Kendall Wicks, is a teacher from Cabri who answered her 2-year-old son's request for a combine story.
"When I went looking for a combine story I couldn't find anything that captured the sort of the experience that he was familiar with and that we were familiar with as a family. I could find a tractor here, and a tractor there in the odd children's book, but nothing that was the sort of Canadian prairie experience of harvest. So, one night after I tucked him into bed, I went down to my basement and I opened up my laptop and I just started to type."
She says the story is a typical day in the life of a farmer.
"You know, that idea that a farmer every year they put the crop in the ground. They really just operate on faith and hope that that their crop is going to be bountiful. They don't know where that grain goes. They don't know who's going to consume that food but, you know, they keep doing it. Despite the challenges they keep persevering every year, because they know that what they do is important."
Wicks says she had trouble initially trying to find someone to illustrate the book, and just put it on a shelf, but her Mom kept reminding her she should do something with it.
She notes that as a busy Mom, teacher and coach she didn't have a lot of spare time, but when COVID hit she had the time to revisit the idea.
Over the years she had utilized teaching resources from Ag in the Classroom - Saskatchewan (AITC - Sk) and took the idea to them.
Executive Director Sara Shymko liked the idea and helped bring it to life by finding an illustrator from Saskatchewan ( Lesia Karalash ) and publishing the book.
She says the teacher demand for A Harvest Story has been phenomenal.
"It has been one of AITC-SK's most successful resource launches. The book truly is a tribute to farmers acknowledging their dedication and hard work, and thanking them for feeding the world. There is no other storybook like it."
In addition to the collaboration between AITC-SK, Wicks and Karalash, the book was brought to life with the support of contributions from many Rural Municipalities and individuals from the Saskatchewan agriculture community, who are listed within the book.
Eleven years after originially writing a combine story for her 2-year old son it is now a book for all kids to enjoy.
Wicks notes she's sold a number of books herself adding that "A Harvest Story" is free for teachers to access at www.aitc.sk.ca.
You can hear Glenda-Lee's conversation with the book's author Kendall Wicks by clicking on the link below.