Meet Our Authors and Illustrators!

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Author – Trina Ayling
Trina lives in Cranbrook, BC with her husband and two boys. She is presently a trustee for School District 5. Miss Emily Goes to Bat is the first in a series of books that Trina is writing for Whimsical Publishing with the theme that every child is unique and special in his or her own way.
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Illustrator – Micheline Ryckman
Micheline Ryckman lives in Creston, BC with her husband and two children. Micheline has a Bachelors degree in Fine Arts, is co-owner of Whimsical Publishing and is an accomplished artist in multiple mediums. Micheline has illustrated Miss Emily Goes to Bat and co-illustrated Whimsical’s World of Dragons and Whimsical’s World of Horses.
You can learn more about Micheline at these sites: whimsicalpublishing.ca & mishmashart.me.
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Illustrator – Hayden Wolf
Hayden Wolf resided in Toronto, ON with his wife. Hayden balances an extensive background in art and design, along with his love for film and photography. He has co-illustrated Whimsical’s World of Dragons and Whimsical’s World of Horses. You can learn more about Hayden at his website: littlewolfcreative.com

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The Art of the Humble Horse

I’ve known Micheline’s daughter, Hannah since she was about four years old. In the decade I’ve known her I’ve watched her grow and into a lovely young woman. While it’s normal to outgrow the things you loved as a child there’s one love Hannah has never outgrown; her love of horses.HannahRiding Hannah 13 years_02If you’ve been following our blogs you already know this. You’ve probably seen pictures of Hannah’s horse, Lady and pony, Babe. Maybe you’ve even read some of Hannah’s stories or seen some of her beautiful drawings.

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Hannah isn’t alone in this passion; there’s something special about horses that continues to draw us to them from a very young age. We devote shelf space to Classic books like Anna Sewell’s Black Beauty and watch timeless movies like National Velvet. Famous artwork owes its inspiration to this gentle beast from the stunning The Large Blue Horses painting by German artist, Franz Marc to the bronze sculptures by Frederic Remington.Booksthe-large-blue-horsesWhimsical Publishing has also been inspired by the simple horse. In fact,  WE’RE PUBLISHING A HORSE COLOURING BOOK! With original artwork by house-artist Micheline Ryckman and newcomer Hayden Wolf, this book will also include a step-by-step guide for budding artists and horse enthusiasts everywhere to draw and colour their own stunning horses.

Stay tuned for a sneak peek inside the book and details of how you can win a copy of our new colouring book due out this fall! In the meantime, check out this cool website from Horse Channel on their 30 favourite children’s horse stories: Horse Channel. 🙂

~ Trina

Thank-you!

Miss Emily managed to find her way into various homes this Christmas! We just wanted to send out a BIG thanks to all those folks out there who supported our little business and bought our book. We are so grateful for you!

Blessings upon you and yours in 2013,

Micheline & TrinaMiss Em Peeking

KCDC Grand Opening! And a NEW painting!

On June 15th the Kootenay Child Development Center held it’s grand opening! Although I didn’t get the chance to be there in person I was there supporting it in spirit. I totally believe this place is an indispensable addition to the East Kootenays – it is going to be a such blessing to families and children around the region. If you don’t know much about the benefits of this center please DO check out this link to read more >>> KCDC Project Details.

‘Unspeakable Joy’ – 18″ x 24″ – acrylic on canvas.
Please click on image to see enlarged version.

My partner, Trina, did attend the grand opening with her son, Thom. She admitted that Thom had so much fun eating goodies, playing in the bouncy tent and doing projects at the craft table that they were actually some of the last people to leave – ha ha! Trina also told me that approximately 50 folks (in her estimate) attended the opening including Cranbrook’s mayor, Wayne Stetski, the Cranbrook city council members, Sharon Cross and Diana J. Scott. When I asked Trina what she thought about everything afterwards she said, “It was amazing to actually see this center come to fruition as I have been watching these dedicated women work so hard for the last few years.”

The women that Trina is referring to are Patricia Whalen, Gail Brown and Gwen Noble. Although I’m sure many folks were involved in making this center a reality I understand that these women have been the front runners. (Great job ladies!!! 🙂 )

So you still might be wondering where exactly do I come into all this and what does my newest painting have to do with it? Well, Gail Brown is actually retiring soon and as a memento of all her efforts and dedication I was commissioned to do a painting in her honour that will hang in the center.  The painting is titled, ‘Unspeakable Joy’ and it was presented to Gail at the opening.  It was a serious privilege to do this piece and my heart is that it reflects the untainted joy that we see daily in our children.

You can check out more of my paintings at my other blog – MISH MASH,

Micheline 🙂

Kootenay Child Development Centre Opens April 1st – No Fooling!

The Kootenay Child Development Centre officially opens its doors on Sunday, April 1st, 2012 and I couldn’t be more excited for the families here in the Kootenays because I know how needed these services are and how hard people have worked to make this Centre a reality.

You see, even though there’s an estimated 700 children with disabilities in our region the nearest community of specialists is a 4½ hour drive through the Rocky mountains away.

And, even though we’re the only region in BC without this type of centre it wasn’t until last week that the provincial government announced it would provide $100,000.00 funding to our region for a child development centre.

Our community didn’t give up on doing what’s best for the children and families in our communities. In 2009 Community Connections Society of South East BC purchased the old Shannon’s Fabrics and planning and fundraising efforts began in earnest.

Thanks to the organizational and fundraising efforts of Gwen Noble, Jan McGinn, Patricia Whalen, Gail Brown and others and the generous support of families, individuals and businesses the Society has raised over $900,000 of its $1.1 million goal since 2009.

Anyone who’s familiar with Whimsical Publishing and Miss Emily Goes to Bat knows that Micheline and I are a part of that enthusiastic group of Kootenay Child Development Centre (KCDC) supporters.

When we first launched Miss Emily Goes to Bat we did a number of library and classroom readings and pledged 20% of our retail sales to the Centre. We’re also excited to donate two signed, numbered and framed prints of Miss Emily to the Centre.

Congratulations to everyone in the Kootenay region for making this centre a reality –it wouldn’t be a reality without your support! 🙂

For more information on the Kootenay Child Development Centre and some of its incredible sponsors or to make a donation visit the KCDC website at www.kootenaycdc.ca.

~ Trina

Congratulations Mrs. Hammond!

Two of Micheline’s paintings hang in my dining room. My first acquisition hangs on my feature wall and was painted by Mich especially for my fortieth birthday. The second –and equally treasured painting—is a simple ladder leaning against a stone wall.

Both paintings are large, bold and imaginative and they suit my living space and my personality perfectly. But lately I’ve been admiring much smaller and quite different yet equally impressive works of art by Mich and wondering “aren’t they just as worthy of framing”? I’m referring of course to Mich’s amazing illustrations for our Miss Emily Goes to Bat children’s book.

Colourful, animated and well, yes…just a bit whimsical, these illustrations are so delightful I just couldn’t imagine confining them strictly to the pages of our story. And so I decided we wouldn’t. 🙂

Instead, Mich and I decided to offer up a contest to all of the wonderful teachers, librarians and booksellers who’ve opened up their classrooms, story-times and bookshelves to Miss Emily with the chance to win a signed, framed and numbered print of Miss Emily Goes to Bat.

We invited everyone who supported our Kootenay Child Development Fundraiser by hosting a reading to review our book for a chance to enter the draw. On Wednesday my son (and loveable story character), Thom, drew Marysville’s grade two elementary teacher Mrs. Josie Hammond as our winner. Congratulations Mrs. Hammond, and thanks for entering!

We’ve posted her review –along with a few other favourites—on our blog under the “News & Reviews” section. We had so much fun doing this contest that we’d love to do another one in the near future.  If anyone has an idea for a fun and creative contest, we’d love to hear from you!  Who knows, maybe you’ll be the next person to sport a signed, numbered Miss Emily print as part of your art collection…

~Trina

Reading in Marysville

We recently did a reading at the Marysville Elementary school with the Grade 2 & 3’s – this was such an amazingly lovely group of kids. (Well… let’s be honest, ALL kids are amazingly lovely!) We had a heap of fun with them. The kids were thrilled and SOOOO full of questions! Trina is always so gracious, patient and calm with the kids – she is awesome! I’m obviously behind the camera again but I also get the chance to interact and chat with the kids after – which I LOVE!!! 🙂

Thanks for having us Marysville grade 2 & 3’s!!!!

~ Micheline