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An Okanagan Alphabet: author celebrates the valley with new book

Parts of Florence Dyck’s new release was presented to students in Penticton for decades
Florence Dyck’s new release, An Okanagan Alphabet, is available in stores and online on Aug. 5. (Photo- Okanagan Publishing House)

A retired school teacher in Penticton knows the Okanagan has so much more to offer than just beaches and lakes.

That’s why she’s written a book about it.

Florence Dyck’s love for B.C.’s Interior and writing has resulted in the publishing of a new creation — An Okanagan Alphabet.

“Years ago, my students and I put together an alphabet book only about Penticton,” Dyck recalled. “Since then, I’ve worked on one about the entire region. It’s just a beautiful place to live.”

The alphabet book — scheduled for release on Friday, Aug. 5 — combines poetry and watercolour illustrations that depict the people and places of the Okanagan.

The former teacher dedicates the book to all the students she’s taught in the past, as well as her late husband, Ron, who passed away unexpectedly in 2020.

“We moved to the Okanagan in 1991, and my husband always used to say we’re staying here forever and not going back to Manitoba,” she recalled with a laugh. “He absolutely loved the Okanagan.”

Each letter in the alphabet book represents something unique about the region, whether it’s the Kettle Valley Railroad or the Ogopogo creature.

“Some of the letters were difficult to work with,” the author admitted. “U, I, and N, in particular.”

Illustrated by West Kelowna’s Rachelle Oliveria, the book aims to take readers on an Okanagan tour in celebration of “all it has to offer.”

The poems that go along with Oliveria’s illustrations were presented to Dyck’s grade-school students in Penticton for decades.

“After I retired and had more time for writing, I got excited about writing An Okanagan Alphabet for teachers, parents and grandparents to share with their children,” she explained.

The book will be available Friday morning, both online and in retail. People can pre-order their copies here.

A portion of the sales will be donated to the BGC Okanagan (formerly boys and girls club).

READ MORE: Ogopogo returns 37 years later to swim on pages of children’s book sequel


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