You know how badly represented boats often are in children’s books. Backwards rigs on unstayed masts, inconsistent wind direction. We’ve all had a good laugh, or cry, over them. So it was not only an honour to have my little boat immortalised on the page but also nice to see that the wind and rig are in harmony.
The illustrator is Elena Val and the book, with original text in Catalan by Teresa Duran, is called ‘Banyeta’ meaning 'little horn', more or less. The Spanish edition is titled ‘Diablote’—‘little devil’ and the English version, avoiding all religious overtones, plumps for ‘Benedict’. ‘Benedict is published solely in Canada by Groundwood Books / House of Anasi Press of Toronto, Ontario.
Without wanting to spoil the story for prospective readers it’s about a little devil who leaves his firey underworld in search of a more clement atmosphere only to find that other places—the north pole, the desert, the jungle—also have a fairly inhospitable, monotonous climates. And then he discovers the sea...
This is Elena’s first published book and the first step in carving herself a well-deserved niche as an illustrator of children’s books. She is also part of the creative team that has designed ‘Posa’t un conte’ an educational tool for young children that explores creative ways of exploring and solving emotional and communicative issues. Elena loves the sea and has been sailing for about two years. She’s always game for a sail or row in Onawind Blue.
Elena Val rowing Onawind Blue.