Kids help author tell Petrolia’s history


Kaila Bourne loves to write.
Sometimes, when her teacher at Queen Elizabeth II School gives her an assignment, she’ll write so much “he hates editing them because they’re so long.
“I love to write. It’s my favourite thing to do.”
Bourne and four other Petrolia elementary students will get to do just that as they help graphic artist Mickey Maple tell the story of Petrolia, just for children.
Maple – his pen name – grew up in Petrolia. He’s written several colourful books already and knowing the unusual story of Petrolia, he thought it would be the perfect history to retell in a comic book-like format.
“The history here is so rich and vibrant,” he says as he sat in the Petrolia Library with Bourne, Joey Taylor, Sharlotte Ellenor and Tatiana Brophy talking about what they would write.
Maple says Canadian history is his passion, but as he studies it, he noticed there were very few books for children which would grab their attention.
So, he started creating the colourful novels. “Kids love cartoons and they love the graphics and the colour and if you intertwine it with history… they can’t get enough of it.”
Maple and the students are working with Petrolia Heritage on the project.
They hope to have the first books ready in November and plan a formal launch in time for Christmas.