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Classic Maritime song inspires new children book

A new children's book inspired by a Maritime song called Lester the Lobster and the Great Escape is all about not judging a book by its cover.

Local author, Chantal MacDonald, is using her first children’s book to share an important message with the younger generation in a story that highlights a unique-looking lobster.

“Lester looks different from all of the other lobsters in the ocean and yet he’s okay with that, he knows that it makes him special and spectacular,” she said.

However, Lester’s outside appearance isn’t the only thing he has to offer.Lester the Lobster“He’s very clever and when he and his friends get caught up by a fisherman, he’s able to use his red shell, the thing that makes him different, and his cleverness to get them all out,” MacDonald said.

The book was inspired by a musical Maritime classic, Lester the Lobster by Stevedore Steve.

“It’s a fun, silly song about a lobster that’s hatched on the shores of Prince Edward Island and as a result, the shell turns red. The song, of course I remember all the words, and had played with the idea of turning it into something,” she said.Author Chantal MacDonald reading her new book to children in a Moncton school. Stevedore Steve has passed away, but his wife is still alive. MacDonald said she was able to talk to her on the phone about her book and, of course, send her a copy.

Lester the Lobster and the Great Escape is available in both English and French on Amazon and a handful of local stores in New Brunswick, including Chapters Moncton, Magnetic Hill Wharf Village, and Tidewater Books & Browsery in Sackville.

The book is illustrated by local artist Mark Cann who worked alongside MacDonald to bring the characters and story to life.

“It’s been a dream of mine, ever since I started drawing,” said Mark Cann.

“You do it for yourself but if it can be enjoyed by other people, that’s even better.”

It took the pair about six months from start to finish to bring Lester to life and get the book onto shelves.

On Thursday, MacDonald shared her book with students at Birchmount School in Moncton.

“I really hope that kids will see Lester, they’ll see a story that’s fun and funny and makes them laugh, but they’ll also be able to understand that message that what’s really important is who you are on the inside and not your outside appearance,” she said.

Author Chantal MacDonald and illustrator Mark Cann with their new book.Not only did students get the chance to meet and hear from the local author, but they were invited to ask questions and share as a group what makes them special and unique.

“I’m going to tell [my family] that I had the best author and I got to meet the author before she blows up,” said 9-year-old Avery Richard-Pomeroy.

Adding, “I loved it so much and I liked all the illustrations and the words.”

While targeted towards children, Lester brings forward a message that fits all ages, MacDonald and Cann said.

“You don’t need to try and fit in, you are who you are, you were made the way you were made and I think that’s important for kids to understand and everybody to understand,” said Cann.

“Peer pressure isn’t something that just goes away when you grow up, as we all know, so it’s a good message for everybody.” Top Stories


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