This turtle keeps on trucking

I'll Follow the MoonThe picture book I illustrated back in 2005, I’ll Follow the Moon, keeps getting new life. In addition to recently being published in kindle and other electronic editions, the author Stephanie Lisa Tara and the publisher have just assembled a short video for the award-winning book. Just check it out on youtube!

I spent six months of my life painting turtles, sand, and water—it’s pretty gratifying to see how well this book has done over the years, and how well it keeps doing. By far it is the most critically-acclaimed picture book I’ve been associated with (which I think has much more to do with Stephanie’s charming words than my illustrations).

Speaking of videos, I’m still plugging away at a trailer for Kendra Kandlestar and the Crack in Kazah. Be patient! It will be finished one of these days!

New artwork for Crack in Kazah

In just a few weeks I’m off to Korea, and while I’m there I’ll be picking up some of the marketing material for Kendra Kandlestar and the Crack in Kazah. These include bookmarks and posters. In fact, here’s a peek at the new poster:

The Chronicles of Kendra Kandlestar

I’ve also posted a version of this that you can download as wallpaper:

The Chronicles of Kendra Kandlestar.

Just download it by visiting! More wallpaper featuring artwork from The Crack in Kazah will be coming soon.

Best Books of 2011

Best Books for Kids and Teens 2011I was as happy as a kid in a ketchup factory to find in my mailbox yesterday The Best Books for Kids and Teens – 2011 magazine from the The Canadian Children’s Book Centre (CCBC).

Why? No, none of my books were listed (Kendra Kandlestar and the Shard from Greeve made the 2010 list). The reason is that many of my colleagues and acquaintances are in the magazine. In particular I want to celebrate three of my friends who were all listed for their outstanding books.

Rachelle Delaney was listed for The Lost Souls of Island X.

Vikki Van Sickle was listed for Words that Start with B.

And one of my best friends in the whole world, James McCann, was featured with a starred, outstanding listing for Flying Feet. (I might add that he wrote this book in six weeks!)

I’ve worked with all three in some capacity, so I’m thrilled to see their work recognized. Make sure you check out their books!

The Lost Souls of Island X  Words That Start with B  Flying Feet

A tattoo for me, it is

My biggest accomplishment this week was convincing the artist in the tattoo tent at the Vancouver Folk Festival to give me a henna Yoda. She didn’t really know who Yoda was (you can all hold your gasps) so I think she did an excellent job, considering she had to do it from my vague description.

This is a photo of him with the henna still caked on. It’s actually peeled off now and I’m left with the sepia-coloured imprint of my favourite green yoda.

Yoda Tattoo

By the way the artist is Nicole Pilich—you can check out her website at (but don’t inundate her with Yoda requests; she’s had her geek quotient for the week!).

Henna is pretty easy to use and, of course, it’s not permanent. Last year at pirate camp, I gave all my students henna tattoos (though I’m not even remotely as gifted in tattoo art as Nicole).

A bit of a sneek peek

Teenling.I’ve been trying to assemble a trailer for The Crack in Kazah, but it’s been agonizingly slow.

This is for a lot of reasons.

Firstly, I am NOT an animator.

Secondly, I’ve been finishing up my programming for CWC.

Thirdly, my manuscript for the book is not completed. Yes, I know I joyously announced that everything was done, but such is the life of writing. I decided to put it through the grill of two more reads and it’s come back with some changes—some of them very important.

In any case, I can’t promise you when the trailer will be done. But, in the meantime, I posted a short snippet of a humble animated sequence on youtube. It features my new Teenling character. To view it, just click HERE.

This clip, in all likelihood, will not be in the final trailer, as I decided to go in a different direction!

Authors Like Us ~ back, we are!

Authors Like UsAfter a six-month hiatus, Authors Like Us is back! We should be doing some new interviews in the coming months, but in the meantime, here are some goodies that we’ve had waiting in the queue.

Episode 22 features a chat with Canadian author Helaine Becker, who helped spearhead a book drive to bring attention to the closures of libraries in California.

The Strange Case of Origami YodaEpisode 23 is a regular fan-boy-fest as we get our geek on with author Tom Angleberger, the author of The Strange Case of Origami Yoda.

I take my Yoda pretty seriously, so it was quite a thrill to do this interview. I’ve taught this book to several classes—as a matter of fact, the last time was just a few weeks ago.

One of my students (Ryan) not only produced a fantastic origami Yoda, but a marvellous Darth Paper as well!


Star Wars origami.

Time Travel Machines

I spent day two at time travel camp working with my students to build their own time machines. I think they are pretty pleased with their results — of course, if they aren’t, they can always travel back in time and do a better job!

Here’s some pictures of their creations; they are varied as they are imaginative.

Time Machine.

Time Machine.

Time Machine.

Time Machine.

Time Machine.

Time Machine.