New book focuses on neighbors
A new character is flying off the drawing board of local children’s author and illustrator Isabel Pfister. Recent events in our area reminded Pfister of how important it is for neighbors to help one another. This inspired her latest book, “The Riverbank Rescuer.”
The 24-page paperback book is set in a wetland environment and features a bird named Clyde. He is a combination of several species of birds, having long legs like a crane, a spacious beak like a pelican, and bright coloring like many tropical birds. When the riverbank where Clyde lives gets flooded, he sees other animals in danger and swoops in to help. In the aftermath of the flood, Clyde discovers that his nest has been washed away and it becomes the animals’ turn to help him. The colored pencil and ink drawings depict the beauty of a riverbank, as well as the connection the animals all have to one another.
The book is a complete departure from Pfister’s previous books, which focus on a young dinosaur named Delbert.
“The Riverbank Rescuer” came about when Pfister saw how the community came together after the wildfires last summer, as well as the two murders last month. Seeing neighbors checking up on one another reminded her of television personality Fred Rogers’ quote about looking for the helpers in times of tragedy.
“While I originally thought about how Delbert would handle a disastrous situation, I decided that this was a good time to expand my character base. I had started the Clyde story a couple of years ago as part of another project, but I knew he needed his own book to do the story justice.”
Pfister grew up on the Gulf Coast of Texas and Louisiana, where she showed an early talent for drawing. Later she married her high school sweetheart and moved out to Lake Tahoe in 1996. The family, which includes two children, has lived in the Gardnerville Ranchos for more than 10 years. She started writing while she was in college, and published her first book in 2015. All five of her titles are currently available on Amazon.
“I finished that first story and knew I had more stories to tell. I love seeing kids’ reactions to each new character.”
Pfister said she finds ideas all around her and takes inspiration for many of her illustrations from scenery in Lake Tahoe as well as the Carson Valley.