The Tiny Diny was one of my earliest books. My young grandson had a tiny plastic dinosaur. Every time he brought the dinosaur out to play with, I amused him with the verse I made up about his tiny diny. (Well at least he seemed amused). It somehow evolved into a book. It was also one of the first books I attempted the illustrations on.
And then Luca was born. Most of my stories are personal, but no more than this one. When Luca came home from the hospital, Cooper was very excited about having a new playmate. He tried sharing his truck with her but she wouldn't play. She couldn't walk or talk. Cooper had to learn to be patient and that she would eventually play with him.
This was one of the books I enjoyed working on the most. It came about during the strictest phase of covid lockdown. It's a rhyming story about the animals having a barn dance. Once the book was complete, with nothing but time on my hands, I went back over the illustrations to add detail. I thought it would be fun if the farm animals wore western wear. I looked at some of the outfits that country and western singers wore and dressed the animals accordingly. My favourite is the Patsy Cline outfit worn by the donkey.
So many of my stories are inspired by and written for my grandchildren. Cooper, at the age of two, was obsessed with trucks. He knew what they were called and what they were for. And he didn't hesitate to correct me if I called a backhoe a digger (or whatever the heck it was). I knew a book about the different types of trucks and what they do, was a necessity.
This was another book I worked on during strict Covid lockdown. It's a fun rhyming story about animal sounds. Once I finished the book, with so much time on my hands, I went back over the illustrations to add detail. Details the child likely wouldn't notice. For example, the cat scratching post sitting in front of a well scratched couch. Or the garden dug up and a bone buried.
I am a Prairie Girl through and through. I loved working on this book about Saskatchewan. It's an amusing rhyming story about the wildlife and activities you would find in Saskatchewan. I tried to include some landmarks in the illustrations. Things the adult might enjoy. The Broadway Bridge, the University arch, and the Legislative Building in Regina.
This was one of the most challenging projects. A friend, who has a child with Down Syndrome, suggested this book. She felt there aren't enough books written about children with Down Syndrome. I wanted to get it right. I contacted her numerous times every day with question after question. I am so grateful for her patience. The story is about how Tatum is determined to do things for herself, even though it may take her a bit longer.
If I Had an Elephant is an amusing rhyming story for preschoolers. The child in the story thinks if he asks his mother to have an elephant for a pet, she might say no. So, how do you hide an elephant?
This is another story inspired by Cooper. One day he pretended to strap on frog legs and hopped around the house. It seemed like a fun idea for a story.
So many of my stories are inspired by Cooper. It didn't seem right to not have a story that included Luca. This is a book for toddlers about what the different colours mean to a young child.
This story was inspired by my great niece. Through hard work and determination, she developed her basketball skills. She went from 'bench-sitter' to very dependable player. The story, written for a slightly older age group, 7-9 year olds, is about how Maddy's Auntie tells her the hair scrunchie she gave her is magic and will make her a better player. Is it really magic?
Party at the Zoo is a rhyming story about a birthday party - but for who? Spoiler alert, its for the tortoise who turns 100 years old. In this one, I went back over the illustrations to add clothing representing the era of the birthday girl. The 1920's.
Lorne the Unicorn is sad because his horn is too big. It causes trouble for Lorne. Is there anything that can help Lorne not feel too sad?
They found an elf in their house. How will they help get him home?