Baby Bumbu, written by John Koski and illustrated by Ben Toyne – both Door County residents – has been selected as an Eric Hoffer Book Award finalist in the middle reader (pre-teen) category. Fewer than 10% of books nominated in the annual competition – one of the largest international book awards for small, academic and independent presses – are selected as finalists.
“The story is allegedly written by Grace Ellen, one of our two golden retrievers,” Koski said, and it follows her adventures from Sturgeon Bay, to a circus in France and back again to be reunited with her family. “It was a fun book to write,” he said, “and Ben’s full-page color illustrations are simply outstanding.”
The award honors the memory of philosopher Eric Hoffer by highlighting salient writing and the independent spirit of small publishers. Copies of Baby Bumbu signed by both the author and illustrator are available at Novel Bay Booksellers, 44 N. 3rd Ave. in Sturgeon Bay.