West Coast Wild ABC

A West Coast Wild book for babies and toddlers! I’m very happy to announce that I’ve written my first board book – and what fun it was! So few words! It will be released in the spring alongside West Coast Wild at Low Tide (see previous post).

I’m thrilled to add to the series about the wild and wonderful Pacific west coast. I hope you enjoy the books!

Coming Soon

Over the long pandemic days, I plucked away at a new manuscript and I am happy to say that in just a few months, the book – with Karen Reczuch’s beautiful illustrations! –  will be released.

Yesterday, I received the art for the new cover and it is gorgeous! (As you can see here.) This book will join the earlier two I wrote about the magnificent Pacific west coast and its unique and wonderful creatures.

More to come on this soon. For now, please join me in enjoying this striking new cover!

Writing and Illustrating for Young Readers

Mark your calendars! Tuesday, March 23 is the annual panel of authors and illustrators of children’s books giving you an inside look at how to get your work published. This year, of course, the presentation is virtual — but, as always, it will be full of interesting information

If you’ve always wanted to create a book for children or teens, tune in for some great advice. You can follow this link to register or simply go to the Vancouver Public Library events page and check out the sessions for March 23.

Have fun! Get inspired! Get published!

New Book!

I’m delighted to announce the release of my newest book West Coast Wild Babies.

Thank you so much to Groundwood Books for publishing it and to Karen Reczuch, illustrator extraordinaire and wonderful collaborative partner. We are all thrilled with the book and have our fingers crossed that you will love it, too!

The world is a difficult and uncertain place right now and I sincerely hope that any of you who read this post are staying well and healthy. And I also hope that this book might give the children in your life a bit of comfort and enjoyment in these challenging times.

West Coast Wild Babies is available at many bookstores and can be ordered through your local store, with an online bookseller, or directly through the publisher at  Groundwood Books. If you are a Vancouverite, you might consider using the excellent curbside pick-up service that Kidsbooks has established.

And if you’d like to read an interview about the book, check it out at 49th Shelf — the wonderful website featuring an amazing collection of fine Canadian books.

My best to all of you!

Writing Books for Children

Are you interested in writing or illustrating books for children? If so, and you live in the Vancouver area, you might want to attend the Feb. 3 event at the Vancouver Public Library.

Six professional children’s book authors and illustrators will share their stories of how they got published and give you practical information on how to submit your work. Bring your questions!

There’s always a crowd and it’s a lively evening of fun. It’s free! The featured speakers include a panel of authors and illustrators of picture books, middle grade books, and YA novels. It runs from 7 to 8:30 pm at the Central Branch on Georgia Street.

The event promises to be an inspiring start to the new decade. And who doesn’t need a boost to their creative life in these rainy, windy days of our city?

Happy New Year! May 2020 bring you health, happiness and many good books to read.

Sneak Preview

These past few months, I’ve been hard at work on my next book. (Editing, revising, fretting, stressing, persevering and finally feeling/hoping it’s right.) It’s a follow-up to our earlier title, West Coast Wild.

The new book is called West Coast Wild Babies and it features a look at the wild babies of land and sea, born in the springtime on our wild west coast. (Wolf pups, bear cubs, whale calves, eaglets and salmon fry are just a few of the creatures you will meet.)

Once again, its pages are graced by the beautiful art of my talented collaborative partner, Karen Reczuch.

It’s been a fun book to work on (I love babies!) and it’s almost ready to go to the printer, with a release date of April 2020.

Karen and I are very excited! We are grateful to Groundwood Books for publishing another west coast title.

For your viewing pleasure, here is a sneak preview of the cover.

Hello Bear!

I’m delighted to announce the arrival of my newest book Cooking with Bear, a combination story and cookbook for the youngest readers (and cooks!).

The book is set in the spring forest where all the plants and flowers are beginning to bloom. Bear is excited to see his friends after a long winter in his den, and thrilled to be able to show Fox how to gather fresh seasonal foods and cook with them.

The young foxes in your life might enjoy trying out the 15 forest-themed delicious recipes that Bear shares in his cookbook, “Best of Bear.” Mostly local, mostly seasonal and mostly vegetarian. Lots to enjoy!

And a sweet story of friendship to accompany the recipes. Thank you to Groundwood Books for publishing this new work and to Lisa Cinar for wonderful art.

Happy News!

I was very happy to hear the news that my upcoming book Cooking with Bear has received a starred review from Kirkus! I think every author dreams of such high praise from this important review magazine. Here’s what the reviewer said:

“Spring is here at last in this companion to Bear’s Winter Party  (2016), and Bear begins cooking for himself and his forest friends.

First, Bear makes watercress soup. Then his friend Fox arrives to share the soup. “Can you teach me to cook like this?” Fox asks. So Bear shows Fox where he gathers his ingredients in the forest, and along the way, they visit friends. Squirrel has gathered nuts, so Bear shows Fox how to make nut burgers. Chickadee dried berries last summer, so granola with dried cranberries is next on the menu. Beaver’s dreams of apples lead to a recipe for maple-apple crisp, and Deer and Hare’s browsing to a spring greens salad with honey vinaigrette.

The recipes provided for each dish have been taste-tested and are straightforward and clearly written. Young chefs are encouraged to cook with adults and ask them for help with anything sharp or hot. The volume subtly encourages eating seasonally and locally, using farmers markets, and planting gardens. Cinar’s colorful, large-format illustrations have a Raschka-esque flair to them, with loose, inky outlines and splashy watercolor fill; the animals’ faces are, appealingly, done in an especially childlike manner.”

“A fun, accessible first cookbook for the little foxes in our lives.” Starred review! Kirkus.

Available on April 1st! Published by Groundwood Books.

Cooking with Bear!

I’m excited about my upcoming book, Cooking with Bear, that features both an illustrated story and a cookbook with forest-themed recipes for kids.

It was a project that spanned a couple of years, with me spending oodles of time in the kitchen coming up with recipes and testing them to make sure they were reliable. I tried to use ingredients that could be easily found in most kitchens or local stores and farmer’s markets. And I hoped to make the recipes fun and relatively simple for children (with adult help) to execute.

The kids in my family inspired me and helped me try out many of the recipes. My daughters, too, were enormously generous with their advice about cooking with kids. (And I have not forgotten those years of cooking classes with Grade One students when I was still a teacher.)

I’m not usually the kind of cook who follows a recipe exactly. I like to try out new things and be a little experimental in my approach but in this case, I had to be very disciplined and decide such matters as: “Is it 1/4 tsp of salt or 1/8 tsp?” It was hard to stick to the rules!

The book won’t be available until April 2019 but it is being printed now. Thank you to my wonderful publisher, Groundwood Books! I’m looking forward to seeing some advance copies before too long.

And for your viewing pleasure, here’s one of the first illustrations in the book, created by the lovely and talented Lisa Cinar. It shows Bear in his kitchen cooking watercress soup and his friend Fox, who has followed his nose to the den, hoping to be invited in for a delicious spring lunch.

Sneak Peak

I’m very happy to post this preview of the cover of my upcoming book — a combination picture book and cookbook for kids, to be published by Groundwood in Spring 2019. There will be more postings about the book over the next few months. But for now, I hope you enjoy the charming cover created by the wonderfully talented Lisa Cinar.