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illustrator Stacy Veno

EAST HANTS: Family traditions around the holidays don’t have to exclude the four-legged members of the family.

And for Shanda Cameron, a long-standing Christmas Eve tradition has inspired her third Children’s Book, Kiwi’s Shopping Adventure.

Illustrated by Milford-based artist Stacy Veno, the book is focused on a Christmas tradition in Cameron’s family.

“Since my girls were little, and now for my two grandsons, the family pet has always got them a Christmas present,” she explained.

“My girls always wanted to open a present on Christmas Eve, and we always got something for them from the pets so I thought, why not Christmas Eve pajamas?”

Now, that tradition has inspired her new children’s book which features not only her dog, Kiwi, but many animals of her friends and family.

“I thought this could be a cute way to include those closest to me,” said Cameron.

As for Veno, a highly-experienced artist, illustrating her first children’s book was an exciting challenge for her.

“This is my first book, and I loved it,” she said.

While sketching wasn’t out of her comfort zone, doing digital graphics and compiling her illustrations into a digital package was.

“It was definitely a learning curve, but something I really enjoyed learning about,” she said. “I’ve never done anything like this before.”

The pair both agree on one thing about the book, keeping it local was the most important thing.

“It was very important to us to be as local as possible. A local author, local illustrator, we used a local printer, and we hope to be supported by the local communities,” said Veno.

The two are launching their book at the Elmsdale branch of the Colchester/East Hants Library on Nov. 5. Taking place from 1-3 p.m., the launch will feature a reading of the book at 1:30 p.m., colouring pages for the kids, and an opportunity to have your copy of the book signed by the author and the illustrator.

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Abby Cameron
Abby Cameron is the Editor of The Weekly Press and the Laker. She grew up in Shubenacadie and loves serving her home community. She has been with The Weekly Press for almost 10 years. In her spare time she enjoys kayaking, coaching, and spending time with her partner and two dogs.