About the Author Sheree Fitch

Sheree Fitch

Sheree Fitch's first two books, Toes in My Nose (1987) and Sleeping Dragons All Around (1989), launched her career as a poet, rhymster, and a “kind of Canadian female Dr. Seuss.” Fitch has won almost every major award for Canadian childrenÕs literature since then, including the 2000 Vicky Metcalf Award for a Body of Work Inspirational to Canadian Children. She has over twenty-five books to her credit, including her bestselling and critically praised adult novel, Kiss the Joy as it Flies (2008). Fitch's home base is the East Coast of Canada.

Visit her at: shereefitch.com

Books by this Author
Bisous bisous bébé-ô!

Bisous bisous bébé-ô!

translated by Jo-Anne Elder
illustrated by Hilda Rose
by Sheree Fitch
edition:Hardcover
tagged :
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Breathe, Stretch, Write

Learning to write with everything you've got
by Sheree Fitch
illustrated by Harry Black
edition:Paperback
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If I Had a Million Onions

If I Had a Million Onions

by Sheree Fitch
illustrated by Yayo
edition:Hardcover
tagged : humorous
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Night Sky Wheel Ride

Night Sky Wheel Ride

by Sheree Fitch
illustrated by Yayo
edition:Hardcover
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No Two Snowflakes

No Two Snowflakes

by Sheree Fitch
illustrated by Janet Wilson
edition:Hardcover
also available: Paperback
tagged : friendship
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Excerpt

That's all I know, Araba…
I have tried to tell you the taste and smell of snow
its sound and touch
but words are not enough.

To know snow
you must hold it in your hand
feel it melt to pearls of water
until it is gone…

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One More Step

One More Step

edition:Hardcover
also available: Paperback eBook
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Excerpt

"No. It's not okay. You're not going." He used the voice.

"Excuse me?"

"You heard me. I said no."

"You can't tell me what to do!"

"Oh yes I can—I'm your father!"

"Since when?"

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Peek a Little Boo

Peek a Little Boo

by Sheree Fitch
illustrated by Laura Watson
edition:eBook
tagged : alphabet, new baby
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Peek-a-Little Boo

Peek-a-Little Boo

by Sheree Fitch
illustrated by Laura Watson
edition:Hardcover
tagged : alphabet, new baby
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Excerpt

"Amazing baby,
How do you do?
Let's play a game of
Peek-a-little boo!"

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Pluto's Ghost
Excerpt

a
 
 
Skye Derucci and her mother, Ruth, disappeared on a Tuesday night in March. A nasty spit of a night. Snottin’ weather we say here in Poplar Hills—that frozen, phlegmy mix of sleet and snow. Not very pleasant and not exactly the kind of night to hit the road unless you had one good goddam of a reason. So to give you a time line, approximately forty-eight hours later I was arrested in Halifax and freaking out in that cop car. That night was months back and then some but seems more like an hour ago. Time’s a slippery slide of an idea anyways and how do you tell time when you feel you’ve gone underground, when you’ve been swallowed and sucked right under by some monster sinkhole? Answer me that.
 
Everything that’s happened is because of Skye. I’m not blaming. I’m just saying. I’m telling this tale because of Skye and everything I did those two days was because of Skye and the only reason I was starting to think my pathetic life wasn’t such a crock a shit after all was because of Skye. Maybe, when you hear me out, you’ll come to understand I’m guilty of only one thing for sure—losing my way because of Skye. Loving her way too much. I’ll own up to that from the get go.
 
I know how it looked. I do. I know that when I went after her, I looked like some storybook monster on a jeezlus rampage but I had my reasons and I sure as hell didn’t intend to hurt anyone. Especially Skye. My girl. My girl. Mine. Skye.
 
Did you ever read a poem by that e.e. cummings poet dude? The poem I’m talking about’s got lines in it that go something like you are whatever the sun blah blah blah blah and the moon, too? Well that poem pretty much says it all. Except for one other pretty significant factor: I fell in love with Skye Derucci the same year my mother died.
 
I was five. Yeah. I’d like to say it ain’t so, about my mother I mean, but it is so the truth and maybe that’s why ever since then, love and death fit together like interlocking pieces in a never-ending puzzle called my life. If you think a five-year-old boy can’t fall in love then you don’t know squat. At least you don’t know what I know about how little kids feel.
 
Best as I can describe it, love feels like in the summer when I’m outside mucking in the dirt and it’s one of those days so blue and yellow and lime green you got to wear shades or you’ll be blinded by all that jeezly light.
 
That’s how it is—that’s what love feels like whether you’re five or fifteen or maybe even eighty-five-who knows? My point is, I fell head over heels with Skye Derucci in kindergarten.
 
I’m eighteen now, so you might even say I’ve been crazy about her since before I can even remember.
 
Skye. Moon. Sun. Stars. My universe.

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Pocket Rocks

Pocket Rocks

by Sheree Fitch
illustrated by Helen Flook
edition:eBook
also available: Hardcover Paperback
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Sleeping Dragons All Around

Sleeping Dragons All Around

20th Anniversay Edition
edition:Hardcover
tagged : humorous
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The Gravesavers

The Gravesavers

edition:Paperback
also available: Paperback
tagged :
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Excerpt

TODAY

My father says I know how to make a short story long. My mother says I was born with the gift of the gab.

Today, I’ve got five minutes to speak — if I can. My tongue’s all puckered up, like I just bit into a chokecherry, and my fists are clamped tighter than oyster shells. Minnows are swimming in my belly. As for my heart? It’s doing a tap-dance routine, beating faster than before the start of any race I’ve ever run. Ordinarily, I calm myself down by reciting the names of clouds or constellations or all the capitals in every province and territory of Canada.

Today, that’s not working.

There must be at least three hundred of us huddled around this gravesite.

What I want to say in my speech is: everything. I’ve got this hankering, as Harv would say, a notion to tell the whole story. I want to tell John Hindley’s story. He can’t tell it himself because he’s dead. Kaput. History. Long gone — in a manner of speaking.

But the truth whole truth and nothing but the truth cross my heart hope to die stick a needle in my eye is a slippery thing. That’s why, after I’m introduced, I’ll be telling all these good folks a big fat whopping lie. For their own protection.

If I can make it up those steps to the podium without tripping over my own two feet, I’ll do my five-minute spiel. Croak it out if I have to. But I’ll always know one thing for certain. It’s only one part of a story inside of many stories all twisted around each other like a tangled-up mizzenmast. If, like me, your nautical knowledge is almost zero, a mizzenmast is part of a ship. Picture a humongous rope ladder. It can save your life. John Hindley taught me that. How he managed that is the kind of secret that can only be whispered to the clouds: Cirrus. Cumulus. Nimbus. Stratus. Cirrocumulus. Altostratus.
YESTERDAYS

Proper Introductions

Next month, I’ll be fourteen and I don’t believe in ghosts. Nuh-uh. At least, I don’t believe in the kind of ghost that can jump out of a mirror and chase you out of a house or anything. But spirits? That’s a whole other story.

“The spirit of a person never dies as long as there’s someone around to remember them. And you never know who that someone might be,” says my grandmother.

It could even be someone as ordinary as me, Cinnamon Elizabeth Hotchkiss. Mostly I go by Minn, but yes, that’s Cinnamon like the spice except with a capital C and that’s Hotchkiss, not hopscotch or hog-kiss in case you’re even halfway thinking of making a joke. The name Cinnamon comes from the buns my mother ate waiting for me to arrive. Also, the song. The one my father sang to her belly in his best country-and-western twang:

O sweet little cinnamon baby
O baby we love you so
Sugar and spice and everything nice
Our sweet little baby-yoooo!
He yodels on the o. I know this song well because he still sings it to me. In front of my friends. Get the picture? Raymond — but hey, you can call me Ray — Hotchkiss is a real joker, all right. I think he really wishes he could yodel for a living. He’s a wannabe Wilf Carter — a famous singer “born right here in Nova Scotia,” he loves to boast. He seems to forget we live in New Brunswick and Wilf Carter is long dead. My father gets up every day, yodels in the shower like Wilf and dresses like a Canadian postcard. He’s a corporal in the RCMP. That stands for Royal Canadian Mounted Police, by the way, not Rotten Carrots Mashed Potatoes or Really Crazy Mental People. You might not know that if you aren’t Canadian.

Being a Mountie’s daughter means I get to spit every year on November the tenth. That’s when my father polishes his boots for the Remembrance Day parade.

I spit. Corporal Ray polishes. By the time we’re through, there I am, staring at my own reflection in the toe of each boot.

“Shinier than any mirror in the whole of Buckingham Palace,” boasts Corporal Ray.

But the best part? If I watch real close, I’ll catch his wink when he passes by next day in the parade. He’s supposed to be at attention and keep his eyes straight ahead like some kind of workhorse wearing blinders. Still, he always manages that wink.

Being a cop’s kid isn’t all about having fun spitting. It’s not all parades.

When I was in Grade Two, Davey Stevenson told me my father was a p-i-g PIG!

“Pig child eat dirt!” he said. I ran home crying and told my mother who told my father.

“Going to tell ya something, Minn,” he said that night after supper. “Next time Davey Stevenson tells you I’m a pig you look him right in the eye and say, that’s right, Davey, all cops are pigs. P-I-G-S. Stands for Pride, Integrity, Guts and Stamina.”

That’s exactly what I did next time Davey started in. Shut him up pretty fast, all right.

One night just last year Corporal Ray didn’t come home his usual time. When he got home my mother cried and hung on to him for dear life. They tried to spare me the details of what happened. Next day I found out anyhow, in the news. My father was the one who went in to get the bad guy. Buddy had a gun, too, and was holding his family hostage.

I still have nightmares about that one.

When I was little, Corporal Ray used to pretend he was a horse and cantered all us kids in the neighbourhood around the backyard. One at a time, he’d hoist us up on his shoulders, then gallop and whinny at the top of his lungs like some kind of idiot. Being a Mountie’s daughter means you know that the bad guys aren’t just on TV. You know that good guys are real, too.

My mother, Dory, is a consultant for a paint store in downtown Fairvale. “It’s a dream job,” she says, “the world is my crayon book.” Office buildings and kitchen cabinets are, too. She mixes the paint, and best of all, she gets to invent new names all the time. Sombrero Sun. Cattail Brown. Foxy Cyan. Gumball Blue. That last one was one of my suggestions, by the way. Her favourite television show is Paint It Great and her most prized possession is an autographed copy of the book written by the show’s host. My mother also loves gardening and music by the old British singing group the Ladybugs.

“Contrary to popular belief,” she says, “not all Maritimers grew up listening to fiddles and bagpipes.”

She’s nuts about Hardly Whynot, the lead singer. “Hardly, sing to me,” she says when she puts on a CD. Then she gets a goopy look in her eyes like he’s singing just for her. Leastways, she used to.

And I used to be the only child of Dory and Raymond Hotchkiss of 22 Redwood Drive, Fairvale, New Brunswick. E3B 1Z4. Eat three bananas, one Zamboni four.

Everything’s changed. I’m still the only child. But my folks — as I knew them — vanished for a while. In their place? Two people — Dory and Ray look-alikes. Not Dory and Ray the parents I used to know.

It wasn’t their fault. The winter before last, during the week between Christmas and New Year’s, a baby died before it was born. Corporal Ray and Dory’s baby. Because of what happened that week, and what happened after that and what happened after that, I got to meet John Hindley the way I did.

From the Trade Paperback edition.

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The Poetry Experience

The Poetry Experience

Choosing and using poetry in the classroom
edition:Undefined
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There Were Monkeys in My Kitchen

There Were Monkeys in My Kitchen

by Sheree Fitch
illustrated by Sydney Smith
edition:Hardcover
also available: eBook
tagged :
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Toes in My Nose

Toes in My Nose

And Other Poems
by Sheree Fitch
illustrated by Sydney Smith
edition:Hardcover
also available: Paperback eBook
tagged : humorous
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Weska'qelmut Apje'juanu

Weska'qelmut Apje'juanu

Kisses Kisses Baby-O Mi kmaq Language Edition
edition:Hardcover
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Writing Maniac

Writing Maniac

How I grew up to be a writer (and you can too!)
edition:Paperback
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Whispers of Mermaids and Wonderful Things

Whispers of Mermaids and Wonderful Things

Children's Poetry and Verse from Atlantic Canada
edition:Hardcover
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Excerpt

Three tulips stand and talk to me,
One is as yellow as can be,
One red, another purple black.
I hear but cannot answer back..."

"Three Tulips Stand and Talk to Me" by Kenneth Leslie

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