Sunnyshore Studio’s Artistic Director, Jason Dorsey, and his dad, prominent Northwest watercolor artist, Jack Dorsey, have once again teamed up to tell a story of the adventures of a boy growing up on an Island. It is titled I Remember Running Through the Woods. 

“I hoped to send it to our printer in Salem, OR by October 1st. That would have allowed us to have the books in hand for the opening of our ‘Christmas in Miniature’ show on December 1st at the Studio,” Jason says.  “We’ll still showcase the illustrations at the Christmas in Miniature show and our guest will be able to check out a rough copy and purchase the book advance.  We worked hard, but just couldn’t make our deadline.

“In I Remember Running Through the Woods  I wanted to explore change through the lens of the woods that surrounded me, the ever changing woods of my childhood,” Jason says.

The story begins with a nod to the logging days on Camano Island.

“An old logging path led from my parents home to my uncle’s farm,” Jason remembers. There were old growth stumps along this path. During the daytime, it was an enchanting woodland but when my sister, brother, and I came home after dark it was terrifying.”

In preparation for the book, Jason spent time in the woods of his childhood. “The stumps are still there,” he says. “I took lots of pictures.”

“One stump in particular became the ‘model’ for the ‘scary stump’ in the story,” Jason pointed out. It is a stump across from his parents house, on the road that leads down to Sunnyshore Acres Beach.

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“The huckleberry tree on top of the stump reminds me of scary arms reaching out”, Jason says.

His dad, noted Northwest watercolor artist, partnered in the illustrations.

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“Dad worked his wonders again, just like he did with the illustrations of our first book I Remember Running Through the Woods. I had the ideas, and would begin the paintings. But he brought many, most of them to completion, Jason notes.

Jack even pulled out his old bayonet and sheet for one illustration.

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While all ages will find the story enchanting, Jason thinks that boys especially will like it. “With the military gear, face-painting, and adventures in the woods, this book is tailor made for boys,” Jason says.

While Jason is expected to be positive about his new book, others agree about the value of the story.  Three recommendations grace the back cover of the book.

Jennifer Kelly

Jennifer Kelly, Jason’s high school English teacher, and for 10 years a columnist for the Stanwood-Camano news wrote this:

Jason Dorsey’s second story in the series about his childhood, I Remember Running through the Woods, is a literary and visionary charm of a book.  Parents and children alike will take delight in the monsters that moo and stumps with eyes, and think about life through the quiet, calm words and enchanting illustrations of a man who revels in the youthful adventures that made him the father he is today.  Let’s all go running through the woods again and again and again!

Steven Garber

Steven Garber, author of Visions of Vocation: Common Grace for the Common Good, and professor of marketplace theology at Regent College, Vancouver, B.C., said this:

I love the world that is beyond our doors, the meadows and forests, the fields and pastures—in Wendell Berry’s poetic metaphor, “timbered choirs” each one. Through our senses we come to know in ways that deepen us. In Jason Dorsey’s artful remembering of his boyhood on Camano Island, we too are alive amidst the trees and the seasons, the fires at night and the noises in the tent, our own hopes and fears still near. I Remember Running Through the Woods is a window into a long love, of a boy who once was and is now the man he must be, giving us the grace of looking over his shoulder and through his heart into the wonders of his world. 

Mary Nease

Mary Nease, a homeschooling mother of five she has spent the last 15 years reading thousands of books to her children, who spends much of her time combing libraries and bookstores for good children’s books, had this to say:

Through his delightful watercolor illustrations and accompanying descriptive prose, author and illustrator Jason Dorsey invites the reader into his precious childhood memories. Although Running Through the Woods takes place on Camano Island in the lush Pacific Northwest, the reader is quickly transported in his own mind to the sacred places of his own life’s story. Jason has crafted an endearing and humorous, as well as poignant and exquisite, piece of art, able to captivate and delight the youngest reader while striking a deep chord in the souls of all ages.

Cover - I Remember Running Through the Woods

The cover and contents have been sent into Your Town Press in Salem, OR. “We anticipate having the books a few days before Christmas, Jason says.

You will be able to order your copy of the book December 1st.