Mielle and Kari Burk at the launch of Snapshot of a Soul Place in the Land of Special Needs at the Castlegar & District Public Library on Dec. 5.

Castlegar artist’s book wins Family Choice Award

"Snapshot of a Soul Place in the Land of Special Needs" by artist Kari Burk won a 2016 Family Choice Award.

A local artist’s book about raising a daughter with Down Syndrome has won a 2016 Family Choice Award in the US.

Snapshot of a Soul Place in the Land of Special Needs was written and illustrated by Kari Burk, a multi-media artist from Castlegar. It shares Burk’s experience raising her 25-year-old daughter Mielle through paintings, photos, poetry and prose.

Burk released the book back in November and it’s received a very positive response. Not only did it win a much-covered Family Choice Award, but it has also received many positive reviews.

Library Journal enthusiastically recommended the book: “Capturing the heartache of ongoing medical procedures and the beauty of milestones and joys, this account gives an emotionally moving and hopeful glimpse into life with a special-needs child. Beautifully presented, lovingly told, and gracefully realized, this volume will offer parents of special-needs children a sense of community and comfort. Unequivocally recommended.”

Burk and Mielle moved to Castlegar in 2006 and the community is mentioned throughout the book. Burk said she has been very pleased with the support she and her daughter have received in Castlegar.

“[There’s been] big support and acceptance in our community. It’s beautiful when you can feel that because you feel vulnerable, and I’m sure Mielle feels vulnerable too,” Burk told the Castlegar News back in November.

Snapshot of a Soul Place is available for purchase locally at Kootenay Society for Community Living, Café Books and Kootenay Gallery.