Déclic à Toronto


During a visit to the mysterious castle of Casa Loma, Vivi and Simon find an old miniature camera. Could this little gem have belonged to a spy? Only the clues in the salvaged photos will be able to tell the tale.

And so begins a story that will take the young reader on an extraordinary urban mystery through the streets of Toronto.

The second book in the brand new L.O.U.P.E. series of mini mysteries and adventures.

Written by Mireille Messier
Éditions David, 2024
174 pages
8 & up
ISBN: 978-2-895-979845

Only available in French (for now… ;-))

Click here to order a copy of this book. Or visit your favourite french indie book store!

Also available :

Une Twiga à Ottawa!


Discover Canada’s national capital in this comic urban safari starring Viviane & Simon, a young franco-ontarian brother and sister sleuthing team, and their mysterious TWIGA.

The first chapter book in the brand new L.O.U.P.E. series of mini mysteries and adventures.

Written by Mireille Messier
Éditions David, 2024
118 pages
For readers 8 & up
ISBN: 978-2-895979838

Only available in French (for now… ;-))

Click here to order a copy. Or visit your favourite french indie children’s bookstore.

Also available:

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!

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
2024 Short Listed for the IODE Jean Throop Award
2023 Finalist for the Prix Peuplier, Forest of Reading (French awards)

Star: The Bird Who Inspired Mozart

Star: The Bird Who Inspired Mozart is based on the true story of how Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, one of the world’s most remarkable musicians, was inspired by one of the world’s most unremarkable birds: a starling.

In this charming picture book, author Mireille Messier tells the story of a very special relationship and how it began: with a chance musical encounter. And Matte Stephens’s playful art captures both the grandeur of 18th century Vienna and the budding unlikely friendship between a famous musician and a humble starling.

Star: The Bird Who Inspired Mozart
Tundra, October 2022
Story by Mireille Messier
Illustrations by Matte Stephens
36 pages

ISBN: 9780735266896

Themes : Classical music, bird, pet, friendship, inspiration, History, true story, biography
You can order this book by clicking here! Or by visiting your favourite indie bookstore 🙂


“In 18th-century Vienna, a starling explores and replicates the noises she hears all around her. She mimics sounds from the streets, animal calls, and even human speech. For a time, she perches in a tree outside the window of a musician and his family. When the starling is captured and taken to a pet shop, she becomes despondent and loses her song. But soon she is bought and taken home by the very musician whose window she used to frequent—none other than Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. The narrative draws inspiration from the true story of Mozart’s purchase of a pet starling and his transcription of the bird’s song, eerily similar to one of his unpublished compositions. Where music historians differ on their explanations of this mystery, Messier posits a charming prior connection between man and bird. She characterizes the bird with winning details, including its repeated use of the German-accented onomatopoeia “Piep!” Stephens provides cheerful poster-colored paintings in a naive style, solid shapes, and loosely drawn lines suggesting facial expressions and environmental details. He injects subtle humor into the nooks and crannies of the story, particularly the face of the dyspeptic bird catcher and the starling’s casual soiling of the piano in front of Mozart’s dismayed student. VERDICT This is an endearing piece of historical fiction, and perhaps an early entry point into Mozart’s oeuvre.”

School Library Journal

“Launching from legends about Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s musically precocious starling, Messier imagines an origin story for the pet, a fresh entry point into the life of an icon of Western classical music. Exploring Vienna, a starling chick imitates springtime sounds before perching outside Mozart’s window, his music “more beautiful than anything she had ever heard.” When a bird-catcher cages her, her chirping of a memorable tune finds the ear of its composer and (…) inspires a lengthy creative collaboration. Messier’s Vienna burbles with German-language sounds, including a cat’s “miau” and a townsperson’s “Guten morgen,” providing opportunities for readers to imitate along with the starling. Stephens renders high-contrast illustrations using unlined shapes to create simple, blocky figures portrayed with fanciful skin tones in whimsically off-kilter cityscapes. An author’s note concludes.”

Publisher Weekly


Tom loves everything!

Even the things that most kids do NOT love, like tofu and turtlenecks and dandelions and rainy days. These short, fun, rhyming poems are Tom’s perfect ode to the everyday unloved.

« Bonjour! Je suis Tom-Aime-Tout!
Car oui, en effet j’aime tout, tout TOUT!
Voici des poèmes que j’ai inventés
Pour célébrer certains mal-aimés!»

Éditions Tête Haute, August 2022
Text Mireille Messier
Illustrations Alice Lemelin
36 pages

ISBN: 978-2-924860-34-2
Soft cover

Themes : Poetry, poem, ode, everyday, love, humour
Order this book by clicking here!
Or by visiting your favourite indie bookstore.

Je déteste les moustiques, mais…

Papy calls them skeeters.
Mom calls them mosquitoes.
I don’t call them at all.
But still they come and… I HATE THEM!

Mosquitoes do have a way of ruining nice summer evenings, but they are useful and important to the ecosystem.

Discover how and why mosquitoes are important for flowers, fish, frogs and bats. And maybe in other ways we haven’t even thought of yet!


Je déteste les moustiques, mais… (in French only, for now!)
Éditions de l’Isatis, collection Clin d’oeil, April 2022
Story by Mireille Messier
Illustrations by Catherine Petit
32 pages
3 +
ISBN : 978-2925-088615

Themes : Insects, environement, nature, non-fiction, ecosystem
Order a copy of this book by clicking here! Or visit your favourite independent book sellers 🙂

Nutcracker Night

Beep! Beep! go the taxis. Voof! go the velvet curtains. The Nutcracker ballet and New York City’s David H. Koch Theater come to life in this onomatopoeic representation of a little girl’s experience at the ballet. From the swish of her dress and the tick-tick-tick of the conductor’s baton to the twelve bongs of the clock and the pitter-patter of dancers’ feet, this special evening is filled with sensory treats for the eyes and especially the ears.

Nutcracker Night
Pajama Press, Fall 2019
Story by Mireille Messier
Illustrations by Gabrielle Grimard
40 pages
3-8 years old
ISBN : 978-1-77278-091-8
Jacketed hadcover

French version now available!
“La magie de Casse-Noisette” (Éditions Scholastic)

Themes: dance, ballet, sound words, performing arts, holidays, STEAM

Awards and Honours:
2019 Northern Lights Book Award: The Arts Winner

Reviews for Nutcracker Night:

“A sprightly introduction to the classic Christmas ballet….The spare text…[delivers] the story through a series of combinations of expertly chosen onomatopoeia and dialogue guiding readers from the anticipation of the ballet through its first act, intermission, the second act, the curtain call, and the child narrator’s closing, appreciative ‘Smooch!’ of thanks to her dad. Sure to elicit the storytime equivalent of ‘encore’ at Christmastime and beyond.”—Kirkus Reviews

“This vibrant tribute to a holiday tradition follows a sensory-filled adventure to a Nutcracker performance….A charming entrée for ballet-bound children.”—Publishers Weekly

“A good primer to complement a child’s first time seeing The Nutcracker and, for those familiar with it, a fresh take on a classic.”—The Horn Book Magazine

“Experience Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker through the eyes of a young girl attending the ballet in this fresh rendition of the beloved classic…The sights and sounds of the theater are center stage; musicians, dancers, and a lively audience interact through the onomatopoetic text.”—Foreword Reviews

Nutcracker Night captures the magic of a young school-aged child’s visit to the ballet with her father. The Nutcracker, a classic ballet, comes to life as a true auditory experience….The pen and ink with watercolour illustrations are both detailed and energetic….Highly Recommended.”—CM Magazine

“The onomatopoeic sounds bring the excitement of the night to life along with the beautiful illustrations rendered in watercolor, gouache, oil, colored pencil and digital media….This is a wonderful introduction to the ballet for young readers and will be enjoyed by fans of the holiday classic.”—Youth Services Book Review

“This delightful picture book would make a lovely December gift for a young child….The pictures here are charming, bringing the characters, audience members, musicians, and dancers to life. We see the rosy cheeks, the children awed by the night and the ones eager for more. There are many children, as would be expected for this ballet, and lots of ages of adults. Fathers and mothers, diversity of people, and a range of festive attire….Beautifully done.”—Canadian Bookworm

“[T]his beautifully illustrated book by Gabrielle Grimard are all the sounds a little girl hears as she attends the ballet with her dad….I haven’t had the privilege to attend a performance of the Nutcracker, but based on this book, I can imagine how beautiful it is.”—Booktime

    • Click here to invite the author to your school to present this book!
    • Click here to purchase this book!

Sergeant Billy: The True Story of the Goat Who Went to War

This is the delightful tale of a brave war hero… who was a goat!

During World War I, a goat named Billy was adopted by a platoon of soldiers and became their loyal mascot.

Billy . . .

  • Trained with the soldiers
  • Was smuggled across the ocean
  • Got snuck into the frontlines in a crate of oranges
  • Ate some secret documents and was imprisoned for treason
  • Got trench foot
  • Head-butted soldiers into a trench, saving their lives
  • Was promoted to the rank of sergeant and came back home a decorated war hero!

This charming true story follows Sergeant Billy from his small prairie town in Saskatchewan to the trenches of World War I and back, through harrowing moments but also moments of camaraderie and celebration. This unforgettable goat and the platoon that loved him will capture your heart!

Themes: military, world war I, service animal, true story, biography, historical

Sergeant Billy: The True Story of the Goat who Went to War
Tundra Books/Penduin Random House, Fall 2019
Story by Mireille Messier
Illustrations by Kass Reich
40 pages
4-10 years old
ISBN : 9-780-73526-442-7
Jacketed hadcover
  • Click here to invite the author to your school to present this book!
  • Click here to order this book!
  • Click here to watch the book trailer!
  • Click here to access the free Discussion Guide (English)
  • Click this link to access a free, French Activity Sheet – Fiche d’activités Sergent Billy


“Messier’s smooth, well-paced text and Reich’s muted gouache illustrations in warlike tones of olive and brown well convey the poignancy and humor of the story.” – KIRKUS REVIEW

“Mireille Messier takes young readers beyond the mud and blood of World War I with her rollicking humanizing tale of a goat and the soldiers who cared for it.” – Canadian Material Review, Highly recommended

“Messier and Reich deserve a medal for their ambitious work.” – Imaginary Elevators

Awards and Distinctions

Winner, Hackmatack Awards in the English non-fiction category (2021-2022)
Winner, OLA Forest of Reading Prix Mélèze Award (French edition) (2020-2021)
Finalist, Shining Willow, Saskatchewan’s Young Readers’ Choice Award, (2021)
Winner, Rocky Mountain Book Award, Alberta’s Young Readers’ Choice Award (2020)
Winner, Comstock Read-Aloud Book Award (2020)
Winner, Christopher Award for best children’s book (2020)



When two siblings go on a treasure hunt, they aren’t sure exactly what kind of treasure they are looking for. What they do know is that treasures are shiny, mysterious and precious. And that all the really good treasures are hidden!

As they explore the forest, their curiosity pays off when they find the biggest, shiniest, most mysterious and precious treasure.

Told exclusively in dialogue, the story encourages readers to look for the small, everyday treasures that surround us. This beautifully illustrated picture book exudes a sense of wonder at the natural world and emphasizes the magical qualities of looking through a child’s eye.

Also available in French as Trésor.

Themes: nature, environment, water, adventure, siblings, treasure hunt, exploration

Endorsments for Treasure:
“Treasure reminds us that although we might not always find what we are looking for, we might discover something even more magical—a connection to nature and our Earth.”
— Autumn Peltier, First Nations Youth Water Advocate

“A wonderful way of rediscovering ancient, life-giving treasures.”
—David Suzuki, Scientist and Broadcaster

Awards and Honours:
2019 Kirkus Best Picture Books
2020 Prix AAOF de littérature jeunesse, finalist (French version)

Reviews for Treasure:
“A gentle exploration, using a child’s words and told at a child’s pace, of a marvelous world.” – Starred review, KIRKUS
Orca Book Publisher, Fall 2019
Story by Mireille Messier
Illustrations by Irene Luxbacher
32 pages
3-8 years old
ISBN : 978-1-45981-734-0
Jacketed hadcover
  • Click here to invite the author to your school to present this book!
  • Click here to purchase this book!