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Author amazed with first book
Dawn Shattler to read and sign children's book in Inuvik

Elaine Anselmi
Northern News Services
Published Thursday, January 22, 2015

A local author is celebrating the release of her first published children's book, the story of a young boy and his beloved toy rabbit.

NNSL photo/graphic

The Inuvik Centennial Library will host the launch of local author Dawn Shattler's first children's book on Jan. 26. - Elaine Anselmi/NNSL photo

Dawn Shattler has been working as a nurse in Inuvik on and off since 1999, living here permanently for the past seven years.

"I've always been interested in writing poetry and children's stories," said Shattler. "Four or five years ago my youngest grandson was having trouble sleeping. I wrote him a story about a dream catcher and my daughter loved it, she said, 'Mom, you should be writing children's stories'."

Putting the idea aside for a few years, Shattler said a flyer came in the mail about four years later offering courses writing children's books at Stratford Career Institute.

"I took the course. It was a year and I learned a lot of things," said Shattler. "I decided, when I got my certificate, you know, I have a lot of stories, why not send them in?"

Her first book, Where's My Beater Bunny?, is based on the true story of her young son - now an adult - and his favourite toy.

"It's about a two-year-old boy who, at Easter time, him and his sister each got an Easter basket and inside his sister's Easter basket was a little green rabbit which he fell in love with. Toward the end of the day his sister gave it to him because he just drove her nuts about it," said Shattler.

"He couldn't say Easter, so he called it 'Beater bunny', and he and the rabbit were best friends until the age he gave it up."

The boy and the bunny have many adventures and Shattler said the story, written as a poem, details one day where the boy plays all day with the bunny and then loses it. He then has to retrace his steps from the whole day in order to find the bunny before bedtime.

Shattler wrote the book while living in Inuvik, and said she has several more books already written. Friesen Press, based in B.C., published the book and worked with Shattler through edits and co-ordinating illustrations.

"It's very exciting because when I sit down to write my little stories, you get lost for hours at a time," said Shattler. "It's so exciting and so much fun. I love it."

The book is written for infants to six year olds, Shattler said, and is available at Moe's Stationary and Gifts in town.

The Inuvik Centennial Library also has the book for loan, and will host a book launch and signing for the local author, which head librarian Bev Garven said is a rare occasion.

"I think it's going to be great. It's always nice to have the author read their book because they read it totally different than I would," said Garven. "We've had a number of author visits from various places, it's always different to read the book after you've heard them read it ... it gives the characters a different feel to have the author read their book because you know what they were thinking."

The signing will take place Jan. 26 at 10:45 a.m., which Garven said is planned to follow the library's regular Monday children's programming.

Having just received the final copies of her first book this month, Shattler said she couldn't be happier.

"It's so exciting," said Shattler. "You work at it for months and then just to hold it in your hands, it's amazing."

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