Victoria Art Gallery: Family Sunday!

Did you know that the Victoria Art Gallery features Family Sundays? The program happens on the third Sunday of the month and provides an opportunity for hands-on art making activities for all ages.

Art meets science with food color, dish soap and homogenized milk.

Sunday, January 19th from 2 pm to 4 pm at the Victoria Art Gallery at 1040 Moss Street.

What do you like to do on Sundays? Share in the comments!

Giveaway Time!

Okay, I’m a little behind schedule with my giveaway but here we go! This is great for picture book lovers, teachers, librarians, parents and grandparents. You can win Picture the Sky, by Barbara Reid and a signed copy of Katie Shaeffer Pancake Maker! The winner will also receive a pdf copy of my story stretchers for 10 great picture books.  See my previous post, Ten Picture Books Every Preschool Teacher Must Have! for a list of the books.


The contest is open to US and Canadian residents over 19 years of age.  If you are outside of Canada and the US, you can still enter to win my story stretchers just in time for Back to School.

How to enter:

  1. Comment on this blog post; What book do you remember loving as a child (It could be a novel or a picture book)
  2. Like my Facebook page
  3. Visit my facebook post and tag a friend

Entries will be assigned a number and winners will be chosen by random number generator.

This contest will stay open unti August 28th!

Wednesday Writing Update

Hello Readers,

I’m keeping myself honest with weekly writing updates.

So this week I’ve been on vacation. Just keeping it real. Even so, I’ve done four critiques on picture books in progress. So that’s something.

And today I spent a little time revising a fiction pb that is loosely based on an actual person of historical significance. I’d say it’s a slice of life from their childhood as I’ve imagined it.

And that’s all folks! Tune in next Wednesday for more updates.

Happy Monday!

Welcome to Monday!  This is your opportunity to learn a little more about the writer behind the blog.

As you may already have learned, I am an introvert.  I get worn out from being around large groups of people.  This is why I love teaching preschool and piano.  My preschool is small, so we have 15 children at a time.  There are no other preschool classrooms on the same site so I only need to get to know the families and children who are directly in my class. And with piano, I get to teach one student at a time.  This works very well for my introverted self.  The summers off are truly a time to rest and recharge and I really enjoy my alone time now that my children are both graduated from high school.  Still,  I’m sure I’ll miss them terribly when they eventually move out.


I’m working on relaxing and am hopeful that by the end of August, I’ll be fully rested and recharged and ready to go back to work.  I’m feeling very grateful that I’ve been able to enjoy a couple of months off each year.  It really helps me to appreciate and enjoy my preschoolers, piano students, and their families when I go back every fall.

What makes you feel grateful?

Books by Cynthia

Announcing a Blog Giveaway August 1st!

Hello Readers!

I’m so happy to announce a blog giveaway here starting August 1st.  Check back to enter to win a copy of my picture book, plus two beautiful art cards by Paula Nasmith, plus an Amazon Gift Card! This will be open to residents of Canada and the United States only.  Apologies to others around the world who cannot enter but I hopefully can do an international giveaway at some point in the future.

This blog has been fairly hidden and perhaps difficult to find so your chances to win are very good! Follow me here so you don’t miss the chance to enter.


And by the way, I usually have a little tea with my pancakes.  How about you?

Summer Reading Challenge: Week 1

Welcome to a new weekly feature here on my author blog!  I’m participating in Rena Traxel’s summer reading challenge and having a ton of fun while reading and discovering new and different picture books.  Here are some photos from this week. Rena has challenged us to find new a different places to read with a different book each day.  By the end of the summer, I will have read 62 picture books!  Yay!  This is the perfect challenge to encourage me to research in becoming a skilled picture book writer.

July 1st:  I began with a bright red strawberry lemonade and enjoyed reading The Moccasin Goalie by William Roy Brownidge in celebration of Canada Day. After all what could be more Canadian than a story about a child who plays hockey on an outdoor ice rink while wearing moccasins? Read someplace in celebration.

July 2nd: Still celebrating from Canada Day, I moved my chair into a new spot and chose another Canadian picture book, When We Go Camping by Margriet Ruurs and Andrew Kiss.  This book tells the story of the camping experience while at the same time serves as a search and find book with opportunities to look for animals camouflaged in their natural habitat.  It has a very Canadian feeling. Read someplace new.

July 3rd: I found a swing! The Best Places to Read by Debbie Bertram, seemed a perfect choice for this reading spot.  Though I’m not sure a swing like this one is best for reading as it makes holding on and swinging a little tricky.  Still fun!  Read on a swing.

July 4th: This was a week of hiking for me so I decided to take books along to some of my hiking spots.  The first book was Little Bear by Else Holmelund Minarik which I took along to the Kinsol Trestle Bridge (built in 1920) where we hiked for the morning…14.8 km in my new hiking boots. No bears in sight on this hike. Whew! Read someplace old.

July 5th: We found a magical spot in East Sooke Park and my friend, Sara, asked me to read to her so I did: Spotted Owlets by Victoria Miles and Elizabeth Gatt was my book of choice.  Read someplace magical.

July 6th: We found the perfect log while hiking in the Mystic Beach area and stopped to read The Owl and the Pussycat with illustrations by Stefanie Jorisch.  This was just the right seaside location as the book begins “The owl and the pussycat went to sea in a beautiful pea green boat”; I can picture them out for a ride… Read on a log.IMG_4873

July 7th: I sat on a park bench near my home to read this picture book about a very difficult topic: living in a residential school.  Though this is not a part of our history to be proud of, we certainly do not want to ignore the injustices done to children in these British Columbia schools.  Bravo for dealing with a difficult topic and making it appropriate for children.  The book is titled Shin-chi’s Canoe is by Nicola I. Campbell.  Read on a bench.IMG_4903
What will I be reading next week? Check back and find out!  And though it is too late to join Rena’s challenge, you can still read along with me all summer!  It’s easy, just pick a new book each day and try reading someplace new each day OR follow along with locations from Rena’s blog.


Blog Giveaway This Week!  You can win a free picture book, my own, Katie Shaeffer Pancake Maker.  Giveaway closes midnight tonight, Pacific time.  Visit my blog at to enter.