Book Party in Toronto


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 café 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!

Thank you, SD 83!

Wow! What an amazing trip it’s been. Thank you so much to all the teachers, librarians, students and staff of the schools I’ve visited this week: Parkview, Hillcrest, Salmon Arm Middle School, Highland Park, and Silver Creek. You were all wonderful!

Today, I visit Bastion and Sorrento Schools. I can hardly wait to meet you.

A HUGE bouquet of thanks to everyone who has made me feel so welcome! I’m not going to want to go home. 🙂

Hello School District 83!

I am busy organizing my presentation materials and beginning to pack for my trip to Salmon Arm, Armstrong, Sorrento and Sicamous next week. I will be visiting schools there and look forward to meeting all the students and staff.

It is a double pleasure for me to travel to the area because this is the school district where I was a teacher some years (decades!) ago. I have many happy memories of teaching at Armstrong Elementary School. In fact, it was teaching those classes of primary children that led to my becoming a writer — something I’ve never forgotten.

A big thank you to my friend and colleague, Chris McMahen, who invited me to the schools and organized my trip. Chris is a teacher-librarian in the district and he is also a popular and award-winning author. His most recent (and wonderfully written) book, Box of Shocks, just won the Manitoba Young Readers Choice Award. Hooray for Chris!

And now, it’s back to packing… See you soon, District 83.

Visiting Kent Elementary

Thank you to the students and staff of Kent Elementary School for making me feel so welcome yesterday. It was wonderful to meet you all! From the attentive audiences, to the potluck lunch, student research projects on the wall, and the sign on the front of the school, it couldn’t have been a nicer time!

Thank you especially to teacher-librarian, Karen Dumas, for inviting me. Thank you to the PAC for making it possible, and to principal, Chris Wejr, and his wonderful staff and students. It was an amazing day!

Thank you to Osler Elementary!

A big thank you to Patricia Bartha, teacher-librarian, and the students at Sir William Osler School in Vancouver. It was lovely to spend the afternoon with you yesterday! You were a fabulous audience, full of great questions and comments. 🙂

When I looked out the windows of the school library, I could see several ornamental cherry trees in full bloom.

Here on the west coast, it is the season for beautiful blossoms and for spring school visits.

What a wonderful combination!

Seattle Conference

I’m back from the ALA conference in Seattle and it was spectacular! Thank you to my publisher, Tundra Books, for inviting me to attend and sign my new book in their booth.

It was wonderful to meet the librarians who stopped by for a chat. Many were from various corners of the USA, some were from Canada, and one (at least) was from the UK. It was good to meet so many great folks who love books! Apparently, 12,000 librarians were registered. Wow!

One librarian told me she was a proud bibliophile and was surprised that I knew the word. I told her I also adored books and had a houseful myself.

Maybe you were at the conference, too. If so, I hope you had a fabulous time and picked up many new books to read.

Visit to Harry Hooge School

A big bouquet of thanks to Pam Rose, teacher-librarian, and the primary students and teachers at Harry Hooge School for a lovely day. It was great to meet you all and chat about books. You were a wonderful audience!

I wish you a happy June and a relaxing summer.

Hello Saltspring!

I’m looking forward to meeting the students and staff at two Saltspring Island schools this week. Hello to Fulford Elementary and Salt Spring Elementary! (It’s interesting that the island’s name can be spelled as either a compound word or as two words. Apparently, both are correct.)

See you soon!

Thank you, Lord Kelvin Kids!

I had a wonderful day at Lord Kelvin Elementary in New Westminster. It was an amazing school with children from all over the world. Their teachers told me that, collectively, the students speak more than 40 different languages. I wish I had been there for their multicultural celebrations held the week before Spring Break. Next year!

Thank you to the students and staff (especially Marie Stevens who invited me) for the warm reception and lovely welcome to your school!

Hello Shaughnessy Elementary!

I’m looking forward to meeting the students at Shaughnessy Elementary next week.

Here’s a photo of their lovely school. It looks like a school I taught in years ago in Armstrong, BC.

Below it is a wonderful drawing of the school made by one of the students, Zoe Luke. (I hope Zoe doesn’t mind me posting it here.)

See you next week, Shaughnessy!