More than often, there are two types of children books – ones that try to teach children how to live in adults’ worlds and ones that try to teach adults how to live in children’s worlds.
Local author Meghan J. Ward’s book, The Wonders I Find, is the latter.
To be clear, The Wonders I Find, authored by Ward and illustrated by Taylor Odynski, is a bona fide children's' book. It is not meant for adults. However, there are plenty of adults who could benefit from the, “about the journey not the destination” sentiment of this adorable tale. Spoiler alert: it is about the little things that make life so special.
We recently caught up with Ward to learn more about her process, how things are going and what is next. Here are the wonders we found!
51° North: What inspired you to write a children’s book?
Meghan J. Ward: I was inspired by my own adventures with my daughter and just how much we could discover on 100 metres of trail. Adapting my outdoor adventures to the pace of a child's was a humbling experience, especially considering how fast I was accustomed to going. I have learned a lot from my little teacher over the years.
51: Geneva’s curiosity is endearing, is she a reflection of yourself or your children?
MJW: She is definitely based on my oldest daughter (I have two now!) and the ways that she interacts with the world. But I like to think I'm also tapping into my own child-like curiosity through this character.
51: How has the book been received?
MJW: So far the feedback has been nothing but positive. I'm just happy to see people reading it, no matter what they think. But the most prevalent compliments are about the cleverness of the parallel experiences occurring in the story and how the message is applicable to life in general. During the pandemic, I know I needed to learn how to find joy in the slower pace and smaller things in life.
51: How did you meet the illustrator and talk about collaboration?
MJW: I first met Taylor Odynski through my work with a local publication, Canadian Rockies Annual. She is such a talented artist and was an absolute joy to collaborate with. We both learned a lot through the process and had many laughs together. Putting the book together from a distance was a challenge, but we made it work. We are both so happy with the results.
51: What is next for you and Geneva?
MJW: I'm not sure! Right now there are lots of children and their parents or guardians meeting her, and I think that's pretty cool. I'm giving things time before I decide if Geneva goes somewhere else.
To learn more about Geneva, Ward and "Wonders," visit: www.thewondersthatifind.com.