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Why Write for Children?

January 9, 2019

A more eloquent answer to this question I have never heard, than in Deborah Ellis’s talk at the IBBY Congress in Athens last year. Thanks to Deb for permission to quote excerpts. On November 20, 1959, the Declaration of the Rights of the Child was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly. It states that…

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In the words of the late Jean Little

April 12, 2020

I feel like the ground in winter, Hard, cold, dark, dead, unyielding. Then hope pokes through me Like a crocus. — Jean Little If you’re feeling at all these days like the frozen ground in winter, my wish is that hope will soon come to sit alongside your fears, your sadness, your despair, your numbness, your…

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It Began with a Page

Picture Books about Remarkable Women

March 11, 2020

My local librarian recently urged a new book upon me: It Began With a Page: How Gyo Fujikawa Drew the Way, written by Kyo Maclear and illustrated by Julie Morestad. Gyo’s name rang a bell. I couldn’t think why. Soon I recognized her as the creator of books my children and I enjoyed together, forty-some…

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Banff Writing Retreat

On Coming Home from the Banff Winter Writers Retreat

February 12, 2020

“We should celebrate what we’ve achieved here. Just getting ourselves here was an achievement,” said a fellow writer on our last evening together. In the plane on my way home, I reviewed the reams of rambling ‘thinking’ notes I’d made while away — to get a sense of how far my project had come during…

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Kathy Stinson's grandson Daniel playing the ukulele

Dedicated to My Grandson Daniel

January 1, 2020

The new year for Daniel means a new home — in Boston — a new school, and new friends. He told me in November, “When I come to your house at Christmas, I’m going to give you an extra big hug so you won’t miss me so much when I move to Boston.” As we…

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Anne Dagg

3 Books, 3 Illustrators, 3 Publishers

December 4, 2019

Exciting news about upcoming books — François Thisdale is currently working on illustrations for The Girl Who Loved Giraffes and became the world’s first giraffologist (Fitzhenry & Whiteside)! “The Girl…” is Anne Innis Dagg. We recently had fun celebrating a year since our first meeting. Marie Lafrance has completed illustration of The Lady with the Books: A Story…

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Why Zora? Why Walter? Why Ivy? and Other Name Decisions

November 6, 2019

Naming characters is sometimes easy. It’s usually not, for me, but it’s always fun perusing baby name websites for possibilities. Kelly in Red Is Best is Kelly because Kelly is the name of my daughter who inspired the story almost 40 years ago. I named the boy in Big or Little? Matthew after my son who inspired that book.…

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Reading 2019 GG Books

October 9, 2019

Of this year’s 35 nominations for Governor General’s Literary Awards, I have so far read three — all of them, coincidentally, connected to my work at CNIB. Late Breaking by K.D. Miller – Fiction  K.D. Miller was on staff in the CNIB Recording Studio during most of my almost sixteen years there. Alex Colville paintings served…

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Who is The Lady with the Books?

September 11, 2019

Hint: She said, “If the war is really over, if one is to believe in peaceful coexistence, the first message of peace will be these children’s books.” She is also the subject of an upcoming book (by me) that members of IBBY-Canada got a peek into at the AGM in June. Readers of the book…

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If you see red, photograph it.

The Red Rule of Photography

September 25, 2019

Hard to believe perhaps but the author of Red Is Best — who thinks she knows a few things about taking pictures — learned only just last spring that there is a “Red Rule” of photography, which is quite simply: Looking at my Instagram posts, I was surprised how few contained red before I started a “Capture…

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