Monday, February 8, 2016

Happy Family Day!

Here in beautiful British Columbia, we are celebrating Family Day — we know the rest of the country celebrates next Monday. But that's the way we are on the west coast: nonconformists!

It is a gorgeous, warm, sunny day (apologies to all of you with snow) and it feels like spring. I was out on a walk this morning and came across a marvellous field of purple crocuses. I've posted this photo not to gloat — but to marvel at the flowers blooming so early in the season.

A lovely sight on Family Day!

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Thank you, Crofton House!

I just spent a lovely morning at Crofton House School and wanted to say a sincere thank you to the teachers and students!

It was wonderful to meet you all and to hear about the alphabet books that the Grade 6 students are creating. It was fun to talk about my own experience writing an alphabet book — and to say that they aren't as easy to write as they look. (Some of the students are also finding this out.) :-)

I wish you the best of luck with your books and hope to see some of them when they are done.


Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Reading Lights Program!

If you happened to visit a library today, you will know it is Family Literacy Day. Hooray for families and books everywhere!

I attended a kick-off event this morning to celebrate a wonderful new program, Reading Lights, that highlights the work of BC children's authors and illustrators. Lamp posts around the city now feature plaques displaying the works of local creators. Beautifully designed images can be found in 20 locations near parks, playgrounds, schools and libraries throughout Vancouver.

Imagine my thrill to have a lamp post featuring one of my books! The plaque for Watch Me Grow! A Down to Earth Look at Growing Food in the City is at the northwest corner of Sunrise Park (near Rupert and 1st Ave.). It looks sensational! The talented Brian Harris is the co-creator of this book, which features local urban gardens. He shot amazing colourful photographs of children and adults engaged in growing food right where they live.

After the ceremony at the library, I zipped over to Sunrise Park to see the plaque and take a photo. It was a grey, rainy day in Vancouver so my friend and fellow author, Tanya Lloyd Kyi, took this photo on a sunnier day. Thank you, Tanya!

Thank you to the Vancouver Public Library and Cwill BC for such a lovely honour! 

If you'd like to see the plaques, please check out the Reading Lights website to find the locations. Then take a tour!

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

The Mayor Reads!

The Mayor of Edmonton, Don Iveson, has a wonderful program for children called “The Mayor Reads.” Each month, he selects a book to read to an enthusiastic audience of kids. The reading is videotaped and posted on the city’s website. Imagine my surprise to find out that one of my books Emma’s Story had been selected for January. What a wonderful way to start the New Year! If you’d like to see the video, please go here

And let’s give a big round of applause to the mayor and his inspiring literacy initiative!

Thursday, December 31, 2015

Happy New Year!

Sending you my best west coast wishes for a happy and healthy 2016. May your year be full of family and friends — and many good books to read!


Thursday, December 17, 2015

Happy Holidays!

I love this image of children around the world holding hands. (It is from the Unicef calendar.) What a lovely sentiment — one full of promise and hope.

The holiday season is upon us and, in my part of the world, school closes tomorrow for the winter break. (I can hear the children cheering from here.)

As the festivities get underway, I wish you a very happy time with family and friends, and a promising, hopeful start to the New Year!


Tuesday, November 24, 2015

What a Party!

I was in Toronto last weekend taking part in a celebration of fall titles from Groundwood Books. And what an amazing weekend it was!

The event took place at the Koffler Centre of the Arts, a venue that had a lovely vintage-style theatre, with plush red seats and excellent lighting. Children and families, and booklovers from the Toronto area turned up to hear readings from the authors and watch the talented illustrators draw.

Following each reading, the children were invited to move to the centre’s cafĂ© and common area to create a book-related craft. I saw wonderful masks to complement Danielle Daniel’s book Sometimes I Feel Like a Fox and charming farm scenes to accompany Grant and Tillie Go Walking by Monica Kulling and Sydney Smith. There were also pirate hats to go with the story Buddy and Earl by Maureen Fergus and Carey Sookocheff. For my book, West Coast Wild, the children made glittering jellyfish with long waving tendrils cut out of ribbon.

There were yummy snacks, mugs of coffee and tea, and a congenial feeling all around as parents chatted and children played. Authors, illustrators and booklovers from near and far got to know one another. It couldn’t have been a better afternoon. :-)

Many thanks to Groundwood Books for hosting such a successful and enjoyable event!