Traditional Illustration

Frances Wolfe

Author/illustrator Frances Wolfe worked in the Halifax Regional Library system for more than thirty years. Most of those years were spent in the Children’s Services Department, where she became an accomplished storyteller, puppeteer and children’s programmer. Frances has drawn inspiration for her work from the the many children’s authors and illustrators, to whom she was exposed and which she admired, while working at the library. She is a self-taught artist and has illustrated all of her books.

Frances and her husband live in a house they built on the shores of Nova Scotia. It stands on a piece of land that has been in her family for almost two centuries. Her love of the sea is evident in her first book, Where I Live, as well as her second offering, One Wish, both of which are available in English and Spanish. Her newest book, The Little Toy Shop, is a departure from the ocean theme. It is a tender tale of love lost and found again at the most magical time of Christmas.

Frances very much enjoys meeting and speaking with children about her work.

Geoff Butler

Geoff Butler is a painter, writer and book illustrator. He was born on Fogo Island, Nfld., near Brimstone Head which has been designated by the Flat Earth Society as one of the four corners of the earth.

Geoff practices his art daily so as not to fall over the edge. He has self-published five books: Art of War: Painting it out of the Picture (1990); The Look of Angels: Angels in Art (2004), a collection of poems, songs, stories, paintings and drawings; and With Every Breath We Take (2007), a modern fable in which a snowflake helps put an end to war; Our Own Little World: in paintings and verse (2013); and One Swallow Makes a Summer Meal: allegories in paintings and verse (2016). Every now and then, he strolls down Alphabet Soup Road to write and illustrate children’s books.

He is a graduate of Memorial University of Newfoundland and Syracuse University. He also studied at the Art Students’ League in New York City. His paintings have been exhibited at, and toured by, the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia. He has been a visual arts recipient of a Nova Scotia Arts Council Creation grant and a Canada Council Established Artist grant. In 2006, he was elected a member of the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts. He lives in the small village of Granville Ferry, N.S.

Jan L. Coates

Jan Coates lives in Wolfville, NS with her husband and their Golden Irish, Charlie. She has two married children (sadly in Ontario) and loves visiting schools through the Writers in the Schools (WITS) program. Jan’s interest in writing for children grew out of her own love of words and stories and a passion for helping kids become lifelong readers and writers.

In her free time, Jan can be found on the badminton court, travelling, at the gym, the cottage, or Frenchy’s. Her first picture book, Rainbows in the Dark (Second Story Press, 2005) has been translated into Spanish, Catalan, and Braille, with Korean and Brazilian rights also sold. She has also written eighteen ESL illustrated chapter books for Caramel Tree, a Korean-based English Language School, and two non-fiction workbooks for Quebec ESL students.

Her debut novel, A Hare in the Elephant’s Trunk (Red Deer Press, 2010), was a finalist for the Governor General’s Literary Award (Children’s Text) in 2011, as well as an Ann Connor Brimer Award finalist. She has also written five middle grade novels; The Hermit (Nimbus, 2020); Say What You Mean (Nevermore, 2019); Talking to the Moon (Red Deer, 2018),The Power of Harmony (Red Deer, 2013), also a Brimer finalist, and Rocket Man, a YALSA Quick Pick for Reluctant Readers  (Red Deer, 2014). Jan’s picture books include: Dancing with Daisy (Running the Goat, 2019); Karissa & Felix (self-published, as both author and illustrator, 2019);  A Halifax Time-Travelling Tune (Nimbus, 2018), Sky Pig (Pajama Press, 2016), The King of Keji (Nimbus, 2015), and Rainbows in the Dark (Second Story Press, 2005). Her current passion (other than learning to illustrate and creating soul smiles, her greeting cards) is writing a work of creative non-fiction for young readers about Canadian landscape painter (and all-around interesting person) Doris McCarthy (1910 – 2010).

Emma FitzGerald

Emma FitzGerald was born in Southern Africa to Irish parents and grew up in Vancouver. She has studied both art and architecture, and is the author of Hand Drawn Halifax. She lives and draws in North End Halifax.

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