I have recently been experimenting with combining my painting and drawing with collage to create mixed-media illustrations.
I am currently writing several children’s books, following a lifelong passion for children’s literature.
Writing community memberships
I am lucky to be part of several fabulous online critique groups through the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators – SCBWI and the 12×12 challenge. I am also an active member Writers Victoria and participated in NaNoWriMo 2020, where I began writing the first book in a middle grade series I’ve been planning. I am delighted and extremely grateful to have been selected to be mentored by the talented Jessica Young for the 2021 calendar year.
Completed manuscripts (ready for agent review)
Completed manuscripts are available for review by agents or publishers.
Send me a request.
“Yetty’s Magical Pet Shop“
If you want a magical pet, the narrator knows just the place to go–an unusual shop full of magical creatures. (You might want to put on the helmet and protective gloves, first.) There is a lot to consider in this humorous take on pet responsibility.
“There’s Something Odd About the Babysitter“
Freddie’s not thrilled to hear he’s having a new babysitter for the evening–and this furry, trenchcoat-and-hat-wearing arrival’s antics certainly aren’t what he expected. Will Freddie discover something about this new caregiver that will change everything about his perception? This funny story deals with caregiver relationship expectations, change, and bridging differences in a ridiculous but honest way.
“The Cunningham Detectives and the Missing Pie“
Peg and Parker Cunningham are smart pigs who run a detective agency. When a pie goes missing, though, they must be courageous if they are going to solve the case. This fictional detective story picture book deals with the themes of honesty, bravery, and reconciliation.
“Fun Things to Say When You’re Mad: An ABC Book for Big Kids”
This concept-driven ABC picture book for kids age 3-8 offers funny alternatives to swear words, from “Artichokes!” to “Zipperflip!” Its silly (but legitimately helpful) content helps kids learn the art of angry verbal exclamation in an age-appropriate way.
“The Bird Watcher“
An uncommon boy. An unusual bird. Meticulous observations are made. Is this just a normal day of bird watching, or is there a major discovery be made?
Melvin wants to make a bird-watching discovery, but getting something wild to cooperate takes patience. A twist ending adds layers to this tale of revelation.
The reader discovers a live dinosaur during a museum tour–but can’t seem to get the pompous curator to notice–in this tale steeped in real but out-of-the-ordinary dino facts.
Like his flamingo brethren, ‘Mingo is very eye-catching and also very quiet and demure…until he opens his beak. This book for the pre-k audience will delight readers and caregivers alike with its hilariously revamped version of a well-known song.
Manuscripts in Final Revision
Manuscripts in revision are available for review by agents or publishers.
Send me a request.
“Weird and Wonderful: poems for the non-serious“
Ages: 8-12 (middle grade)
What if Shel Silverstein and someone awkward but witty (like Tina Fey or Mindy Kaling) collaborated on a seriously funny poetry collection for modern older kids? Good news – I’m here to fill that unfortunate void on the intermediate reader bookshelf! Whether hearing about the exploits of a criminal kangaroo who stuffs her pocket with ill-gotten goods, laughing along to storylines involving siblings of all sorts, or settling in for some witty wordplay, Weird and Wonderful will be an easy book to enjoy or to give as a gift.
You can read a sampling of these poems on my blog.
“The Cunningham Detectives and the Scary Sounds“
The sister-and-brother pig detectives feel compelled to investigate when their neighbor loses sleep due to persistant spooky night-time noises. This second story deals with the themes of bravery, creative problem-solving and persistence.
“A Place for Gia“
Virginia wants to have a space of her own, but everywhere she looks, something or someone is already there. Where can she sit and write? This picture book, inspired by Virginia Woolf, is about the importance of having some space of one’s own for creative pursuits.
“The Garage Sale Gift“
When Jade needs to buy her best friend a present, she is mortified when her Dad offers to take her garage saling because their wallets are too tight to go to the store. Can she find the perfect birthday present with only $2 and a Saturday morning?
“Andre’s Magic Knitting Needles“
When Andre knits with the unusual needles he got from a flea market, his creations seems to take on magical properties. But when things get out of hand, how can he get his life back to normal–and does he want to?
“Under the Summer Moon”
When a fox kit and a skunk kit get lost one moonlit summer night, how will each reunite with their families? This lyrical ode to nocturnal farm nightlife also deals with themes of friendship and bravery. It is a mixed-up family story, in the vein of (but quite different from) Robert McCloskey’s Blueberries for Sal.
“The Art Show”
When Winnie enters her art in the Art Show, she is desperate to win top prize. But when a competitor takes it home instead, Winnie just might find there are some things even more rewarding than a big blue ribbon. Readers can learn the philosophy of Ubuntu through this story about the importance of building artistic community.
Draft manuscripts are not yet available for review, but I would be happy to submit a query outlining the storyline in more detail.
Send me a request.
“Too Many Stuffies,” for ages 4-8.
“My Many Hometowns,” for ages 4-8.
“The Cunningham Detectives and the Mysterious Note,” for ages 4-8.
“Warramboo Boarding School Book One: G’day’all“
Ages: 8-12 (middle grade)
Victoria can’t wait to make the international move with her Mom to Australia. Sure, she’s going to have to go to boarding school–but that’s just a chance to dive into the adventure even further. And who knows…maybe she’ll get to see a platypus or koala!
But she didn’t count on venomous spiders, painful sunburn, seemingly-incurable homesickness, and a super strict school headmistress who thinks American culture is an oxymoron. And then there’s her roommate Jacinta, who has made it clear she doesn’t want anything to do with Vicky. Feeling at home down under isn’t going to be easy, unless Vicky can make some friends and learn to acclimate. Can she do it?
I’m envisioning this as Book One of a new middle-grade series.
This was a fun self-directed project that I completed when I decided I wanted to be able to type letters in my own handwriting. The resulting font is called, naturally, Elayne, and is available as a TrueType or OpenType file. Contact me for more info.