Thursday, May 11, 2017

New Blog - Please Visit

I've decided to start a new blog and concentrate on Canadian children's books.  Please visit me at my new blog.  I so appreciate you visiting this blog and hope that you will follow me at the new one.  Be sure to comment, like or share as you wish!

Friday, February 3, 2017

Saving Thunder the Great: the true story of a gerbil's rescue from the Fort McMurray wildfire - Leanne Shirtliffe

All of Alberta, the rest of Canada and indeed the world, were stunned by the scope of the devastation and heartache that occurred as the wildfire swept through  Fort McMurray in May 2016. 
Author Leanne Shirtliffe  (Don't Lick the Minivan) and illustrator Georgia Graham's (Cub's Journey Home) have put a very human interest spin on this tragedy.  Children and adults  will get caught up in the urgency of the evacuees, feel their  fear and desperation and be flooded with relief in the knowledge that Thunder the gerbil and his human mama were able to escape from the fire unharmed.  A portion of proceeds from book sales are donated to the Fort McMurray SPCA.

Monday, January 30, 2017

GRIST - A Book Review

I will forever be haunted by the story of Penelope so beautifully crafted by Linda Little in her book, GRIST.  I could not have known when I first read this book how deeply it would affect me.  I felt as if I was holding my breath the entire time I lived within the pages.  I wept. I raged. I despaired.  I felt hope flutter in my heart.  I felt sorrow.  I felt small mercies.  This book will grip you around the heart and squeeze you in the knowledge of the hardships so many rural Maritime women faced in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.   I loved this book even when it laid bare the souls of women whose circumstances were so very much out of their control.  A treasure of a story crafted by a woman whose gift of narrative has left me connected to the women in this story in a way I have not been connected with fictional characters for a very long time.

Friday, January 6, 2017


It snowed here in Calgary overnight and my front lawn is sparkly in the glow of my neighbors Christmas lights which they leave on overnight.  The sun hasn't come up yet and I am sitting with my coffee and reaching to my bookshelves for picture books about snow.  Two books that caught my eye are by Canada's Robert Munsch and illustrated by Michael Martchenko.  Hilarious text and illustrations capture the childish exuberance of the girls in these stories.  Munsch continues to be popular year after year.  Munsch is perfect for any story time but on a snowy day in Calgary these two are sure to please.

SO MUCH SNOW - There's a big blizzard blowing in, but that won't stop Jasmine from going to school - it's just a little snow, and it's pizza day!  But as soon as she sets out the snow starts to come faster and faster until she finds herself frozen stiff, with just her hat poking out of a snowdrift.  The custodian stomps out in snowshoes to rescue her but on her way to class she notices something is not quite right.

DEEP SNOW - Ali and Kate are out snowmobiling with their dad when Ali yells "STOP!"  SHe can't wait any longer.  She just HAS to jump in the snow.  Ali disappears down into a deep hole in the snow and when her sister and dad try to get her out, things get worse and worse and worse...

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Happy Birthday "Canada's First Lady of Sport" - I HAVE A BOOK FOR THAT!

Myrtle Alice Cook McGowan was born on this day in 1902.
She primarily competed in the 100 meter.  Myrtle ( #675 in the picture below) and her teammates, Fanny Rosenfeld, Ethel Smith and Jane Bell,  won the gold medal in the 4 x100 relay at the 1928 Olympic Games.

Calgary author, Lisa Bowes and Calgary illustrator James Hearn have brought us a delightful picture book series    The Lucy Tries Sports series aims to promote physical literacy and encourage young readers to get involved in sports.  I love Lucy!  From the tip of her red-headed ponytail to the bottom of her sporty toes.  Lucy will delight your youngest readers.  I think these books are just the perfect balance between developing a love of reading AND a love of physical activity.

Check out the Lucy's official website to learn more -

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

New Year's Resolutions? - I HAVE A BOOK FOR THAT!

Squirrel doesn't know what a resolution is.  Once he finds out he wastes no time putting his resolution into action and I like how he thinks!  We could all take a page from squirrel's delightful picture book.  With thought provoking words from Pat Miller and beautiful acrylic work by Kathi Ember bring the anthropomorphic characters of the story to life!

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

When I put out a Bird Feeder - I HAVE A BOOK FOR THAT!

Yesterday I bought a bird feeder and some seed and hung the feeder outside the window where I sit at my desk.  I instantly knew I had to share this picture book by Jacqueline Davies and illustrated by Melissa Sweet who is a extremely talented mixed media artist.  Such a well documented picture book with a lot of information packed within it's 32 pages.  This book reveals how the young Audubon pioneered a technique essential to our understanding of birds. 

In November 2016 the gray jay was named Canada's National Bird.  Maybe he will visit my little feeder and I'll catch a glimpse of him up close.  Canada's own Robert Bateman has depicted the gray jay and the gray jay often figures in Indigenous Peoples' lore and art, such as that of Anishinabek artist Mark Nadjiwan.