It has been several months now since I embarked on my quest to get to know my neighbourhood, Windsor Park. And what an exciting few months it has been! I’ve met a lot of wonderful, interesting people who do amazing things and have great stories to tell.
Carol Szuminsky, children’s author and owner of Winnipeg-based children’s book publisher Peanut Butter Press, is certainly one of these fascinating people. I had the good fortune of meeting Carol when I signed up for one of her writing classes available through the Louis Riel School Division’s Continuing Education program.
Szuminsky, a resident of St. Vital, is a retired elementary school teacher who turned her love for teaching into a love for sharing fun and educational stories with others. It’s obvious to anyone who meets Szuminsky that she’s not only enthusiastic and creative, but also very passionate about what she does.
Peanut Butter Press was launched in 2004 when Szuminsky self-published her first children’s picture book, Why Penny Loved Peanuts. Since that time, she has turned her focus from writing to publishing works by other authors. In fact, PBP now has a total of nine titles, with two more almost ready for print.
Szuminsky lights up when asked about her upcoming titles.
"I am absolutely thrilled to have the opportunity to publish That’s What Bears are For by Marilyn Helmer, author of 28 children’s books including the award-winning Fog Cat."
When asked how she was able to team up with the popular children’s author, Szuminsky laughs. "She actually found me. She saw that one of our books, Freddie’s Problem, was chosen as one of the 2011 Best Books for Kids in Canada. We’ve had a great time working together."
Other books published by Peanut Butter Press include additional books in the Penny series, such as Penny Visits Oak Hammock Marsh, and Mary’s Atlas: Mary Meets Manitoba. True to her teaching roots, Szuminsky has even included a free teacher’s guide for most of her titles, available for download from peanutbutterpress.ca.
PBP books can be purchased at McNally Robinson and Chapters St. Vital, and are also available online at peanutbutterpress.ca. Watch for PBP books on sale at the Forks this summer, too. Who Wants This Puppy? illustrated by then seven-year-old Zane Belton has become one of my daughter’s favourites. Happy reading!
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Want to enjoy a great meal and support a wonderful cause? Grands ‘n’ More Winnipeg is hosting a potluck dinner on Tues., June 5 at 6 p.m. at St. Bartholomew Anglican Church, 881 Autumnwood Dr. in Windsor Park.
All proceeds will be donated to the Grandmothers to African Grandmothers Campaign of the Stephen Lewis Foundation (email@example.com.), towards projects that reach hundreds of thousands of people infected and affected by AIDS. In addition to a potluck dinner, there will be a sale table for tote bags, shoulder bags, guardian angels, and specialty African tea.
The guest speaker for this event will be Lindor Reynolds of the Winnipeg Free Press. Tickets are $10 each, plus a potluck dinner item. Please contact Enid (253-0066) or Barb (257-7511 or firstname.lastname@example.org) for more information or to reserve your tickets. This is an evening out you won’t want to miss.
Heather Tiede is a community correspondent for Windsor Park. You can contact her at email@example.com.