How curiousity sparked a calling
Audrey Sauble never set out to produce children's books. The Portland-based writer and illustrator always had books on her horizon, but it wasn't until motherhood that she explored the natural world through the lens of a child.
"My degree was English literature and writing, so it's definitely my area," Sauble, 33, said. "I've been trying to write books since I was a kid, I just never expected to do picture books. It wasn't until I had kids and realized how fun they are."
On Nov. 10, Sauble's sixth book was released. "Shrimp, Shrimp, Cuttlefish," is a children's educational coloring book. Each page features a marine invertebrate to color, with an activity on the back. This is the sixth book and second coloring book she's released.
The science-themed activity book was finished just in time for the holidays.
The creative journey that led her to focus on early learners and new readers was largely a byproduct of introducing her own children to the world of books, while satiating their curiosity about the world around them.
When her eldest asked about eggs, Sauble saw an opportunity to blend science with early literacy.
"As a stay at home mom I needed a project to work on, and I was reading a lot of picture books to my son at the time," Sauble recalled. She notes she's always been heavily into writing and "a little bit into art." Now she does both.
She creates the illustrations in her books, then works with a graphic designer for the cover art and design details.
The Southwest Portlander also brings her young readers along on an educational journey, plugging them with biological facts about insects, marine life and trees. One of her picture books, "The Rocket that Flew to Mars," gives readers a look at the process of creating and launching a rocket into space.
Sauble, who grew up in Salem and studied writing and literature in college, published her first book, "Who Laid the Egg?" in 2017.
She now has two young children, Patrick, 6, and Allison, 4. As they're absorbing knowledge and learning about the world, Sauble is too.
"My field or niche within picture books and children's books is the science and nature topics. I'm not naturally a science person, but that was something I sort of discovered with my kids," she noted. "We read one recently about otters and how having otters or not having otters completely changes the ecosystem of the Pacific coast. It's inspired my kids to pay attention to what's going on around them."
Her latest book was released with the help of a successful Kickstarter campaign. "Shrimp, Shrimp, Cuttlefish," is available via preorder from Annie Bloom's Books and online sellers like Amazon.
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