My new website has information about me, my books, book reviews, a video and links to Tumblr,Facebook and Youtube.  Both paperback and e-book purchases can be made on the website.  Have a look at: www.duanelawrence.ca

100 Best B.C. Books for Kids!

"Sammy Squirrel & Rodney Raccoon - A Stanley Park Tale" is now one of the top 100 recommended books for B.C. kids. Thank you B.C elementary school teachers!  Search:  BCTF Best Books

Readings in Stanley Park

Great news!  The Park Board has given me permission to do readings in Stanley Park this summer.  I plan to have afternoon readings 3 times a week at different locations.  Stay posted for times and locations as summer draws nearer.  

Get the e-book versions of both stories!

Both "Sammy Squirrel & Rodney Raccoon - A Stanley Park Tale" and "Sammy Squirrel & Rodney Raccoon - To The Rescue" are now available as e-books on all digital formats including Kobo, Kindle, iPad/iBooks, Nook, Sony Reader and as PDFs for your computer.  Happy reading, everyone!  They can be purchased on sales websites like Amazon, Apple iBooks and other online outlets such as my.bookbaby.com:

Click below:

Sammy Squirrel & Rodney Raccoon - A Stanley Park Tale

Sammy Squirrel & Rodney Racoon - To The Rescue

Stanley Park's 125th birthday celebration!

Thank you to everyone who came to listen to my readings and join in the singing of "Oh, Stanley Park!" at the Lost Lagoon stage during the 125th anniversary celebrations for Vancouver's Stanley Park.  Someone told me that they could hear us singing the song across the Lagoon and along the trails in the park.  Thanks also to those who purchased copies of my books.  A third story is in the works!

Midwest Book Review of second story

"Sammy Squirrel & Rodney Raccoon - To The Rescue" is the second Stanley Park story written as a starter chapter novel for young readers ages 7 -12.  Sammy Squirrel and Rodney Raccoon are worried about their friend Judy Crow, who has gone missing from the park.  The two book-loving friends bravely embark on an adventurous trek to rescue their crow-napped friend, which ends up taking them to a large city, Vancouver.  Short, action-packed, descriptively rich chapters punctuated by charming, detailed black and white illustrations keep reader interest high and make "Sammy Squirrel & Rodney Raccoon - To The Rescue" an ideal beginning chapter book read, especially for adventurous nature lovers.  In Vancouver, Sammy and Rodney face many challenges and find unexpected help from new friends, Mortimer Mole and Fernando Fox.  After many twists and turns, the friends rescue Judy Crow, and all ends well back at Stanley Park.  There are many delicious little touches of humourous detail, such as the two friends chatty coffee at the Argyle Cafe, where they order hazelnut coffee and polite clam chowder.  "Sammy Squirrel & Rodney Raccoon - To The Rescue" is a delightful, appealing book filled with real, quirky characters and solid friendship values, which can be read aloud to children quite successfully.

Midwest Book Review, Oregon, WI, USA

Princeton school visit

On Thursday, March 22, 2012 I visited John Allison Elementary School in my hometown of Princeton, B.C. to read from "Sammy Squirrel & Rodney Raccoon - A Stanley Park Tale."  I had 3 different readings that ranged from kindergarten to Grade 3.  It was a thrill to be invited as an author to read there.  Even my mother showed up to cheer me on! Thank you to the teachers and students for a very enjoyable time.  Your rapt attention, energetic participation and excellent singing at the end made the day one that I won't forget!

Burnaby library visits

Hey, Burnaby - thank you!  This week I visited four Burnaby elementary schools - Kitchener, Capitol Hill, Stride and Lyndhurst.  The students who came to my author visit ranged from kindergarten up to Grade 3. Each and every visit was so much fun.  Thanks for listening, sharing, participating and singing "Oh, Stanley Park!" with me.

Library Visits in Merritt and Kamloops

A gargantuan (very, very big) thank you to the Merritt and Kamloops public libraries for organizing the  readings there for both of my books on Friday, Feb. 3 and Saturday, Feb. 4, 2012. I had a great time and, from the level of interaction and loud singing at the end, I think all the classes and members of the public who attended also enjoyed themselves.

Another big thank you to University Highlands Elementary School at the SFU campus in Burnaby on Monday, Feb .6.  I read from my first book to 2 large groups of primary grade students who showed great interest and enthusiasm.  Your positive energy made it great fun for me too!

This past weekend was a very busy and very enjoyable weekend for me...and for Sammy and Rodney!

Second Story launched at Sylvia Hotel

"Sammy Squirrel & Rodney Raccoon - To The Rescue" was launched at the historic Sylvia Hotel in Vancouver on June 27. In this sequel to the first book, Sammy and Rodney set out to find their friend Judy Crow who has mysteriously disappeared from Stanley Park. They end up at the Animal Inn, a hidden underground hotel for critters located beneath the Sylvia Hotel. The two park dwellers' courage and determination are sharply tested as the search for Judy becomes more challenging than they ever could have imagined. If you like children's books, you'll love this new story.

To view a video clip of the book launch by Shaw TV's "The Express" go to: www.youtube.com/user/TheExpressVan#p/u/1/1JDivuIfZ8A Once you're there, fast forward to 3 minutes and 44 seconds.

The first story "Sammy Squirrel & Rodney Raccoon - a Stanley Park Tale" is always available in bookstores and online.

CBC Radio Interview

This is the CBC radio interview about my second book. Click on the link, then move the scan bar to 1 hour 11 minutes: CBC.ca The Early Edition Rebranding Vancouver, Henry Bull, Rumana Monzur, the story of Stuart Glass, Political Panel, Vigilante Shaming

Review of new book...

"Resource Links Magazine" published this review of my second book:

Sammy Squirrel & Rodney Raccoon - To The Rescue
76 pages/ Ages 7 to 10

In this second Stanley Park adventure, Sammy Squirrel and his best pal Rodney Raccoon embark on a trek to the thriving city of Vancouver in search of their neighbour and friend, Judy Crow. Judy was last seen being carried out of the park by two other large crows, and the other Stanley Park animals fear that she has been "crow-napped." Sammy and Rodney follow clues that lead them to the historic Sylvia Hotel in greater Vancouver - a city that up to now they have been very curious about, but which seemed an impossible feat to reach. Along the way, the two friends encounter several other neighbours, such as Renee Rabbit and Squirty Skunk. In addition, they meet and befriend several new characters who help to bring home the uplifting message of the value of kindness and sensitivity to others.

Hidden behind the Sylvia Hotel, Sammy and Rodney discover the underground Animal Inn, run by the very helpful Fernando Fox. They rent a room, and then seek out to explore the corridors with the hope of finding Judy. The further they delve into the maze of tunnels, the more adventure and danger they encounter, until they are finally able to rescue their friend. Their escapades are not over yet, however, as they still have to make it all the way back home to their beloved Stanley Park!

This beginning chapter book, featuring beautifully done pencil drawings by Gordon Clover, is an absolute treasure. The woodland creatures are brought to life in such a heartwarming and genuine way, they are irresistible. With any luck, another witty story featuring the courageous Sammy and Rodney is in the works, since this is definitely one that readers could quite likely cherish forever! Highly recommended for children aged 7 - 10, or anyone who is young at heart!

Taken from: Resource Links Magazine - Volume 17 - #1
Written by: Nicole Rowlinson

What the critics say...

"Resource Links Magazine" published this review of my first book:

Sammy Squirrel & Rodney Raccoon - A Stanley Park Tale

106 pages/Grades 2 - 6.

Lawrence has created a wonderful community of animals that live in Stanley Park, Vancouver. After a close encounter with people and pets, Sammy Squirrel and Rodney Raccoon decide they are going to leave the safety of the park and set off on an adventure. Their adventure removes them far from the safety of their community; the novel follows them as they head out into the ocean, and eventually end up in Japan. Along the way they are helped by many different animal friends, including Winifred Whale, Penelope Pigeon and Judy Crow.

Young readers will enjoy the gentle fictional world that Duane Lawrence has created in this short novel. The novel is well-paced for younger readers, and the clear text is interspersed with lively black and white illustrations. The short chapters are ideal for readers embarking on their first chapter book, but all students with an interest in wildlife or environmental issues will enjoy this novel. The story also works well as a read-aloud, particularly when introducing a unit with environmental or community themes to a class.

Taken from: Resource Links Magazine - Volume 13, #4.
Written by: Claire Hazzard

Bookstore Review

"I loved Sammy Squirrel & Rodney Raccoon - this witty novel about the escapades of two adventurous animals from Stanley Park works just as well for adults as it does for kids. Over the past few years we have sold several hundred copies and it's consistently one of our best selling children's titles."

Manager, Blackberry Books on Granville Island in Vancouver

Vancouver Sun Video

The Vancouver Sun videotaped authors reading from their books to promote the "Raise a Reader" literacy program. To view my reading, go to www.vancouversun.com/rar and search my name or the book title. Hope you enjoy this little excerpt from the story.

Who are Stanley Park Stories for?

The short chapters are ideal for readers embarking on their first chapter book, but all students with an interest in wildlife or environmental issues will enjoy this novel.

Review comment from Claire Hazzard in "Resource Links Magazine."

These are stories for ages 7 - 10 and, of course, for those young at heart.

Author Duane Lawrence with Sammy Squirrel

Photo taken during my visit to Christianne's Lyceum of Literature and Art in Vancouver.

About the first story...

In the first story, readers meet Sammy Squirrel and Rodney Raccoon who live a happy life in Vancouver's Stanley Park, but are terribly curious about the outside world. Sammy and Rodney set off on an adventure beyond the outskirts of the park and find themselves adrift at sea in a little boat. Much to their surprise after weeks at sea, the two friends end up in Japan. They meet many new friends during the journey - Salty Seagull, Winnifred Whale and a deer called Shika to name a few - and they visit a big beautiful park in the ancient city of Nara, Japan where they help resolve a crisis before crossing the ocean to return to Stanley Park. Do you need a gift for someone who enjoys a classic adventure story? "Sammy Squirrel & Rodney Raccoon - a Stanley Park tale" just might be the book they'll cherish forever. (Chapter book - 106 pages)

School Visits

Photo courtesy of North Shore News

A photo of my visit with a Grade 2 class at West Vancouver's Irwin Park Elementary School.

Singing at the Hollow Tree

I accompanied a class of Grade 4/5 students and their teacher from Lord Roberts' Elementary School to sing the song from my book at the Old Hollow Tree in Stanley Park in support of keeping the tree standing. The old tree is known in my story as "Old Hollow Hall" - the meeting place for the animals...kind of like their city hall. The children sang "O'Stanley Park" beautifully, the sun shone and we all had fun. Click below to view the video created by the Vancouver Sun media crew.

An excerpt from the first story...

Chapter One - The Surprisingly Dangerous Nut Haul

Sammy Squirrel awoke to the sound of a long, deep howl and leapt out of bed. Rushing to the window, he looked out to see what had made such a terrible noise. The large branches of his giant fir tree swooshed and swayed in every direction. It was the wind - a clear sign that winter would arrive soon in Stanley Park.

Oh dear, he muttered to himself, I'd better finish my nut gathering before any snow falls. He'd always felt this was a wonderful way to spend a late autumn day. But on this morning it was raining "people and pets," as the old animal saying goes. And that would make going on a nut haul an unpleasant task for any squirrel, even a good-natured, hardworking one like Sammy.

After a delicious breakfast of roasted acorns and green leaf tea, Sammy hurriedly dressed in his green rain hat and coat, grabbed his favourite green umbrella, and scurried towards the door. He stopped for a moment to admire himself in the hallway mirror.

Oh, I love green things! Evergreen, forest green anything green! And I do look good in green, too - somewhat like a little green shrub, come to think of it.

Full of admiration for the stylish reflection he had seen in the mirror, Sammy opened the door and peered out. Wriggling his nose, he sniffed the air as a quick safety check, for he never knew if an unfriendly hawk might be lurking in the treetops at this time of day. Satisfied there was no sign of danger from the animal world, he hurried down the tree and headed along the winding trail in his fancy "green shrub" attire.