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Peaks Island artist signs book contract with Islandport Press

08/16/2016

Islandport Press is pleased to announce that it has signed Peaks Island artist and writer Beth Rand and will publish her first children’s picture book, ABC Gulls, in March 2017.

ABC Gulls offers a playful look at the alphabet with a coastal twist. A cast of seagulls, from Admiral to Zack, chronicle scenes from everyday island life. ABC Gulls can be enjoyed by readers of all ages. Little ones will learn letters and move up to sounding out individual words. Early readers will enjoy reading full sentences, and parents and grandparents will have fun with the alliterative language. Join the gulls as they get the grill going, jump off the jetty, and steal a sandwich.

“There is something so charming and appealing about Beth’s artwork” says Islandport children’s book editor Melissa Kim. “Everyone who sees it instantly falls in love with these playful gulls. It’s impossible not to smile while reading this book.”

Rand, who was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, is a self-taught artist and avid photographer. As a member of a Navy family, she moved often during her youth, but has called Maine home since 1977. She and her husband lived in Cape Elizabeth, Maine, for 20 years, where they raised their three children. She created and published greeting cards and a poster calendar, featuring coastal Maine imagery, from 2008 to 2015. Then she hopped a ferry for Peaks Island, just off the coast of Portland, and never returned.

“I began dabbling with computer illustration two years ago when I moved to Peaks Island year round,” says Rand. “During the cold, blustery months of winter on the island, some days it feels like it’s only me, the seagulls, and the wind out there!” Making the move to digital illustration led her to quirky, colorful designs and she now creates graphics for paper and textiles for her Etsy shop. Surrounded by seagulls, the idea of a children’s book was born. “I feel very lucky to have the chance to work on a beautiful island, doing something as fun as creating seagulls sharing sentiments!” says Rand. “I’m living a dream.”