Launchpad: West Coast Wild Babies, by Deborah Hodge

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This spring we've made it our mission (even more than usual) to celebrate new releases in the wake of cancelled launch parties, book festivals, and reading series. With 49th Shelf Launchpad, we're holding virtual launch parties here on our platform complete with witty banter and great insight to give you a taste of the books on offer. You can request these books from your local library, get them as e-books or audio books, order them from your local indie bookseller if they're delivering, buy them direct from the publisher or from online retailers.

Today, we're bringing you Deborah Hodge's West Coast Wild Babies, illustrated by Karen Reczuch, the follow-up to West Coast Wild, which was shortlisted for the Silver Birch Express Award and winner of The Children’s Literature Roundtables of Canada Information Book Award.

The Elevator Pitch. Tell us about your book in a sentence.

It’s spring on the Pacific west coast and new life is stirring! Meet the wolf pups, bear cubs, whale calves, eaglets and other baby animals who begin their life in this wild and beautiful place.

Describe your ideal reader.

Children who love nature and all its creatures. Adults who have an appreciation for the beauty of wild places and an interest in preserving them.

What authors/books is your work in conversation with?

There are a growing number of books for young children that celebrate and encourage an appreciation for the natural world. I am happy to add to this collection.

What is something interesting you learned about your book/yourself/your subject during the process of creating and publishing your book?

I thought this book and its predecessor West Coast Wild might only attract a regional audience. I was surprised and delighted to find out that people all across Canada are fascinated by our wonderful west coast.

What is your favourite place in the world?

The wild west coast of British Columbia, where ancient rainforest meets the vast, open ocean and magnificent wilderness abounds. 

An important part of any book launch are the thank you’s. Go ahead, and acknowledge someone whose support has been integral to this project.

It has been wonderful to collaborate with Karen Reczuch, my amazingly talented creative partner. Her exquisite art brings this book to life.

 What are you reading right now or next?

I just finished reading I Saw Three Ships by Bill Richardson, a charming, quirky set of linked stories about Vancouver’s west end in the 1980s. I love stories that are evocative of a time and place.

Spread from West Coast Wild Babies of Ocas swimming together















Spread from West Coast Wild Babies of Ocas swimming together
















About West Coast Wild Babies:

It’s spring on the Pacific west coast and new life is stirring! Wild babies are being born—in the ocean, on the shore and deep inside the ancient rainforest. Wolf pups, cougar kittens, bear cubs and whale calves all begin their life in the pristine wilderness of this magnificent place.

Young readers will meet a fascinating group of fourteen wild baby animals—including land and marine mammals, fish, birds and amphibians—and learn about the special bonds between offspring and parents, and how the newborns move toward independence. Readers will see an extraordinary community of animals thriving in an interconnected web of life.

In this second book in the West Coast Wild series, Deborah Hodge takes readers through the spectacular land and seascapes of the Pacific Rim region, introducing familiar animals such as sea otters and eagles, and lesser known species such as pelagic cormorants and rufous hummingbirds. Karen Reczuch’s beautiful illustrations are detailed and lifelike, and convey a lovely sense of warmth between the wild parents and their young. The text and art have been carefully checked for scientific accuracy.

Includes a note about the Pacific west coast and the need to preserve its rare and awe-inspiring wilderness regions, as well as a list for further reading and exploration.

April 13, 2020
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