Dodo Land in Cyberspace - Sheryl McFarlane

Get to Know Sheryl McFarlane

I was never the sort of kid you'd imagine becoming a writer when they grew up. I didn't even read much until I hit my teen years. I was too busy building forts in the cotton wood trees that lined the irrigation ditch near my home, playing hide and seek in the orange groves and cotton fields, playing pick-up baseball in the local park, and building skateboards out of discarded baby carriage wheels and scrap wood.

Junior high opened up a whole new and unexpected world for me; the world of books. For the first time I stepped beyond the boundaries of my neighbourhood, and I loved it. I travelled to distant places, met fascinating people, and lived in a multitude of pasts and a wealth of possible futures. I was convinced that authors must be an exotic species indeed, to be able to achieve such feats of wonder. Although I kept a secret poetry journal, it never occurred to me that I might myself someday become an author. It wasn't until I was in my early thirties that I began to write seriously. By the time my first book, Waiting for the Whales was accepted four years later, I knew there was nothing in the world I would rather do than write.

I still love to curl up with a good book, although when I'm working on one myself, my husband and three daughters complain that I'm either preoccupied or grumpy.

Now, when I'm not working, I have the perfect excuse for hiking, kayaking, gardening, and walking the fabulous west coast beaches near my home."It's research," I tell everyone. After all, these are the places and things which help to inspire the stories I write. In fact, this is how I got the idea for Tides of Change. Take a little time for "inspiration" too!

Books by Sheryl M cFarlane

Going to the Fair. Orca Book Publishers: Victoria, 1996, illustrated by Sheena Lott.
Canadian Children's Book Centre, 'Outstanding Book'

Tides of Change. Anthologised by Prentice Hall & Ginn: Toronto, 1998. Orca Book Publishers: Victoria, 1995, illustrated by Ken Campbell.

"A Treasure
," Royal British Columbia Museum
"Best Canadiana," 1995, Shirley Lewis

Eagle Dreams. Philomel Books: New York 1995. Harcourt Brace Canada: Toronto, anthologised in Animal Tracks by David Booth, 1994. Orca Book Publishers: Victoria, 1994, illustrated by Ron Lightburn.
Recommended by CBC Radio
Canadian Children's Book Centre '
Our Choice
' title

Moonsnail Song. Orca Book Publishers: Victoria, 1994, illustrated by Sheena Lott.
Canadian Children's Book Centre 'Outstanding Book'

Jessie's Island.
Scholastic Books, Toronto, 1995. Orca Book Publishers: Victoria, 1992, illustrated by Sheena Lott. Canadian Children's Book Centre 'Our Choice' title

Waiting for the Whales. Scholastic Books: Toronto, 1993, 1995. Bunka Publishing Bureau: Tokyo, 1994. Philomel Books: New York 1993. HBJ-Holt Canada: Toronto, anthologised in Kaleidoscope by David Booth, 1992. Orca Book Publishers: Victoria, 1991, illustrated by Ron Lightburn.

This is the Dog. Fitzhenry & Whiteside: Toronto, spring 2001.

A Pod of Orcas.Fitzhenry & Whiteside: Toronto, summer 2002.

ODE National Chapter Book Award
Governor General's Literary Award
Canadian National Library Notable Book
short-listed for the BC Book Prize
Canadian Children's Book Centre 'Outstanding Book' (twice)
Canadian Children's Book Centre, "Our Choice' (three times) Recommended by the CBC Radio's Morningside Children's Book Panel (twice) short-listed for the Mr. Christie Book Award

Check out Sheryl's website - Go to her web-site to find out more about her books and get some teacher ideas for curriculum development. Sheryl can be reached at

Get to know, iIlustrator, Ron Lightburn