Little Free Library Launch Photos

On September 26, we welcomed my Little Free Library to its new home!

A group of kids cut the ribbon. Then we read some books. (Photos above: Janine Vangool.)

Visit the Capitol Hill Community Centre (21st Ave. NW near 15th St., Calgary) for a good read. Or find a Little Free Library near you:

Weeds Find a Way Book Launch Party

More than seventy kids and grownups braved the snow to join the Weeds Find a Way book launch party! We brainstormed the protagonist for my next book: a butterfly-faced caribou-alligacheetahbird. We read Weeds Find a Way and acted out the life cycle of a plant. We traded weedy artist cards.

A great big thank you to everybody who came out! And to my helpers, Kait, Kathryn, Nikki and Sandy - bouquets of hawkweed and teasels. And sprigs of velvetleaf for Sue Hill of Monkeyshines. I love book launch parties!


Grade 3 students used their sketchbooks to draw landscapes and brainstorm patterns. They practised using watercolor by making a puddle of clear water on the paper, loading up brushes with paint, and dropping the pigment into the water.  They drew oil pastel patterns using a limited color scheme. Each child contributed one square of a collaborative waterfall scene.


Gone Fishin'

Here's what we did in Grade 1/2 class during my Artist Residency at Calder school. As with all the students, we practiced drawing in drafts in sketchbooks and on larger sketches, fixing any mistakes in our second draft. Then we went fishin', using Sharpie markers, tissue paper collage, and oil pastel.

Snow Crystal Cards

I was lucky enough to teach a workshop to some young artists on Saturday. Here are some photos of the work they did. Beautiful, isn't it? A big thank you to Emily Cargan and her volunteers, and to the talented kids at the Irish Cultural Centre. Go raibh maith agaibh!


Alberta Illustration Awards

A September highlight for me was participating in the Alberta Illustration Awards Show, a celebration of local artists curated by the prolific and talented Mike Kerr. The opening night art show took place at Mike's (and Renata Liwska's) Randm Collective Studio, and kicks off a month of festivities including a children's book panel and a comic artist roundtable. The art show has now relocated to ACAD, where it will spend some time in the main hall. See more art and bios from the illustrators here. Thanks, Mike, for putting together an amazing lineup of art and activities!

Photos courtesy of Mike Kerr


Illustrator friends Mike Kerr and Renata Liwska invited me to be part of their Christmas illustration swap. Each artist made a postcard-sized tree ornament to trade with another artist.

Here's some collage-in-progress on my owl:

And here's what the final piece looks like:



I traded my owl for Sandy Nichols' vision of the night before Christmas:

And a little illustration elf sent me a Mike Kerr picture, too!

See all forty artist ornaments here. Thanks, Mike and Renata!

Story Avenue

Last winter, chickaDEE magazine asked me to write and illustrate a story for their Eco issue. "We want fiction with a green theme," the editor said. "Make it fun but not preachy."

I brainstormed ideas with grade five, six and seven students from Edmonton's Story Avenue writing workshop. Kids developed characters to use in their own story plots - zombies, robots, ninjas and more. Their good ideas made me think of the perfect protagonists for my story - worms! Check out the September issue of chickaDEE magazine to see what I wrote and drew.

Thanks, Story Avenue kids! See your story credit in print in chickaDEE's September 2012 issue.

For more information about Story Avenue, contact the Young Alberta Book Society. 


We had so much fun at the Good Night, World launch party! After we read the book, we drew NEW good night books filled with all the ways we say good night. Thanks to Kathryn and Amy for helping, and to Sue Hill of Monkeyshines Bookstore for hosting. Big hugs to all of our new and old friends who were there. If you couldn't make it, I promise to bid you good night personally in sixteen languages the next time I see you. Buenas Noches and usiku mwema!


You and any kids you know are invited to my Good Night, World launch party!

2pm, Saturday September 10

Monkeyshines Bookstore

113, 2215 - 33rd Ave. SW, Calgary

I'll do a reading and signing, and then we'll have some treats. We'll break out some paper and crayons for kids to make a NEW book of their favorite ways to say good night. If we're still not ready for sleep (after all, it is a bedtime book) we can all go back to my house and jump on the trampoline.