Enter Now! Summer Blog Giveaway Begins!

Woohoo!  Time to give away a copy of Katie Shaeffer Pancake Maker… my first ever published picture book with illustrations by Paula Nasmith.  The winner will also receive a couple of art cards created by Paula.


How to Enter:

There are three ways to enter. You must go to Rafflecopter to officially enter.

  1. Tweet a message about the giveaway: Entered to win picture book author Cynthia Mackey’s Blog Giveaway #SCBWI #PB #kidlit #Canadian
  2. Leave a blog comment here… what do you enjoy most about summer time?
  3. Dash back over to Twitter and follow me @mackey_cynthia

Note: This is a Rafflecopter giveaway
so you must visit Rafflecopter by clicking here

*Giveaway closes July 10th, 2017

Please also note that comments are moderated so your comment may not show up right away.

Terms and Conditions:

-must be 18 years or older to enter
-one entry per household
-family members excluded
-winner must respond via email within 7 days to claim their prize
-prizes will be shipped within 7 days from the date the winner is announced
-open to residents of countries where Ingram Spark ships
• Canada (Eastern and Western)
• European Union
• Hong Kong
• India
• Ireland
• New Zealand
• Singapore
• South Africa
• United Kingdom

Good luck to all who enter! Fun! Fun! Fun!

Here’s what people are saying about 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.
on May 28, 2017
Verified Purchase
This is a fun read for kids and features a main character who is very inventive and persistent. The recurring refrain helps younger kids get involved with the reading experience. The book includes a pancake recipe at the back that was quite different to the one my family uses. We tried it out, and it does indeed produce “golden brown, fluffy as a cloud, perfectly round pancakes”.
on June 7, 2017
Ok. Now I want to eat pancakes!!! 🙂 This is a cute story with colorful, eye catching illustrations! Loved it!

Get Ready! Giveaway Coming Soon!

Remember I mentioned giveaways coming soon?  Yay! Summer is here so it is time!!

You can enter to win a copy of my new picture book, Katie Shaeffer Pancake Maker.  It was just released this spring so be one of the first to read this great new picture book!

Also giving away some beautiful blank art cards by Paula Nasmith (not exactly as shown)   I am very grateful for Paula, who did all the artwork for Katie Shaeffer and is becoming quite accomplished as a local artist, with her art being showcased in the Fernwood Art Stroll and this year for the first time ever, the Moss Street Paint-In on July the 15th.  We have plans for more picture books together so stay tuned 🙂

Check back this coming week for details on how to enter!


Happy Canada Day!

Hello Fellow Canadians and Readers Abroad,

Today we are celebrating Canada’s 150th birthday.  As I was born in Canada’s Centennial year, it feels extra special for me somehow.

Here’s our Canadian strawberries in the early part of the harvest.  Yes, they are small but my are they ever delicious.

This afternoon we are planning to bake a delicious cake just for the occasion.  It may be a little warm to turn the oven on but it isn’t every day you get to celebrate 150 years of what is an truly amazing and wonderful place to live. (And yes, I realize that the aboriginal people were here thousands of years before now but can we put differences aside and just celebrate that too?)

Yes, we have our flaws but let’s celebrate what’s good about our country and build on that moving forwards.

Oh Canada! The true north strong and free.

I am a Canadian, free to speak without fear, free to worship in my own way, free to stand for what I think right, free to oppose what I believe wrong, or free to choose those who shall govern my country.  This heritage of freedom I pledge to uphold for myself and all mankind.                                                                -John Diefenbaker from the Canadian Bill of Rights, July 1, 1960




Would you believe there’s a philosophy for snack time?


If you are not an ECE or have never worked with a group of young children, then you might be surprised to hear there are many ways of handling snack time at preschool.

Open Snack On one end of the spectrum, we have the idea that snacks are available whenever the child is hungry and that we just let the child eat whenever the whim strikes.

Scheduled Snack On the other end of the spectrum, snacks are scheduled and everyone sits down together, hungry or not.

Believing there is not one right way to do things, I have incorporated both ideas into my preschool programs.

At our outdoor preschool, I allow snacks any time.  The children really do love this freedom.  They love being in charge, being the ones who decide when to eat and what they want.  And sometimes, they don’t eat anything at all and I do not comment.  It is a two hour program so it is quite possible that they won’t want to eat at all during those two hours and that’s fine with me.  Their parents know that it is an open snack and so they may or may not have eaten.  The tricky part with the open snack is that with a larger group of children, it is harder to keep track of which children have eaten and which haven’t and with those who suffer from low blood sugar or that “hangry” feeling (hungry and angry at the same time), it may not work so well.IMG_1954

At our morning program, snacks are scheduled.  We all sit down and experience the group feeling of eating together.  Something about sharing food and conversation is a great part of the human experience so I do like for all the children to participate in a scheduled snack for this reason.  It unites us as a group, gives children a chance to see a variety of foods that they may not have seen before, and ensures that everyone gets a chance to stop and get a little food into hungry tummies.  When the toys are ‘closed” during snack time, there are no distractions or reasons not to eat.  Some children would eat rarely or never when toys are out all the time. I’ve also observed children who wolf down food quickly to get back to playing if they feel that the toys will be available immediately afterwards. The downside of this approach is that sometimes children are genuinely not hungry.  In my mind, we want children to pay attention to hunger cues and eat when hungry but not feel forced to eat when not feeling hungry so I try to balance this by asking that all children come to the table but leaving the option open to just have a little water and chat with friends at the table.

What type of snack program would be best for your young child and why?  Some preschools incorporate both ideas.  Quite often there is a scheduled snack in the morning and an open snack in the afternoon.  Others adhere strongly to one philosophy or another.  What do you think works best?


Tides and Transitions


Here we are in the last days of school and all I can think about are transitions.  After the busy school year I am so ready for summer…bring it on!

And yet, I shall miss my students.  I’m saying my goodbyes to all those children and their families as they move on to kindergarten and to my piano students whom I won’t see next year.  I’ve decided to take a break from teaching piano after what has been an overly full schedule this year.

So yes, my feelings are mixed just as this beach is mixed with sand and rocks, tides that roll in and out and a house under construction that is slowly becoming a home.  In some ways it seems my life is always under construction.

The moment between what you once were and what you are now becoming is where the dance of life really takes place.  -Barbara de Angelis

Transitions.  Not all easy, but part of life.