A Qualicum Beach kindergarten teacher recently released an interactive colouring book which highlights local spots in the great outdoors.
Ashley Kuramoto, who teaches at Qualicum Beach Elementary, said proceeds from sales of Little Adventurers Vancouver Island: Qualicum Beach Edition will go to the Mamas for Mamas Vancouver Island charity.
“I’ve always wanted to write a children’s book,” she said. “But I think, like with many people, it’s how to get started and finding the time to do it.”
The book features lots of family-friendly places to visit in the Qualicum Beach area, along with a scavenger hunt component that lets children search for fun things at that location.
For example, at the Little Qualicum Fish Hatchery, readers can search for a salmon jumping and an owl, among others.
“Lots of really interesting, kind of quirky scavenger hunt things that are only for that spot,” Kuramoto said.
Each entry includes the location’s co-ordinates, an explanation of the area and even lets the reader know if the destination is accessible and if it has a bathroom. On the right side is a colouring page illustrated by Kuramoto.
The book includes familiar spots like Hamilton Marsh, Qualicum Beach Heritage Forest, Milner Gardens and the farmers market, plus lesser known places such as the Lighthouse Country Regional Trail and Christleton Park.
“I think a lot of them are hidden gems because a few people, who live in Qualicum and have been here their whole life, didn’t know about them,” said Kuramoto.
She has not introduced the book to her kindergarten class yet, but said they know their teacher is an author. Kuramoto said the school administration has been very supportive, including her book in the school book fair.
“I talk about growth-mindset all the time and that I try to implore them that they can literally do anything,” she said. “Their life is just beginning and if they set their mind to it, they can do whatever they want.”
She said it is important for anyone who reads the book to respect nature while out on their scavenger hunt.
“The book is from my heart and my only grandpa was very passionate about the outdoors and respecting nature,” Kuramoto said. “And I want to be bring [daughter] Claire up with that as well, so every time we go out we try to clean up garbage and we stay on the trail.”
The book is available online and at Qualicum Toy Shop (5 - 211 Second Ave W), Parksville retailers Bumble Baby Boutique (109 Hirst Ave E) and Sweet Spot Bake Shop (5-281 Island Hwy E) and Pea Shoots Consignment (2634 Beaver Creek Cres) in Nanaimo.
Kuramoto will be signing books at Bumble Baby Boutique on Nov. 26, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.