Rebecca McClay, writer of children’s books, and Laura McClay, her illustrator mother, recently returned to Severna Park to present a copy of “Hailey & Holly’s Maryland Adventure Week,” their new children’s book, to Maria Kontokostas, the manager of the park.
For a long time, Rebecca and Laura had considered writing a children’s book together, but they had put it off. Finally, a visit from Brianna McClay, Rebecca’s 11-year-old niece, encouraged them to start working on the book.
Rebecca said that she invited her niece to help them to write a book on her sightseeing adventures, and this led to the birth of “Hailey and Holly’s Maryland Adventure Week.” The book tells the story of the family’s sightseeing trips through a couple of hedgehogs called Hailey and Holly. It begins with the moment Brianna arrived at Severna Park, the home of her Uncle Tim and Aunt Laura.
According to Laura, the characters were selected by Brianna. While Hailey represented Brianna, Holly represented Rebecca. Laura focused on illustrating the story. Since she did not know much about hedgehogs, she had to actually look them up before she could draw them.
The charm of the book lies in the fact that it tells a story told by a child and features a child’s hand-painted illustrations. The hedgehogs begin their adventures at the Naval Academy in Annapolis and the State House of Maryland. They have lunch at Mission BBQ and watch A. L. Goodies General Store making fudge. Hailey and Holly also had a cruise on Harbor Queen and viewed cargo ships and sailboats from Sandy Point. They then went to Eastport, had crab at Davis Pub and then went on to explore the Annapolis Maritime Museum.
When they returned to Severna Park, they played miniature golf, ate pink doughnuts at Donut Shack, and picked crabs at Pasadena’s Arundel Seafood. This was followed by a trip to the Air and Space Museum and the National Museum of Natural History and ended with a baseball game at Baltimore.
The book was self-published at Amazon’s CreateSpace. To use CreateSpace, Rebecca had to create a PDF copy of the book and upload it. They had to do all this, including the illustration, in just one week before it was time for Brianna to go home.