Launch of Island Santa

Last night’s launch at Bolen’s Books was wonderful.  A full house.  Of course, it was not without it’s quirks…the mall where Bolen’s is located is under construction.  Just as we were about to start, we were given a warning that a building evacuation drill was about to start.  Fortunately, we were given an exemption, so carried on.

Sheen Lott, the illustrator of Island Santa, and I were up first.  I talked a little bit about the story behind the book, and the inspiration behind the story. I wanted everyone to know that the proceeds for Island Santa will go to support Jeneece Place, a home away from home for Island families who need to leave their communities to get medical services for their children. I was able to thank David Holmes, a veteran sea rescue coxswain who helped me chart the course that course of Santa’s boat at the draft stage of the book.  While I’m familiar with the local water’s, it’s from a kayaker’s point of view. David kindly helped me calculate realistic time lines for a boat of the size of the Blue Fijord (Santa’s boat prior to it’s sinking in 2006).  After I read a few pages,  Sheena did the most succinct explanation of the illustration process I’ve ever heard.

Our mini-presentation was followed by short talks by five other Orca authors.  It was a lovely evening.

Book Launch Alert!

       Book Launch Alert!

Tonight at 7pm at Bolen’s Books at the Hillside Mall in Victoria, BC.

See you there…

Christmas shopping for the kids in your life has never been so easy

Get a jump on your Christmas list with autographed books!  Join us for the launch of seven new books for kids and teens at Bolen’s Books on Monday Nov. 5 at 7PM.  



Come hear Pamela Porter, author of The Crazy Man

Author Pamela Porter

Monday Oct. 22nd, 7:30 pm at the Victoria Children’s Literature Roundtable

Pamela is the author of four collections of poetry, two verse novels, and a novel and picture book for children. Her most recent verse novel, I’ll Be Watching (2011), was shortlisted for the 2012 Bolen Books Children’s Book Prize.

Pamela’s first verse novel, The Crazy Man, won the 2005 Governor General’s Award, the TD Canadian Children’s Literature Award, the Canadian Library Association Book of the Year for Children Award, and other accolades.

Pamela lives in North Saanich with her family and a menagerie of rescued horses, dogs, and cats, including a formerly wild mustang.

The VCLR is open to the public. Members free, drop-ins $5, students $4. Meetings are held at the Nellie McClung Branch Library, 3950 Cedar Hill Road. Come early and browse Tall Tales Books’ table, and bring a friend! Doors open at 7 pm.

For more information about the Roundtable, call 250-598-3694, find us on Facebook, or visit:

Buy art and support kids’ books in Canada

If you are plan to be in Montreal in mid-October, don’t miss the chance to score some fabulous art from some of Canada’s best children’s book illustrators.  It’s a two for one score since you get great art and you’ll be supporting the Canadian Children’s Book Centre who promote and support children’s literature in Canada.  They did this sort of auction a few years back in Vancouver and I came away with an original piece of art from Janet Wilson and it only cost me $50 (including a ticket for the wine and cheese social).

Happy Canada Day

Happy Canada Day to all my Canadian family and friends.  Hope the next year shines bright for all of all of us and for our friends around the globe.

Book club opportunity with John Green

Here’a a do not miss opportunity for book clubs from Penguin USA. 

If your book club has read The Fault in Our Stars by John Green and you’d love to have him on the phone to your book club to take questions, go to the Book Club Call-in Sign Up to fill in the on-line form to submit your request.

Author John Green will be available for 15-20 minute phone calls to a limited number of book clubs throughout July and August 2012. Please note that call-ins will not be done via Skype or video chat. Submit the information below to be considered. Please note that due to scheduling constraints and other limitations, not all requests can be accommodated. Penguin Group (USA) will make every effort to meet your request, given the number of requests received.

Can’t be at BEA

It’s confession time.  I can’t write a damed thing.  I’m just too absorbed with BEA (the annual Book Expo America for those of you who are book people). I’m such a groupie.  I love hearing about the various goings on…the panels, the characters, the free books, and even the entertainment.  For example, did you know of Libba Bray’s other talent outside of writing incredibly funny yet poignant books for young adults?  Who knew she could also sing!  I’m so sorry to have missed her bluesy five-song set at the Little, Brown Speakeasy.  Beauty Queens is her most recent title, but she has another coming out in the fall, so definitely watch for it.

If I were at BEA,  I might have heard best selling novelist and recent bookstore owner, Ann Patchett roast Amazon and their bullying tactics in her award speech.  Now that would have been something!
I would even have been willing to drag myself out of bed for the infamous Children’s Book Breakfast despite it’s obscenely early time slot. I have heard John Green, Lois Lowry, and Kadir Nelson speak on more than one occasion, but I’d hear them all again in a heartbeat, even over a bleary-eyed breakfast. John’s humor and passion are as renowned as his fabulous books, and as famous as he and his brother Hank’s nerd-fighting  videolog.

And to have heard Kadir talk about doing the research for Martin Luther King’s “I have a dream” speech would have been awesome.  It’s one of one of the ‘greatest of all time speeches’ that continues to resonate even after all these years.  The only surprise is that it took so long for someone to come along and illustrate it and making it so much more assessable.  Although I have not had the chance to browse through Kadir Nelson’s tribute to King,  I have heard that it’s stunning.

And then there is Lois Lowry.  She has has written so many books that have touched me.  She has written so many books that help young people grapple with the big questions.  I have heard her speak bravely and eloquently about how fragile memory is.  I have heard her talk of how she used a family photo album to try to help her father remember who she and her sister were when he was in the later stages of Alzheimer’s disease.  She talked about how that experience impacted The Giver, the book which she was working on at the time.

Lowry has always known that young people believe they can fix the world and her characters reflect that.  They don’t give up and neither does she.  She has a way of translating personal pain into stories that speak to young people. Although her son returned from war in a flag-draped coffin, the main character in her new book, Son fights and vanquishes evil.  It’s no surprise to me that Lowry was given a standing ovation.  I just wish I could have been there to cheer her on too.

So, even though I can’t be at BEA, I’m living it vicariously. So, here’s hoping that you enjoy this little bit of BEA that I’ve brought to you today.

Meet writer Sara Cassidy and illustrator Eva Campbell

Author Sara Cassidy & Illustrator Eva Campbell

Monday June 4th, 7:30 pm

at the Victoria Children’s Literature Roundtable

Meet a new author and a new illustrator on the Canadian children’s literature scene. Sara Cassidy is the author of Windfall and Slick, two environmental mysteries in the Orca Currents series. Eva Campbell, painter, visual artist, and educator, is the illustrator of The Matatu, a picture book by Eric Walters. 

Please bring lightly used children’s picture books to donate to “1000X5” Children’s Book Recycling Project.

The VCLR is open to the public. Members free, drop-ins $5, students $4. Meetings are held at the Nellie McClung Branch Library, 3950 Cedar Hill Road. Come early and browse Tall Tales Books’ table, and bring a friend! Doors open at 7 pm.

For more information about the Roundtable, call 250-598-3694, find us on Facebook, or visit:

Times Colonist Book Sale for Literacy

Do you live in or near Victoria?  Do you love books?  If you answered yes then hurry on over to the TC book sale.  There will be something for every taste, and the proceeds go to support literacy in our community.

The sale is both today and tomorrow at the Victoria Curling Club on Quadra Street near Caledonia.

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