Now the paperback has been released as well. Myrtle’s Game is available on all the Amazons.
The first response to the book comes from Madden, 5 years old. When your readers are young, you get the sweetest responses.
“You are so cool and nice,” Madden writes, “I love your book. Thank you.”
Madden’s note was sent to Lauren, my co-author of Myrtle’s Game. We both grinned with delight when we read it. THANK YOU, Madden (and Kenzie too)!
You may recall seeing Madden on my blog before. His mother, Julia, allowed us to publish her review of Myrtle the Purple Turtle, and here are Madden and younger sister Kenzie, reading that book a year ago.
Madden, now 5 years old, loves both soccer and turtles, his mother says, and perhaps that explains the immediate response to the book. He also plans to be either a pro soccer or hockey player, and a songwriter.
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:
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!
In the just-released Autumn issue of the Guild’s magazine, Myrtle’s story and wall hanging merit a whole page of their own.
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!”
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.
If anyone wants to know why Bowmanville, a historic town east of Toronto, is becoming so popular with young families, retirees and those in-between — many moving from big centres — the pictures below are one reason:
Would you believe we’re in a bank?
Yes, and it’s Storytime!
Author Viki McDonald (“Coach Tate and Team Triple 8”) and I were invited to read our stories at Bowmanville’s DUCA credit union.
Children and their parents sat comfortably on the blankets and comforters that the DUCA staff had spread on the floor.
Vikki and I sat in chairs made even more comfy with quilts that were made by the mother of DUCA manager Karen.
Are you feeling the small-town spirit yet?
We’d stop at times and ask the children questions about the storylines and they’d shout back answers, sometimes making everybody laugh.
Cupcakes and cookies were served.
The idea for a storytime came from staffer Meeghan, and was quickly accepted by Karen and the other staff. They approached me shortly after Myrtle the Purple Turtle was published. I was surprised, but also delighted.
And now I’m going to embarrass myself a little. When I first moved to this region a few years ago, I dropped into the DUCA branch. Taken aback by their kindness, I blurted out: “Are people here always THIS friendly?”
As you may know, I struggle with issues from a car accident, and one of them is that my brain doesn’t always co-operate with tasks that were once ridiculously easy. I also sometimes stutter and can’t get the words out clearly. But the DUCA staff took it all in stride, and when my book “An Honest House” (which describes my efforts to learn to live with those issues) was published, I went in to share the news.
Their reaction was such that you would have thought I was family.
So as I think about it, perhaps Storytime in a bank — authors reading their stories and young families seated happily on the floor, listening — makes perfect sense.
The news today is that Myrtle has made “The List” — CQI Magazine’s list of must-read books. This is thrilling news indeed and we are very grateful.
At the end of the year, I also want to warmly acknowledge:
Reviewers and journalists who’ve shone a spotlight on Myrtle the Purple Turtle and helped make it a bestseller
Book-buyers who purchased a copy for their family, friends, local schools, libraries and charities — and some who sent me such delightful photos
Teachers who are using Myrtle to instil in their students the value of compassion, respect, self-acceptance and friendship
Librarians who have bought copies of the book for their members
All of you who have supported my family and illustrator Jo Robinson along our unusual journey to publishing the story of Myrtle. That includes you — my blogging, Facebook and Twitter friends, who have cheered us on.