Book takes readers to Bewundering World of Bewilderbeests

A Vittoria native has created an entirely new world to escape to in her debut picture book, The Bewundering World of Bewilderbeests.Bailey Fort, who now lives in Toronto, returned to Norfolk County on Thursday to sign copies of the book at an event at Norfolk General Hospital.Fort, who went to Queen’s University and the George Brown College School of Design, came up with the idea for the book for a class assignment.“We didn’t have to do an entire children’s book, just some ideas for one,” Fort said about the assignment.“I just couldn’t quite leave it behind,” she said.“I decided to keep going with it.”Readers are taken “beyond the high seas, A-way to the east” to the Bewundering World of Bewilderbeests, where they are introduced to characters such as the snaggle-toofed bandersnoot, two-headed mugwump and  the millipus, which has a million arms.Fort said she added to a list of possible names for the book’s characters whenever she heard interesting words.“I was trying to think of what I loved as a kid,” said Fort. “I loved wordplay and silly poems. I thought that was a really engaging way to get kids reading.”Fort wrote and illustrated the book. She then created a campaign to fund its production and started her own publishing company to self-published the work.The author said her main goal is to get children to love reading.“I wanted to do something with rich, colourful illustrations that would also be appealing to children.”She has three other books in the works, including a follow up to her first book, one about mythical beasts and one with alliteration to teach young readers the different sounds made by the same letters.Copies of The Bewundering World of Bewilderbeests are available in Norfolk General’s gift shop.astaylor@postmedia.com read more