An Okanagan Alphabet: Author Celebrates the Valley with New Book

A retired Penticton teacher knows the Okanagan has more to offer than beaches and lakes.

That’s why she wrote a book about it.

Florence Dyck’s love of the interior and writing of British Columbia has resulted in the publication of a new creation — An Okanagan Alphabet.

“Years ago, my students and I created an alphabet just about Penticton,” Dyck recalls. “Since then, I have worked on the whole region. It’s just a nice place to live.

The primer, slated for release Friday, August 5, combines poetry and watercolor illustrations that depict Okanagan people and places.

The former teacher dedicates the book to all of the students she has taught in the past, as well as her late husband, Ron, who died suddenly in 2020.

“We moved to the Okanagan in 1991, and my husband always said we were staying here forever and not going back to Manitoba,” she recalls with a laugh. “He absolutely loved the Okanagan.”

Each letter of the alphabet represents something unique to the area, whether it’s the Kettle Valley Railroad or the Ogopogo creature.

“Some of the letters were hard to work with,” the author admitted. “U, I and N, in particular.”

Illustrated by Rachelle Oliveria of West Kelowna, the book aims to take readers on a tour of the Okanagan to celebrate “all it has to offer.”

The poems that accompany Oliveria’s illustrations have been presented to students at Dyck Elementary School in Penticton for decades.

“After retiring and having more time to write, I was thrilled to write An Okanagan Alphabet that teachers, parents, and grandparents could share with their children,” she explained.

The book will be available Friday morning, online and in stores. People can pre-order their copies here.

A portion of sales will be donated to BGC Okanagan (formerly Boys and Girls Club).

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