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About MeI'm a children's author and poet from Vancouver, BC. My debut picture book, LUNA'S GREEN PET (illustrated by Carmen Mok) was a Quill & Quire Book of the Year, + read more and a TODAY Show Best Books For 4-yr-olds selection. MAYBE A WHALE, a lyrical picture book about healing in nature, is a Junior Library Guild Gold Standard Selection and a Starred Horn Book Selection. It is illustrated by BC Artist Crystal Smith.

My poems are published in Best Canadian Poetry 2021, and literary magazines like Arc, subTerrain, Room, CV2, Prairie Fire and anthologies like Sustenance (Anvil Press) and Sweetwater (Caitlin Press). Formerly a broadcast journalist with CBC Radio and NPR, I also write nonfiction. I have two nonfiction picture books coming. WHEN A TREE FALLS is about nurse logs and regeneration of forests, WHAT FISH ARE SAYING is about fish communication. Both will publish in 2025. I love spending time outdoors in beautiful BC— hiking, biking, skiing, gardening and reading! Show Less


My Work Speaker Info Contact Me
You May Know Me For:
    Literature Types
  • Board Books
  • Picture Books
  • Chapter Books
  • Poetry

Published WorksLUNA'S GREEN PET:
Luna longs for a pet but the apartment building where she and her family lives has a very strict NO PETS! policy. While her friends try to help with alternate pet suggestions, none interest Luna. Almost ready to give up, Luna spies in the trash something small, something green, something someone has discarded—a wilted plant. Perfect! Luna names her new pet Stephanie, confident she can nurse the plant back to health. When others question Stephanie’s suitability as a pet, Luna’s devotion is unwavering. She knows Stephanie is perfect just as she is. But will Luna’s love and care be enough to restore Stephanie to full health? And what are those strange bumps growing on her?

This charming story of one young girl’s belief, determination, and out-of-the-box thinking is perfect for anyone who has ever wished for a pet, only to be told no. Back matter includes tips on how to grow your own “Stephanie.”

MAYBE A WHALE: After Grandpa dies, a girl and her mother take the trip he had planned for her, kayaking along the Pacific west coast to look for the whales that he loved.

The trip will do them good, Mom says, but the girl isn’t sure. How can that be true when Grandpa isn’t there? And how will they find a whale in all that water, anyway?

There is so much to see as they paddle through white-tipped waves and calm coves: glowing moon jellies, fluttering anemones and slippery seals. All the while, the girl watches for whales. Could one be swimming beneath their kayak or along the shore of their camp? Are the whales even there?

Finally, in the dark of night, they hear them — pushhhhhhhh, pushhhhhhh — humpbacks breathing in the bay.

In this lyrical story, luminously illustrated by Crystal Smith, mom and daughter find the space to grieve Grandpa and reconnect with each other in the wild beauty of nature. And they come to realize that — perhaps like whales — those we’ve loved are always with us, even if we don’t see them anymore.


Speaking InformationI am happy to visit K-4 classes to read LUNA'S GREEN PET, and/or MAYBE A WHALE. A typical visit would include a reading and a writing activity. For example + read more with MAYBE A WHALE we talk about using sound to make writing more fun (onomatopeia). We listen for sounds in the story and then brainstorm more animal and other sounds. Then kids write a sentence or two on their own. We also make mobiles kids can take home. For LUNA'S GREEN PET we talk about pets, and caring for pets and the benefits of houseplants and why they make great pets. I can also some planting or propagation activities. I have seeds I can bring and/or small plants depending on the class size. I also have activity sheets (paper dolls, draw your own plant etc.) for LUNA. We have lots of fun!

I have presented both books at the Vancouver Writer's Festival. I've also done many school visit and bookstore visits as well as moderating events for both VWF and Word Vancouver.
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    I will visit:
  • Vancouver
  • Lower Mainland
  • French audiences
  • Virtually

    I Present to Age Groups:
  • Primary School
  • Grades K-3

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Awards and Recognition:Luna's Green Pet was a Quill & Quire Best Book of the Year, a CBC Fall Books Pick, and a TODAY show + show more Best Books for 4-yr-olds selection.

"Blooms quickly and keeps growing on you" —Kirkus Reviews

" This book would be a wonderful read-aloud for young children studying pets or plants; it’s unique in that it speaks to children without pets and reassures them that at the end of the day, like Luna, with a little bit of creative thinking, they too can have their very own pet." —Canadian Children's Book Centre

"Luna's Green Pet" is an especially and unreservedly recommended addition to family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library picture book collections for children ages 4-7." —Midwest Book Review

"A great pick for kids who like pets, plants, humor, and/or just a good story!" —Perfect Picture Book Friday

"Unique and heartwarming ... will become a quick favourite to be heard again and again. The book is sure to inspire young botanists and would be a creative way to introduce lessons on plants in school classrooms or for homeschoolers..." —Celebrate Picture Books

"A beautiful book with out of the box thinking for a kiddo who also wishes for a pet and is told no...The back of the book includes information about houseplants, a list of easy plants for kids to take care of PLUS information about the real plant “Stephanie” and how to take care of her!" —Raising Readers to Become Leaders
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