Brittany Leonard is planting one tree for each book she sells. (Photo by Don Bodger)

Brittany Leonard is planting one tree for each book she sells. (Photo by Don Bodger)

Author and illustrator brings climate change issues to light in books

Leonard’s novel series a throwback to the comic book era

Chemainus Secondary School teacher Brittany Leonard has developed a graphic novel series, being rolled out in phases, following the successful release of a children’s book she co-wrote with her dad last summer.

Aug. 30 was the official release date for Chapter 1 of the series called Edge of a Precipice and Chapter 2 called A Whole Nother Beast came out during the weekend of Sept. 10-11.

“These chapters are kind of like the 25 cent comics from back in the day, so they’re short and will be compiled into a volume later,” explained Leonard, who turned 30 in June.

“A lot of people when they think of comics, they think super heroes. This is like a fantasy adventure series.”

She’s also planting one tree for every copy sold as a means of supporting the themes in the book.

“It’s about climate change and that’s something I think we need to do more about,” said Leonard.

She sold 10 copies of Chapter 1 in the first week, allowing for the purchase of 10 trees to plant immediately and a means for inspiring our future generation to do something about the environment and climate change.

Leonard said she wanted the first two chapters to come out close together and the first four will eventually be compiled into one book.

The quick turnaround for Chapter 2 actually came as a surprise.

“I thought I would need to edit images more, but my first test print came back perfectly,” she pointed out.

In Chapter 2, the two main characters find themselves in another world that also has pollution and climate issues – plus there are literal beasts like dragons in the chapter.

Leonard actually started working on the series in 2017.

“I have a teaser people can download that has pages from all four chapters,” she indicated. “I wrote it out as a script, kind of like a movie. I’ve sketched out what’s going to happen in the four volumes.

“Writing was something I always did and enjoyed and I was good at it.”

In 2017, Leonard taught herself to do everything and developed the illustrating techniques required for her books.

She made good use of extended downtime during the pandemic to finish the children’s book, The Life of a Shadow.

Leonard’s dad always had a way of bringing comfort during uncertain times and that’s when he told her the story of why we have shadows that left a lasting impression on her and became the premise for the book.

“I’ve been doing lots of markets,” she said. “People love hearing the story face-to-face.”

Related story: Teacher draws on her illustrating and writing talents for children’s book

Leonard also appeared at a pop-up craft fair Sept. 18 at the Great Canadian Dollar Store in Chemainus as part of her book promotions and intends to do more.

Related story: Book signing goes well for secondary school teacher

Leonard’s books are available through Amazon or

This is her fourth year at Chemainus Secondary and she currently teaches three Grade 7 advisory classes.


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The Chapter 2 cover of Brittany Leonard’s graphic novel series.

The Chapter 2 cover of Brittany Leonard’s graphic novel series.