Monday, April 10, 2017

New Website!

Well, it's a big change! I have a new website and it launched today.

I've been wanting to have a website that I could update myself and now I do, thanks to the good folks at Kits Media in Vancouver.

I am sad to bid farewell to my original website that had been built and maintained by the wonderful Carol at Third Planet Design in Toronto. It has been ten great years working with her — and of enjoying the lovely website she created for me.

But times and technology change, and I felt the need to challenge myself and learn how to operate and maintain a website I can update on my own.

On the new website (at the same address:, I will be posting my blog entries under the News section. Please visit me there, as this blog will now be retired. This is the last post here.

Thank you so much for reading along. See you at the new place!


Saturday, February 25, 2017

Forest of Reading

Karen Reczuch and I are thrilled that West Coast Wild is nominated on the Silver Birch Express list in the children's choice awards (Forest of Reading) being held in Ontario this spring. I have been receiving lots of Twitter posts from schools in the region and it is so much fun to see them!

Here are just a few:

You can find out more about the Forest of Reading here and the Silver Birch Express nominations here. Thank you to the Ontario Library Association for this wonderful initiative! It's great that kids and teachers have the opportunity to read and vote on so many books.

In May, Karen and I will travel to Toronto to take part in the festivities. We can hardly wait!

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Thank you, Roundtable!

On Tuesday night, the Children's Literature Roundtables of Canada presented Karen Reczuch (illustrator) and I with the Information Book Award — honouring the year's "most outstanding" nonfiction book for children in Canada. It was given to us for West Coast Wild: A Nature Alphabet.

We couldn't be more thrilled or grateful! Thank you to the Roundtable for this award and for establishing it all those years ago, highlighting the importance and value of nonfiction books for children. Thank you also to Kay Weisman, Chair of the award and to the jury who worked hard and read many books.

There was an amazing shortlist this year — books that ranged in style, topic, diversity, art, design and age-group. Any one of the books was deserving of this special award! Karen and I were honoured to see our book in such exceptional company.

We are also thankful to our publisher, Groundwood Books, who took a chance on what I thought was a regional manuscript, with limited appeal, and who allowed Karen and I to work together — something that is unusual in publishing these days. (Authors and illustrators are generally expected to communicate via their editor and art director, and not speak directly to one another.)

The presentation of our award at a celebration evening was lovely! Many of our friends in the children's writing and illustrating community were there.

Thank you to everyone involved. We are so appreciative!

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Happy New Year!

Here on the west coast, we are leaping into the New Year with snow and ice. It is unusual for us to have such a cold winter (we are accustomed to balmier temperatures) and we are muddling our way through it.

The big old trees in my neighbourhood are beautiful in their coats of white, but some have come tumbling down with a bang under the weight of the heavy snow. Watch out!

The side streets have not been cleared of ice and snow in a month, nor salted or sanded, and so driving (and walking!) remain somewhat treacherous — like navigating an ice rink in ballet slippers.

But we brave west-coasters carry on, and look forward to the beginning of a fresh and shiny New Year. We have high hopes that there will be many bright spots in the days ahead.

Wishing you a happy, healthy and productive 2017 — with many good books to read!


Saturday, December 10, 2016

Warm Winter Greetings!

On this snowy Vancouver day, it seems fitting to check in with Bear and his friends. What are they doing? Having a wonderful winter party in Bear's den!

Bear is serving his homemade honey-ginger cookies and huckleberry tarts. Chickadee is leading the singing and Fox is playing his harmonica. Soon all the happy forest animals are dancing round and round the den. What a fun way to welcome winter!

Bear and his friends hope you are having a lovely start to winter. Stay warm and dry! And enjoy your celebrations with family and friends.


And to learn more about Bear and his friends, please go here.

Monday, November 7, 2016

On the West Coast...

Thank you to the Children's Literature Roundtables of Canada for choosing West Coast Wild as the winner of the Information Book Award for 2016! I am thrilled and very grateful!

This honour is shared with my marvellous co-creator, Karen Reczuch, whose gorgeous illustrations bring the book to life. 

Karen and I were delighted to be in the company of so many wonderful books on this year’s shortlist, and we send congratulations to all! We also thank our publisher, Groundwood Books.

We are so pleased to also be on the shortlist for both the Silver Birch Express Award and the Chocolate Lily Award, both children's choice awards. Thank you to everyone involved in these award programs!

And now for something fun: Here's a photo of West Coast Wild, open to a page that shows the exact location and replica of the little cove on Mackenzie Beach that was the reference for the illustration. Thanks to Crystal Cove, Tofino, BC for this wonderful image! 

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Beautiful Fall!

Like many writers, I love to walk!

I take a long stroll through my neighbourhood every day — to keep both body and mind in good working order. I often find that solutions to writing problems present themselves while I'm on foot in the fresh air.

And today? An extra gift! The sun was shining brightly against the backdrop of a clear blue sky and the trees overhead were spectacular in their glorious autumn colours. Here is a sample of what I saw.

It's fall on the west coast. What a wonderful time to be here!