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Illustrator Gallery: Thérèse Cilia

Selections from three great picture books with vivid East Coast settings. 

Illustrator Thérèse Cilia's third picture book came out this fall, Keeper of the Light, written by Janet Barkhouse, a story based on the true experiences of boys and girls who worked at lighthouses on the East Coast during the 1900s. We're pleased to feature a spread from that book, as well as a few from her previous works, both written by Dwayne LaFitte. Bullet the New Steam Engine takes readers on a journey along the route of the pre-Confederation Newfoundland Railway, and Over By the Harbour is inspired by the classic counting rhyme "Over in the Meadow," but set in outport Newfoundland and Labrador. 


Thérèse Cilia Keeper of the Light

From Keeper of the Light, written by Janet Barkhouse


Therese Cilia Over By the Harbour


Therese Cilia Over By the Harbour

From Over By the Harbour, written by Dwayne LaFitte


Therese Cilia Bullet the Steam Engine


Therese Cilia Bullet the Steam ENgine

From Bullet the New Steam Engine, written by Dwayne LaFitte


Illustrator Therese Cilia

About Thérèse Cilia: 

Thérèse Cilia is a painter and illustrator whose whimsical and detailed work finds a home in children’s books, fine art prints, stationery, textiles, and commissions. She is inspired by stories of the human spirit, by the natural world, and by an obsession with artist materials and paper products. Thérèse obtained her BFA in 2007 at OCAD University in Toronto. In 2012, she turned a two-week artist retreat into a year-long residence in Bonavista, NFLD, where she began illustrating her first children’s book, Over by the Harbour, by Dwayne LaFitte (Flanker Press, 2014), which appeared on the Canadian Children's Book Centre's Best Books for Kids and Teens, 2014. Bullet the New Steam Engine, (Flanker Press, 2015), about the train's first journey along the pre-Confederation Newfoundland Railway, marks her second collaboration with LaFitte. Her third picture book, Keeper of the Light, by Janet Barkhouse (Formac Publishing, 2016), was just released, and she recently received an Arts Recognition Award from the Quinte Arts Council for her contribution to the arts. Thérèse lives in Belleville, Ontario, with her fiancé and their dog, Margaret Atwood. To view the full range of her work, visit

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