-By Jill Westerman

A Yellowknife author and illustrator is well on his way to filling library shelves with his written works.

Sebastian Bernabe did a public reading of his newest book, ‘I Wish I Lived in a Library,’ for an appreciative audience at the Yellowknife Public Library recently.

While it’s quite impressive that this is the third book Sebastian has written, illustrated and published this year, what is more notable is that he is but eight years old.

Bernabe, who moved to Yellowknife with his family from Fairbanks, Alaska, in 2019, said he wanted to write about the enjoyment he gets from reading and visiting the library.

“It’s about why I want to go to the library, where I am from, and all the books I like,” he said.

He not only read his newest book to his audience, but also played several songs on the keyboard and had everyone guessing the titles.

The Grade 3 student at Ecole St. Joseph School said inspiration for his writing comes from reading a wide variety of books during his many visits to the library.

Oyuka Bernabe, Sebastian’s mother, said he is multi-talented in his ability to write, draw, play music, swim, play hockey and learn through reading.

“Because we do not have internet, we spend more time reading and talking or exploring,” she said of the time they spend at home.

She said she was very proud of her son and praised the library staff, his school, the publishers and everyone who always encouraged Sebastian in his accomplishments.

Sebastian has also gained widespread support from the writers community in Yellowknife and beyond.

The NorthWords NWT event held in May — an annual literary festival that supports writers through various workshops and readings — had a story-time reading event that included Sebastian reading from one of his books to an audience.

In April 2021, he claimed top prize for his entry in the ‘Younger Children’ category of the Yellowknife Public Library’s poetry contest.

Sebastian wrote his first book, ‘The Alaskan Boy Who Explored Bushkids,’ followed by ‘The Rainbow Fish,’ an e-book, earlier this year.

All three books are written in English and French. His written works can be found in the Northern Collection of the Yellowknife Public Library.

The talented writer said he already has an idea for his fourth book.

I Wish I Lived In A Library is the third published work of eight-year-old Sebastian Bernabe of Yellowknife. Jill Westerman/NNSL photo

Excerpt from ‘I Wish I Lived in a Library’:

I wish I lived in a library,

where I would read all

night without my mom

telling me to go to bed.

Correction: Due to an editing error, a previous version of this story indicated an incorrect number of published books in the headline.

James McCarthy

I've been hanging around the office as the sports editor for the better part of the last 16 years. In August 2022, NNSL Media decided to promote me to the managing editor's position, which I accepted after...

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