A Good Home, French books for Children, Myrtle The Purple Turtle, Vertu la tortue violette

My New Baby

Babies of all kinds are being born these days.

Here’s one of mine.

Born “Myrtle”, reborn with a new name — “Vertu”, in French — she arrived recently.

Blog Photo - Vertu cover

Huge thanks to Jean Long and Jessica Charnock, who translated the book from English, then diligently proofread the book in its draft form.

Blog Photo - Jean and Jessica

To do the translation, Jean took a big break from designing and building new birdhouses.

Blog Photo - Rustic birdhouse with red roof

Jessica, meanwhile, took a break from the acclaimed Myrtle the Purple Turtle wall hanging she was creating at the time.

Blog Photo - Myrtle Rug 2

Thanks to Clif Graves, who formatted the book patiently and well.  With Clif’s help, the book is also distributed by IngramSpark, making it easier for the bookstores, libraries, schools and other organizations who usually order my books.

As always, thanks to illustrator Jo Robinson, who created the original images.

I’m grateful to my co-author Lauren Reyes-Grange (of Myrtle’s Game and subsequent Myrtle the Purple Turtle books) whose brilliance allows me to shine. 

I’m indebted — yes, that’s a great word, ’cause he invested in me! — to my husband for his love, support and commonsense.  He and our entire family continue to help me with everything I undertake.

They all make for a remarkably diverse crew of midwives and family members. Two French-Canadians; two Jamaican-Canadians; one American from Maine; one South African, and a bunch of Canadians.

I’m also dedicating this post to Carol S, a Canadian who has become a  super agent for the Myrtle books. 

Thank you all for loving Myrtle! Err… Vertu!

A Good Home, Acts of Friendship, Children's Books, Children's Illustrated Book, Children's Story, Friendship, Myrtle The Purple Turtle, New Book - Myrtle's Game, New Children's Books

Turtles Rule!

I’m seeing turtles everywhere these days!

Blog Photo - Turtle Crossing

Myrtle’s Game, book 2 in the Myrtle the Purple Turtle series, is complete and now the Kindle version has just been released on Amazon.

In Canada, it hit the #1 spot in its category on the first day.

Blog Photo - Myrtle's Game #1 on Kindle

The US ebook is available here, with more links and updates to come.

The print version will be released everywhere on Amazon in another day or two. Stay tuned, please.

Jo Robinson again has created gorgeous full-colour images of Myrtle and friends and we are once again bowled over by her great talent.

Blog Photo - Myrtle's Game Book Cover

Daughter Lauren Reyes-Grange is my co-author on this book, and it’s been a joy to collaborate with her. You may recall that the first Myrtle book was written for her when she was a child. Please help me congratulate her on her first book!

While we anxiously waited for the book to be ready, Karen Pickering’s art class in Wisconsin, USA, made us pictures of turtles. This delighted us no end.

Blog Photo - Turtle pictures by children 2 - Karen P

So did the wonderful messages from many Myrtle-fans — among them the great champions of Indie authors, Chris Graham and Sally Cronin. Take a bow, please! We authors thrive on such support.

On Facebook, I noticed today that friend Mandy, while waiting for the new book, has re-read Book #1 and painted her nails purple. She beat me to it, and I have never been so happy to be bested!

Blog Photo - Mandy's purple fingernails

Finally, late last night, I belatedly came across this review of Myrtle the Purple Turtle from Canadian Living, one of Canada’s top-rated magazines. I was “over the moon”, as they say!

https://www.canadianliving.com/life-and-relationships/canadian-living-books/article/myrtle-the-purple-turtle-is-a-delightful-children-s-book-about-acceptance-and-friendship

Book reviews and stories, from magazines, newspapers, bloggers, broadcasters — and many others sharing by Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, email and elsewhere — made Myrtle the Purple Turtle a repeat bestseller.

You proved that a little book, written 28 years earlier and produced independently, could be a success. 

Are we grateful? You bet.

THANK YOU.

 

Childhood, Childhood Memories, Myrtle The Purple Turtle

What Makes You Different….

No child wants to be different. To be taunted for something you can’t change.

I know.

I wanted dark hair, like everyone else. Instead, during childhood, I had flaming reddish hair. “Reds” was the kindest of my nicknames.

I loved playing — boisterously — with my sisters and friends. Suddenly, I was struck with childhood epilepsy, and — over several years — would have to frequently retreat to quiet spaces. While my friends played, I read books, kept a journal and sometimes wrote little stories.

I grew to love reading and writing and — thank goodness — my family nurtured this love.  I read so well that my mother and grandmother sent me to read the Bible and newspaper to elderly patients in the local infirmary. 

It was my first “job” as a volunteer, but a weird role for a small child. I didn’t want to do it at first. I wanted to be out playing, like the other children.

~~

How was I to know that the very things that made me odd would also make me strong? 

That having reddish hair in childhood would strengthen my empathy towards “different” people, persisting long after my hair colour had gradually darkened on its own?

That having epilepsy — being forced to slow down and read — would nurture my love of stories and words and expand my view of the world outside our small village?

That all of it, even reading the news to elderly people, would help prepare me for rewarding careers in television, community service,  and — more recently — in publishing?

~~

E6BCE995-289B-4D68-96B4-2347B7056FE3

If I could, I’d tell every child in the world:

Don’t hate the things that make you different. Love them. Because the very things that you’re teased for, even excluded for, will provide some of your greatest strengths.

I’d say:

See the teasing and strange looks as proof that you’re wonderful.

It’s painful now, I know.

It’s hard to believe now, I know. 

Try to believe it anyway.

I know.

~~

Dedicated to every child who feels different, including a very bright young girl with purple glasses whom I recently met.

#loveyourshell

A Good Home, Children's Books, Myrtle The Purple Turtle, New Books, Translation, Vertu la tortue violette

Myrtle On The Move

The little purple turtle returns!

Myrtle — who lived in our family’s hearts for 28 years, captured the imagination of S. African illustrator Jo Robinson, then, in the last year, charmed thousands of children and adults around the world — is on the move.

First, she returns this autumn as “Vertu”, in French.  The text was translated by Myrtle-lovers Jean Long and Jessica Charnock, that creative duo whom you’ve met on this blog.

Here’s Jo’s draft of the cover:

Myrtle Vertu Cover French

Then Jessica emailed: Would Jo and I permit her to make a wall hanging of Myrtle? 

Jo and I were giddy with excitement, of course, and Jessica proceeded to hook the Myrtle the Purple Turtle rug.

And what-do-you-know?  Her wall hanging won “honourable mention” at the huge show and conference of the Ontario Hooking Craft Guild last May in our nation’s capital! Congrats, Jessica!

blog-photo-myrtle-hooked-rug-magazine-cover.jpg

In the just-released Autumn issue of the Guild’s magazine, Myrtle’s story and wall hanging merit a whole page of their own.

Blog Photo - Myrtle Hooked rug magazine inside story

Jo’s joyful response:

“I was blown away the first time I saw that fabulously-made Myrtle wall hanging. It is awesome that the Purple Turtle part of Cynthia Reyes’ lovely and loving family is honoured in such a way and by such a talented artist – Myrtle is a great and brave little purple soul and deserves it. Huge thank-you to Jessica and congratulations on placing in the competition! It will always be first with me!”

blog-photo-myrtle-hooked-rug-jessica-and-myrtle-and-me-in-magazine.jpg

There’s a Myrtle sequel already written. Daughter Lauren joined me this time to write it, and Jo, despite a challenging year, is doing her part  again — she’s well on her way with the illustrations and we expect the book to be published within weeks.

It appears that when Myrtle seizes the heart, inspiration strikes. Jessica, Jean, and our entire family are cheering Jo on as she approaches the finish-line with her part of the story.

Will keep you updated!