Book signing, meet and greet and giveaways

Join me Saturday March 24th between 1-3 pm at Indigo Yorkdale for children’s activities, book signing and giveaways.

See you there!



Words on a Limb Interviews Lisa Dalrymple

Lisa Dalrymple has lived with chickens in South Korea, a cat in Scotland, swam with sharks and a gecko (in her shower) in Thailand, swam and fished for piranha in the Amazon River – but she has never EVER shared a home with a polar bear. Between all her adventures, she’s also made some time to write several inspiring children’s books, including the award winning Skink on the Brink.

She lives with her husband in Fergus, Ontario, Canada. They have three energetic and imaginative kids who it would be only right to credit as co-creators of many of her children’s stories.

Skink on the Brink won the SCBWI Crystal Kite Award for Canada 2014 and has also been nominated for a Rainforest of Reading award in Grenada. A Moose Goes A’Mummering, her next book, is due to be released in October 2014.

We caught up with busy Lisa, if only to put her under our Author’s Spotlight. Let me tell you, we enjoyed it. Here’s Lisa!

About writing …

When did you first realize you wanted to become a writer?
I’ve been writing for as long as I can remember, so I don’t actually recall a time before I knew it was something I wanted to do. I do, however, recall the first time I submitted to a publisher. I was twelve and it was a middle-grade adventure story à la Nancy Drew or Trixie Beldon. I sent it to Grolier, the encyclopedia people, to ask if they would be interested in considering it for publication. Needless to say, they weren’t. (However, they did send me a very nice rejection letter.)

What book(s) has most influenced your writing?
As a reader and as a writer I go through phases. I often get so involved in another writer’s world that I find myself starting to write in a similar manner. I have to remind myself to step away in order to find my own voice again. Even then, there continue to be times when I hear in my own writing the influence of writers I’ve previously (and still) adore, like Margaret Laurence or Daphne Marlatt–or even as far back as Roger Hargreaves (of Mr. Men fame.)

When and where do you prefer to write?
At the risk of sounding like a difficult artist, I do need complete silence, with no distractions, in order to be able to write. As luck would have it, we live in an old house, with poor insulation and 3 incredibly energetic (read: loud) children. Needless to say, I just have to write whenever and wherever I can find a moment–which isn’t really often enough. As luck would also have it, however, I do tend to be able to write in just about any physical location. I actually have an old shelf, pulled from a bookcase, which journeys with me from room to room–to front porch, to front seat of our van, to anywhere else that I may be able to hide, curled up with my laptop on my knees.
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My Favourites – May 2014

GravatarMy recent visits to the library and bookstores have revealed a bountiful selection of rich children’s literature. I put together a list of some of my favourites. I hope you enjoy them as much as I have. Please feel free to comment below each title and share your thoughts and opinions. Have a great weekend everyone.

The Most Magnificent ThingReaders pick
by Ashley Spires
Kids Can Press

Award-winning author and illustrator Ashley Spires has created a charming picture book about an unnamed girl and her very best friend, who happens to be a dog. The girl has a wonderful idea. “She is going to make the most MAGNIFICENT thing! She knows just how it will look. She knows just how it will work. All she has to do is make it, and she makes things all the time. Easy-peasy!” But making her magnificent thing is anything but easy, and the girl tries and fails, repeatedly. Eventually, the girl gets really, really mad. She is so mad, in fact, that she quits. But after her dog convinces her to take a walk, she comes back to her project with renewed enthusiasm and manages to get it just right. For the early grades’ exploration of character education, this funny book offers a perfect example of the rewards of perseverance and creativity. The girl’s frustration and anger are vividly depicted in the detailed art, and the story offers good options for dealing honestly with these feelings, while at the same time reassuring children that it’s okay to make mistakes. The clever use of verbs in groups of threes is both fun and functional, offering opportunities for wonderful vocabulary enrichment. The girl doesn’t just “make” her magnificent thing — she “tinkers and hammers and measures,” she “smoothes and wrenches and fiddles,” she “twists and tweaks and fastens.” These precise action words are likely to fire up the imaginations of youngsters eager to create their own inventions and is a great tie-in to learning about Science, Technology, Engineering and Math.

Whimsy’s Heavy ThingsReaders pick

by Julie Kraulis
Tundra Books

Whimsy’s heavy things are weighing her down. She tries to sweep them under the rug, but she trips over them. She tries to put them in a tree, but they fall on her. She even tries to sail them out to sea, but they always come back. Eventually Whimsy decides to deal with the heavy things one at a time… and a surprising thing happens. With exquisite illustrations and delightfully simple text, Whimsy’s Heavy Things is a sweet story about changing the things that weigh us down into the things that lift us up. Continue reading