The author currently has three books in print, all focusing on the adventures of Seefus Slug and his friends, teaching children lessons ranging from friendship to how to fall asleep at night alone.
“It was a great experience being able to be part of the lives of my students for those two years [of teaching],” said Laurel MacQuarrie, a former Early Exceptional Learning Program teacher at Reddick Elementary. “I do miss teaching, so I’m hoping Seefus takes my place by teaching outside of the classroom but still with a lot of fun during the learning process.
“The character came about when I went to visit my family a couple of years ago,” MacQuarrie said. “I have a nephew who was 7 who still was not sleeping in his own bed. I had a bad flu and I fell asleep and then, at about 2 a.m., he put his little head up by mine saying, ‘Auntie Lolo, I am all alone, and I can’t sleep.’ So that’s where the idea for the book Seefus Goes to Sleep came from.”
MacQuarrie hopes the lessons in the books stay with her young readers. “Lessons that kids should learn, but saying something to them doesn’t always have the impact maybe a little story would.”
“Laurel’s illustrations are funny and whimsical, even for adults reading to children,” said Fiona O’Donovan, a friend and educator.
Introducing more characters, the books are becoming more elaborate, MacQuarrie said. “Now that there are other characters in the books, it takes me longer.”
She hopes to have a Christmas book out by next month.
“Seefus tries to figure out why all the Santas at the bakery, the toy store, on television, all look different so he decides to mail himself to the real Santa at the North Pole to find out just what is going on,” said MacQuarrie. “I used to wonder about this all the time myself when I was a child. It took me awhile to figure out that Santa needed some helpers. I found out later in life many of my friends wondered the same thing for a while, so I decided to make a book about it. I try to think like a child would think when I write. It is an easy perspective to lose as we get older.”
The books are $11.99.
For more information or to purchase a book or T-shirt, visit www.littlelambtales.com. There are also free activities for children on the site where they can color in their own Seefus as well as printouts parents can use with their children.
“It is never too early to begin discussing with your children the importance of having a good friend. In fact, many years of research suggest that parents can play an immense role in teaching children how to make friends and to help begin this discourse. Author and illustrator Laurel MacQuarrie has provided us with an accessible resource with her honest and witty picture book, Seefus Finds a Friend. Appropriately, on the front cover of the book Ralph Waldo Emerson is quoted: ‘The only way to have a friend is to be one,’ which in essence forms the principle story line involving a slug named Seefus.”
— Norm Goldman
Meet the author and Seefus
Local author and illustrator Laurel MacQuarrie will read her book Seefus Finds A Friend, where children learn about the importance of friendship, meet the main character Seefus Slug, and make a Seefus craft to take home. The event is aimed at children ages 3 to 5 years. Children will also be able to take a photo with a life-size Seefus at the event. The story time is set for Wednesday, Sept. 30, from 11 to 11:30 a.m. at SouthShore Regional Library, 15816 Beth Shields Way in Ruskin.