Happy Earth Day!
It is a day to celebrate nature, the earth and all its creatures. Take a walk in the spring sunshine, listen to the birds and revel in the beauty around you.
I miss being with kids in school on days like today — they are so full of enthusiasm for the natural world and the plants and animals that share our earthly home. But I will mark the day with the kids in spirit and go for a long walk under the big, beautiful trees in my neighbourhood.
This lovely illustration is from West Coast Wild Babies and is painted by my talented collaborative partner, Karen Reczuch. We both love the giant west coast trees!
From my corner of the world (the beautiful west coast of Canada) to yours: Happy New Year!
May your 2021 be happy and healthy, and full of many good books to read!
Today, in my part of the world, is the last day of school until the New Year. I’d like to wish all the students and teachers a very happy holiday!
It’s been a tough year and not quite getting easier yet, but there is good news ahead with a vaccine being delivered across the country.
Please stay healthy and safe and enjoy your break in whatever ways you can. Warm wishes for 2021! It’s a good time to be cozy at home, spending your days reading some wonderful books. (May Santa fill your stocking with them!)
Happy Winter Break!
As the days become shorter and the dark arrives early, I’m often thinking about what an unusual fall we are having. Like so many of us, I wish we could gather with family and friends but, alas, this is not the time to do so. Instead, I am posting this charming winter scene of a happy gathering of children, to give us a little bit of brightness in a challenging time.
This lovely picture is from a Unicef card painted by the Canadian artist, Terry Ananny. I hope you enjoy it! In the meantime, stay healthy and well.
As children and teachers head back to class, I’d like to wish them a happy, healthy start to the new school year. There are many challenges to be faced as students and educators navigate the protocols for the Covid virus, and I will be thinking about everyone and sending my warmest thoughts.
Some students, too, will remain at home doing their schoolwork online. I also wish them and their parents a happy and productive start to the year.
For educators, I have written a Teacher’s Guide to accompany my most recent book, West Coast Wild Babies. The activities listed can be used either in the classroom or in a home learning environment. Many of them can be enjoyed outside.
You can find the guide by clicking on Teacher’s Guide or by visiting Classroom Activities on this website. There, you can also see educator’s guides for many of my other books, too.
This will be a very different year for all of us, but I know we have the strength and courage to make it through. I will miss visiting classrooms, and look forward to the day when we can see each other again.
Take care, stay well, and all the best for the new school year.
Summer is here and I’m looking forward to spending time exploring the wild beaches of Vancouver Island’s far west coast (where this beautiful image is situated).
These lovely birds are black oystercatchers and they are one of the species included in West Coast Wild Babies, my most recent book. The gorgeous illustrations are painted by my talented co-creator, Karen Reczuch.
If you have a chance to visit the seashore this summer, I highly recommend it. It is a wonderful way to experience nature and unwind.
I send my warmest wishes to all the students and teachers who are now on summer break. It hasn’t been an easy time for any of you this year, and I am proud of you all!
Have a safe and happy holiday!
Winter is officially here and even though the weather is colder (and very rainy on our west coast!), it is a time of year I enjoy. In fact, I love every season of the year and am always grateful we live in a place where we experience four distinct seasons.
We are deeply into the festive time of year and I am thinking about the many wonderful titles there are to choose from when selecting gifts for family and friends. What better way to shop than to visit your favourite bookstore!
And, as schools are now closed for the winter break, I think of the children living in our city who need a warm, safe and happy space to spend their time over the holidays. That’s why I am always glad to support our local KidSafe organization. I know that children will be provided with fun, food and caring staff.
This snowman card was created by one of the children at KidSafe. I love their cards! If you’d like to support the important work of this group, please see their website for more information. Happy holidays!
Today is the first day of school in my part of the world — a very exciting day, indeed!
I’m thinking about all the kids and teachers who are back in the classroom and hoping that everyone feels refreshed and rejuvenated after their summer break, ready to embrace the challenges of a new year.
Before I began writing, I was a primary teacher (I enjoyed my job so much!). I remember with fondness the first day of school, seeing the children eager and full of enthusiasm, glad to be reunited with their friends and keen to embark on a new year.
I wish all the teachers and students a happy school year, with much learning, oodles of fun, and many good books to read!
(The photo is from a school I visited a few years ago. The children are enjoying some of my wildlife books.)
A few weeks ago, I had the good fortune to visit the west coast of Vancouver Island (an annual holiday trek) and spent a lot of time walking the beautiful beaches, peering into tidepools and watching the ebb and flow of the ocean.
It was both an inspiring and restful trip — a wonderful place for a writer to unwind.
I’m back home with a notebook full of ideas, hoping to turn some of them into books one of these days (perhaps when the sunny weather disappears and the west coast rain returns).
The photos show the little cove at Mackenzie Beach where we stayed and a rocky shoreline full of tidepools.
I discovered many fascinating creatures in the tidepools: hermit crabs, giant green anemones, orange and purple sea stars, blue mussels, barnacles of every size and more. These lovely marine animals may soon find their way into upcoming book. It was fun to do the research!
Summer is in full swing! I hope you are enjoying it wherever you are.
I want to thank all the dedicated teachers and librarians who have worked so hard with the children in their care over the past year. You are inspiring!
And to all the students who are in the midst of summer holidays: I hope you are having a fun, happy, relaxing time with your family and friends. You deserve it!
The art on this page is from Cooking with Bear, my most recent book. I chose it for this post because it shows two friends having fun together, cooking and eating delicious seasonal food. I love the happy smile on Bear’s face. Thank you to Lisa Cinar for this very sweet image.
In the spirit of summer fun, Bear and I suggest you take some time over the holidays to cook and eat with friends. It is a wonderful way to spend time together!