Summer update from the balcony with the mama mourning dove.

Maya – South Asia Book Award Winner!


Maya (Owlkids, 2016) is the winner for Gr. 5 and under. The other award book, presented for grades 6 and under up, is “What Elephants Know” by Eric Dinerstein (Disney-Hyperion Books, 2016). It is such an honour. Mahak Jain and I will be attending the SABA ceremony this October in Michigan and plan on doing some school visits.

Waltz of the Snowflakes  – Preorder


You can now preorder my next book, Waltz of the Snowflakes!

A Most Magical Girl – Readings Children’s Fiction Book Prize winner 2017


Such wonderful news for Karen Foxlee! I’m so happy to be connected to this book. I did the cover art and interior illustrations.

Here is a link for information on the book and award.





Proofs for Red Sky At Night!

This spring I have been working on a book that uses old weather folklore to tell the story of a grandpa and his grandchildren taking a camping trip. It will be published by Tundra next spring. I have been working with the same people that I worked on the Anne of Green Gables series with, Tara Walker and Kelly Hill. ❤



Mama Mourning Dove and our new pal Griffin

She is sitting on her second round of eggs! The chicks are often in the garden. I love having her here on the balcony from my studio. Even better… we got a puppy! We are all so in love with Griffin.


Wishing everyone a wonderful summer! ~Elly

Snowflakes and Candy

The past few months I have been working on a book called Waltz of the Snowflakes. It will be out in Fall, 2017 with Running Press. Thought you might like a peek! I will tell you more about the book closer to the pub. date. For now, I’ll show you something sort of fun… I hid my family on one of the pages. Here are the grandparents (both sets), my husband and kids, and my brother and his wife.

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Another fun thing to make – CANDY. Here is a glimpse of the theatre I made for the book, filled with dancers, chocolate and candy swirls.


Hope everyone has a wonderful holiday! Let it snow! xo Elly




A Beautiful and TINY nursery on Domino

Look at the beautiful (and TINY) nursery Whitney Leigh Morris (of The Tiny Canal Cottage) created. Recognize the art? 🙂 Over at Domino:

Congrats on the new baby Whitney!


If you are decorating a nursery and like the print, it can be found here at my Etsy shop.

Isosceles triangles and morning light.

Last night I had some off cuts… isosceles triangles. So, I made some more triangles. The kids enjoyed playing with them and so did I. I actually got a little obsessed with arranging and rearranging them. I quite like when rigid, geometry is interrupted. I also found they look nice when softened by light. Hope you like them too:

Lily made a great one.. a bird!

I hope you are enjoying some great time with your families this summer too. ~Elly

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A Most Magical Girl & The Mazza

Happy Book Birthday to A Most Magical Girl
by Karen Foxlee  ~ August 2, 2016! (Alfred. A. Knopf)

“Karen Foxlee takes readers on an extraordinary journey from the depths of a secret world beneath city streets to the starry skies above London rooftops – a world where magic can be seen in puddles and teacups and heart lights lead the way home.” (jacket)

★ “Clever” – Booklist, starred
★ “Elegant and accessible.” – Publishers Weekly, starred (Best Book of the Year)
★ ” Deliciously complex and convincingly detailed.” – Kirkus, starred 

I was so excited to work on the cover and interior illustrations for this book. Here is the cover and one of the interiors.



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Congrats Karen! It is an enchanting read.


The Mazza Museum

I was so honoured to present at the Mazza Museum: International Art from Picture Books summer conference this July.  The museum holds a collection of over 11,000 original pieces of picture book art. They even have a gallery dedicated to paper engineering! I found some of my favourites… Frog and Toad, Max drawings from Where the Wild Things Are, plasticine art from Barbara Reid and the moiré art from Gallop. (If you are curious about the hand – they cast our hands! How cool?!)

It is rare that so many kindred spirits are in one place at one time. I loved learning from all of you talented authors and illustrators! My kids are enjoying your books so much! These were the presenters this year –Mazza Summer 2016. Some personal highlights from the talks I took in: Mary Louise Gay explaining the “Show and Tell” of picture books; Lizzy Rockwell talking about how picture books can bring about social well being, Lita Judge’s inspiring story of growing up in the wilderness and how it has influenced her books, Steve Light’s pen collection (really!), and Randall de Seve’s thoughts on the power of picture books and how they influence us later in life. It is an inspiring week. I felt so lucky to be a part of it. I’ve never given a talk to such a large crowd but it was far less daunting than I expected – thanks to the warm welcome. Benjamin E. Sapp, Kerry Teeple, Dan Chudzinski, Matt Bower, the staff and the volunteers at the Mazza you are amazing!



Other News

The CBC suggests Butterfly Park for a great summer read! CBC Summer Reading

The Kirkus Canadian Edition features Maya!

Teachers, I’ve updated the activities you can find for my books: Activities

We held a Beach Baby book party at the beach. So happy to finally met you Laurie Elmquist!

The Eden Mills Writer’s Festival is coming up . If you are there, come by and say hello! I’ll be presenting on the 18th of September.

And the Virginia Children’s Book Festival is on from October 13-15!



It is so good to be home. Here are my little swimmers (photos by their grandfather, Steve Irvine). Enjoy your summer my friends! ~Elly


The LCVA Exhibition & a shark in my suitcase.

Phew… back from travels and enjoying refreshing Georgian Bay with family. It has been just about the busiest month I’ve ever had and while fun, it is SO good to be home with my kiddos. I am going to break this up into 2 posts. One on the LCVA and one on the Mazza.

On July 3rd Simon and I took the kids to their Grandparent’s place and headed to Virginia to set up my exhibition at the Longwood Center for the Visual Arts. The exhibition is called Chasing Shadows (July-November, 2016). We spent a week with some of the nicest people. I am so happy to have met the staff and friends of the LCVA. It is in Farmville, a town between Richmond and Charlottesville. I was so impressed… everyday people were in and out of the gallery going to classes and peeking in as we set up. It is a thriving, well loved, well used center. In October I will be back when Farmville hosts the Virginia Children’s Book Festival. I will be holding my workshops right in the gallery. We’ll be playing with paper, light and shadow. The festival is going to be AMAZING:


The installation in the front window gallery was quite the challenge. I have never worked larger than about 3ft by 3ft and the window had to be 2 sided so it could be viewed outside from the street but also inside from the gallery space. The final piece is 33ft by 10 ft and is 3 ft deep. I learned so much from doing this and would likely do something completely different if I had the chance now but I like the way the room feels in the morning light and how it glows at night from outside. Here is a little animation of the set up.  So much Yupo paper and all inked and cut by hand! You can see lighting a space like this is tricky.

Here is BETTER view of the install… a time lapse. I am so thankful that Yupo sponsored the show by supplying the paper… that is a lot of paper! (Thanks Bill and Kevin!) I made all the coral, rocks, fish and squid at my studio and brought them with me. I even had a shark in my suitcase. 😉

Installation Time Lapse LCVA

I thought I’d post some photos from the set up and the exhibition. Excuse the quality… many were taken with a cell. The exhibition includes about 70 photographs, 9 light boxes, some early tunnel books, a cabinet of weather, process work for my books and an installation. To read about the exhibition follow the link.

I am so grateful for my best friend and husband, Simon. He not only made the boxes for the show but came with me for the whole week to do install… he even fit in a date to a nice restaurant on my birthday. (And thanks Candy and Les for looking after the kiddos!)

Also, a big thank you to Rachel Ivers, the LCVA, the amazing staff and the sponsors of the show: The exhibition and related programming are made possible through the generosity of Candice Jamison Dowdy ’69 and Charles H. Dowdy III, Northwestern Mutual, the Sansom Foundation, the Virginia Commission for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Arts,  and Yupo Synthetic Paper.


Exhibition in Virginia – Preparations


It is just 2 weeks until Simon and I will be heading to Virginia to set up my show Chasing Shadows at the Longwood Center for the Arts in Farmville. You might have seen a post a while back when Rachel Ivers and Emily Grabiec visited the studio. That was a year ago… and now preparations are in full swing.

The exhibition will show original light boxes, photographs, working drawings for books and a large scale installation in the window of the gallery. The little squid picture above shows a 2×3 ft area of the 30×9 ft installation. My oh my… still more cutting to do!

OPENING ~ July 8th, 2016 from 5-8 at the Longwood Center for the Visual Arts

For more on the show visit:

Here are some preparation shots of inking the Yupo paper, creating the light boxes, and cutting the many, many pieces that will fill the huge window of the Longwood Center – quite a feat for someone who usually works in miniature. 😉

The Virginia Children’s Book Festival!

The exhibition will coincide with the Virginia Children’s Book Festival. I am so excited to be one of the authors invited to participate in this amazing festival. Other authors include:  Matt de la Pena, Drew Daywalt, Marc Brown, Timothy Basil Ering and so many others.

Check it out! October 13, 14 and 15, 2016!


Another bit of news~ Emily Van Beek is now representing me through Folio Jr. I couldn’t be happier to be working with her!

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