New Picture Book

Orca Books has just published a new picture book titled The Summer of the Marco Polo, based on an event that Montgomery describes in her journals and that also was the subject of two of her earliest publications: an essay, “The Wreck of the ‘Marco-Polo,” published in Montreal Witness in February 1891; and a poem, “The Wreck of the ‘Marco-Polo’—1883,” published in the Daily Patriot in 1892.

The Summer of the Marco Polo, written by Lynn Manuel and illustrated by Kasia Charko, tells the story from young Maud’s perspective. The official website description follows.

In the summer of 1883 a famous clipper ship ran aground off the coast of Prince Edward Island near the home of a young girl named Lucy Maud Montgomery. Lucy Maud, who became one of Canada’s most beloved writers, wrote about the grand adventure in her journals and reflected on it years later in her notebooks. The town of Cavendish was transformed by the presence of the crew, and the ship’s captain stayed with Lucy Maud and her strait-laced grandparents. Lynn Manuel has taken Lucy Maud’s memories and shaped them into a story that will transfix and enchant readers.

Lynn Manuel is a full-time writer and the author of more than a dozen books, including Lucy Maud and the Cavendish Cat and Camels Always Do. She majored in history at university and now finds some of her story ideas in the study of the past. When asked what information she would like to share about herself, Lynn says, “I am a grandmother. And I’ve seen Paris.” Lynn lives in White Rock, British Columbia.

Working in watercolor and colored pencil, Kasia Charko has created detailed inviting paintings that bring to life Prince Edward Island, a very special ship and the ocean’s many moods. Coincidentally, a number of years ago she received a visit from several of L.M. Montgomery’s great-grandchildren. Kasia lives in Alton Village, Caledon, Ontario, a short distance from Norval, where Montgomery lived for many years.