Announcements

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.

Reading Lights Plaque

Hooray! Lisa Cinar and I went to see our Reading Lights plaque today, featuring our book, Bear’s Winter Party. It was exciting! We loved our plaque and hope that any Vancouverites in the area will drop by Jones Park (across from 5381 Commercial St.) to admire it. Lisa’s art looks amazing! We are thrilled!

A big thank you to the Vancouver Public Library and CWILL BC!

Reading Lights

The Vancouver Public Library, in conjunction with Cwill BC, has announced the locations of the new plaques for the Reading Lights program, and I am delighted to have two of my books featured on lampposts in the city.

If you are interested, you can see the lovely plaque for Bear’s Winter Party at Jones Park, across from 5381 Commercial St.

sea starsAnd the plaque for West Coast Wild is at Hinge Park, at 1st and Columbia.

I haven’t seen the plaques in person yet, but I plan to soon. And then I will post some photos. It’s very exciting!

A big thank you to Vi Hughes, who spearheaded the project and to the Vancouver Public Library for their enthusiastic support of it.

Sheila Barry

It is with a heavy heart that I write about the loss of Sheila Barry, the wonderful, insightful publisher at Groundwood Books and a long-time editor and friend of mine. She made the world a better, brighter place — both in person and through the books she published. I will miss her dearly.

Groundwood Books said this about her today:

As she did her whole life, Sheila brought happiness and laughter and thoughtfulness and love to all of us here. She was such a valued colleague. And Sheila was a great publisher – influential in ways large and small. The legacy of books she leaves will run far into the future.

We hold Sheila in our minds as the most wonderful example of a truly good person, one who had such a positive effect on so many people. We will miss her terribly.

Reading Lights at the VPL

Bear's Winter Party
I was happy to hear the news that two of my recent books have been selected to be Reading Lights books by the Vancouver Public Library.

Bear’s Winter Party, illustrated by Lisa Cinar, and West Coast Wild, illustrated by Karen Reczuch (both published by Groundwood), will have illustrated plaques featuring them on lampposts around the city of Vancouver.

The purpose of Reading Lights is to highlight local books and to encourage children and families to take them out of the library. It is a lovely honour and both of the illustrators and I are thrilled!

The plaques will be installed sometime in early 2018 and I look forward to seeing them! For more information about the Reading Lights program, you can visit their website at the VPL.

(And if you check the Reading Lights map, you will see an earlier book of mine, Watch Me Grow!, with photos by Brian Harris, has a plaque at the northwest corner of Sunrise Park.)