Forest of Reading Finalist!

Good news! My picture book “Pas de chevaux dans la maison: La vie audacieuse de l’artiste Rosa Bonheur” is a finalist for the 2024 Prix Peuplier award! This award is part of the Forest of Reading program, a wonderful initiative by the Ontario Library Association.
Young participants from across Canada will have until the spring to read the books selected in their chosen category (there are 10!) and will then vote for their favourite book. The winning books will be announced in May at Harbourfront in Toronto in what is sure to be a huge kidlit lovefest!
Interested in the Forest of Reading reading programs? There is still time to register your classroom! For more information about the program or to see the finalists in all the categories, go to the OLA website.
Bonne chance à tous les finalistes et bonne lecture!

A Treasure StoryWalk Across Canada!

The TD Summer Reading Club is all about reading and having some bookish fun during the summer month, both inside AND OUTSIDE! That’s right – not only is reading outdoors ok, it’s encouraged! On top of all the great activities and books we have all come to know and love, the TD Summer Reading Club is now offering a bilingual storywalk.

What’s a storywalk, you ask? It’s a story that is printed on weatherproof panels and set up outside for everyone to enjoy!

This is the third year of the Storywalk. Over 200 libraries signed up to get the free panels for their branch this year and, best of all, this year my picture book Treasure/Trésor was selected for the Storywalk!

I have had friends and family send me pictures of the storywalk from all across the country and it is glorious. Some have been set up in the city while others are in fields, forest and even next to waterfalls. From British Columbia all the way to Labrador (hello to my friends in Chruchill Falls!), kids and their grownups are enjoying Treasure outdoors. Talk about living vicariously through my art!

Have you seen Treasure in your neck of the woods?

Gnome Book Launch Party!

Hey! Toronto area peeps! Love books? Love gnomes? Do I have the event for you!

Join author Casey Lyall and me for a joint book launch celebrating our e-gnomishly fun new books!
The event starts at 1 pm on Sunday July 30th at Another Story Bookshop.
There will be readings from our books (the new middle grade novel Gnome is Where Your Heart is for Casey and my new picture book The Magic Cap for me.)
There will also be snacks and other fun surprises!
We hope to see you there!
(Psst… des exemplaires en français de mon album seront également disponibles!)

April Showers Bring… TWO NEW PICTURE BOOKS!

Spring 2023 has been a very special one. My oldest graduated from college, my youngest started college, I am (finally) back doing in-person events and school visits and… I have two new picture books out in stores!

No Horses in the House: The Audacious Life of Artist Rosa Bonheur (Orca Book) is a narrative non-fiction biography. This picture book for readers 6 and up explores the life and works of Rosa Bonheur, a fascinating pant-wearing, animal-loving, rule-and-gender-defying French painter from the 19th-century. Thanks to the gorgeous illustrations by Anna Bron and an end of book historical timeline and information this new release is the perfect read for kids (and their grown-ups) who love animals, art, true stories and strong female characters.

This book is also available in French!


My second new release is The Magic Cap (Milky Way Picture Books). It’s a whimsical tale of friendship, perseverance, forest creatures and, of couse, magical gnomes! I have worked in the past with the fantastic team at Milky Way Picture Books as a translator and it is with great joy that I now join their ranks as an author. Readers 3 and up will delight in Charlotte Parent’s jewel-toned illustrations and will take joy in finding the tiny red caps hidden in the forest. The large format of this book also make it ideal for shared reading as well as presenting to groups.

This book is also available in French!

Spring has sprung. Let’s get reading!

The Magic Cap

Many moons ago, in a tiny, thatched cottage at the edge of the woods,lived two children named Isaura and Arlo with their hedgehog, Crispin. When their beloved pet becomes ill, Isaura suggests that they seek the magical healing

power of gnomes. Convinced this will heal it, the children set off into the woods with humble offerings, hoping to attract the gnomes. The trick does not seem to work, however, and gnomes are nowhere to be seen despite the children’s good intentions.

The Magic Cap
Milky Way Picture Books, May 2023
Story Mireille Messier
Illustrations Charlotte Parent
48 pages

ISBN : 9781990252211
$23.99 (CAD) / $18.99 (USD)

Themes: fairytale, magic, friendship, siblings, gnomes, forest, animals
Purchase this book by clicking here!
Or by visiting your local, indie children’s bookstore 🙂
Italian version available soon!

Upcoming French Events

My “printemps” is filling up fast! If you are in the Ottawa or Toronto regions please join me at these upcoming events where I will be promoting my French books.

Éditions de l’Isatis booth on Thursday 23rd  at 6pm and Saturday 25th at 10am.
Dimédia booth on Saturday the 25th at 2pm


Saturday March 4th
Association des auteurs de l’Ontario (AAOF) booth at 10am
Panel discussion about the importance of translation on the Main stage at 1pm
Isatis booth at 2pm.
SLT 2023.jpeg

No Horses in the House!: The Audicious Life of Artist Rosa Bonheur

Based on the incredible life of the pioneering, feminist and queer artist Rosa Bonheur, this charming story depicts Rosa’s early years and her drive to fight for her dreams.

Rosa Bonheur loved to draw animals. She was good at it too! Unfortunately, in nineteenth-century France, girls were not allowed to be artists. But Rosa didn’t let that stop her. In this fictionalized account of her early life in Paris, Rosa studies art at home, bringing a menagerie of animals into the apartment to study up close. When she is kicked out of the horse market for sneaking in wearing boys clothing, Rosa must think creatively to challenge the rules in pursuit of her dream of becoming a world-class realist painter and artist.

No Horses in the House!: The Audacious Life of Artist Rosa Bonheur
Orca Book Publisher, March 2023
Story by Mireille Messier
Illustrations by Anna Bron
32 pages

ISBN: 9781459833524

Themes: artist biography, gender roles, girls can do anything, animal painting, horses, Art History, France, 19th century, perseverence
You can order this book by clicking here!
Or by visiting your favourite indie bookstore! 🙂
Download the No Horses in the House! poster.

Download the No Horses in the House! Discussion Guide.

“A story of female empowerment and persistence…a fun and wonderful book of courage and endurance against the odds. Highly Recommended.”

– CM: Canadian Review of Materials

“Readers will revel in the lifelike animal paintings…The artwork here sprawls beautifully across spreads, showing…a tiny but confident Rosa surrounded by naysayers as well as her beloved animals, potential creations swirling around the scenes as they pour from her mind.”
– Booklist

Super Happy to be at the Super Conference!

Teachers, librarians, book peeps of Ontario, lend me your ears! If you are at the OLA Super Conference this week don’t miss this chance to come by the Orca Book Publishers’ booth and get your hands on a copy of my upcoming picture book No Horses in the House! BEFORE THEY ARE EVEN IN STORES!