For the Lakeside Leader
Many people have fond childhood memories of a good bedtime story or reading a book around a campfire.
Children’s author Lisa Rudkin is promoting her first book Campfire Bedtime Stories that is fun for the whole family of all ages.
“I write about something the child may have experienced or may experience in the near future.”
She shares some of her own life in the stories.
“I have always used examples from my personal life in my stories,” Rudkin says.
She encourages everyone to be part of the storytelling.
“Colourful eye-catching pictures and cute characters create an adventurous playful story that’s interactive,” Rudkin says.
“When you’re being chased, tickled, thrown in the air like a bird, bounced on the couch or your knee, that makes learning fun.
“I have discovered that when children are having so much fun, they learn and retain everything they have heard.”
“All my stories teach children life lessons,” says Rudkin, a resident of High Prairie for 13 years.
“I try to teach old-fashioned morals, ethics and manners.
“For example, how to prepare the child to deal with peer pressure,” Rudkin says.
“One day they may have friends that pressure them into doing something bad like steal or disobey their parents or gossiping.”
Published in April 2019, Campfire Bedtime Stories features four stories.
‘The Kissy Fishy’ is about two young brothers who are visiting their grandparents on their farm.
It teaches children to respect animals’ lives.
‘The Huggy Bear’ is about a little bear named Lil Paw’s who is sad and lonely.
The older bears won’t play with him because he is too small.
“The moral is to talk to your siblings, friends, and parents and share your feelings,” Rudkin says.
“It teaches children to respect each other, listen and care about each other’s feelings.”
‘The Invisible Wish’ is all about a young boy who is out biking with his friends and how he finds an old oil drum with toxic chemicals.
“The moral of the story is to teach children to play safe,” Rudkin says. “They shouldn’t touch anything they may not know what it is and they may get hurt.”
‘The Elm Street Witch’ is about a creepy old witch that lives in a rundown scary old house on a spooky street.
“Children bring the community together to help elders and restore their homes,” Rudkin says.
“The story shows children to be kind and respectful to others by helping lonely less-fortunate seniors be happy and be part of the community.”
Rudkin’s second book Chompers Big Accident was submitted Aug. 19 to PageMaster Publishing in Edmonton to be published.
“It’s based on a true story about my son Anthony and his friend Malcolm shoveling snow off my roof,” Rudkin says.
“Anthony didn’t listen to me, jumped off the roof and broke his back.
“The message from the story is to teach children to work safe and listen to your parents and older adults.”
Her love for reading as a young child has grown into a passion.
“My father is the one who inspired me to read and with his great bedtime stories that he made up,” says Rudkin, who grew up in Toronto.
“He tickled us children, chased us, made pirate maps and we would go hunt for treasure and he tells us the story as we dug up the treasure.
“My dad bought me comics, Rin Tin Tin books, National Geographic, Owl magazines and Nancy Drew books.”
Reading was a priority in the family.
“We were not allowed to watch much television,” Rudkin says.
She appreciates fun times learning in school as she now inspires others with her stories.
“In school, I was an amazing reader, even with learning disabilities,” Rudkin says.
“I was always in charge of the puppet shows the teacher would let me make up stories as I went along.”
“I owe a lot to teachers and family for spending so much time with me and letting me learn hands on as they say.”
Other experiences have helped her to teach and encourage children.
Rudkin worked at a daycare centre in Oshawa in 1989 and served as a librarian been a librarian in Beaver Creek, Yukon in 2002-2003.
“In all these positions, I was required to tell stories to children from ages two to about 14,” Rudkin says.
“I also taught many different types of arts and crafts and helped organize community events.
“I became known as the Kissy Fishy lady all over town.”
She became popular with all the children who heard her stories.
“I was a story telling Rock Star,” Rudkin says.
Campfire Bedtime Stories can be purchased at High Prairie and District Museum for $10.
The book is also available in hard cover, soft cover and ebooks for $10 from the publisher online at PageMaster Publishing, at pagemasterpublishing.ca/shop/campfire-bedtime-stories/.