When tourists or residents leave the valley, they’ll be able to take a little piece of Bella Coola with them thanks to Bella Coola Valley residents Theresa Bagshaw and Tom Hermance who have teamed up to create a children’s book.
The Blissful Cod, Dottie’s Quest for the Perfect Nap, follows the adventures of Dottie, a beautiful, colourful cod fish searching for the perfect place to blend in and safely fall asleep. Along the way she has help from a variety of creatures such as octopus and squid who inhabit the magical Great Bear Rainforest.
Hermance, who is the president of the Bella Coola Valley Tourism Association, said he first suggested his friend Bagshaw do a book because he loved her art work and thought it was perfectly suited as illustrations for a children’s book.
“She is very talented and I wanted to expose some of her art.”
Once they decided to go for it, Bagshaw spent about a year completing the illustrations for the book, while Hermance, who had previous experience writing rhymes, wrote the story line.
The Blissful Cod is aimed at ages three to five if parents are reading, and up to age seven for children reading to themselves.
So far, they have sold more than 120 books and their work was recently celebrated and featured at a book launch and art show at The Art House Galley Oct. 15 in Hagensborg where Hermance read the book aloud, much to the delight of those in attendance. The gallery is open Fridays and Saturdays from 1 p.m. until 3 p.m. and The Blissful Cod art show will be on show until Oct. 30.
Hermance describes the story as short and sweet and comforting and centered around friendship and gratitude.
The book has been so well-received it’s already in its third printing, while the pair are also already working on a sequel.
Hermance noted local students are translating the book into French currently, and he also hopes it will be translated into Nuxalk.
The book is available on-line at theblissfulcod.com and at The Art House Gallery until Nov. 20.