Love This Review!

I just want to express my appreciation to Norah Colvin for writing this lovely review of my new book, Katie Shaeffer Pancake Maker.  Norah’s summary really captures what the book is all about.  Thank you, Norah!  So glad you and your grand daughter have enjoyed the book 🙂
on June 10, 2017
Verified Purchase
A lovely story about ingenuity, cooperation, friendship and sharing. Katie badly wants to make pancakes but she’s not allowed in the kitchen. She won’t let that stop her though. From her collection of loose parts and other found objects, Katie and her new friend Baxter together build an amazing pancake making machine. It works so well it makes more pancakes than they can possibly eat. What can they do, but share them with neighbours and friends. If your little ones love pancakes, they’ll love this book by Cynthia Mackey.

More on Fernwood’s Art Stroll

It was an honour to be a guest at the Fernwood Art Stroll where artist, Paula Nasmith, featured her work.  Since many of you are not able to get to Victoria, B.C., I thought you’d like a little peek at our day.

Each year, artists in Victoria’s Fernwood community invite the public into their homes for a viewing of their artwork.  Paula and I also featured our book, Katie Shaeffer Pancake Maker!


Plenty of people came through to view Paula’s gallery of work and there was no shortage of compliments on her paintings which are done with acrylics or water colours.

In between visitors, we chatted about future picture book projects!  We have a few ideas for supporting diversity in the next couple of books and hope that we can make those come to fruition.

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Paula does not sell her original artwork but she does offer framed prints and art cards for very reasonable prices.  She will be at the Moss Street Paint-In on July 15th with her artwork and our picture book.  I am hoping to free myself up to spend a little time on Moss Street too.  We shall see…

Thanks, Paula, for inviting me to join you at the Art Stroll.  It was a pleasure!





eBooks for Children

What do you think of ebooks for children?  Is this a format we should be using for children between 3-7 years of age?  Why or why not?

I wondered if I ought to put my Katie book into ebook format and it certainly makes the book more affordable!  I don’t love the idea of young children using iPads or other electronic devices at such a young age.  But if there’s an adult reading the story to the child and that makes the story more accessible to more children it is a good thing, right?IMG_3969

Anyway, Katie Shaeffer Pancake Maker is now available on iBooks and Google books in addition to Kobo!  So for people who like that format, there is an option.

Keeping it real, Kobo sales have not been good so far.  So I’m on the fence as to whether or not any of my self-published picture books will be available in this format again.  Time will tell…


Have you heard of Storywalk®?  This is an opportunity for children and adults to read a story together entering an imaginary world while walking along a pathway or trail.  The pages of the picture book are made into laminated signs that are hung in trees or attached to signposts.  In our town, on Vancouver Island, B.C. we can borrow these from the public library but it would also be possible to make your own.  The cost of colour photocopying and laminating all those pages gets expensive so borrowing them is much more do-able plus there are copyright issues.  The other alternative would be to buy two books and take them apart to make the posters.

Velcro and grommets provide two options for posting.

I was so excited to borrow my first Storywalk® last week!  I got the story Lost and Found by Oliver Jeffers which is such a cute story and perfect as it is about a journey. There were 31 signs to hang up for our walk.  So many signs that I couldn’t fit them all on our preschool property so I had them going down the street for about half a block and then on the property of our local library.


We took our preschool class in small groups to really enjoy the walk.  I thought about 3-4 children was ideal for a group size.

And, as expected, it was a wonderful experience.  We journeyed with penguin and the boy as we read each page of the book.

Sometimes truth is stranger than fiction because at the end of the morning when I went to collect the signs, there were 7 missing!  Now I had tied them securely in place and it was not a windy day so although I’m not certain, someone seemed to have taken them away as they were nowhere to be found!  Have you caught the irony yet?  The story “Lost and Found” is now lost.  Will it be found?  I do not know yet.  Each sign has a label on the back of the library it came from so perhaps if it is someone kind who removed/found the signs, they that person will return them.

As I drove to the library to return the Storywalk®, I wasn’t sure what the response would be.  I was pretty sure I would be charged for the missing pages but in another odd turn of events, the library had no record of me ever checking out the story in the first place. The Storywalk® Lost and Found was labelled as “missing”.  I found this very odd as I was even given a printout with the return date.  So it seems perhaps I won’t be charged?

I thought the library would never let me have another one but I did have another on hold and they agreed to let me take it.  Here it is!Unknown-1

I guess this time I better hold on to my teddy bear; and all other teddy bears in the vicinity!  Believe me, I will be keeping a close eye on those signs this time!

“You have to get lost before you can be found.” -Jeff Rasley

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Vote on My Next Picture Book!

Let’s have some fun and choosing which books to self-publish/send out on submission next…

Here’s a synopsis of five different manuscripts I’m currently working on. I’d like to get your impression.  In the comments, let me know which story you’d most like to see made into a picture book!

1. Kelsey Meets the Monsters

Kelsey must face her greatest fear when her little brother is kidnapped by monsters.  Will Kelsey be able to overcome her fear and save Thomas?

2.  Dinosaurs by Design

Finlayson’s autism means he is just as passionate about loving dinosaurs as he is about hating the beach. One day there is no babysitter and no choice… Finlayson must go to his most feared and hated place… the BEACH!


3. Allison’s Tree

Allison’s best friend is not a girl or a boy; her best friend is a tree.  In this gentle ode to trees, find out why Allison loves her best friend and what Douglas the fir tree can teach her about true friendship.

4. Honey Cakes for Oscar

Find out what happens when Oscar, a very hungry bunny, must reconcile his fear of bees with his love for honey.

5. Finn and Katrina’s Ferry Fairy Excellent Adventure

Journey with Finn and Katrina as they sort out how to keep their new friendship alive after a misunderstanding about what brought them together in the first place.

Which story gets your vote? Why?  I’m excited to hear your responses. Please share!