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Fri, Jul 26

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TAP Centre for Creativity

Vunga: Tales of an Island Boy and Zebra Girl book launch

Join us for a reading and book signing of first publications by Frank Banfield and Pearl Lee.

Vunga: Tales of an Island Boy and Zebra Girl book launch
Vunga: Tales of an Island Boy and Zebra Girl book launch

Time & Location

Jul 26, 2024, 11:00 a.m.

TAP Centre for Creativity, 203 Dundas St, London, ON N6A 1G4, Canada

About The Event

Join us for a reading and book signing to celebrate the first publications by Frank Banfield and Pearl Lee.

Vunga: Tales of an Island Boy by Frank Banfield

Vunga, nicknamed for the mosquitos that make him ill year after year, lives on the Caribbean island of Grenada along with his many siblings. His penchant for mischief and the playground of nature around him get Vunga into all sorts of trouble, even when his favourite brother, Gabby, tries to tame some of his wilder impulses. Whether the boys are exploring sugar mills, trapping monstrous crabs, teaching parrots new words, or sneaking out to the movie house, the one constant is their unfailing friendship.

Zebra Girl book by Pearl Lee

Seventeen-year-old Nessa Harding’s world—previously filled with light and colour has faded to black and white. Her father, a frustrated poet, has left home. Her mother, a talented seascape painter, is in the midst of a nervous breakdown. Nessa’s one solace, her dog Cocoa, is shipped off to the countryside when she and her mother are forced to move into a pet-free building. To make matters worse, it’s Nessa’s graduating year, she has no idea what she wants to do after high school, and Bryce Sinclair, star of the basketball team, only has eyes for Myla Dornwood. With her three besties—Rosie, Steph, and Tony—carrying on endlessly about prom, Nessa feels more depressed than ever.  Set against the backdrop of modern-day Montreal, Zebra-Girl is a powerful and personal story that digs deep into the turmoil of the teen experience, exploring mental health, unrequited love, the opposing desires for independence and aid, and what it means to love someone—really love someone—for exactly who they are.

ABOUT THE AUTHOURS

Frank Banfield is a retired psychotherapist. A late bloomer, he graduated from McGill University with a Bachelor of Social Work degree in 1997 at age sixty-two. Then he and his wife taught English in China for three years. Back in Canada, Frank returned to McGill and graduated with his Master of Social Work degree. He and his wife are members of the London Writers Society and Canscaip Friends. Vunga: Tales of an Island Boy is his first book. The tales, illustrated by teen artist, Eva Parada, are suitable for older teens and adults, especially those who grew up as mischief makers.

Pearl Lee is a lifelong storyteller and former teen-in-turmoil. She started writing at an early age, buying a pencil and copybook with her first-ever allowance. Later, she typed mystery stories on a rented typewriter for her sister and cousins. When she’s not writing, Pearl enjoys cycling and reading. Pearl holds graduate degrees in Creative Writing (Concordia University, Montreal, Quebec) and Teaching Reading (Reader Response Theory) and Writing (McGill University, Montreal, Quebec). She was also an active member of the Montreal Storytellers Guild for many years. Pearl currently lives in London, Ontario with her husband Frank Banfield. Frank is the creator of the Vunga tales, a collection of short stories about a mischievous island boy growing up in Grenada. They are both members of the London Writers Society and Canscaip Friends. Zebra-girl Pearl’s first young adult novel.

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