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Local author writes second children's book

By Matthew Hermiz, The Graphic

Anita Hart’s second book, titled Lola and Aunt Anita’s Adventure Underground, is available online at (Matt Hermiz/TheGraphic/Postmedia Network)

Anita Hart’s second book, titled Lola and Aunt Anita’s Adventure Underground, is available online at (Matt Hermiz/TheGraphic/Postmedia Network)

Local author Anita Hart and her family of frogs are on the road again.

Hart, a Portage la Prairie resident, recently published her second children’s book, Lola and Aunt Anita’s Adventure Underground; A story Hart based on a real life experience.

“Last year I went to my daughter’s University graduation in Ottawa ... (Alot) of my family were there and we all went to the Deifenbunker,” she said. “The dragoons were there and the whole nine yards. It was neat.”

“Lola and I really did get separated from our tour group,” Hart continued. “So I asked Lola the next day ‘have you thought of what kind of story you want for your story?’ She said ‘yea, what happened at the (Deifenbunker).’”

A fan of Robert Munsch and Mercer Mayer, Hart said she loves children’s books because they send kids “everywhere and anywhere.” She tries in her stories to include information that not only kids, but adults can appreciate too.

“Everybody can learn different things. With my book there are a lot of people that have never heard of the Deifenbunker before,” she said. “This is a part of Canadian history they can learn. And in the back of the book I’ve included the website to go to the Deifenbunker museum and learn more about it.”

Hart bases characters in her books on family members. Her niece Lola was the focal point in her latest work. The Renfrew, Ont. native’s first publication featured her nephew Jack. Hart and her family members are fictionalized as hoppers, a family of frogs, in her publications.

“I figured if I’m going to do this I’m going to poke fun at my whole family and send them all over Canada,” explained Hart. “All of the characters are family members.”

It was a more familiar challenge, but still a challenge. Having already published her first children’s book earlier in 2015, Happy Birthday Jack, Hart said she was more comfortable with the process, but still found the task to be daunting at times.

“I definitely knew what to anticipate, what kind of requirements the illustrators were going to need, how to direct them and considering layout,” she explained. “But have said that it’s still a lot of work. It was easier cause I knew what to expect, but still very time consuming.”

Hart, a former RCMP officer, left the mounties in August due to P-ANCA Vasculitis, an inflammation of the blood vessels. She has since discovered her love of producing children’s books, and expects the Hoppers to head to the Alberta on their next adventure.

“I’m already working on book No. 3, we’re going to the Calgary Stampede,” Hart said. “I haven’t been there before. My nephew Ronin decided he wanted his story there. The only thing he told me that has to be in the story is he has to have a friend that’s a pancake who goes by the name of Cakepan.”

The release date for Hart’s next book is not yet known. But the author said without a doubt, Cakepan will make his literary debut. Will Sir. Rup Maple?

Twitter: @PDGhermiz

-With Herald Leader files

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