“The Soulful Adventure of Spencer, the Soft-hearted Seal,” an illustrated chapter book for children age 5-9, is now part of the comprehensive collection available at the Maison de la Littérature in Quebec City, Canada. The Maison is known for offering books, exhibits, and literary events in the province’s premier language: French, with limited titles available in the city’s solely supplemental language: English. Yet the title is now available to assist children – “les enfants” – in their understanding of English as a second language. It is quite fitting too, that the book’s award-winning illustrator is Romi Caron, who hails from Ottawa.
“The Soulful Adventure of Spencer, the Soft-hearted Seal” is a sweet, heartfelt story of an 8-day old baby seal pup who tumbles down the side of a big hill in a gust of icy wind, and becomes lost after being separated from his brother. A mini hero’s journey, the pup struggles to find his way home, even though he feels small and unsure of himself as a baby just learning to move his flippers. Over the course of one day, Spencer must learn to make sense of all the strange new experiences he encounters, and go where his heart guides him – reminding himself of his Mother’s loving, encouraging words to him as he does so. Spencer meets both friend and foe in his attempts to reunite with his family – including a hunter who is after his beautiful white fur coat, and a plucky young girl who stands up to this bully, to protect Spencer. After all that happens, Spencer learns many lessons and gains a stronger sense of self.
“I’m delighted that the book may help children learn English, as they discover its themes of mindfulness, positive thinking, and wildlife protection,” says author Margaret Lepera, an award-winning writer who has crafted stories for a variety of audiences throughout her career. “I can only imagine what children will think as they read about my little hero. Like the Maison itself, which has been beautifully converted from the classic architecture of a historic church to its more modern aesthetic, my story is also a classic one, with a decidedly modern twist too. In addition to exploring the language, I hope the book will inspire children to see the world from their own unique points of view, and provide the perspective of offering kindness to all sentient beings.”
“The Soulful Adventure of Spencer, the Soft-hearted Seal” can be found at the Maison de la Littérature, 40 Rue Saint-Stanislas in Quebec City. It is also available online in both print and ebook versions (barnesandnoble.com, amazon.com, itunes.apple.com, kobo.com).