Grande Prairie Daily Herald Tribune

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Rhonda Kokosha, a local from Grande Prairie, has written her first children’s book with the help of her son. Kokosha’s delicious book I really like the trees outside is meant to inspire everyone to embrace nature and the beauty of the natural world. The prose in this book was formed when Kokosha and her youngest son were walking outside one day.

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Kokosha has called Peace Country home for many years and grew up on a farm near Saddle Hills. She has always loved the outdoors and spent much of her free time as a child and as an adult exploring the great outdoors. The author later completed a Diploma in Broadcasting from Mount Royal University and now lives on a farm outside of Grande Prairie, Alta. This is her first children’s book and she hopes to do more one day.

Kokosha explained in an interview with the Daily Herald – Tribune that the poem that makes up the prose for the book came from a school project her youngest son had been working on. At the time, her son was in sixth grade and had to write a poem about nature. To help him with the poem, Kokosha had suggested to his son that they go for a walk on his land.

“We went out to our trees here together. And we were just walking through the trees, and we started talking to each other, ”Kokosha said. “And I just started to rhyme something.”

When it came to finding an illustrator for the children’s book, the author turned to the platform and finally, after going through several applicants, decided that her vision resonated more closely with illustrator Alex Bjelica.

Kokosha explained that she had taken loose sheets of paper at home and traced and visualized how she wanted each page in her book to look, and she had given Bjelica these ideas.

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“It was fantastic in what I saw as my vision of the book and making it come true in the published form,” Kokosha said. “I wanted something, of course, to have trees and nature. My kids grew up on a farm, they spent a lot of time with a grandfather, you know, fishing and all that kind of stuff. “

In the book, the illustrations depict two children and a dog in each scene, which are based on Kokosha’s two sons and a much-loved and missed family dog. The author added that she believes that the book is relevant at this time, with everything that is happening with our environment. Kokosha added that she hopes her book fosters an appreciation for trees and nature and encourages people and their families to get outside.

“I hope this encourages parents, their children, grandparents, aunts and uncles, what do you have to do, you know, spend time outdoors, appreciate trees in nature and make children appreciate them also at a young age? Kokosha said.

Kokosha has donated a copy of her book to the Grande Prairie Public Library, as well as various school libraries in case people want to check out her book before purchasing a copy. Interested persons can purchase a copy of I really like the trees outside from,, Barnes and Noble, Indigo, Chapters, Coles, and Bookbaby.

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