By Debra Downey, Senior Editor
Derek Douglas has finally found his niche.
After years of working in various fields, Douglas has lent his considerable talents in illustration to the fun and informative Canada: Our Road to Democracy. The new A-Z children’s book takes readers on a journey through Canada’s past and present, highlighting the characteristics that define our country and its relationship with the rest of the world.
“I’m just so proud to have my name on this book,” said Douglas. “It’s such a high quality book to be launching my career.
“One of the best things that came out of my illustrating the book was my profound appreciation for our incredible country.”
Canada: Our Road to Democracy was written by Alister Mathieson and Marianne Ilass and published by Humber Press in June.Douglas said he was asked by Mathieson in 2012 to get involved with the artwork. While the co-author had several clear ideas of what he wanted to depict in the book’s 27 illustrations, the pair often worked collaboratively. The result is an extensively researched, colourful, crisp and vibrantly illustrated book that covers the important content in the Ontario social studies teaching curriculum. The book’s cover features classic Canadian characters like a moose, beaver, buffalo and Canadian goose, carrying the Union Jack, the Canadian flag and two other flags representing the birth of Canada as a nation.
Originally schooled in classical animation, Douglas said his focus changed to illustration and children’s books after he became a father in 2008.
“I was going between creative and artistic jobs and nothing really gelled, but then when my son was born, I knew children’s books were going to be my arena,” said Douglas.
The Dundas resident who operates Right Side Studios is currently hard at work on the sequel to Canada: Our Road to Democracy entitled Canada: Our Home and Native Land, along with a KickStarter funding platform project with Corey Kennan called Dolly and the Dreadful Words. The funding period expires on Aug. 31.
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