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Sheryl McFarlane

Authors’ Booking Service is pleased to announce that children’s author, Sheryl McFarlane is now scheduling visits to Ontario schools for the coming school year.   

Sheryl would love to plan a visit to your school or library.  Her rate is $250 per session, plus travel /accommodation expenses (usually shared among host schools/libraries)

Sheryl’s lyrical picture books are multi-award winners and her moving YA novel has been recognized in both Canada and the U.S.A. 

Here’s what teachers and librarians have to say about this author: 

Simply terrific."

Anne Letain, teacher-librarian Taber Alberta 

"We know you've made a lasting impression."

Cowichan Valley School District Young Author's Conference, BC 

"…Your words and passion touched so many people that we would like you to speak for us again..."

Joan Cunningham, International Reading Association Conference Organiser, Edmonton, Alberta. 

"Absolutely fantastic--Creative strategies to inspire students."

Chair of Weaving Words VIII: Extending Literature Through the Fine Arts.

Sheryl is a member of The Writers' Union of Canada, and so schools wishing to invite her may be eligible for a travel and fee subsidy to off-set the cost of her visit. Contact us for details of this program. 

Time slots are filled on a first-come, first-serve basis, so please respond early if you are interested in booking .    

Published Works



  • The Smell Of Paint: Fitzhenry & Whiteside, Fall 2006.


Picture Books 

  • This Is The Dog.  Toronto: Fitzhenry & Whiteside, 04.

  • A Pod Of Orcas.  Toronto: Fitzhenry & Whiteside, 03.

  • Going To The Fair. Victoria: Orca Book Publishers, 1996.  Toronto: Troll Book Club, 1997.

  • Tides Of Change. Victoria:  Orca Book Publishers, 1995.  Released In An Anthology Published By Prentice Hall Ginn.

  • Eagle Dreams. Victoria: Orca Book Publishers, 1994.  New York: Philomel, 1995. Anthologized In Animal Tracks, Ed. By David Booth: Toronto: Harcourt Brace, 1994. Toronto: Scholastic, 1998.

  • Moonsnail Song.  Victoria:  Orca Book Publishers, 1994.

  • Jessie’s Island. Victoria: Orca Book Publishers, 1992. Toronto: Scholastic, 1995.  In An Anthology By Nelson Canada.

  • Waiting For The Whales.  Victoria: Orca Book Publishers, 1991.  New York: Philomel 1993. Toronto:  Scholastic, 1993, 1995.  Anthologized In Kaleidoscope, Ed. By David Booth: Hbj-Holt Canada 1992. 


Board Books 

  • What’s That Sound? By The Sea. Toronto: Fitzhenry & Whiteside, 06.

  • What’s That Sound? At The Circus. Toronto: Fitzhenry & Whiteside, 06.

  • What’s That Sound? On The Farm .  Toronto: Fitzhenry & Whiteside,  05.

  • What’s That Sound? In The City.  Toronto: Fitzhenry & Whiteside,  05.

Awards and Nominations

Waiting For The Whales

  • Governor General’s Award for Illustration

  • IODE Award for Text

  • Short-listed for Mr. Christie Award, BC Book Prize

  • Recognized by Canadian Children’s Book Centre, CBC Morningside Book Panel

  • Canadian Library Notable Book

Eagle Dreams

  • Recognized by CBC Morningside Book Panel

Tides Of Change

  • Recommended by the Royal British Columbia Museum

A Pod Of Orcas

  • Short-listed for the Chocolate Lily Award

  • BC Ministry of Education Ready Set Learn Title

This Is The Dog

  • Short-listed for the Blue Spruce Award,

  • Short-listed for the Chocolate Lily Award

  • Short-listed for the Amelia Francis Howard-Gibbon Award

  • Canadian Toy Council Recommended Title

What’s That Sound? In The City

What’s That Sound? On The Farm

  • Recognized by Today’s Parent

What’s That Sound? By The Sea

  • 2008 Canadian Toy Testing Council Great Book Award

  • 2007 Moonbeam Silver Award in Board Book Category (USA)

The Smell Of Paint

  • 2007 Moonbeam Gold Award for YA Fiction (USA)

  • Victoria Butler Book Prize nominee

Sheryl’s Presentation Details

As the author of board books, picture books, short stories and a young adult novel, Sheryl can present to any age.  For upper elementary and high school groups she loves talking about the writing process from where ideas come from all the way through publication.  Due to their length, picture books are perfect vehicles for demonstrating the publishing process including book design.  The diary aspects of her novel help to demonstrate the connection between journal writing and novels. She breaks down the elements of craft into manageable bites with interactive activities.   

With primary and younger intermediate students, Sheryl calls on her experience as an elementary science teacher to share her passion for research including some of the natural history facts behind the fiction in her books.  She also focuses on language play such as onomatopoeia, games and other interactive activities that relate to her books.  Sheryl likes to give students the opportunity for questions in all of her presentations. 
Grades I will present to: all grades as per above.

Is this flexible? Yes, but please be mindful of different ability range within your group.

Maximum number of students per session: under 60 for primary; less is better.  Up to 100 for intermediate. Larger groups may be accommodated, especially with theatre style venues but please check with Sheryl first.

Is this flexible? (Somewhat.  Larger groups may be accommodated, but please check with Sheryl before planning such events.  Sheryl does not do whole school gym presentations).

Two hour workshops for grades 5 and up.

Maximum participants for workshop: single classes or groups of 25 or less.

Sheryl offers Professional Development workshops to educators on a variety of topics including but not limited to:  Family Literacy, Picture Book Curriculum Connections for Intermediate Grades and Writing Strategies for Classroom Teachers.  

Grade 12 Writers' Craft Workshops?  As per above in YA section

Venues can include: classroom, library, multipurpose rooms or conference setting.

Is this flexible? (Somewhat, however, I do not do large school gym presentations).

Equipment list:  overhead projector/screen, flip chart & felts, table, and a lapel mike for larger groups.

K-3 Sheryl McFarlane loves to share orca vocalizations, moonsnail eating habits, and samples of toredo ship worm damage with kids when she isn’t teaching them about onomatopoeia.

4-6 Sheryl McFarlane shares the facts behind the fiction in her books and involves students in writing games and activities. 

Young Adults Sheryl McFarlane takes students through the publishing process from idea through story development and creating believable characters.  She shares concrete examples of editing and introduces students to other aspects of publishing such as book design.