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Local artist pens pet-inspired children’s book

By May 9, 2024No Comments
Lloydminster artist Jaime Hoffman and her nine-year-old Schnauzer, Edna, were all smiles to get more eyes on Hoffman’s first children’s book, Million Name Munson, which Edna was the inspiration for. Supplied Photo

 

Like many pet owners, Jaime Hoffman has a million nicknames for her dog, but instead of concealing them, Hoffman celebrates them, to the point of writing and self-publishing a children’s book she calls Million Name Munson.

Originally published in December of 2023, Million Name Munson takes readers on a rhyming journey through the many names of Edna, Hoffman’s very own nine-year-old Schnauzer.

The Source caught up with Hoffman at the LloydMall on Sunday afternoon during a book signing at Coles to learn more about the book’s inspiration and the author’s process.

“It all started with the number of nicknames I give my dog, which is a lot of them, and the Munson one is the most popular,” said Hoffman.

“I do think of the movie Kingpin when I think of that name, but in the story, I talk about how I started calling her Edna-Mode, like the little old lady from The Incredibles. Then I started saying Mode-son, and my brain just went to Munson.”

The final product was a long time coming for Hoffman, who wrote and illustrated the entire book, a process she’s been working on for years.

“It just poured out of me, and I kept it on my phone for a really long time until I had the time to illustrate it. The fact it’s all done is amazing,” she said.

“I always had the story in the back of my mind and always thought about doing it, but it’s a lot of work, so the fact it got off the ground is exciting.”

Professionally, the full-time artist goes by Uncletim Art, which she explained is an homage to her late uncle.

“Uncle Tim has always been my inspiration,” she said.

“I find when you like being creative and doing art, there’s not a lot of people who like that, and uncle Tim was that one person in my life who always encouraged me and was interested in my ideas and the stuff I could do.”

When it comes to why Hoffman decided on a children’s book, she noted she was heavily influenced by the stuff she read as a kid.

“I think I’m still a kid at heart. I love cartoons, I like bright colours; it’s still something that resonates with me,” she said.

“I still remember the children’s books I loved as a kid and the pictures inside them, like Where The Wild Things Are. I love to draw, and a children’s book is the perfect pairing of story and illustration; it just fits for me.”

Hoffman also explained the community support since releasing the book has been nothing short of inspiring.

“The biggest thing for me is when kids like the story, they like the dog, and when someone tells me Million Name Munson is their child’s favourite book, it’s the best,” she said.

“I also love reading to schools and showing them examples of how I made all those names, which Edna can act out most of.”

Sunday’s book signing also allowed Hoffman to step out of her comfort zone and do a little self-promotion.

“I’m trying to make a little more effort to step outside my comfort zone and expose my art to people I don’t know. I find it intimidating to self-promote; I find it embarrassing and have a hard time with it,” she said, adding this may be her one and only children’s book.

“I don’t think I’ll ever write one as special as this unless I keep writing about Edna. This was personal, and it’s a true story.”

Million Name Munson is available locally at Coles in the LloydMall as well as the cousin, Brad’s, 4th Meridian Brewing Company taproom, or online through Amazon and Indigo.