias, Wendy, Shawn, Arianna and Karen!
Please keep sending those photos and reviews from your young relatives and friends, everyone. I love them!