Miss Emily the Cat at Home in KCDC!

It has been such and honour to help support this important endeavour – and we are so excited to have these prints framed and hanging in the Kootenay Child Development Center! Read more by clicking the following link >>> MISS EMILY THE CAT AT HOME IN KCDC!

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…


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

Miss Emily Goes to Bat for Kootenay Child Development Centre

Recently concluded our fundraiser for Kootenay Child Development Centre!!! Thought we would share the story – check it out – click here >>> Miss Emily Goes to Bat for Kootenay Child Development Centre

Singing a Different Tune

Last week I got to read Miss Emily Goes to Bat to three different classrooms (photos an updates on these coming soon!). I hadn’t read to a group for over a month and was surprised by just how much I’d missed it.

The thing is, I can’t sing. I love music – blues, big band, do-wop, country, reggae, classic rock, 80’s hair bands, 90’s grunge and yes, even the new bands whose lead singers are young enough to be my own kids.

I watch American Idol, The Voice and even that cheesy game show, Don’t forget the Lyrics. But I can’t sing. In fact I’m such a bad singer that when my boys Will and Thom were babies and nursing,  anytime I began to sing to them they’d respond with a tiny little hand to my mouth. “Please don’t sing mom, you’re ruining a perfectly good meal here.”

So you see, I’ll never make it as a rock star. Naturally I thought that the acclaim of the crowd (or even my babies) was forever out of my grasp. And then Miss Emily happened and the crowd went wild…

Yes, I know it’s not really me; it’s Miss Emily and Will and Thom that the kids love. Yes, I realize that their laughter is really reserved for the three mice riding on the top of the bus, that their attention is on Rover the Dog as he steps in a pail and they lean forward in their seats –breaths held in anticipation– over Coach Burt’s reaction to the “mess that’s been made”.

But when the story is over and I see the small hands lift up from within the crowd of listeners, not to ask for silence but to ask questions, I realize I might be wrong. I think about the melody in narrative, the tempo in the telling, the chorus of action in all the characters. Maybe I’m just singing a different kind of song after all.

Steeple’s Kindergarten Class

We had the honour of reading to a kindergarten class at Steeple school recently. Kids are so awesome because life is so full of wonder for them! It is such a joy to watch them react and interact with us while we read to them. (Well… actually Trina reads and I take pictures 🙂 ).  A BIG thanks to Miss Johns for having us in her classroom!!!

Miss Emily looks good in red – don’t ya think?

Cutie kids!!!


In continued support of the Kootenay Child and Health Development Center – Trina and I recently held another reading for the EK Homeschooling group. This was one of the first times the we got to read to school aged kids and it was fun to watch how differently they responded.  Miss Emily seems to appeal to 2 years of age all the way up to even 9 years of age – super exciting!!!

Once again I managed to stay behind the camera (he he 😉 ) but here are some shots from the reading>>>

Big thank-you to the EK homeschooling group – we so appreciated you having us!!!

Our First Reading!

We had our first reading & colouring time at the Kimberley Public Library this past Tuesday and despite Trina and I both showing up sick – it turned out great! The kids came in costumes because it was the week before Halloween – I could have photographed every one of them – they were so cute!!!

Thanks so much to the staff at the Kimberley Public Library – you were all so helpful and immensely kind! Great Warmth and gratitude to you!

Here are some shots of the reading. (Notice I managed to stay behind the camera and out of the pics – he he 😉 )