By Donna McMillan
HOT off the press last week, Janine Beerepoot introduced “Norfolk County ABC” children’s book, created and written by her and illustrated by her step-sister Emma Allgood, to local residents and businesses on the weekend.
This ABC book, beautifully and colourfully illustrated, has a folk art feel to it. Janine nailed it with easily recognized icons that represent highlights of Norfolk County.
Of course, P is for Port Dover and features the Lighthouse. J is for July 1st with a pictorial illustration of the Port Dover Canada celebration that started in 1867.
V is for Vittoria with the artwork showing the lone swan that swims the pond and the home at the end of the road by the Conservation Area that her grandmother grew up in, Janine said.
T is for Turkey Point. W is the Waterford. L is for Long Point. All of the alphabet explores Norfolk County.
Janine, the daughter of Carma Beerepoot-Allgood and Jake Beerepoot, grew up in Port Dover, graduating from Port Dover Composite School. From Port Dover, she backpacked around Europe, spent a year in Australia and took the Event Planning Program at George Brown College, she shared with the Maple Leaf as she showcased the book outside The Crepe House in Port Dover on Sunday.
Janine, 35, lives in Toronto and is the mother of two daughters, Cleona, 5, and Vaida, 1. She has recently returned to work at the Ritz-Carlton.
Emma, 34, is the daughter of Scott Allgood and Chris Codd, Janine shared. Emma attended Simcoe Composite School. She is a muralist and tree planter who lives off the grid on 160 acres outside Thunder Bay. Emma is the mother of Nova, 2, and newborn Orion.
Janine said she had some time on her hands during Covid to be creative and entrepreneurial.
“We have a Toronto ABC book that gives the children a chance to explore the city and point out that they have been at certain places,” Janine said.
This was the inspiration for the Norfolk ABC book. She felt the connection to the community. She thought carefully about each spot she wanted to represent an area and visualized the art work. Knowing she couldn’t do the illustrations, she connected with Emma who immediately jumped on board. Emma spent months doing the digital.
The initial response to the book has been good. Janine advised that Amy Ferris of Erie’s Edge Real Estate and Kristina Kett of Edward Jones, Port Dover bought 20 copies of the $29.99 books to distribute to all Norfolk County Libraries and the five kindergarten classes in Port Dover. The book is available at Cabin 519 and Cottage North Soapworks in Port Dover; Joy Bakery and Firefly and Fox Bookstore in Simcoe; and Little Local in Delhi. Janine will be at The Crepe House on December 11 & 12 from 12 to 2 for those who wish to meet her and buy a copy.