SONSI member Karen Reczuch has had a new children’s book  released this month. Loon, a lyrical poem by author Susan Vande Griek and published by Groundwood Books, narrates the life story of two loon chicks on a northern lake. Karen’s paintings, done in acrylic on canvas, follow the development of the loon babies over their first summer, through the fall migration to the coast and their eventual return as mature adults.

Work on the book began over a year before publication and involved extensive preliminary research and drawing. Karen was fortunate to have had the critical eye of ornithologist Mark Peck, of the ROM, advising her throughout the process. Many hours were spent in the musty stacks of the ROM’s collections, sketching and photographing loon carcasses – including a chick collected by Farley Mowat! Karen also tormented her studio-mates by playing recorded loon calls while she painted : all part of the creative process!

Loon has been receiving enthusiastic reviews – this weekend’s Star had one:–small-print-animal-friends. Karen also just launched her own website ( where you can have a look at some of the images from Loon. If you are attending The Word on the Street in Toronto on  September 25, stop by the children’s reading tent to catch her in action ( )