By David F. Rooney
To his students at Shotokan Karate, Chic Sharp is the honoured sensei; after his book signing on Nov. 21 at Grizzly Book everyone will be calling him storyteller, instead.
And that title will be well deserved because he is unveiling My Twelve Brothers and Me the first volume in a 13-book series based on stories he told his children as they were growing up.
“These are actually stories I made up and used to tell my kids when they were quite small,” Sharp said in an interview. “They loved them and would beg and beg and beg me to tell them more.”
Each volume in the series will the tell the tale of one of the 12 brothers and, of course, Chic himself whose image is hidden, Waldo-style, in every illustration. The tale of the brother named Creely, which is the first story in the series, is fanciful, gentle and amusing.
One of the things that makes this series truly special is the art work. The full-colour illustrations on every page were lovingly created by Sharp’s daughter Cara, who is in her third year of studies at UBC Okanagan, planning to become an elementary school teacher. Her images are bright and lively and reflect a daughter’s genuine love for her father and the role he played in her life.
Sharp said he printed 1,000 copies of the first volume. They will be available at Grizzly Books. He will be signing copies of My Twelve Brothers and Me at the book store on Nov. 21 from noon until 4 pm.
You can find out more about this project at www.mytwelvebrothersandme.com.