The children’s book Cinnamon Bear Comes to Town, penned by Liz Olsen and illustrated by artist Rico, both of Jasper, the book was produced by the Municipality’s Community and Family Services (CFS) department, following discussions at Early Childhood Collaborative Action Team (CAT) meetings about ways to encourage parents to engage in activities with their children. Proceeds support Jasper’s Child and Youth Participation Fund, which outreach workers use to “remove small, but significant barriers that prevent local children and youth from participating in extracurricular activities.”
The book is inspired by a real cinnamon bear that came through the Jasper townsite last September when the berries and apples were ripe on the trees. In the book, the reader follows the Cinnamon Bear as he passes by six different Jasper locales, each unmistakably depicted by Rico’s one-line drawings and watercolour art.
A map to each location, along with simple and fun activities that parents can easily engage in with their children as they visit, is included.
It was guided by research on early childhood development and focuses on five key areas (physical health and well-being; social competence; emotional maturity; language and thinking skills; communication and general knowledge) that have been shown to improve lifelong health, learning, relationships and well-being.