Local artist writes children’s book inspired by pets

Lloydminster artist Jaime Hoffman and her nine-year-old Schnauzer, Edna, were all smiles to draw more attention to Hoffman’s first children’s book, Million Name Munson, for which Edna was the inspiration. Photo provided

Like many pet owners, Jaime Hoffman has a million nicknames for her dog, but instead of hiding them, Hoffman celebrates them, to the point of writing and self-publishing a children’s book that she calls Million Name Munson.

Originally published in December 2023, Million Name Munson takes readers on a rhyming journey through the many names of Edna, Hoffman’s nine-year-old Schnauzer.

THE Source I met Hoffman at LloydMall on Sunday afternoon during a book signing at Coles to learn more about the book’s inspiration and the author’s process.

“It all started with the number of nicknames I give my dog, which are many, and Munson’s is the most popular,” Hoffman said.

“I think of the movie Kingpin when I think of that name, but in the story I talk about how I started calling her Edna-Mode, like the little old lady from The Incredibles. Then I started saying Mode-son, and my brain went to Munson.

The final product was a long time coming for Hoffman, who wrote and illustrated the entire book, a process she’s been working on for years.

“It just popped into my head and I kept it on my phone for a really long time until I had time to illustrate it. The fact that it’s all being done is amazing,” she said.

“I always had the story in my head and always thought about doing it, but it takes a lot of work, so the fact that it has taken off is exciting.”

Professionally, the full-time artist goes by the name Uncletim Art, which she says is a tribute to her late uncle.

“Uncle Tim has always been my inspiration,” she said.

“I find that when you love being creative and making art, there aren’t a lot of people who love that, and Uncle Tim was that person in my life who always encouraged me and was interested in my ideas and what I could do.”

As for why Hoffman chose a children’s book, she noted that she was heavily influenced by what she read as a child.

“I think I’m still a kid at heart. I love cartoons, I love bright colors; it’s still something that touches me,” she said.

“I still remember the children’s books I loved as a child and the pictures they contained, like Where The Wild Things Are. I love drawing, and a children’s book is the perfect combination of story and illustration; it’s OK for me.

Hoffman also explained that the support from the community since the book’s release has been nothing short of inspiring.

“The most important thing to me is when kids love the story, they love the dog, and when someone tells me that Million Name Munson is their child’s favorite book, it’s the best.” , she said.

“I also like to read to schools and show them examples of how I came up with all these names, which Edna can interpret most of the time.”

Sunday’s book signing also allowed Hoffman to step out of his comfort zone and do a little self-promotion.

“I’m trying to make a little more effort to get out of my comfort zone and expose my art to people I don’t know. I find self-promotion intimidating; I find it embarrassing and I struggle with it,” she said, adding that it may be her one and only children’s book.

“I don’t think I will ever write a book as special as this unless I continue to write about Edna. It was personal and it’s a true story.

Million Name Munson is available locally at Coles in LloydMall as well as cousin Brad’s, 4th Meridian Brewing Company, or online via Amazon and Indigo.