Fans may know Haida singer Carsen Gray for her song lyrics, but recently she has been doing a different kind of writing.
The Skidegate-based singer-songwriter is set to launch her first children’s book this month, co-created with her mother, Haida artist Lynn Hughan.
The mother-daughter duo started work on the book in February, with support from the Taking It Global non-governmental organization.
The finished product, titled “Twelve Months of Fun on Haida Gwaii with Mattie and Jojo,” will be launched online between 12:30 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. on July 23.
Gray told the Observer the book follows two young characters through 12 months of activities on the island. The characters, Mattie and Jojo, are based on her two children with partner Joseph LaPlante (Joey Stylez), Matisse and Josette.
“I wanted to create a children’s book that children in the community could relate to,” she said, adding that they used familiar locations in the storytelling.
Gray and Hughan also wanted to make the book a Haida language resource. While they wrote the story in English, the Skidegate Haida Immersion Program (SHIP) helped them add Haida words for eagle, tree and other key terms.
During the online launch, Gray said there will be someone from SHIP present who is fluent in Haida, reading along with her and Hughan.
The book will then be available for sale online and Gray said they are planning to donate some to local schools.
Hughan is also working on merchandise that will feature some of the illustrations included in the book.
“We’re going to have lots of giveaways,” Gray said.
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