Presentation Information

Deborah has an honest, informative and humorous approach to the classroom. She conducts a very lively presentation for students of all ages, concentrating on how books are conceived, written and re-written, illustrated and produced. Her talk is accompanied by vibrant slides of her work (past and present), her inspirations and influences, her workspaces, her perspective on color and detail and her reasons for valuing the storyboard. This is followed by a reading from one of her nine books, along with a show of its illustrations in glowing full color slides.

In my slides and discussion of techniques I emphasize the importance of the storyboard in the planning of a picture book…linking words with pictures. I also do a reading from my latest work (or any one of my nine books that is requested ahead of time), showing my illustrations on the vivid screen. Later, I show my materials, display originals, talk about working with an editor and a designer, and flip an overlay chart to reveal how inks overlap to create a full colour illustration

I try to leave 5 to 10 minutes at the end of my talk for questions.

Grades 1 to 7 respond well to my presentation provided compatible ages are invited to my sessions. However Grade 3 upwards seem to grasp entirely the process of creating and publishing a book, as well as appreciating the story itself. High school / college level art classes and creative writing classes would also find my talk and slide show informative. I gear my presentation to the age group(s) I’m addressing.

If I am travelling a distance from home I am usually invited for a full day at a school ( 3 presentations ). Sometimes this full day is split between 2 schools ( if they are located close to each other ). It’s nice if my audiences are not too large and not seated in a cramped space ( ideally 40 to 85 kids ) – but I can be flexible so that a few “keeners” are not left out!

The space arranged for my visit should darken entirely for slides. I am sensitive about that. I can bring my own slide projector ( Kodak, round carousel kind ) if asked ahead of time. I will need an extension cord, two large tables (for my materials) and 8 fat/stable library books (or stands of some kind) to serve as props for my originals. I will happily fax a simple Set-up Sketch…

I try to make my presentations fun, spicing up information with colour and humour. ”



Pub. date



A Winter’s Yarn – illustrated 1986 0-88995-048-2 Red Deer College Press
Mood Pocket, Mud Bucket – authored and illustrated. 1988 0-88902-426-X Fitzhenry and Whiteside
The Pumpkin Blanket – authored and illustrated. 1990 1-883672-63-5 Fitzhenry and Whiteside
Long Nellie – authored and illustrated. Publ. 1993 0-920501-99-0 Orca Book Publishers Ltd.
Hound Without Howl – authored and illustrated. 1994 1-55143-019-3 Orca Book Publishers Ltd.
Turtle Spring – authored and illustrated. 1998 1-883672-53-8 Ten Speed Press / Tricycle Press
Apple Batter – authored and illustrated. 1999 1-883672-92-9 Ten Speed Press / Tricycle Press
The Winter Gift – authored and illustrated Publ. 2000 1-883672-93-7 Ten Speed Press / Tricycle Press
The Sea House (last in the Clee series) 2002 1-582460-30-2 Ten Speed Press / Tricycle Press


  • Finalist, 1986, Amelia Francis Howard Gibbon Medal for children’s book illustrations (A Winter’s Yarn).
  • Finalist (honorable mention), 1989, B.C. Book Awards – Sheila Egoff Children’s Medal (Mood Pocket, Mud Bucket).
  • Finalist, 1994, Amelia Francis Howard Gibbon Illustrator’s Award (Hound Without Howl)
  • Finalist, 1994, Mr. Christie’s book Award (Hound Without Howl)