Lulujo + Sheree Fitch: An East Coast Collaboration
A national award winning author who has touched the hearts of many and made our child-selves lovers of reading, Sheree Fitch has given her voice to our first board books! As a fellow east coast Canadian, mother, entrepreneur, and child advocate, we couldn't have asked for a better collaborator for this project.
She is a prolific, national award winning author and storyteller known for her rollicking verses, exuberant wordplay, and humour. Many of today’s parents grew up reading her books, including Toes In My Nose and There Were Monkeys In My Kitchen, to name a few. She has represented Canada around the world and received numerous literary awards and honorary doctorates from Canadian universities. As a known advocate for children’s issues, Sheree was commissioned by UNICEF to write If You Could Wear My Sneakers, a collection of poems based on articles of the United Nations Conventions on the Rights of the Child, for which she received the Silver Birch Award and the Hackamatack Award.
Sheree's books are timeless. I can recall sitting on the gymnasium floor with my grade two class and the children and teachers buzzing with excitement that Sheree Fitch had arrived to do a reading at the school. My memory of her from that time is the warm feeling of her enthusiasm and kindness and the connectedness she had with everyone in the room (and her wild hair!). Today, her books continue to be used by teachers in the classroom and parents are introducing the next generation of children to their favourite Fitch classics. Emily (aka Lulu), who is now eleven, says her all time favourite book is Mabel Murple that her dad read to her every night at bedtime. A serendipitous coincidence :)
We have learned so much from Sheree as she graciously provided guidance and advice through some unknowns of our first book production. We put our love in the details to ensure the finished product met her standard of excellence and she thoughtfully wrote the stories based on memories of a young Jack and Emily. Together, we experienced many ups and downs; from obstacles in self publishing and exporting books for the first time, to Sheree losing one of her beloved sons - her inspiration for many of her most popular stories.
A Lulu Lullaby and Rock A Baby Jo represents love, family, and connection and we hope the Lulu & Jo collection inspires bonding time for parents and their children. The books are $19.99 and available here for purchase as a book and blanket gift set and sold separately.
Here is a photo timeline of the making of our books!
Our first in person meeting was at a cafe in Tatamagouche, Nova Scotia. (September 2017)
We worked via Skype with our illustrator, Brian MacKinnon, who is also from our hometown and a family friend who knows Dawn, Jack, and Emily. (January 2018)
Our second trip to Nova Scotia (this time driving through a Canadian blizzard!) to Sheree's home in River John to show her our completed samples in packaging. Everyone was in love! (February 2019)
First visit to the Lulujo office in Fredericton and meeting our designer, Cory, who pulled it all together. (May 2019)
Our first book launch event is taking place at Sheree's book shop, Mabel Murple's Book Shoppe and Dreamery, in beautiful River John, Nova Scotia. Join us on Saturday, August 24th from 11am to 3pm for a special reading, signing, Lulujo pop-up shop, and more! For details and updates, check out our event page.