Picture Book Review: When Emily Carr Met Woo

Monica Kulling’s When Emily Met Woo is a perfect introduction to one of Canada’s most famous artists, Emily Carr. Young readers will find an engaging story,  a brief history, some of Ms. Carr’s most famous images and the charming illustrations of the very talented Dean Griffiths.

Monica Kulling paints a vivid picture of Emily Carr’s life in simple, direct language. Emily is thought to be a “strange bird” whose art no one wants.  “To make a living, she [Emily] made and sold clay bowls and hooked rugs.”  The painter was known as an eccentric who housed a menagerie of animals, including a monkey she called Woo. The depth of love Emily feels for her animal companions is clear when Woo becomes gravely ill.  Fortunately, Woo makes a full recovery and accompanies Emily to the forest where “Cedars touched the sky. They touched the painter’s heart too.”


I especially like the design of the dust jacket. The front cover integrates a photograph of Carr and Woo within the illustration while the back cover features several of Carr’s paintings as well Griffiths illustration of Woo.

Picture book biographies are difficult to write well, but Pajama Press, Monica Kulling and Dean Griffiths all get top marks with When Emily Carr Met Woo.

Another classic brought to ebook life

Midnight_Store_Display.225x225-75-1I loved this book when it was first released in print, and I’m so glad to see that it has been release as an ebook for a whole new generation of children and parents to enjoy.

Midnight in the Mountains a lovely book that celebrates a snowy family vacation in the mountains. Julie Lawson lyrical text perfectly contrasts the snow quiet night safely tucked in the cosy cabin with the joyous activities of the sparkling white snowy day. Sheena Lott’s illustrations almost ski right off the page and she brings the snowy night to life in a way that few illustrators could. This enhanced picture book features the author reading the story with sound effects that almost make it better than the original.


Ski_Store.480x480-75 Owl_Store.480x480-75

If you’re looking for quality ebooks for your children, you could hardly do better than Midnight in the Mountains.    

Xmas just came early

 I received an early Xmas present in the form of a lovely review of Island Santa in Canadian Materials.  Here’s the link


Things that make me smile

It’s lovely to discover that someone enjoys one of your books, even when it’s one that’s been around for a while.  Here’s a recent review of my very first picture book, Waiting for the Whales

More on Family Literacy Day

The Children’s Book Centre wants to help you celebrate family literacy today and all year long with an annotated list of fabulous books to inspire reading.  Check it out.  Family Literacy Day (January 27, 2012) | Canadian Children’s Book Centre.

SCBWI Conference here I come

So this morning I’m leaving for the LA SCBWI conference Monday morning.  Taking the ferry over to the lovely Olympic Peninsula, then heading down the I-5 with a detour to Nevada so that I can fit in a quick visit to my  mom.  Probably won’t get much of a chance to post, at least not until I arrive at the hotel in LA and have wi-fi again.  I’m excited about the conference,but even more so about taking a picture book workshop with Andrea Beebe Welch, of Beach Lane Books and a novel in verse workshop with Ellen Hopkins.

So glad I have friends who’ll look after my dog, house, and garden, including all the flowers I’m growing for my daughter’s September wedding.  Aren’t friends wonderful!  Happy summer.