Connections  What would life be without them?

We interact.  We comment.  We converse.  We discover like minded people. We get acknowledgement.  We feel united.  Valuable.

Blogging gives us all this and more.


Sharing a meal accomplishes these same ends.  Food: What Brings Us Together was one of my posts with wider appeal for those same reasons.  No matter how busy our lives become, we all need to eat.


Regular readers will know I am a preschool teacher.  Preschool is all about connections as children build relationships and seek to understand the world through play.  In my Story of the Week Series I wrote about ways that children make connections between the stories and the world around them.  As writers, we want our readers to connect with our stories.

Katie, from "The Pancake Machine"

 I’m hoping to build some more connections.

I have an invitation for all those children’s literature supporters out there.  If you are a kid lit author or you review children’s literature you may be interested!

I am looking for some people to do guest posts on simply.cindy.  I would love to have some author interviews or some book reviews to post here so if you’d like partner up and get some extra readers… let me know.  I am also looking for some bloggers who would be happy to run a Q and A feature about me and my soon to be released picture book, Katie Shaeffer, Pancake Maker in the fall or winter.

Intrigued? Sound exciting?   Send me an email with your blog url at and we can explore the possibilities!

Thank you for reading.  I hope we can connect🙂

Developing an Artist’s Eye

One of the things children like to do at my preschool is transient art. Transient art is basically collage without the glue.

The children make an arrangement of collage items on their mats and then we take a photograph.

Here are some examples of transient art done by three and four year olds

Three reasons why I love transient art:

  1. The children can rearrange the items as many times as they like until they have the exact design they want; this allows for lots of experimentation and develops the “artist’s eye”
  2. Children can reuse the materials many times; this means the children can create lots of artwork without using lots of materials. We save money and waste less.

3. Transient art allows opportunities for children to experiment with photography.

Natural materials allow opportunities to create transient art outdoors:

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Here are some samples of transient art both arranged and photographed by preschool children.  

It is such a pleasure to witness children finding beauty in small things and developing that artist’s eye.

Enjoyed reading this post? I don’t get paid for any of my posts on this blog; it is all done during my free time. If you’d like to show your appreciation for what you’re reading here then please like my Facebook page. That would be just awesome. Thank you.


Outdoor Preschool Updates

Back in July, I wrote a post about a new program I’m working on for the preschool.  Because we live in such a mild climate, it seems like the perfect place for an  outdoor preschool and I have a group of parents who are keen to see this program happen!

I’ve been looking into possible locations to run the program and trying to choose the ideal spot.  Ideally, I would love to have a location for beach explorations and one for forest explorations so that we can discover and learn about two different habitats.

The beach location is the one that is less protected so I am not sure it is quite as ideal as the forest; however, we do have one beach area that is a little cove so it should be less windy and exposed.  This one is a fair distance away from accessible washrooms.  We have another beach location we can try out that has washrooms nearby but is more open to the ocean.

The forest location is a little more ideal in that it offers greater protection from the weather and an emergency location with washrooms, which is a real bonus. But the downside to that is the forested area is a little outside of our community so a bit farther for parents to drive but still manageable. So it looks like we will try out these locations and see what works best for us as we embark on this pilot program in 2017!  I will give you updates here as we move forward for those who are interested in nature programs as they seem to be popping up now all over North America!

When I first started planning I thought it would be great to have campfires but there will be no smoke created by our little group… Most of the areas in our community do not allow fires so it looks like we cannot do that.  Still, I am sure that the children will create their own little pretend fires while we are outdoors and we can use lots of layers to keep us warm.

Do you have outdoor preschool programs in your community?  What kind of nature is there for children to explore?

Canadian Rights and Freedoms

As a Canadian, I feel that I live in a relatively free country.  Did you know that even in Canada books can be banned at the border or removed from library shelves?


Freedom to Read Week in Canada will be celebrated from February 26 to March 4, 2017.  For more information, go to  You can download a poster to your blog or website to promote freedom to read by going into your widgets, adding an image and then copying and pasting the link into the url. Scroll down and you will see a sample of the poster here on my blog.

How do other countries protect intellectual freedom? I would be interested to know.


Striving for Excellence

img_2516This morning, I got up a little sleepy, needing my cup of tea and wondering what the day might have in store for me.  I’ve been waiting to hear from the book designer and now I just feel like celebrating because my inbox has the cover edits for Katie Shaeffer, Pancake Maker and the cover is going to be just excellent!  I’m so excited!  Yay!

After lots of studying other picture book covers and how they are done and lots of consulting with people who had some design knowledge, I feel the cover has gone through a complete transformation!  I always loved Paula’s image of Katie in the chef’s hat but now the image has been highlighted and showcased in just the way I had envisioned. Now if the interior edits are just as good, the book should be ready to go in November, just as I had hoped.


Thank you so much to those of you who commented with your thoughts on creating book covers; you were very helpful.  I can’t wait to show you the finished product.