It’s Family Literacy Day!

Yes, today is Family Literacy Day!  How will you celebrate?

-Look for events at your local library.

-Read a book together

-Read a recipe and cook something

-Write a letter and send it in the mail

-write a grocery list and go shopping

-learn a new game by reading the rules


Have a wonderful day!


Little Steps

I wasn’t sure if I should share this news here but I’m bursting with excitement so here goes….I’m hopeful that there’s an exciting change on the horizon for me.


So right at the beginning of January, I came across a publisher’s wish list for picture book manuscripts.  It felt like my lucky day as two of the items on the wish list matched one of my manuscripts.  I sent my query and a few days later, I received a request to read my manuscript!  I’m told that it takes around 6 weeks to hear back about a manuscript so I don’t expect to know anything for awhile but cross your fingers for me! It is the first time ever I feel like I actually have a chance to become a traditionally published author.

I’d love to give more details but it is really still a very long shot so it may come to absolutely nothing but right now, there’s hope!

Hope with me, okay?

Kid Lit Love: The Tea Party in the Woods by Akiko Miyakoshi

Hello Readers and Lovers of Picture Books!

Since I have a newfound appreciation for book reviews, I’m on a mission to post one picture book review each month of a book I loved.  So January’s book is right here: Tea Party in the Woods by Akiko Miyakoshi.

There is something about walking through the woods that goes along with stories.  Like tea and crumpets, cookies and milk or peanut butter and jam.  Anyway, this gentle story has a few unexpected twists and turns that keep the pages turning.  The book can be enjoyed for its delightful surprises and re-read for its kid appeal.  Who wouldn’t want to attend a tea party in the woods?


Kikko, a  winsome main character, wants to deliver a pie to her grandmother’s house.  Simple idea, but when her father leaves in advance, all she has to go on are some footprints in the snow and a figure in the distance. The story has a dreamlike quality with an appreciation of bravery and independence.  The black and white illustrations with splashes of colour are delightful and different.  Reminiscent of Little Red Riding Hood, it is full of fun, friendship, encouragement and whimsy.  A sure hit with little people and their significant adults! I’m happy to add this one to my library.

Appreciate what you’re reading here?  I’d be happy to have your twitter follows and facebook likes. Thanks and have a great day!



Pancake Day: February 13, 2018

Hello Lovely Readers!

This year pancake day will be on Tuesday, February the 13th?  Pancake day is sometimes called Shrove Tuesday and it is the last day of feasting before Lent begins on Ash Wednesday.  It goes back to the tradition of eating up any remaining rich foods before fasting.

I have my own tradition of making pancakes with my preschoolers on pancake day.  They love to measure the ingredients, stir up the batter, and flip the pancakes.  Of course the best part of all is eating the pancakes. What a treat!


For fun you can watch the Great Spitafield’s Pancake Race where Londoners go to celebrate.  Perhaps I ought to try something like this with my preschoolers.  And here’s a sweet little pancake song!


Finally, don’t forget to order Katie Shaeffer Pancake Maker a fun little story about friendship, creativity and ingenuity and lots and lots of pancakes.  It is the perfect little story to read on pancake day.

Poke around my blog to find links to all sorts of yummy pancake recipes from some wonderful food bloggers out there in the blogosphere.

If you ask me, any day is a good day for pancakes 🙂

The Hummingbird Christmas: A Short Story

As the west coast rain fell outside, I bubbled with excitement.  I loved Christmas Eve and though a little snow, would be lovely, I was content.   I watched out my window as carolers gathered. Soon, it would be time for cookies and milk; I had written my note for Santa.

Dear Santa,

All I want for Christmas is a little sparkle of magic so I can know in my heart you are real. 

Your friend,


My friends told me Santa did not exist.  I wanted them to be wrong.  If I could just see something magical at Christmas time, that would be enough.  Would Santa bring the magic?

I stared at the Christmas tree.  The decorations sparkled but they weren’t magic.

I could smell shortbread cookies in the oven.  Delicious, but not magic.

I stepped outside, hoping to hear the carolers’ singing.  The rain sprinkled lightly on my face.  Then something pink and shiny caught my eye.  I heard a hummmmm of beating wings.  A hummingbird darted into view.  I stood completely still.  I saw a most surprising sight.  The hummingbird fed its babies with nectar from its beak.  I watched as it flew from the neighbor’s bird feeder to the nest. The mother hummingbird placed her beak into the mouths of the two babies; they were tiny and perfect.

Baby hummingbirds in winter… it had to be Christmas magic! Maybe Santa is real, I thought.


This short story was submitted to: Susanna Hill’s Holiday Writing Contest 

A Sense of Place

Have you ever thought about how living in a place can shape you and the life you live?

I live on the southern tip of an island.  It is a big island; big enough that I’ve never actually driven far enough to see the northern towns of Port Hardy, Port McNeil and Coal Harbour.  Still, living on an island means that I am limited to where I can go by car.  And it also means that unless I want to limit my entire life to staying put on that island, I’ll need to travel by ferry (less costly) or by plane to see other parts of the world.  IMG_4851

Ferry travel shapes our lives here on Vancouver Island.  So much that my preschoolers’ play frequently features ferry boats.  They build ferry boats that have room to carry cars and people.  They create ramps for cars and people to walk or drive onto the ferries, and they even rescue people from the water, tossing in life preservers.  It is a pleasure to watch the ferry boats become more complex with moving parts and new ways to transport people and vehicles.










Here, we all understand what it means to wait for a ferry.  To miss a ferry and for those of us who’ve spent our lives using ferries as a means of travel, we know how it feels to be the last car on the ferry.

How does the place you live influence your life?  What methods of travel are popular where you live? How do children come to understand their sense of place in your community?  What is your sense of place in the world?

Feel free to leave a comment!



A little peek at my picture book

Here’s a Peek at Katie Shaeffer Pancake Maker by Cynthia Mackey and Paula Nasmith

If your kids love pancakes, collections, pretending to sell things and parties then you need this book.  If you have grandchildren, this book makes a great gift as it will encourage little ones to work with you in the kitchen.  A cute repeated rhyme and a recipe included.  Check it out!

Self-published by an author and illustrator team from Victoria, B.C. Canada