Dennis McGregor has appeared in The Dalles as a gifted singer-songwriter and musician. But the Muses have been generous in their gifts to him, as evidenced by the number of posters he’s been called on to design and paint for the Sisters Quilt Show, Sisters Folk Festival and others. Now he has put his artistic and storytelling talents together in a delightfully-illustrated children’s book.
Here’s how the publishing website describes his book:
The only thing Annie has to remember her family by is a patchwork quilt made from their worn-out clothes. When the quilt gets lost along the Oregon Trail, an epic adventure begins.
That’s a modest appreciation of a tale that involves the orphaned Annie making her way by wagon to The Dalles, and her determination to get her quilt back after it is washed away in the Deschutes River. Before the story is over, she will encounter greedy entrepreneurs, bandits, a flock of quilt-stealing crows, and a sympathetic young Native American.
In our interview with McGregor, a he describes how he breaks all the rules for a children’s book by making it longer, at 52 pages, than the standard 32. And there’s plenty of reading material, with a page of prose for every page of pictures. The pictures themselves are stunning, and there are 25 of them including a double-page center spread. He uses a palette that resembles a western sunset, with plenty of sky blue thrown in. It’s reminiscent of Maxfield Parrish, but all McGregor’s own.
This Saturday, he’ll be part of the Children’s Holiday Soiree at Klindt’s Booksellers in The Dalles from 2 to 5 p.m. He will bring his guitar and some of his CDs for sale as well as his book.
To listen to our interview, click on the grey podcast button below. As a bonus, it includes a portion of a song he’s written that shares a title with the book. Eventually, he says, he hopes to produce a companion CD of music inspired by the book.