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Book sales support Japanese relief effort

WHEN earthquakes devastated Japan last March the aftershocks were felt all the way in North Vancouver.

WHEN earthquakes devastated Japan last March the aftershocks were felt all the way in North Vancouver.

David Martin, who is in charge of DJC Kids Media - a children's literature publishing company - lived in Japan for more than 10 years before moving to North Vancouver.

"I woke up (on the day of the earthquake) to frantic phone calls, emails and Facebook messages," he said. "My wife is Japanese and I have a lot of friends back there as well. Luckily, everybody was down in Osaka and they were all OK."

The night before the earthquake Martin had finished reillustrating the first book he ever published, Dave the Canadian Beaver goes to Japan.

"The timing changed my perspective on what the purpose of the book was, and that was where the idea came from for making donations to the Red Cross," he said.

For every copy of Dave the Beaver sold, Martin will be donating a portion of the proceeds to the Red Cross for aid relief in Japan.

Dave the Beaver was first published in 2002 and it was also the first time Martin had tried his hand at illustrations.

"They were pretty crude," he said. "But the book still did OK."

Martin explained that he had always wanted to re-illustrate the book, but had never found the time. He has published eight more books since Dave the Beaver.

Dave the Beaver tells the tale of a Canadian beaver that travels to Japan because he wants to see Japanese baseball. Once the beaver arrives in Japan he begins to realize that Canada and Japan, though very different, have many fundamental similarities.

As Martin explains, the story is about breaking down borders and displaying how cultures, no matter how different, are all connected or similar in some fashion.

"The book doesn't directly say that - I mean it's a kids' book - but that's what it's getting at," he said.

Considering the theme of Dave the Beaver, and with how badly the earthquakes devastated Japan, Martin felt that donating a portion of Dave the Beaver's sales to the Red Cross relief fund was the best way he could help the Japanese people.

"You hear about how families have been devastated, and I've been there during earthquakes, though nothing to that scale, so I can only imagine how bad it is there," he said. "My wife and I have been donating to the Red Cross personally, and we're just trying to do our part."

Dave the Canadian Beaver goes to Japan is available at Blackberry Books on Granville Island, Armchair Books in Whistler, at SaveOn Foods at Park & Tilford in North Vancouver, at the Japanese Canadian National Museum in Burnaby and online at Amazon. com. Dave the Beaver can also be purchased at Martin's company website

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