Archive for the ‘contest’ Category

Jelly the cat in the jam aisle

July 8, 2013

This little “breakfast-time” story I wrote for Smuckers Jam is available right now in the PB & J aisle of  grocery stores across Canada (though finding it is a bit hit and miss).

Smuckers story

Here’s a little look inside:

SCN_0024

You can read or download the whole story here. The story is part of a summer campaign to encourage parents to read with their children (and buy Smuckers jam). There is also a contest with a story written by children’s author Ted Staunton as the prize. Find out more here (contest ends Aug 6, 2013). It’s a bit confusing, because it sounds like the prize is a personalized version of my story and that Ted Staunton wrote it (my name isn’t mentioned, and I knew it wouldn’t be when I wrote the story for them), but the prize (from what I understand) is a new story written by Ted, and the winning child and his/her family get included in the story.

Anyway, I had fun writing the story, and I’m happy to be part of something that encourages parents to read with their children (and I like jam).

Fraser River flood flashback (and book giveaway)

May 21, 2012
On this day in 1948*, the town of Agassiz’s Victoria Day dance was interrupted by news that the Fraser River was about to flood. Men, young and old, quietly left the dance to build up the sandbag dyke along the river and begin what would inevitably be a lost battle to keep the water back and protect their homes, farms and businesses. A few days later, children waded through waist deep water on the school grounds, men rowed boats down the main street of town, and hundreds of dairy cows choked the road west of town as farmers herded them to higher ground, murky water licking at their heals.

Tom, the main character of my new chapter book, Flood Warning, wishes he could join his father and the other men fighting the flood. He’s sure his favorite radio hero, the Lone Ranger, would do no less. At the very least, the Lone Ranger on his firy horse, Silver, would escort the evacuation train safely out of town. But Tom has to go to school, and when school is dismissed early, he has to stay home and help his mom around the house. Until the flood comes to him, and Tom must become a real-life hero and help save his family’s dairy cows. (Info on book giveaway at bottom of post.)

The story, while fiction, is based on what really happened during the 1948 flood. Agassiz was the first town to be evacuated (read Flood Warning for the unusual role played by the town cemetery), but communities all along the Fraser Valley were affected. In total, 30,000 civilians (local farmers, townspeople, and volunteers from other areas) sprang into action to fight the flood, rescue stranded people and animals, and bring in supplies. Sixteen thousand people (including 3,800 children) were forced to flee, and hundreds of animals were also removed to safety (750 cows were evacuated in Agassiz alone). Roads (including the Trans Canada Highway) and railways were swamped, people who remained in the flooded areas were cut off from the rest of the world, and even the city of Vancouver was isolated from the rest of the country except by plane.

When the water finally began to recede two weeks later, it left devastation in its wake. Orchards and field crops were destroyed, debris was everywhere, floor boards of houses, cupboards, stairs, etc. were warped and rotting, carpets were ruined, walls stained, water-soaked furniture falling apart, and dark stagnant water and mud remained stuck in low areas. Yet, throughout the ordeal, there was a sense of camaraderie and mutual support, and people’s spirits remained high.

For more information on the Fraser River flood, Nature’s Fury, a first-hand account by newspaper correspondents and photographers who witnessed the flood, is available to download from the city of Chilliwack’s website.

Check out Flood Warning for a child’s eye view.

Book giveaway!

I’m giving away a signed copy of Flood Warning along with a bookmark, special button, and a DVD that includes episodes of the 1950s Lone Ranger TV show. Add a comment here, or “Like” my Facebook page to be entered in the draw. (Draw deadline: June 15, 2012.)

Of course, you can also ask for the book at your local bookstore, or order it through Amazon.comAmazon.ca and other online sources.

Flood Warning is part of the Orca Echoes series for grades 1-3 and is illustrated by Leanne Franson (Leanne also illustrated my previous chapter book, Mystery of the Missing Luck, and I love her work).

* Note: Today is Victoria Day here in Canada, and it was on Victoria Day in 1948 that the flood warning began, however, in 1948 Victoria Day fell on May 24th.

Book Party!

April 26, 2011

My new book is out! Mystery of the Missing Luck (Orca Book Publishers), illustrated by Leanne Franson, is a chapter book for ages 6-8 about a young girl, her relationship with her grandmother, and what happens when Maneki Neko, a lucky cat statue, goes missing from the grandmother’s Japanese bakery.

Usually, when I have a new book published, I celebrate with a launch event at a library, book store, or other physical venue. This time, I’m trying something new –a virtual book tour, online book give-a-ways, and a special Missing Luck – Lucky Cat contest. The prize is a Lucky Cat bag full of unique Maneki Neko (beckoning cat) items from Japan (including a cute plush beckoning cat, a wooden prayer plaque from Gotokuji Temple where the first Maneki Neko originated, tabi socks, hashi/chopsticks, stickers, candy, charm, etc. as well as a signed copy of my new book). Anyone can enter the Missing Luck – Lucky Cat contest here on my blog or on Facebook. All you have to do to enter the contest is leave a comment at the bottom of this blog post letting me know you’d like to enter and telling me why you’d like to win our great prize pack. Leave a comment on my Facebook page for an extra chance to win. The Missing Luck contest is being co-sponsored by the Lucky Cat – Maneki Neko blog and Lucky Cat Facebook page, so you have even more chances of winning by leaving comments there as well. Spread the word by posting a link to the contest on your blog, Facebook, or Twitter, let us know, and we’ll give you an extra draw entry. We’ll be holding the draw May 20 and announcing the winner here and on Facebook.

Follow me on my tour as I hop from blog to blog, sharing stories about how I came to write Mystery of the Missing Luck, visited the home of the first Maneki Neko in Japan, and learned about an-pan, a special Japanese bun that inspired a cartoon super hero. Leave a comment after one of my blog posts, and the host will enter your name in a draw for a copy of Mystery of the Missing Luck. There will be a book given away at each blog stop (4 separate book give-a-ways, plus a book with the Missing Luck prize pack).

Teachers, if you have a class that would like to enter any of the draws, students can enter individually, or the whole class can enter as one (if a class wins the Missing Luck prize pack, I’ll make sure there are enough Lucky Cat candies for everyone in the class to try one, and I’ll add a class set of Mystery of the Missing Luck bookmarks). A downloadable teachers’ guide to the book will be available from Orca’s website.

Mystery of the Missing Luck tour schedule (2011):

April 28 – I’ll be visiting the blog of kc dyer, author of historical and contemporary fiction for kids and teens, including A Walk Through a Window and its sequel Facing Fire

May 2 – Check out my post on the site of Orca Book Publishers

May 6 – Find me at the blog of Tanya Lloyd Kyi, author of Burn: The Life Story of Fire, Jared Lester, Fifth Grade Jester, and other fiction and non-fiction titles

May 7 – I’ll be breaking with the virtual theme by joining the Burnaby Library‘s celebration of Canadian Children’s Book Week in person (at the Metrotown library branch)

May 11 – My stop will be the Children’s Writers and Illustrators of BC (CWILL BC) blog

May 18 – I’ll be joining fellow Orca authors for a group book launch (yes, this one is also live and in person) at Vancouver Kidsbooks, 3083 West Broadway, Vancouver, BC, 7pm [Note: this is a change of location from the previously announced, Ardea Books]

May 19 (or shortly after) – see photos of the group launch on Orca’s blog and the CWILL BC blog

May 20 – Missing Luck – Lucky Cat prize draw! [note: contest now closed, but if you’re interested in Lucky Cats there may be a future Maneki Neko-themed contest on the Lucky Cat blog and/or Facebook site]

Please ask for Mystery of the Missing Luck at your local book store, or order it through IndieboundAmazon.comAmazon.ca, or Chapters/Indigo. [note: if you plan on ordering the book through Amazon, please use my links -thanks!]