Albuquerque author-illustrator team Vanessa Vassar & Ophelia Cornet celebrate the launch of their new children's book, Evan and the Skygoats. Lisa Donald will play the cello to greet attendees, in honor of Sky Velvet Vassar. Come hear more about the children's book and about the Sky Velvet Vassar Music Foundation.
About Evan and the Skygoats:
After his sister passes away, Evan struggles to understand his own feelings and the sadness that envelops his family. Beautifully imagined and illustrated, Evan's journey to overcome his loneliness and uncertainty offers a compelling message about the power of the natural world to heal, to reassure, and to affirm our lasting connections to the ones we love.
A wonderful, insightful and heart-warming story to comfort children of all ages.
Based on her own personal experience healing from the loss of her daughter, the author also shares a list of Love Thoughts, useful advice for those grieving and for the family and friends helping them.
Vanessa Vassar grew up in California and received degrees in Communication Arts and English. She traveled extensively with her work and lived in New York and Berlin before settling in New Mexico. Her love of storytelling has been the basis of her professional work in journalism, film, music, and photography. Vanessa was inspired to write Evan and the SkyGoats after the passing of her daughter Sky Velvet. In the free fall of grief, Vanessa found her first glimmer of hope visiting a local goat farm. She fell in love with the gentle and playful nature of the goats and eventually brought three baby goats home. Vanessa lives with her family in Albuquerque.
Ophelia Cornet was born in Belgium to a family of artists and designers. Her life in the Belgian countryside was juxtaposed with summer visits to New York City, where influential artists were among her family friends. Ophelia went on to study painting and photography and her current work includes oil paintings, tile murals and sculpture. She has been the Lead Art Instructor at the Albuquerque Museum for 19 years. Ophelia lives with her family in an old adobe house in New Mexico and enjoys traveling to the South of France, Guatemala and Mexico.
After three-year-old Evan's sister Sky dies, he and his family struggle to cope. As he tenderly navigates his grief, often by seeking her spirit in the sky, a visitor arrives. She brings with her a freshness of spirit and a novel idea: what the family needs is to adopt baby goats. . . . the transition into a work of surreal folklore, via a dreamlike, goat-attended journey to the sky, vivifies the story. Cornet's appealing mixed-media artwork depicts the ethereal, star-speckled journey as Evan and his goat companions navigate the heavens in search of his sister. Final pages include guided "love thoughts" for both those grieving and those offering their support. A lovely offering for readers seeking additional grief resources. -PUBLISHERS WEEKLY
"A beautiful book allowing people of all ages to have a gentle journey into the power of healing from loss. The book provides an opening for improved family dynamics, open-communication and therapeutic dialogue." -- Dr. Ted Wiard, LPCC, CGC, Author, Founder and Executive Director of Golden Willow Retreat
"Grief from the point of view of a child is portrayed in its full complexity. . . . In a landscape of children's literature that mostly shies away from this difficult subject, Evan and the Skygoats stakes readers on a journey toward acceptance of tragedy. What a welcome addition to the landscape of children's literature." -- Katie Stone, KUNM's The Children's Hour