Kids

Category: Kids

Besides all the mistakes I make, what I most have in common with my character Stephen Noble in The Artsy Mistake Mystery is that I walk dogs a lot. Usually it’s my Jackapoo Mortie that I stroll with between the scenes that I write, but sometimes it’s my granddog Worf and any guest dogs, like Holly the Bichonpoo. I walk through our neighbourhood, which means I know the dogs and their owners in my community. At least I know the dogs’ names—Spike, Diesel, Akita, Princess, Bailey, Niko etc. —what they like to eat and whether they like to play.

Four children’s books have been selected by the Canadian Children’s Book Centre for its twice-yearly publication of Best Books for Kids & Teens. The titles are: Everton Miles is Stranger Than Me by Philippa Dowding; In Over Her Head by Melody Fitzpatrick; Missing Piece by Robert Priest; and White Jade Tiger (second edition) by Julie Lawson.

I love Canadian landscapes. I’ve crossed and re-crossed Canada many times on book tours, and the incredible variety of landscapes I discover at each destination always amazes me. Georgian Bay, the Arctic tundra, Newfoundland outports, and stunning sweeps of prairie all have their own feel, beauty and lifestyle, and stir my senses.

As a writer for children this awareness of landscape has massive implications. Children do not travel like adults do, therefore every story I write not only needs a credible plot and well-developed characters, but it must create a strong sense of place.

White Jade Tiger

To celebrate the upcoming 25th anniversary of White Jade Tiger, Dundurn is publishing a new edition — complete with a brand new cover. The text got a makeover too.

It’s not often (actually never) that I get to tweak a manuscript years after it’s been published. I’d reread the book a few times, but one reads differently in editor mode, and I was astounded by what I discovered. It wasn’t the typos (a couple) or unnecessary space breaks or excessive adjectives (that I happily cut). It was the memories.

Today on the Dundurn blog we are excited to be talking to Shawna Daigle, a children’s book illustrator for Philippa Dowding’s Weird Stories Gone Wrong series of middle-grade fiction. We asked Shawna about her collaboration with authors and her inspiration. Here’s what she had to say...

KYLE: Philippa Dowding has been a Dundurn author for a few years now; how did you get involved with her?

SHAWNA: I’ve known her for quite a few years through some close family friends. She approached me to do some illustration work for her.

 

When I first had the idea to write Hawk, I knew I would have to go to the Oil Sands and see it with my own eyes. I'd done a lot of online research and had already decided that my protagonist would come from the remote First Nations Community of Fort Chipewyan, down-steam of the oil sands industry where according to Mr. Google there was a lot of sickness, including cancer, thought by some to be related to toxins from the industry.

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