By Nick Fonda
About a dozen young children, accompanied by parents, converged on a rural property in Kingsbury last Saturday to be introduced to the magical world of literature, as co-authors Juliana Léveillé-Trudel and Andrew Katz read their most recent children’s book, A Starlit Trip to the Library.
While she was born in Montreal, and now lives there, Juliana grew up on a property on the Valley Road in Kingsbury, an idyllic place that now serves as a weekend get-away.
“This may seem an unusual place for a book reading,” she says, “but it’s a place I’ve always loved. Holding a reading here is a way to allow others to enjoy the place as well.”
“We announced the book reading through the municipalities of Kingsbury and Melbourne Township, as well as through Facebook, and personal invitations,” she continues. “We had a similar event last year, and some of those people returned this year. Some of those who came were childhood friends who now have children of their own, but there were also people I’d not met before.”
Like his co-author and partner, Andrew Katz was born in Montreal but experienced rural life as a youngster spending several weeks every summer at his grandparents’ cottage near North Bay.
Both writers can trace their artistic and literary genes to family.
“My grandmother was a wonderful storyteller,” Andrew recalls. “I have a sister who is a talented visual artist as well as a professor of Philosophy at Michigan State University, and who writes academic papers in her field. My brother, Peter Katz, aside from being a storyteller, is a singer-songwriter who performs internationally and who has been a Juno Award nominee.”