One of B.C.'s most prolific storytellers for children, Richard Thompson, became a storyteller after he began managing a daycare that included his daughter.

Born in Edmonton, Alberta on January 7, 1951, Thompson was raised in small towns in northern Alberta and B.C., moving in accordance with his father's work in the oilfields, settling for three years in Debolt, near Grande Prairie, Alberta, then moving when he was nine to Fort St. John, B.C. where he completed high school. Thompson attended art school in Vancouver and moved to Prince George in 1976. There he taught pre-school and also worked as a daycare manager for six years. "In the spring of 1985," he says, "two things happened which were important factors in my decision to turn my attention seriously to writing for children. Our daughter, Jesse started to talk. And we got a computer. Suddenly, I had a wonderful source of inspiration for stories and a way to get those stories down on paper and into the mail with a reasonable expenditure of time and energy." He began writing stories for and about his daughter Jesse, as a co-founder of the Prince George Storytellers' Roundtable. One of his best-known stories is Jesse on the Night Train in which Jesse wakes and wonders who is driving the train, visits the engineer and sees dancing moose and hungry 'humongous' wolves. Several of Thompson's books are co-written by his wife Maggee Spicer, an elementary school teacher and yoga instructor. I Have To See This was published in an Australian edition in 1989 by Macmillan of Australia; Foo and also Sky Full of Babies were published in Great Britain in 1990 by Viking Puffin. Draw-and-Tell was published by Clavis (Belgium) in a Dutch edition in 1995. Thompson has travelled extensively as a storyteller for children but decided, as of 2002, to limit these excursions. In 2003 he received the Ruth Schwartz Children's Book Award for The Night Walker.
[Illustration of Richard Thompson at right by 'Marco'.]


When They Are Up (F&W 2003) - with Maggee Spicer, illustrated by Kirsti Anne Wakelin
The Follower (F&W 2003) - illustrated by Martin Springett
We'll All Go Flying (F&W 2003) - with Maggie Spicer, illustrated by Kim LaFave
We'll All Go Exploring (F&W 2003) - with Maggee Spicer, illustrated by Kim LaFave
We'll All Go Sailing (F&W 2003) - with Maggee Spicer, illustrated by Kim LaFave
The Night Walker (F&W 2002) - illustrated by Martin Springett
Foo (Annick 2000) - illlustrated by Eugenie Fernandes
Then and Now (F&W 1999) - illustrated by Barbara Hartmann
There is Music in a Pussy Cat (F&W 1999) - illustrated by Barbara Hartmann
Fishes in the Ocean (F&W 1998) - with Maggee Spicer, illustrated by Barbara Hartmann
Cold Night, Brittle Night (Orca 1994)
The Ice-Cream Bucket Effect (Caitlin 1993)
Don't Be Scared, Eleven (Annick 1993)
Who (Orca 1993) - illustrated by Martin Springett
Thistle Broth (Orca 1992) - illustrated by Henry Fernandes
Jill and the Jogero (1992)
Tell Me One Good Thing (Annick 1992)
Maggee and the Lake Minder (Annick 1992)
The Gas Tank of My Heart (1991)
Jesse's Neighbours (Annick 1990) - illustrated by Kathryn Shoemaker
The Last Story, The First Story (1990)
Zoe and the Mysterious 'X' (Annick 1990) - illustrated by Ruth Ohi
Jesse on the Night Train (Annick 1990)
Frog's Riddle and other Draw-and-Tell Stories (Annick 1990)
Gurgle, Bubble, Splash (Annick 1989)
Effie's Bath (Annick 1989)
I Have to See This (Annick 1988)
Draw-and-Tell (Annick 1988)
Sky Full of Babies (Annick 1987)
Jenny's Neighbours (Annick 1987)

[Alan Twigg / BCBW 2003] "Kidlit"