“Cadi & the Cursed Oak”
By Kara Gebhart Uhl, illustrations by Elin Manon
“Cadi brought the cup’s silver rim to her lips. What she didn’t know was that buried deep in the cup’s oak sleeve were spirits’ stories, long forgotten tales of hobgoblins and demons and death and sorrow, of things passed down and whispered in the dark, to scare and to warn. The bee’s-breath crack had awakened them, and with one small sip of water, Cadi drank them all in.”
The Nannau oak, a real tree that once grew in Wales, was long considered cursed. Once it fell, quite a few things were made from it, including acorn-shaped cups that, according to legend, haunt those who drink from them. After much research, I took all the oak’s stories and wrote a new tale, one where Cadi discovers the history of the oak and navigates frightening dreams, all while wondering, How do you stop stories that are too scary, sad or difficult to bear?
“Cadi & the Cursed Oak” is gorgeously illustrated by Elin Manon, who grew up in Cardiff, Wales. The book includes a glossary and simple pronunciation guide of Welsh words scattered throughout the text, written by Dr Iwan Wyn Rees. You can listen to his audio recordings of the Welsh words here.
The 8-1/2” x 11” book is 48 pages and wrapped in a cotton-linen blend cloth cover with a foil stamp, hand-lettered by Nicholas Moegly. It is published by Lost Art Press and printed in the United States. Ages 8+
Hundreds of personal essays appear on my blog, Pleiades Bee. Most were written during my early years of motherhood, raising a daughter and twin boys two years apart. My essay, “Apologies To the Parents I Judged Four Years Ago,” which appeared on The Huffington Post and my blog, was named one of TIME magazine’s Top 10 Opinions of 2012.
Some of my favorites:
After gigs editing at Popular Woodworking Magazine (where I learned the art of how-to writing and even built a few things) and Writer’s Digest magazine (where I had the privilege of interviewing some amazing authors, and wrote about agents, publishers and the craft), I switched to full-time freelance writing and editing in 2008.
Today my clients include book publisher Lost Art Press and Writer’s Digest (I write the Meet the Agent column). Additional clients include Mount St. Joseph University, Barefoot Proximity, Edible Ohio Valley magazine, P&G, Cloverleaf, Robert Half, PRINT magazine, Healthcare Design magazine, Environments for Aging magazine, Cincy magazine, Cincinnati CityBeat, Cincinnati Parent magazine, Fort Thomas Living magazine, Fort Thomas Matters, Print Solutions Magazine, Restaurant Hospitality magazine and Writer’s Market Books.
My essays and poetry have appeared in “This I Believe: Life Lessons” (Wiley), TIME magazine’s parenting blog, The New York Times parenting blog, Scary Mommy, Literary Mama, Motherwell and The Huffington Post. You can find hundreds of personal essays on my blog, Pleiades Bee.
I live in a house built in 1910 in Fort Thomas, Kentucky, across the Ohio River just south of Cincinnati, with my husband, daughter, twin sons, Io (our dog) and Jupiter (our cat).
I’d love to hear from you!