Ainslie Kertland Manson was born on Hallowe'en, October 31, 1938 in Montreal. She spent the first half of her life in Hudson's Heights, Quebec and Montreal. There she attended McGill University and worked for a public relations company prior to her marriage in 1962. The lived in the United States for eight years. Manson took a three-year creative writing course in Connecticut, wrote for magazines and newspapers, had children and discovered her ability to write for children. She has spent the second half of her life mostly in B.C., currently residing in West Vancouver. [See biographical summary from her website, below.]

Manson's work is varied in terms of ages and genres. Written for young people, Alexander Mackenzie: From Canada by Land recounts the rigours of the first European to cross North America by land, from Atlantic to Pacific. She has also written about Simon Fraser. Leaving the Log House is a sensitive portrayal of a young girl who must come to Vancouver to receive a prosthetic leg, living with her aunt and uncle while she readjusts to new expectations and limitations. In reaching out to her brother for desperately needed friendship, she mostly succeeds in pushing him away.

Ainslie Manson's thirteenth children's book, A Giraffe Called Geranium (Red Diamond / Sandhill $19.95) was inspired by her trip to Uganda where her niece manages safari camps. Manson learned about poaching problems and the need to protect giraffes, prompting her to create a whimsical story about a giraffe that makes an inexplicable appearance in a West Coast garden. A girl named Susanna comforts and names the giraffe, but it's homesick for the African savannah-so they set sail for Africa. Manson gave the story to West Vancouver artist Mary Baker as a 60th birthday present. 978-0-9937341-0-6

DATE OF BIRTH: October 31, 1938

PLACE OF BIRTH: Montreal, Quebec



A Giraffe Called Geranium (Red Diamond Books 2014). Illustrated by Mary Baker. $19.95 978-0-9937341-0-6
Roll On: Rick Hansen Wheels Around the World (Greystone, 2012) Illustrated by Ron Lightburn $19.95 978-1-55365-529-9
Boy in Motion: Rick Hansen's Story (Greystone, 2007) Illustrated by Renne Benoit
Leaving The Log House (fiction) (Orca, 2003)
Alexander Mackenzie, From Canada by Land (non-fiction) (Groundwood, 2003)
House Calls, The True Story of a Pioneer Doctor (non-fiction) (Groundwood, 2001)
Ballerinas Don't Wear Glasses (picture book) (Orca, 2000), Illustrated by Dean Griffiths.
Baboo, The Story of Sir John A's Daughter (historical picture book) (Groundwood, 1998), Illustrated by Bill Wand.
Just Like New (fiction, picture book) (Groundwood, 1995), Illustrated by Karen Reczuch.
A Dog Came, Toom (historical picture book) (Groundwood, 1992), Illustrated by Ann Blades.
Simon Fraser, (biography) (Grolier, 1991)
Alexander Mackenzie (biography) (Grolier, 1988)
Mr. McUmphie of Caulfeild Cove (fiction) (Queenston House, 1982)


Finalist: B.C. Book Prizes, The Sheila A. Egoff Award. 1993 for A DOG CAME, TOO.

Finalist: Geoffrey Bilson Award for Historical Fiction for Young People. 1993 for A DOG CAME, TOO.

American Bookseller, "Pick of the Lists", A DOG CAME, TOO, l993.

Finalist: Tiny TORGI award, Canadian National Institute for the Blind. 1994 for A DOG CAME, TOO.

Finalist: Mr. Christie Award, JUST LIKE NEW, 1996

Winner: Amelia Francis Gibbon Award (CLA) for illustration JUST LIKE NEW 1996

The Five Owls Book of Merit (U.S.) JUST LIKE NEW, 1996.

OUR CHOICE selections, Canadian Children's Book Centre: A DOG CAME TOO, 1992;

Finalist: Mr. Christie Award, BALLERINAS DON'T WEAR GLASSES, 2000

Selected for BC 2000 Book Award: BALLERINAS DON'T WEAR GLASSES

Finalist: B.C. Book Prizes, The Sheila A. Egoff Award, BALLERINAS DON'T WEAR GLASSES, 2001

Finalist: 2002 Silver Birch Non-Fiction Award, HOUSE CALLS

Winner: 2002-2003 Chocolate Lily Book Award, Picture Book Category, BALLERINAS DON'T WEAR GLASSES

Finalist: 2004 Hackmatack Children's Choice Book Award

[Alan Twigg / BCBW 2014] "Kidlit"