It’s not as easy as ABC to produce An ABC of Ottawa, but it has been a rewarding project for Ottawa graphic designer, and now children’s book author, Miriam Bloom.
“It was a long process,” said Bloom, an active volunteer in Ottawa’s Jewish community, and grandmother of four.
“Writing a kids’ book is something I’ve wanted to do for a very long time,” she said.
The breakthrough came when her close friend and colleague, Julie Mason, asked Bloom to bring her design and typographic skills to the table for An ABC of Ottawa.
When Mason died in 2010, the book was not finished, and only half the photos had been done. With the support of Don McGregor, Mason’s husband, Bloom resumed work on the project.
“Even a short children’s book can be surprisingly complex,” said Bloom.
By January, An ABC of Ottawa was at the printer, and it is already in its second printing.
“We just wanted to have fun and produce a good book for young children,” said Bloom. “Julie had two young granddaughters at the time. Secondly, we wanted to produce a professional quality book. Thirdly, we wanted to showcase Ottawa and all the attractions here for families. In the years since her death, I’ve accumulated grandchildren myself, and it’s a nice thing to have for them. In this digital age, it’s great to get kids off the screen.”
Bloom is delighted with the final product.
“It’s a very beautiful, high quality, 60-page, full-colour book. It’s aimed at young children and a perfect book for families and educators, too. It’s more than an ordinary ABC book. For example, A is for Astrolabe, and I decided to add a definition of astrolabe. There is a picture of the Samuel de Champlain statue. The pages are a combination of decorated photos and some full-colour photos. Every letter is hand cut.”
An ABC of Ottawa is the first ABC book to feature popular Ottawa sites, and an education guide is available to help plan visits and activities.
An ABC of Ottawa is available at Books on Beechwood, Perfect Books, Octopus Books and Mrs. Tiggy Winkle’s toy stores, or online at www.miriambloomart.ca/abc.