Gord Yakimow of Abbotsford has released a children’s book titled The Grod Family’s Christmas Lights.

Gord Yakimow of Abbotsford has released a children’s book titled The Grod Family’s Christmas Lights.

Abbotsford retired teacher releases kids’ Christmas book

Gord Yakimow first wrote The Grod Family’s Christmas Lights 30 years ago

An Abbotsford retired teacher has released a children’s Christmas book.

The book by Gord Yakimow, 75, is titled The Grod Family’s Christmas Lights. It details how, despite Papa Grod’s best efforts, the Grod family’s Christmas lights have always looked “scruffy” and “hodge-podgey” and “tacky” (according to Mama Grod).

But now, with a fresh new set of high-quality Christmas lights – in Mama Grod’s favourite colours – and an eager work-crew to help him out (the three GrodKids), Papa Grod is confident that this year’s Grod family light display will be the best ever in the Valley of the EverGreens. What could possibly go wrong?

The story was first written for Yakimow’s children 30 years ago and has been read at every family Christmas gathering since then (now including grandchildren). At the encouragement of his now-adult children, he has finally had it published.

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“The characters and events in the book are loosely based on members of my family, and on family events – with much embellishment and humour and exaggeration,” Yakimow said.

“And there are several more stories ready for publication in what I hope one day will be labeled ‘The Grods’ Series.’”

The artistic adviser for the book is Yakimow’s son John, who conceptualized the book’s characters and did the initial illustrations before passing the designs on to its final illustrator.

John is a graduate of W. J. Mouat secondary and of Bill Henderson’s computer animation program at Robert Bateman secondary. He is a former video-game artist who now has his own online 3-D character-design business.

Yakimow is a retired teacher who had teaching stints in Manitoba, Ontario, Great Britain, the Yukon Territory and Chilliwack.

He is a former president of the Fraser Valley Ukrainian Cultural Society and sits on the organizing committee for the annual BC Ukrainian Festival.

RELATED: Photos from Ukrainian Cultural Festival’s 25th anniversary

Since his retirement in 2007, Yakimow has been a published writer of works on both travel and on wilderness experiences.

This is his first stab at children’s literature.

The Grod Family’s Christmas Lights is available online though both Amazon and Indigo in hard-cover, soft-cover and ebook variations.

It can also be bought at, or ordered through, most bookstores.

Arts and cultureBooksChristmas

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