David Adams

Student, Children's Book Workshop

Vancouver will soon be joining the ranks of New York, Chicago, San Francisco and others in the world of children's books thanks to David Adams. A first-time children's author, David recently signed a contract to publish Good Night Vancouver, a new book in the Good Night Our World series, which features more than 30 North American cities and settings as seen through the eyes of a child.

David developed the idea for Good Night Vancouver during the Children's Book Workshop, which he took through UBC Extended Learning last spring. Although David works as a research coordinator in the department of Family Practice with UBC's Faculty of Medicine, his background is in writing and playwriting. He originally took the workshop to gain an understanding of the children's book publishing industry so that he and his wife could publish a book series that addresses social issues from a child's perspective.

The Children's Book Workshop leads participants through the complete process of creating a picture book, from the initial idea through to submitting the book to a publisher. For one of his assignments, David was tasked to find a book that he admired for its written style. He was also asked to find a book whose illustrations he liked. The book he chose on both counts was Good Night San Francisco, a book he had recently purchased for his niece while on a trip to California.

For the next assignment, students were asked to develop the text and illustrations for a sample book. David thought, "Why not Good Night Vancouver?" He drafted text and illustrations that featured the unique settings and attractions in and around Vancouver such as Lynn Canyon, Granville Island and the Stanley Park seawall. In his writing style, he emulated the format and conventions in the Good Night Our World series which takes the reader through the passage of the day and the seasons.

The idea for Good Night Vancouver might have remained just a workshop assignment were it not for the guidance and support of instructor Michael Katz, publisher of Tradewind Books. "Michael encouraged me to send a serious query letter to the publisher of the Good Night Our World series," explains David, "and when the publisher responded favourably, Michael walked me through the process of negotiating a contract." David's book was published in 2010.