I was 12 years old when my first cartoon was published in a Toronto newspaper. I got paid five dollars for that cartoon, so I figured that maybe I should keep drawing. I’ve been writing stories and drawing cartoons ever since. My teachers in school often encouraged me to move beyond cartoons into more respected forms of art, so I figure that as soon as I find a more respected form of art, I’ll definitely drop the cartooning.
Over the years I have worked as a short-order cook, a library technician, a book binder, a desktop publisher and a graphic designer, but my favourite thing to do by far is to write and illustrate books for kids. It’s just so much fun!
If I’m not writing or drawing, I’m probably puttering around in my garden, or reading. Books have always been a very big part of my life. My mother is a librarian and my husband works for the Toronto Public Library (yes, we met at a library!), so I guess you could say that I married into the family business. I live in Toronto, Canada, with my husband Guy and two fat cats named Maggie and Hamish, in a cosy old house overflowing with books.
I am a member of the Canadian Society of Children’s Authors, Illustrators and Performers, The Canadian Children’s Book Centre, The Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators, The Writers’ Union of Canada, and The National Cartoonists Society.
My illustrated book, Snowy Science: 25 Cool Experiments was chosen as one of the 2011 OLA Best Bets for Children and Young Adults.
The Pirate and the Penguin was named one of the top 10 Great Books for Children for 2011.
My cartoon collection Saints of Note was awarded third place at the 2010 Catholic Press Association Awards for children’s books.
I was awarded Cartoon of the Year (over 10,000 circulation) for the Ontario Community Newspapers Association 2008 Better Newspaper Awards, and I was awarded 3rd prize for the 2009 OCNA Better Newspaper Awards, for the category of Cartoonist of the Year.
13 Ghosts of Halloween was chosen by Resource Links as one of the Best of the Year for picture books in 2007, picked as one of The Canadian Children’s Book Centre’s Best Books for Kids & Teens 2008, and the French edition was named one of the Great Books for 2009 by the Canadian Toy Testing Council.
I was chosen as the illustrator for the 2008 TD Summer Reading Club, a national children’s reading program held in hundreds of libraries across Canada. I illustrated the poster, web site, stickers and log book for the 2008 theme of Humour.
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