2015 Was a Great Year for Jeff's First Novel!

Soapstone Signs, Jeff’s first novel, was very successful in 2015! Here are some of the highlights:

  • Soapstone Signs was included as one of 25 Canadian Children’s titles chosen for a mega-launch at the Ontario Library Association Super Conference. 
  • The Club Amick program (founded by former Lieutenant-Governor James Bartleman) circulated Soapstone Signs for free to children in far northern communities.
  • The Canadian Children’s Book Centre selected Soapstone Signs to be part of their Best Books recommendations. Out of six books selected in the Early Chapter Books category, Soapstone Signs was the only title to receive a Red Star, reserved for titles of exceptional caliber.

Jeff looks forward to the continued success of Soapstone Signs, available for purchase here.

Jeff and his mom June at the OLA Super Conference 2015

Jeff and his mom June at the OLA Super Conference 2015

Comments from the classroom....

“My grade four/five class recently had the great privilege of being the very first in all of Canada to read and study Jeff Pinkney’s book, “Soapstone Signs”. This is a beautifully written story about imagination and creativity, and about using one’s senses to explore and draw inspiration from the natural world. I’ve always encouraged my students to be open to the world around them; just as the young boy is urged to do by his friend Lindy, the Cree soapstone carver. The children loved the book and were delighted to have the opportunity to discuss it with Jeff once they’d finished reading and writing about it. They enjoyed the evocative descriptions of the wild creatures and landscape, the funny moments (“Kentucky Fried Chicken”), the beautiful, thought-provoking illustrations, and the ideas about imagination, inspiration and determination. This book is a wonderful "read-aloud”. It fits beautifully into the language curriculum as a novel study, and as an introduction to Social Studies units (First Nations, the north), to Science (Habitats, Animals), to Art (soapstone carving, creativity), etc. My school now has a class set, and many of my students have purchased their own copies. It is a wonderful book!”

Nicola Jennings, Teacher, Gr 4/5 at King George Public School, Peterborough

Author’s Launch and Inaugural Public Reading

On November 17, 2014 - Who better to launch my book with than daughter Isabella’s Grade 4/5 classmates. Isabella and her classmates walked over to the Peterborough Public Library.  Her class enjoyed a tour of the Children’s Library and then participated in the very first public reading of Soapstone Signs. Also in attendance were some special friends of the family and a few folks who helped with the manuscript.  Isabella did a great job of reading the voice of the main character. Special thanks to Laura Murray, Children’s Services Libraian for hosting, and to Sheilagh Knight for bringing along her Gr 4/5 class from Prince of Wales School. Special thanks also to Lance Anderson of Peterborough This Week/MyKawartha.com for providing such excellent coverage.  

See: http://www.mykawartha.com/search/news/?q=pinkney&location=kawartha&sort=datedesc




A big thank you to my web site designer...

Welcome once again to my new web-site.  I'm just learning things like how to administer my own site and how to add blog postings like this one. Here is the website of Dakota Park, a Toronto based designer who is carving out a niche for himself in the world of design and with whom I worked to put this site together.  If you like my site - see if you can get Dakota to help with yours! See: www.dakotaleepark.com

Jeff, what prompted you to write this story?

As a tourism consultant living in South Porcupine, Ontario, I travelled my James Bay Frontier route by train and by plane. I fell in love with the landscape at Moose River Crossing where the train tracks cross the mighty river before the train rolls into Moosonee. It was there that I would dream of opening a birder’s lodge. These wonderful memories provide the setting for the story. I am also a soapstone carver, having learned the art from a Cree elder, with roots in Moose Factory. He gave me lessons and provided me with my first piece of stone. I carved a bear cub. As well I am a conservationist and someone with a deep appreciation for the northern landscape and the people who call the James Bay Frontier their home. All of the above came together and the result is my story “Soapstone Signs.”