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Gubby Builds a Boat and other Christmas treats

Harbour Publishing
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Photo courtesy Harbour Publishing

Gubby Builds a Boat continues the adventures of a Sunshine Coast commercial salmon fisherman, as he finds himself building a new boat in the off-season. Created by Roberts Creek writer Gary Kent and artist Kim LaFave, the book is a true creative collaboration.

The fall list from Harbour Publishing in Pender Harbour has something for everyone to put under the Christmas tree, and the small publishing house continues to thrive in an industry experiencing hard times.

Publisher Howard White continues to wisely assess the market’s strengths.

“We don’t go for new fads. We don’t try and conquer the world,” White said. “We serve our market, books about B.C., by BC authors.”

Here are a few of the best bets for gifts.

Gubby Builds a Boat continues the adventures of a Sunshine Coast commercial salmon fisherman, as he finds himself building a new boat in the off-season.

Created by Roberts Creek writer Gary Kent and artist Kim LaFave, the book is a true creative collaboration. Kent sat in LaFave’s studio, telling stories of his years fishing salmon, and LaFave drew as he listened.

“I had my own story-teller in the studio, recounting fishing adventures,” said LaFave. “Usually I get a manuscript with a note, ‘please illustrate.’ This was way better!”

Kent was happy about the process as well.

“We were friends before we started working together, and have a great working relationship. I imagine certain characters, how I want them to look, and Kim draws them! He’s amazing,” Kent said.

It’s a lovely tale of how boats used to be built, of generations playing and working together, passing on skills and wisdom, against the backdrop of the Steveston boat yards.

Children and adults will love it.

Sow Simple, by local authors Christina Symons and John Gillespie is a great gardening book. The writing is straight-forward and packed full of very simple ways to do almost anything you could think of to create a gorgeous and fun, large or small, edible, ornamental, water wise and durable garden. The brilliant photographs inspire and inform as they document easy steps to propagate, make cold frames, and all the other great projects in Sow Simple.

Bruno and the Beach, The Beachcombers at 40 is a celebration of the local and national shenanigans that went on in the years the epic TV series was filmed here. Written by Marc Strange and Jackson Davies in anecdotal form, the stories and old pictures will delight anyone with a soft spot for the show and it actors.

Mike McCardell’s latest, Unlikely Love Stories is not what you think. McCardell happened upon an elderly father and adult son. The son was teaching his father how to cast a fly. McCardell watched quietly. Then the son told McCardell that his father had taught him how to cast when he was a boy, but now his Dad had Alzheimer’s, and had forgotten. So the son was now the teacher. That’s a love story.

Trucking in British Columbia, an Illustrated History, by Daniel Francis, of ‘Encyclopedia of British Columbia’ fame is chock-full of jaw dropping photos of early logging and transport trucks, and of the so called roads they travelled, as well as hair raising anecdotes of early drivers just doing their job. This is fascinating writing about fascinating history, for anyone who has lived or worked in British Columbia.

Be sure to keep an eye open for Coast TV’s show on Harbour Books for Christmas airing in early December.


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