Ottawa Trip: Book Launch

By February 12, 2012News

I had the privileged of illustrating a children’s book for the Jewish Youth Library of Ottawa. The opportunity was given to attend the book launch in Ottawa, Ontario and I jumped at the chance. The author of the book, Sara Loewenthal as well as Michoel Muchnik, who created a fantastic mosaic mural, were also present to give their accounts.  The launch was held at the Ben Franklin Place, in Ottawa.  I was asked to give a speech explaining how I illustrated the book. Ottawa is a fantastic city and I certainly enjoyed my stay.

One of my favorite parts of the journey was the opportunity to meet Herbert Carliner, a survivor of the Ms. St. Louis. Herbert was a kind man, who is passionate about telling his remarkable story. Every morning Herbert and I would find each other for breakfast, and I would learn more of his story. Herbert made this project real to me. After spending months working I finally had a personal connection to someone who was actually there. He gave me his approval of the book, which made the whole thing worth it.

On Thursday we attended a tea at the U.S. Ambassador’s residence, where I met some very influential people in US/Candadian relations. Sara and I gave a short talk on our experience with making the book. We then enjoyed an afternoon sipping tea and getting to know the team from this historic project.  I was taken back by the desire for not only Canada but also the US to fund such a project. History is super important, and this was my part in retelling it.

Here are a couple articles covering the event if you would like some further reading on the event.

 Chabad Jewish News Article

Ottawa Jewish Bulletin



During my trip I took pictures using my new iTouch. The photo quality is horrendous, but it beat lugging a bulky camera with me.

I took this picture right before we came into Ottawa.

Ottawa from above.

First glimpse of the book in my Hotel room.

My first book!

Mr. Carliner. What a great chap!

Michoel giving his presentation. This guy is great!

I couldn’t leave Ottawa without a good beard pic. So here it is!

Ambassador’s Residence.

Michoel’s Mural.


It took my four extra days to get home. I did however, get to stay in a pretty classy hotel.

This is what I came home to. Narnia!

My next post I shall cover in more detail the illustrations in the book.



Join the discussion One Comment

  • Hi Nicholas! I enjoyed reading your blog and seeing how you recapped the public launch.

    It was a great privilege to meet and work with you and have you illustrate So Near and Yet So Far.

    We were very fortunate and lucky to have you illustrate our book.

    Looking forward to reading more of your newsy blog!
    Stay warm and enjoy the rest of the winter!

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