Author excited to share new book with St. Stephen children

(Raissa Tetanish photo) Children’s book author Lana Button, who is originally from St. Stephen, is excited to return to her hometown this month and host a reading at the St. Croix Public Library. Button will read from two of her books, including Percy’s Perfect Friend.

ST. STEPHEN – It’s always a special homecoming when Lana Button makes her way back to St. Stephen.

Button, a children’s book author, will be home to Charlotte County this week and is scheduled to host a book reading at the St. Croix Public Library.

“I still feel a lot of commitment to my hometown,” said Button, from her home in Burlington, Ont. “I still feel a lot of support and I always want to give back in whatever way I can.”

One of those ways is sharing her books.

Since publishing her first book in 2010, Button has tried to visit St. Stephen annually to host readings.

“With my first book, I was lucky enough to do a tour,” she said, noting it included various communities in Charlotte County, not just St. Stephen.

During the COVID pandemic, Button was successful in acquiring a Writers’ Union of Canada grant that allowed her to host a virtual book reading.

“It was nice when I wasn’t able to get there to be able to do a virtual reading,” she said.

Button fell in love with picture books while studying early childhood education. She’s published 10 books and says she has another eight in the works.

“I have a very busy 2024, which is awesome. I have a board book coming out in a couple of weeks, and four books will be published in 2024. Two of those have a special place in my heart as they were inspired by members of my hometown.”

Button’s book My Grammie’s House is set to be published in September 2024 and features a little girl giving a tour of her favourite places in her grandmother’s house.

“They are very much from my memories of my grandmother’s house,” said the author. “It’s very nostalgic for me.”

Two months later, First Ones on the Ice will make its debut.

“It’s inspired by my brother and I and my memories of us shovelling off and skating on the ice behind my childhood home.”

The author says her time in St. Stephen has inspired many of her stories, and used Mrs. Jones, the supportive teacher in Tough Like Mum as another example. Her choir teacher growing up was Button’s inspiration for the character.

“I often try to put somewhere something in my books from my past,” she said.

During her visits home, Button keeps busy with visiting family and friends, but does as much as possible for the community in terms of her writing. She’s signed books at Spree on previous occasions, and would love to do a reading at the Calais library in the future.

“When First Ones on the Ice comes out, I would love to come home to do some sort of fun launch for that one,” she admitted.

On this trip home, Button will read from two recently released books, Percy’s Perfect Friend and The Cow Said Boo!, which is the TD Summer Reading Club’s recommended book. Both books, including others Button wrote, are available locally at Spree.

“It’s worked out that I’ve had a new book come out almost every time I’ve come home.”

The book reading is scheduled for 10 a.m. Aug. 10 at the St. Croix Public Library. Registration is not required.