News

Fall Books

My friends have been busy! It is fall book season and I’ve been attending launches of talented local writers to hear about their new books. It’s exciting to have my desk piled high with copies of their original and compelling stories.

What am I reading? Mary Who Wrote Frankenstein by Linda Bailey is a story for kids about how the idea of Frankenstein came to young Mary Shelley in a dream. The story is wonderfully accessible for younger readers and is full of amazing art by Julia Sarda.

Lost Boy by Shelley Hrdlitschka is a sequel to her earlier work, Sister Wife. Both are stories of a polygamous community similar to that in Bountiful, BC. Each features a teen protaganist and how their experience is shaped by their time in the repressive community. Sister Wife describes young girls who must marry men with many wives, and Lost Boy features teen boys who are banished from the community. Powerful stuff!

Other local fall books I’ve been enjoying or looking forward to reading include: Dodger Boy by Sarah Ellis (a story that takes place during the time when American draft dodgers found sanctuary in Canada), Miles to Go by Beryl Young (a Saskatchewan story set in the 1940s) and No Fixed Address by Susin Nielsen (about a young boy who lives in a camper van with his mother).

What a creative, prolific bunch out here on the west coast!

Congratulations to them all!


Culinary Adventures for Kids

For the last year or so, I’ve been hard at work on a combination story and cookbook for young readers. It’s been oodles of fun, spending much time in the kitchen, both on my own and with the eager kids in my family, testing out all sorts of yummy recipes. The work has almost wrapped up and the book is about to go to print, with an anticipated release date of April 2019.

The book is titled Cooking with Bear: A Story and Recipes from the Forest and is a sequel to my earlier story, Bear’s Winter Party, both published by Groundwood Books.

In this new book, Bear gives cooking lessons to Fox, who is tired of eating the same old thing. The two of them visit their forest friends for ideas and to collect local ingredients, then return to Bear’s den to cook up a feast. Along with the story, the book also contains 15 forest-themed recipes for kids who are keen on adventures in the kitchen. (Watercress soup, anyone?)

If you scroll down the blog to a previous entry, you can see the front cover of the book that I posted earlier. The art I’m showing here is the illustration for the back cover, with two very happy friends, kitchen tools in hand.

Lisa Cinar has once again created wonderful art for the book. She and I are very excited about its release. We hope you’re going to love it!

September Start

In my corner of the world, on the lovely west coast, today is the first day of school.

It is a bright sunny day, which bodes well for the students and teacher who are headed back into the classroom.

Wishing you all the best of luck as you start this new school year!

And many good books to read!

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.

As the School Year Winds Down

West Coast WildThe sun is shining brightly and students everywhere are on field trips, camping adventures, picnics and many other fun end-of-year activities.

It’s been wonderful to be in schools this year and see the excitement and enthusiasm of students as they learn new things, and to admire the hard work of the dedicated teachers who guide them.

This year, I had the pleasure of participating in family reading at the school of my youngest family member. Parents and grandparents are invited into the classroom once a week to read and share books with their children. It’s encouraging to see both literacy and family love in action, and participating in the reading has been a highlight of my year.

On that note, I’m wishing all the students and teachers a well-deserved and happy summer holiday!

And I’m looking forward to spending some time on the west coast of Vancouver Island. I plan to wander the shoreline and poke into some tide pools and see what amazing nature I can find.

These lovely sandpipers on the surf line were painted by Karen Reczuch in our book West Coast Wild. With any luck, I’ll be seeing a flock of these little birds again soon.

Happy summer, all!

A Spring Launch

I recently attended a launch of new spring books published by Groundwood. It was a great evening at Kidsbooks hearing about a variety of fun and interesting titles, and catching up with my writer friends.

The books included The Snuggly by my friend, Glen Huser, and is the charming story of a little boy who thinks a snuggly is a great place to carry all manner of things — until it’s not!

Children’s poet and my friend, Robert Heidbreder, introduced his book Rooster Summer, a nostalgic and poetic look back at his childhood growing up on a mid-western farm in Illinois.

And finally, I met Nancy Vo, the author and illustrator of her first book for kids, The Outlaw, a story of a mysterious stranger who rides into town.

Much great spring reading from talented people!

West Coast Spring

After a very long fall and winter of rain, we west coasters are happy to see the sunshine! Along with the sunny days comes warmer temperatures and, best of all, trees in full blossom. My magnolia tree is blooming brightly and the ornamental cherry trees are decorating the streets of our fair city.

In the spirit of new beginnings, I’m happy to report I have two spring manuscripts in the works. One of them is on its way to becoming a book titled Cooking with Bear to be released by Groundwood next spring. And the other is a west coast nature manuscript, recently submitted to my publisher for consideration. (My fingers are tightly crossed.)

If spring has not sprung for you yet, I trust it will happen soon. In the meantime, I hope you enjoy the blossoms via this post. Cheers!

Spring Break Fun

The great thing about having young children in the family is that I get to spend time with them and see the world through their eyes — much fun for me and also excellent professional development for my day job as a writer of books for kids.

Over spring break, I had the pleasure of visiting Science World (to see the Ripley’s Believe or Not exhibition) and the Vancouver Aquarium with my young family members. On each occasion, we had an interesting and amazing time, checking out the awe-inspiring marine creatures (such as these jellyfish) at the aquarium and learning many weird and wonderful facts at Science World.

I made mental notes of the experiences the kids enjoyed most and will save these memories for some possible upcoming books. It’s always a treat to spend time with the kids, who taught me a lot this holiday break.

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.