By Stephen Weir
It happens tonight in Toronto. Award-winning journalist and author Cynthia Reyes launches her new memoir Twigs in My Hair and the latest addition to her bestselling series of children’s book Myrtle Makes a New Friend.
The launch takes place THURSDAY October 10, at 6 p.m. at A Different Booklist Cultural Centre at 770 Bathurst Street. Ms. Reyes will be joined by co-author Lauren Reyes-Grange and Twigs in My Hair photographer Hamlin Grange.
This unusual book launch brings together a family of outstanding writers and storytellers. Cynthia and Hamlin are former award-winning journalists. Their daughter Lauren is the co-author of Myrtle Makes a New Friend, the third book in the children’s series.
Twigs in My Hair Myrtle is Cynthia’s third memoir. Her previous two memoirs are critically acclaimed bestsellers. This time she explores her lifelong passion for gardens and nature and the surprising relationships and events that ensue. Twigs is a humorous and profoundly personal story and a unique twist of the memoir genre that is complemented by photographs by Hamlin.
The Myrtle story, which teaches children about friendship and encourages them to “love their shell”, was written 28 years ago but the first book was published in 2017 to the delight of children and parents around the world. Cynthia created the Myrtle character for her nearly 5-year-old daughter Lauren.
In Twigs, readers will meet a variety of interesting creatures, both animal and human, some competing for gardening produce or gardening glory. Cynthia’s love for growing things swings from reverence to mania. But there is also a deeply emotional side to this story about what happens when a passionate gardener can no longer do what she loves.
Itah Sadu and Miguel San Vincente, owners of A Different Booklist, will host the event, which will include readings and a book signing.
Cynthia Reyes is the author of the bestselling books A Good Home, An Honest House and newly released, Twigs in My Hair. In addition, her previous children’s illustrated Myrtle the Purple Turtle books have been bestsellers and have received excellent reviews.
Cynthia is a former journalist, producer-director and executive producer with the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. She won national and international awards and acclaim for her work, including The Children’s Broadcast Institute Award, The Trailblazer Award and The Crystal Award for Outstanding Achievement in Film and Television. In 2016, her book, An Honest House, won the Diamond Award for book of the year, while the country of her birth, Jamaica, inducted Cynthia into the Order of Distinction, Commander Rank, in recognition of her work in Canadian and international journalism.
Lauren Reyes-Grange learned about Myrtle the Purple Turtle from her mother who told her stories when she was a child. Soon to be a mother herself, Lauren has begun reading the Myrtle books to her unborn daughter. She has collaborated with Cynthia on the second and third books in the Myrtle series and will continue to make up Myrtle stories for her daughter and all the children who love and embrace the Myrtle books around the world. Lauren is a Social Media Strategist and blogger in Toronto.
Hamlin Grange is a former journalist and broadcaster. His photographs appear in Twigs in My Hair. Over a number of years, Hamlin has been both the gardener and the photographer of the gardens we meet in the book. When not gardening, Hamlin is a diversity and inclusion strategist. He has worked with national and international clients in a wide range of sectors including film, theatre, television, post-secondary institutions, social services, government agencies and law enforcement.