Santa Barbara children’s author Laura VonDracek will read from her book, “Jemma and the Mermaid’s Call,” at 2 p.m. Jan. 22 at Chaucer’s Books, 3321 State St. in Loreto Plaza.
Jemma, a spunky and spirited mermaid, loves living in her ocean world. Whether exploring for treasure or swimming along with her many ocean friends, she delights in the beautiful underwater landscape and the bountiful sea life that surrounds her.
But one day, darkness encompasses her home, and as she swims off to investigate what it could be, she bumps up against the huge problem above her — a massive island of floating trash. Not knowing how to solve this problem by herself, she calls together all the sea life, and together they hatch a plan to clean up their beloved home.
This illustrated story tackles a timely environmental issue and how to solve it through the help of the community.
Ms. VonDracek was raised in New York and now lives in Santa Barbara. As a devoted swimmer, beach walker and lover of all things water, she is often picking up trash and searching for treasures.
When not being her mermaid self, she can be found creating glass mosaics, ceramics and other inspired art. You can visit her and her creations at www.lauravondracek.com.
Matthew King, who illustrated “Jemma and the Mermaid’s Call,” lives and works in Bulgaria (and occasionally the United Kingdom) as artist, illustrator and designer. He has created fantastical worlds for many children’s books and board games.
His passion for whimsy, merfolk, fairy folk and all kinds of folk is inspired by the forests in which he treks and the amazing stories he has the privilege to work on.