Marilynn Reynolds was born in Sudbury, Ontario, but has spent most of her life on the Prairies. This life, combined with her mother's and grandparents' experiences growing up in wide-open spaces, gave her a wealth of story material and a unique look at early Canadian life.
Marilynn lives with her husband in Edmonton, where, after graduating from the University of Alberta, she worked as a reporter and book reviewer for the Edmonton Journal. More recently, she was the Edmonton editor of Western Living Magazine. In 1981 she resigned to write full-time for children. The New Land is Marilynn's third collaboration with illustrator Stephen McCallum published by Orca Books. Belle's Journey, their first book together, was short-listed for the Henry Kreisel Award for Best First Book.
Marilynn is a confident public speaker, is a comfortable giving presentations and has been an extremely popular speaker in schools.
Illustrated by Stephen McCallum
In the early 1920s, when Marilyn Reynolds' mother was a child on the Canadian prairie, she rode her pony, Belle, eight miles to piano lessons. Ms. Reynolds' account of the pair's trip through a sudden, blinding snowstorm movingly portrays Belle's life-saving perseverance during that Journey and the events that surrounded it. Stephen McCallum's colored-pencil drawings perfectly illustrate a story impossible to read just once. 1993, Orca, Ages 7 up, $14.95. Reviewer: Beverly Kobrin
The New Land; A First Year On The Prairie
Illustrated by Stephen McCallum
Father, Mother, John, and little Annie come to the New World late in the nineteenth century in order to make a new life. The new land could be Canada or the U.S.--it really doesn't matter. We don't know where they came from, but that doesn't matter either. The voyage from Europe, the train trip across half the continent, and the ox-cart journey to the new homestead are written in a matter-of-fact style that doesn't try to glorify anything, or hide any of the real hardships involved. The arrival, digging a well, building a sod hut and barn, spending a lonely winter--it's like reading a journal written by someone you loved. 1997, Orca, Ages 5 to 10, $14.95. Reviewer: Judy Silverman
The Prairie Fire
Illustrated by Don Kilby
Percy is a young lad living with his mother and father in a sod house on the prairie. His parents are concerned because the land is dry and there is the possibility that a prairie fire will sweep across the dry grass, destroying everything in its path. Father tells Percy to "Watch for a cloud of smoke in the sky." Father goes out to plow a fireguard around their home and barn. Percy wants to help, but he is always told that he is not big enough or old enough. Then one quiet October morning, Percy spots a dark cloud. As the cloud becomes larger, he realizes it is smoke. A fire is burning its way across the prairie and will soon be threatening his home. Percy warns his parents and then he is called upon to help. All thoughts of his being too young are forgotten because he is sorely needed. As Percy and his parents valiantly protect their property with buckets of water and gunny sacks used to beat out the flames, the well-illustrated story builds in excitement and tension. 1999, Orca, Ages 5 to 8, $14.95. Reviewer: Carolyn Mott Ford
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