Fred is a new chapter book for the early grades.
From the moment I started to write this book, I
felt that I knew Fred well. Why? Because the story is so firmly
rooted in my own childhood fears of that "thing" that hides under
beds, peeks out of closets, and lurks behind furnaces in the basement.
For me, the "thing" was a shape-shifter, but it usually manifested
as some kind of wild animal — lion, tiger, wolf. If pressed to explain
how such a creature could have ended up under my bed, I would have
had a ready answer. The Winnipeg Zoo. Obviously! I had been there.
I had seen the animals. Clearly, this one must have escaped, stealthily
finding its way to my house and sneaking in through the old coal
Well, that was then. And now, after all these years
. . . here's Fred, turning up in a book! He's the "thing" that hides
under Leo's bed. And Leo, like me all those years ago, is obliged
to leap from his bedroom door into bed to avoid getting his ankles
grabbed. He doesn't dare dangle an arm over the side of his bed.
Nor can he get up to pee at night.
But unlike the youthful Linda, Leo tackles his problem
head-on. "Hey, you!" he eventually says to the monster. And so the
conversation starts . . . and with it, one of those symbiotic odd-couple
relationships that are such fun to write. Leo has things to teach
Fred. Fred has things to teach Leo.
It's about friendship. The first in a series.
May 1, 2017
Two New Books for Spring, 2017! YAAAY!
Crosses Canada is a brand new sesquicentennial
book. Happy 150th birthday, Canada!
Carson the dog and his friend-and-driver Annie
Magruder take a cross-country trip across Canada. From Tofino,
BC to Witless Bay, Newfoundland, they drive coast-to-coast
to visit Annie’s ailing sister Elsie. “Are we there yet?”
barks Carson. Along the way, they see, hear, smell, touch
and taste the grandest land of all — Canada! From dinosaurs
in Alberta to tourtiere in Quebec to tidal flats in New Brunswick,
Annie and Carson enjoy every moment. And at the end? A wonderful
surprise for Carson! Stunningly illustrated by Kass Reich,
published by Tundra Books, this book will arrive in bookstores
on May 30.
The Tiny Hero of Ferny Creek Library is the
story of a very small character with a very big heart. Eddie
is a bug who lives in Room 19 of Ferny Creek Elementary School
with his parents, his Aunt Min and his 53 brothers and sisters.
Unusually for a bug, he has learned to read. So when Aunt
Min disappears in the Library, Eddie bravely sets off to find
her — a perilous journey! Along the way, there are gigantic
big-footed Squishers (humans) who could squish a bug in two
seconds flat. When Eddie finally arrives at the Library, he
finds his poor aunt injured. Even worse, a nasty plan is afoot
to close the Library forever. What can one tiny book-loving
bug do? Published by Greenwillow Books in the U.S. and Tundra
Books in Canada and illustrated by Victoria Jamieson.
Exciting Nominations for 2017!
So proud to have books nominated for these wonderful
2017 Canadian readers' choice awards:
Ontario Blue Spruce Award:Stanley at School
Saskatchewan Shining Willow Award: When Santa Was a Baby If You Happen to Have a Dinosaur
BC Chocolate Lily Award (picture books): When Santa Was
a Baby Stanley at School
In the novel category, Seven
Dead Pirates has been nominated across Canada (and
beyond) for the following awards:
BC Red Cedar Award
Ontario Silver Birch
Manitoba Young Readers
Alberta Rocky Mountain
BC Chocolate Lily
Maine Student Book
Many thanks to all the organizers, and happy reading
June 1, 2016
A Springtime of Good Fortune
I have had such a wonderful spring. The children’s choice awards
across Canada are always amazing, and this year some of my books
have been fortunate enough to be voted by Canadian kids as their
to announce thatIf Kids Ruled the World
has won the Saskatchewan Shining Willow Award. Here's a photo of
the beautiful “willow tree" that now sits proudly on top of my bookcase.
to all those young readers in Saskatchewan . . .
Adding to the excitement, a few days later
If Kids Ruled the World won the Ontario Blue Spruce
Award. Illustrator David Huyck and I were lucky enough to both be
in Toronto for the announcement. This was the first time we’ve ever
met. What a complete sweetie! (He’s every bit as friendly as he
Good luck must really come in threes because soon afterwards I learned
that If You Happen to Have a Dinosaur
won the BC Chocolate Lily Award. Chocolate Lily readers, thank you
so much for your votes.
I will just sink back in my flowered chair and pinch myself a few
times. This has been one terrific spring. Thanks to all!
November 2, 2015
Stanley at School Trailer
Stanley is back — and this time he’s going to school.
Check out this trailer of Stanley at
School to find out what happens when Stanley and
his pals sneak into a local school. One thing’s for certain: Stanley
+ School = TROUBLE! Enjoy this preview of the sixth book in the