A book by a Sooke writer is rooted in the author’s words when she was growing up.
The Crabapple Tree, a self-published book by Leslie Speed, was inspired by a poem of the same name that she wrote when she was young.
“Growing up in the countryside, I found so much joy being outside in nature all year round,” said Speed, who also did all of the art for the book.
“When I was a child, I wrote a poem about the crabapple tree in our yard and the life that surrounded it,” Speed said. “I loved to see the tree change throughout the seasons, and 20 years later, that poem inspired me to write and illustrate this book. The book is written from the tree’s perspective and takes the reader through the seasonal differences and cycle of life.”
She also drew inspiration for the book from her two children, aged eight and 12. They are homeschooled, spend a lot of time reading together, and the family makes frequent trips to the library. Although she’s always leaned toward artistic endeavours from a young age, writing has been a more recent pursuit.
As her schedule permits, Speed has been working on The Crabapple Tree on and off for about four years.
A resident of Sooke for the past 15 years, Speed has worked as a printmaker for the past 16 years. All of the illustrations in the book were created in linocut, a printmaking technique that is a variant of woodcut.
The method involves using a linoleum sheet, sometimes mounted on a wooden block, to form a relief surface. A design is cut into the linoleum with a sharp tool, with the raised areas representing a reversal or mirror image of the parts that will show when it’s printed.
The Crabapple Tree is published by Island Blue Printorium Bookworks in Victoria and is also available at the Sooke branch of the Vancouver Island Regional Library.
For more on the author and the book, check out https://www.linobyleslie.ca, or https://lovemaplerose.com/products/the-crabapple-tree-by-leslie-speed.