Flashback to mid-summer last year and a public planting found in a playground in the Beltline area of Calgary. That mix of foliage textures and the pop of lime green, yellow, and pink-purple (possibly combined with the fact that it was crazy late in the evening and I hadn’t eaten supper yet) made me drool.
Pretty much any colour is making me drool right now….the absolutely bananas weather has given me a serious case of cabin fever!
Myrtle’s Game – Cynthia Reyes and Lauren Reyes-Grange, illustrated by Jo Robinson (2018, Weaverback Press)
I read Cynthia’s first story about Myrtle, the adorable purple turtle, with huge pleasure – and anticipated that her second book, Myrtle’s Game – co-authored with Cynthia’s daughter Lauren and gorgeously illustrated by Jo Robinson – would be just as beautifully presented. As I expected, it was, celebrating the love and support of friends and reinforcing positive messages about loving oneself and having the courage and confidence to persevere and thrive when others don’t believe in you. And while both of the stories may be geared for an audience of children, adults sometimes need a little refresher, as well! 🙂
I would absolutely recommend reading Myrtle the Purple Turtle and Myrtle’s Game aloud to the children in your life. The power and importance of reading to others cannot be overlooked. (Check out these articles and resources from the Canadian Paedriatic Society about early literacy and the Globe and Mail about reading aloud to the elderly).
I loved this guest post that Cynthia did for Chris Graham’s blog (Chris the Story Reading Ape) – she talks about how Myrtle’s Game came about and the challenges faced while trying to bring it to print.
Between my work schedule and the weird weather around here (no snow, then extreme cold), snowshoeing isn’t really happening this year. My hubby and I have managed one trip so far, in January. Due to the huge avalanche risk nearly everywhere on our side of the Rockies at the time, we headed for a safe place: the first few kilometers of Wintour, in Kananaskis Country. In the couple of hours we were out there, we heard the thundering crack of EIGHT avalanches in the peaks several kilometers west and east of us. That gives you a bit of an idea of just how risky it would have been to head out into the backcountry that day!
I meant to get around to this in September a tad earlier but, as you can tell by the frequency with which I reply to your lovely and deeply appreciated blog comments, or, for that matter, create new posts, I seem to have been delayed by a few months or thereabouts-ish. Hopefully, “better late than never” still applies (in all cases)….
You may remember that in 2017, I wrote a non-fiction book for children about equity; last year, I wrote two more titles for the same publisher (Beech Street Books) about Canadian natural resources and biodiversity. The research and writing of both of these titles was a fascinating and hugely enjoyable experience, and I am delighted that our public library here in Calgary (which many of you know I work for!) is now carrying the books in the collection. I am so grateful to have been a part of this project and hopefully help educate children about these important topics.
(Click on the title below each photo to take you to a description of the book).
I’m a bit gaga over this book – as far as I’m concerned, for new gardeners, it is the best book on the subject of seed starting and saving that I have seen so far. Beautifully written in accessible language that you don’t need a botany degree to understand, Thompson-Adolf’s Starting and Saving Seeds covers all the important stuff: germination, grow lights, heat mats, seed tape (DIY!), propagation and growing media, containers, winter sowing, and wet/dry processing of harvested seeds. Most of the book is taken up with plant profiles and specific seed starting/saving tips for each one, delving into veggies, herbs, and flowers. I was pleased to see crops such as asparagus included – not one that we here in zone 4 often grow from seed (we usually use crowns), so the tips are especially valuable. The expanded section on tomato seeds – apparently a subject near and dear to the author’s heart – will be bookmarked by many readers, I’m certain. This fantastic reference guide is a must-have!
*Quarto Publishing Group generously provided me with a copy of Starting and Saving Seeds; as always, my opinions about the book are my own.
It was a sparkly, frosty day here in Calgary – but just look at that brilliant blue sky over this young elm tree!
I was recently doing a bit more reading about the origins and history of Dutch elm disease, which has decimated elm trees worldwide. (This information at this link is particularly fascinating). We are fortunate here in the province of Alberta that, due to rigid pruning restrictions and strict monitoring, our elms are currently free of the disease. Hopefully this tree and its kin stay healthy and thrive into old age. ♥