Sonoma Valley Sun


Nature and family and a grandmother’s love

Posted on March 11, 2023 by Sonoma Valley Sun

By Jonathan Farrell

A recent sunny day on Sonoma Plaza seemed almost magical, and for recently transplanted city-dweller Denise Webster, a bit auspicious. “This wonderful Valley is ideal for my book, Samuel and The Magic Tree, she said. “Because the story is about nature and family and a grandmother’s love.”

Samuel and his sister Gigi go on nature-walk adventures which involve a very magical tree. With the help of their grandmother, who they call Baba, Samuel and Gigi discover a very magical way to be. Told through the metaphor of sharing discoveries and adventures, said Webster, “ultimately, my book is a story of the special bond between grandparent and grandchild.”

Growing up in San Francisco and then going off to college at UC Berkeley, Webster was always rooted in all the things that make Northern California and the Bay Area special.

Her college days helped her become strongly connected to exploring new worlds especially as she traveled across the country, to New York City, and to Europe and beyond. “I eventually settled into a married life after graduating from Cal with two children and a lovely home in Lafayette.”

She re-entered the workforce in her early forties. “The corporate world and the jobs that followed further taught me new skills and perspectives.” Webster was still interested in creative endeavors in some way. Whether it was starting her own art business or picking up photography, she always sought the creative.

Then, almost four years ago, she moved to Colorado to help watch over her grandchildren. The book emerged from the outings I would take with them. “I encouraged them to be outdoors at every opportunity that was available. Colorado is lovely and its open space and natural settings are stunningly inspiring.” What was initially intended as a little storybook for Christmas evolved into something more.

“I strongly believe this because the metaphor of magic is true,” said Webster, “based on a summer of unexpected surprises and joy with my grandchildren.” The book was written to honor a special time and relationship. “Its ultimate visibility and success respect and embrace this story’s imaginative and joyful essence.”

She returned “home” to California 18 months ago and found a place to live in Sonoma. It is here where she proceeds as an author and photographer.  “I write my blog/story page, combining my words with my photography. And I’m prepared to write more for a children’s book series.”

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