Tag Archives: Dan Bar-el

Authors for Indies

Things that will probably happen at Black Bond Books in Ladner this Saturday, as I participate in Authors for Indies day:

1. They will find me curled in the back corner reading some irresistible book that I’ve found, and they will have to tell me to get back to work.

2. I will recommend Dan Bar-el’s Audrey (Cow) to adults looking for thrillers. Because really, everyone should read Audrey (Cow) and it IS suspenseful.

3. I will meet Ashley Spires and say something gushy, then excuse myself to go to the washroom and knock my head against the wall a few times.

If you would like to join me in any of these activities, I’m at Black Bond from 10 a.m. until noon. Stop by and say hello! Also, read Audrey (Cow).

The Christmas list

I realize that little ones aren’t usually my department, but I’ve read three brilliant books lately and I thought I’d share. Just in case you have Christmas shopping still to do…

When Santa Was A Baby
By Linda Bailey
Illustrated by Geneviève Godbout
Sweet and funny, and the kind of holiday book you can read over and over to your kid without throwing up. (A category smaller than one might think.) As a baby and then as a young child, Santa shows some unique traits — a love of chimneys, for example, and a passion for building toys. His parents make all sorts of guesses for his future. They’re wrong, of course, but the fact that the reader knows more than Santa’s parents is part of the fun.


Bug in a Vacuum
By Melanie Watt
Again, a picture book that’s designed just as much for the parent as it is for the preschooler. This poor housefly sucked into the vacuum cleaner goes through each of the Kübler-Ross stages of grief before achieving paradise. Which sounds rather awful when I put it like that, but the book is hilarious. Trust me.


Audrey (Cow)
By Dan Bar-el
In this chapter book, Audrey learns about her upcoming trip to the slaughterhouse and, with the help of her farmyard friends, hatches a plan to save herself. But that’s beside the point. The book is funny and wise and the sort of story that could solve all the world’s problems if only everyone would read it. So not only should you buy it for your favourite elementary-school student, you should also buy it for your great uncle who says the UN should build a wall around Syria, and for your aunt who starts every sentence with “I’m not one to gossip, but…” And then you should buy an extra copy for yourself. It’s that good.


Happy shopping!


There’s been a MASSIVE oversight on this blog. How have I not talked about Dreamboats? I went to the launch a couple months ago, and both my kids (and I!) fell in love. (And when even my too-cool-for-picture-books daughter will deign to read, read, and reread, you know it’s something special.)


Written by Dan Bar-el and illustrated by Kirsti Anne Wakelin, the book dips into the watery dreams of children from different parts of the globe. Really, it’s an escape into an entirely new world with each page turn.

This project took years to complete. YEARS. I’m surprised Dan and Kirsti are still speaking to each other, and I’m surprised Kirsti’s still sane. You can see some of her illustration process on her blog and I have to say, it makes my own writing life look like a walk (sail?) in the park.

But I would also say those years were worth it.