Posted by: Kathy Temean | May 17, 2017

Book Giveaway – In the Red Canoe

Congratulations to author Leslie A Davidson on her new book IN THE RED CANOE. She has agreed to participate in our book giveaways. All you have to do to get in the running is to leave a comment. Reblog, tweet, or talk about it on Facebook with a link and you will get additional chances to win. Just let me know the other things you did to share the good news, so I can put in the right amount of tickets in my basket for you. Check back to discover the winner.


Ducks and frogs, swallows and dragonflies, beaver lodges and lily pads―a multitude of wonders enchant the child narrator in this tender, beautifully illustrated picture book. A tribute to those fragile, wild places that still exist, In the Red Canoe celebrates the bond between grandparent and grandchild and invites nature lovers of all ages along for the ride.


The first draft of In The Red Canoe found its way into my notebook, early in my retirement, as a writing exercise, a rhyming catalogue of all the wonders our family had seen and delighted in, as we paddled our old red canoe.

When I was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease and my husband developed symptoms of a younger onset dementia – we were later to learn it was Lewy-Body Dementia – my writing took on a new urgency, especially this particular piece, with all its emotional attachment to memory, what we were losing, and my dream of leaving a legacy for our grandchildren. I hauled out the manuscript, added to it, revised and polished it, and began submitting it to publishers. At the time of its acceptance by Orca Books, there was one tiny grandchild. There are now three more little ones. Our two daughters and their families live in the same beautiful little mountain town and share the old red canoe. (cont.)

I am a retired Kindergarten teacher and school-librarian. I have bought and read hundreds of picture books but had very little knowledge about the publishing process. Two and a half years after signing the contract, I was sent a photo of Laura Bifano’s cover, my first look at the gorgeous illustrations for the book. I burst into tears. Laura’s Grandpa could easily be my husband and the child in the bow of the canoe, looks very much like our elder daughter when she was small. Serendipity is a wondrous thing.

In the same week that In The Red Canoe was released, CBC Radio announced that Leslie A Davidson had won the Canada Writes Creative Nonfiction Prize for Adaptation, a personal essay about her life with her husband, and their journey with Lewy-Body Dementia and Parkinson’s Disease.


I have always been a writer though sometimes much more in my head than on paper. I firmly believe that time served in the imagination counts.

In retirement, I finally found the time and energy to set down on paper the stories that had been impatiently tapping at the edge of my consciousness throughout the chaotic years of teaching and parenting.

When I was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease, just months before learning that my husband was living with a younger-onset form of dementia, writing became an urgent need. Nothing focuses brain cells more effectively than the fear of losing them.

My writing celebrates the things that matter most to me: family, friendship, and the natural world. It is how I make sense of a life that feels, at times, uncomfortably unpredictable; it is how I express gratitude for the abundant beauty in the world around me and in the hearts of those I love.

My husband and I lived in Grand Forks, BC for 34 years. We recently moved to Revelstoke, BC where three young grandchildren fill our days with joy.

Thank you Leslie for sharing your book and journey with us. Laura did a beautiful job on the illustrations. I will be featuring her in June on Illustrator Saturday.

Talk tomorrow,



  1. Thank you, Leslie, for sharing your story. It is a major inspiration to those of us getting on up there, and still working to attain our goals. I also am so happy to see your book is about nature, canoeing, and family learning and sharing together. Kids need these models and connection to nature.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Although I am sorry for the challenges that the author and her husband face, I was very touched by the story and salute her for finding joy in writing now that she has more time. We, too, have a canoe on a pond with many memories. A wonderful idea and legacy. The book looks beautiful. Congratulations!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Beutiful and inspiring story and illustrations. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  4. What a wonderful picture book , both words and art together; and a great legacy to leave for your family and all who love the natural world! Thanks Kathy, Leslie, and Laura for this rich journey in the Red Canoe!”

    Liked by 1 person

  5. What a beautiful and soulful book. I’m really looking forward to reading it.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. This sounds like a book our kids need in their hands. As a fellow teacher currently still on the front lines, I can attest to the hurriedness of life and the lack of nature in which our kids are growing up. Thank you for this!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Reblogged this on ARHtistic License and commented:
    Thank you to Kathy Temean of Writing and Illustrating for this guest post about Leslie A. Davidson’s new release.


    • Leslie’s story brought tears to my eyes. Lovely illustrations!
      Reblogged on Shared on personal Facebook page, ARHtistic License’s Facebook page, Twitter, Google+ (arhuel) and Pinterest.


  8. Leslie, Thank you for sharing! I love combining children, nature and wildlife in my stories. And I really miss canoeing! So I must read The Red Canoe. I wish you good times with your grandchildren. I’ll Tweet.


  9. Thank you so much for sharing your story … a beautiful book, born from a beautiful mind.


  10. I share your love for canoeing — and your love for sharing canoeing with grandchildren when they visit. Like you, I hope to give my grandchildren wonderful memories of quiet days on the canoe trail watching mamma and baby ducks, and herons and beavers. Thanks for writing a book that puts all that in words and pictures.


  11. Thank you for sharing Leslie’s story and book as well as the opportunity to win a copy. I’ve also tweeted about the giveaway. 🙂


  12. I love little ducklings! Thank you for the nice illustration work!


  13. This book looks beautiful, Leslie, and though heartbreaking, thank you for sharing your story with us.


  14. The book is beautiful and I can’t wait to read it. My daughter and I visited Revelstoke and hiked around Mt Revelstoke this Fall. It is a lovely town and full of a lot of history. The train museum is amazing and I love the lake/park on the edge of town. Enjoy your grandkids and thank you for sharing this story with us all. 🙂


  15. Such a lovely inspiring story. I would love a copy of this amazing book. I tweeted, reblogged, and shared on FB as well.


  16. Reblogged this on Darlene Beck-Jacobson and commented:
    This is such an inspiring story, I had to reblog it!


  17. Beautiful work and I’m glad the author found an outlet in her work for life’s struggles.


  18. Beautiful illustrations!


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