A Good Home, A Story for Lauren, Canadian Families, Children's Books, Difference, New Books

Meet Myrtle

A story I wrote 27 years ago to comfort my 4 year-old daughter is about to be published.

Illustrated and designed by well-known blogger Jo Robinson, it’s titled “Myrtle the Purple Turtle”.  It’s about a turtle who suddenly realizes she is different from her friends. She doesn’t like it, and tries to change.

The story is about difference, friendship, and overcoming obstacles.

It was inspired by an experience my daughter Lauren had one day when she brought her black doll to her nursery school.

Blog Photo - Myrtle 2 with title

I’d been producing children’s TV shows back then; that may be why I made up this story for Lauren.  It immediately became her favourite. Soon she knew it by heart!

In fact, Myrtle’s story was improved each night, in response to Lauren’s questions and her father’s and older sister’s suggestions.  

Early this year, egged on by my husband and Chris Graham,  the popular British book blogger — and supported by my children — I decided to publish the story in book-form and asked Jo to illustrate it.

So, 27 years later, Myrtle will finally get her time in the sun! 

Another interesting development: Lauren, now one of Canada’s brightest lights in digital media, has been helping to shepherd the book to publication, and will oversee its marketing. 

Jo, meanwhile,  has been working on the illustrations for several months, and is now adding the final design touches to the book.

I’ll share the book cover with you very soon.



A Good Home, African Traditions, Art, Authors, Book lovers, Book Reviews, Books, Celebrations, Children's Books

A Magical Story

The new book lies on my desk, on my bedside table, on the kitchen counter – a jewel that I’ve been carrying around the house with me.  I keep picking it up, drawn by the beautiful cover image, and opening it to flip through to the others inside. Occasionally, I re-read the whole story.


The story is about a young girl whose little brother is very ill. Doctors aren’t able to cure him, so the family calls on a healer. Surprisingly, the healer tells the family to hold a joyful ceremony filled with guests.


In some ways, it’s like a fairy tale. But the story is in no way typical, and certainly not ‘traditional’ in the Western sense.

“From the Lands of the Night” is written by award-winning author Tololwa M. Mollel and illustrated by artist Darrell McCalla.  The artwork is astonishingly beautiful and  the story is a delightful surprise.


There are angels in this book – angels who dance –  and the spirits of ancestors, dressed in shimmering, colourful clothes.


God – called “Mola” –  shows up but he’s in a grumpy mood.  The humans are making such a racket he can’t hear himself think.  “All I want is some peace, some quiet,” he complains.  But before you know it, the girl takes Mola by the hand and invites him to join the ceremony for her baby brother.

All of these elements infuse the book with an air of magic, spirituality and celebration. And yet, it is also a book about a little girl, a baby boy and their family. A book about ‘home’ in a wondrous sense of the word.

Launched this month by Red Deer Press, “From the Lands of the Night” is no doubt meant to benefit from interest in Black History Month. But I’d recommend this book for any time of year, and I’d recommend it for both children and adults. It’s lovely.

From the Lands of the Night is available through Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Chapters Indigo and other online booksellers. The ISBN number is: 978-0-88995-498-4.