Children’s author honours Oak Bay sisters murdered by father
Proceeds from children’s book go towards child abuse prevention in Greater Victoria
A local author is honouring Chloe and Aubrey Berry with his latest children’s book.
The book, titled What Does A Caterpillar Do, was written in memory of the two young sisters who were murdered by their father Andrew Berry on Christmas Day in 2017.
Author David McArthur knew Chloe, Aubrey and their mother Sarah Cotton for some time, and years ago did a book reading at Chloe’s school.
“When I visited her school to read to her class, Chloe was very interactive and excited. She sat on my knee the entire time laughing at the silly bee and doctor,” said McArthur. “So when the tragic events happened, I wanted to do something in the girls’ memory. This story is about them, they are the caterpillar metamorphosing into the butterfly.”
McArthur said creating the book has been an emotional process, particularly when he first pitched the idea to Cotton.
“I hadn’t expected to end up in tears, but we both did, just looking at the illustrations. The girls were bright rays of sunshine and not having them here is beyond imaginably painful for Sarah. I want to help honour and remember them,” said McArthur.
What Does a Caterpillar Do highlights the uniqueness of bugs, from the smallest ant to the largest snail, and their special characteristics which help them thrive in their environment. The interactive picture book is designed to help young children to reach out through humour, said McArthur.
“Every child counts, and it’s every adult’s responsibility to protect them. It is important to give back to Victoria and all the children out there who are in abusive situations,” said McArthur. “Anything we can do to prevent what happened to Chloe and Aubrey from happening again is so important.”
What Does a Caterpillar Do is the fourth book published in McArthur’s ‘What Does’ series, which blossomed from playing a game with his son while driving to daycare.
“He enjoyed the game so much that I jotted it down and read it to him again that evening. Seeing the way he joyfully reacted to the story was so wonderful I decided to turn it into a book – just for him,” states McArthur’s webpage. “Around a year later a friend saw the book and suggested I write another and get it published. The rest, as they say, is history.”