Kindred Spirits


Anne’s Kindred Spirits, the followup to Anne Arrives, is out in the world! Illustrating Anne Shirley’s continuing adventures was a real treat. And speaking of adventures, I was over the moon to be able to participate in a book launch for Anne in Prince Edward Island, hosted by the wonderful Bookmark Books and coordinated by Anne’s amazing publisher, Tundra Books.

I first visited Prince Edward Island as a twelve-year-old, back in the 90’s. My tween memories of the island were magical and as I sat in Halifax, waiting for my connecting flight to Charlottetown, I kept hoping that my childhood recollections were true.

They were. No doubt about it.

I had a wonderful, whirlwind couple of days in Prince Edward. Charlottetown is a delight of a city and full of some of the friendliest, most genuine people I’ve met. I may have even brought home a magazine with the local real estate listings. A girl can dream, right?

A couple things I loved:

  • Victoria Park was beautiful and the Confederation Centre full of good things.

  • I visited Receiver Coffee not once, but twice, because it’s that good. I left desperately wishing they’d open a location stateside, because they serve scones and play Bowie.

  • I had wanted to visit Province House, but it was closed for renovations. St. Dunstan’s was open, though, and it’s an absolutely stunning basilica.

  • And if you’re on Instagram, I have a bunch of photos over there.

Photo Credit: Michele Lawlor

Photo Credit: Michele Lawlor

But the real highlight of the visit was getting to meet author Kallie George, who’s adapted L.M. Montgomery’s words so perfectly. Kallie’s The Melancholic Mermaid was one of the first books I illustrated and when I heard she was going to be writing the Anne books, I knew I absolutely wanted to be involved. It was so much fun to be able to connect and in talking to Kallie, I felt like I’d known her forever; to quote Anne Shirley, she’s truly a kindred spirit.

I showed a few people a photo I brought with me, snapped decades ago. In it, my siblings and I are sitting with my sister’s penpal (who’d won an Anne of Green Gables lookalike contest) and her sister, all of us in front of a giant Anne of Green Gables figure in Cavendish. It’s a very Anne-centric photo. And looking at that snapshot, I can’t help but smile at how returning to the island felt like coming full-circle. It’s fascinating the twists and turns life takes, and how the seemingly unrelated bits intersect. So for that, thank you Anne Shirley.