I was struck by the depth of Eleanor's feelings for her beloved tree, and that became the basis for the story.
PURCELLVILLE, Va. (PRWEB) November 18, 2020
The Climbing Tree, written by Barbara Leary and illustrated by Marrieta Gal, has been awarded First Place in the Writer's Digest 28th Annual Self-Published Book Awards in the category of Early Readers / Children's Picture Books.
The 28th annual competition was open to all English-language self-published books and attracted more than 1,800 entries in eight categories. Entries were evaluated on content, writing quality and overall quality of production and appearance.
A resident of Virginia, Leary said that the inspiration for her children's book came from watching her oldest granddaughter, Eleanor, learn how to climb a tree. "She was nervous at first but kept at it, and soon the tree became her special place, and she developed a deep attachment to it. When her family moved away, she was heartbroken to leave her climbing tree behind. I was struck by the depth of Eleanor's feelings for her beloved tree, and that became the basis for the story."
Her second and third books, Virginia Loves Dogs and Caroline and the Not-Mamma, were inspired by granddaughters Virginia and Caroline. "I've loved books and storytelling since I was a young girl and wanted to pass that along to my granddaughters and create something special for each of them. Years from now, I hope they look at their books and know I was paying attention," said Leary.
Kirkus Reviews called The Climbing Tree “A congenial celebration of play and generosity" and said, "In this first volume of her Happy Happy After series, Leary creates a warm, affectionate atmosphere and offers an engagingly high-spirited girl, one who doesn’t let a first-time fall stop her from climbing. The tree isn’t just a place to play; she shares it with animals, bugs, and a new friend: 'There was room enough in her tree for everyone.' Gal’s illustrations, nicely varied in composition, color, and shading, also add diversity, depicting a boy and his hijab-wearing mother with light brown skin."
Leary is a communications consultant and teaches graduate-level communication courses at Georgetown University. In 2018, she edited and published Backstage at The Lost Colony, a coffee table book written by Dwayne Walls Jr. as a tribute to The Lost Colony, America's longest-running outdoor drama.
The Climbing Tree is her first collaboration with Marrieta Gal, a pseudonym for Marija Stojisavljevic, an illustrator and artist who specializes in book design and illustration. An art enthusiast from an early age, she earned a degree in book design and an MA in illustration and worked at a publishing house focused on children’s magazines and books.
The Climbing Tree
Publisher : Coquina Press LLC
Hardcover: ISBN-13 : 978-1734025804 $17.99
Paperback: ISBN-13 : 978-1734025811 $9.99
Reading level : 3 - 8 years
Dimensions : 8 x 10 inches