Author Tags: Kidlit & Young Adult
CITY/TOWN: Bowen Island
DATE OF BIRTH: Feb.8,1949
PLACE OF BIRTH: England
ARRIVAL IN CANADA: 1950
The Patchwork House (Orca Book Publishers, 1996)
Two Shoes, Blue Shoes, New Shoes (Fitzhenry & Whiteside, 2002)
On Uncle Joe's Farm (Fitzhenry & Whiteside, 2003; 2006). Illustrated by Brian Deines.
Pig in the Middle (Fitzhenry & Whiteside, 2004).
BIOGRAPHICAL DETAILS: She spent nine years working with dyslexic and ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder) children in the classroom and as a private therapeutic tutor. For ages 4-to-8, Pig in the Middle was illustrated by her daughter, Kirsti Wakelin of Vancouver, who has illustrated other books.
[BCBW 2006] "Kidlit"
Pigs in the muddle
The cat’s lost her kittens, the teapot is missing and Grandpa is gone. “I don’t like the look of this,” Emily says. “There is a mystery here.” The only clue is the trail of cake crumbs leading to the garden maze.
That’s the set-up for Pig in the Middle (Fitzhenry & Whiteside, $19.95), a subtle tale of a child’s acceptance of memory loss in a grandparent by Sally Fitz-Gibbon and her daughter Kirsti Anne Wakelin.
On days when “the pig dances in her garden,” Grandma forgets. The rake and pruning shears end up in the sitting room armchair. Peppermints and gloves disappear. The dog looks worried. But Emily knows what to do. She finds a map of the zoo. She and Grandma set off at once.
Soon they are in a fantasy land of acrobats and monkeys sipping tea, Chinese dragons and masquerades. But isn’t that Grandma’s rose-covered shawl? And the red checkered tablecloth? In a world of mysterious peacocks and dancing pigs, something of the familiar still remains.
A hobby horse. Pigeons. A favourite sun hat. And then, just like that, there are the teapot, the kittens – and Grandpa!
For many years Fitz-Gibbon worked as a classroom aide with reading-disabled children and now writes in a room with an ocean view at her Bowen Island home. Previous picture books include Lizzi’s Storm and On Uncle John’s Farm. Wakelin, who studied art at Capilano College and BCIT, has previously illustrated A Pod of Orcas and When They Are Up.
by Louise Donnelly