Win an Autographed Book!

Just came back from school visits in Victoria, BC. Cordova Bay Elementary had read many of my books and excitement had been building. The students had voted on their favorite stories and also made a large mural of (Emma) chickens. The students and teachers were wonderful.

I would like to find out how many of you read my blog regularly and how you use my site. Please send me an email ( and tell me:
- are you a teacher? Or a parent, bookseller, student?
- if so in which city and province/state do you live?
- did you find my site helpful in using books, planning an author visit or other aspects?

I will mail an autographed softcover copy of A MOUNTAIN ALPHABET to the 17th entry.
Good luck and happy reading,


Reading Good Books

It's getting close to the end of November and colder. A good time to curl up with a good book in front of the fireplace. That's just what I have been doing. Tonight I finished reading MRS. FRISBY AND THE RATS OF NIHM by Robert C. O'Brien. I had heard about this Newbery winner for a long time but never actually read it. I recently bought it at Fables' Cottage bookstore here on Salt Spring Island. I loved it. Not only is it a skillfully written tale about mice and rats, it has wonderful observations about human nature. I found myself caring about the rats and their intricate way of living. I loved the 'pictures' painted in words in this fascinating novel. A good book for any teacher to read aloud, especially to students who enjoyed The Redwall series by Brian Jacques or Tale of Desperaux by Kate Dicamillo. If you would like to see a list of other books I have loved to read, check out my list of recommended books on my FOR READERS page. Happy reading.

November 10, 2008

It's a glorious Fall day on Salt Spring Island. In between editing, writing and researching I try to go outside - to sweep, bring in firewood and fill birdhouses. Just in case you think that writing is hard work, I'd like to share a letter I just received from a student in Grade Two. After listening to my presentation on writing, editing, rewriting, submitting, rejection, acceptances, contracts, publishing etc, etc. this student writes:

Just so you know: being an author is a piece of cake compared to being a second grader!
Have a good day,


Ms. Bee's Magical Bookcase

Students at Shannon Lake school in Westbank, BC made wonderful drawings based on my book Ms. Bee's Magical Bookcase. Ms. Bee is a special teacher/librarian who spends much time visiting with fairytale characters. I thought you might enjoy seeing one of the drawings:

Notice the fairy sitting on the bookcase and two of the three little pigs peeking over the top!

Big Compliment from a Little Reader

I love reading letters that children write to me. I thought I'd share this one with you:

Can you decipher it?!
She liked the 'imagination' I put in my books! I love it.

School Visits in the Okanagan

I just got back after a two week stint of visits to schools in B.C.'s Okanagan Valley. It was fun to see old friends as well as meet new teacher/librarians! I visited 13 schools, did about 30 presentations to over 3,000 students ranging from Kindergarten to Grade Seven. It was fun to share stories and information about books with all of them. A highlight was the Literacy Conference in Kelowna where I was able to speak to many teachers from places as far as Nunavut.
The only problem is that I talked so much that I lost my voice! I'm sure it will come back soon since I'm now home for a while... I look forward to getting settled into our new home (I'm finally putting all of my books onto the new bookshelves) and working on my writing!