Story Talk Videos

This week, Bungalo Books happily unveiled two videos it produced to help parents build their pre-schoolers’ language skills. The two short videos were created for Kingston Literacy and Skills with funding from the Kingston-Cataraqui branch of Rotary International.

Ten Steps to Early LiteracyThe Story Talk project proves that teachers and writers can find an entertaining middle ground when it comes to teaching kids and parents about books.

When literacy experts Deb Nesbitt-Munroe and Susan Riley approached me last summer, they were keen to promote the process of “dialogic reading” to their organization’s clientele of young parents. By the end of our first meeting, I had 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.