New Book, Old Friends

I met adventure photographer Pat Morrow a few months after starting my first job as an assistant editor at Ottawa’s Canadian Geographic (then known as the Canadian Geographical Journal) in the mid-1970s. The Kimberley, B.C. native had bought a Greyhound bus pass in order to roam around for a month to show eastern photo editors his portfolio.

That day, I bought two photo essays to liven up the magazine’s (then) dreary pages — hang gliding in the mountains and frozen waterfall climbing in the Rockies — and took him home to crash on my couch for a few days.

Five years later, Pat was preparing to climb Mount Everest and I was the executive editor of Equinox, Canada’s hot new magazine of discovery (headquartered Continue reading

John Bianchi

John Bianchi is an illustrator, cartoonist, artist and a children’s book author, now living and painting near Tucson, Arizona. He grew up in Rochester, New York, and moved to Canada as a young man where he learned to put his natural creative talent to work at animation studios.

In the late 1970s, he became Harrowsmith magazine’s favourite cartoonist and developed a following across Canada for his illustrated antics of would-be back-to-the-landers (beekeeping, dry walling, wood cutting, etc). He also contributed scientific illustrations to Equinox magazine and a number of renewable energy publications.

In 1986, he created a whacky kids book about a family of bumbling cowboys known as the Bungalo Boys. When he couldn’t find a publisher for his unusual story (the boys rode trees instead of horses and feuded with the Beaver Gang, a band of herbaceous tree rustlers), he joined Frank B. Edwards in the launch of Bungalo Books. Edwards had been his editor at both Harrowsmith and Equinox before moving to the magazines’ book publishing arm.

Princess Frownsalot book coverOver the next 15 years, John and Frank created 38 kids books together. As author and illustrator, John’s titles include:

  • The Bungalo Boys: Last of the Tree Ranchers
  • Princess Frownsalot
  • Penelope Penguin: The Incredibly Good Baby
  • The Swine Snafu
  • The Toad Sleeps Over
  • Snowed in at Pokeweed Public School
  • The Lab Rats of Doctor Eclair
  • The Artist

John illustrated all of Frank’s kids picture books, including:

  • Mortimer Mooner Stopped Taking a Bath
  • Melody Mooner Stayed Up All Night
  • Robin Hood With Lots of Dogs
  • Treasure Island with Lots of Dog
  • The Greatest Zoo on Earth
  • A Dog Called Dad
  • Frogger
  • Snow: Learning for the Fun of it.
Frank and John. 1993.

Frank and John. Newburgh, Ontario. 1993.

John moved to Arizona in 1993 with his wife, Margaret, and two daughters. Today, John spends much of his time painting desert landscapes in the mountains near his home.

Visit John’s website.

Frank B. Edwards

Frank B. Edwards. 2012

Frank B. Edwards. 2012

Frank B. Edwards (the “B” is for Brian) grew up in Whitby, Ontario when his neighbourhood was more trees and empty fields than houses. His father, a veteran of the Second World War, worked on the assembly line of General Motors in nearby Oshawa.

Book an author visit for your school with Frank.

Frank studied journalism at Ottawa’s Carleton University and became a magazine editor at the Canadian Geographical Journal (now Canadian Geographic) in 1975. He later moved to Harrowsmith magazine and, in 1981, helped launch Equinox, Canada’s magazine of discovery. Both magazines were named Canada’s magazine of the year during his tenure.

In 1985, he became publisher and editor of Camden House Books, the book publishing division of the two magazines. In 1986, he and John Bianchi started Bungalo Books as a part time enterprise — a vehicle to publish John’s whacky kids picture books.

Frank left Camden House in 1990 to run Bungalo Books full time. He also started his editorial/consulting company, Hedgehog Productions, at the same time.

Over his career, Frank has written about 30 books, a mix of children’s picture books, adolescent novels and non-fiction history, science and biography. He also writes occasional feature length obituaries for the Globe & Mail.

Mortimer Stopped Taking a Bath cover

His books include:

  • Mortimer Mooner Stopped Taking a Bath
  • Melody Mooner Takes Lessons
  • A Dog Called Dad
  • Robin Hood with Lots of Dogs
  • Downtown Lost and Found
  • Nightgown Countdown
  • The Zookeeper’s Sleepers
  • The Cottage Book
  • The Biography of Robert Munsch
  • Close Up: Microscopic Photos of Everyday Stuff
  • Snow

In the past decade, Frank has travelled across Canada and the U.S. visiting schools to talk about his love of reading and writing. His presentations have taken him to the northern coast of Labrador, the Mackenzie River Valley in Northwest Territories, Houston, Qatar and Bahrain.

Frank lives beside a quiet lake in rural eastern Ontario where he works around the clock on his latest projects, including the conversion of the Bungalo backlist into iBooks for the Apple iPad.