Marie-Louise Gay

Marie-Louise Gay is an internationally acclaimed author and illustrator of children’s books. She has won two Governor General’s Literary Awards, the Elizabeth Mrazik-Cleaver Canadian Picture Book Award, the Vicky Metcalf Award for Children’s Literature and the Marilyn Baillie Picture Book Award. She has also been nominated for the prestigious Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award and the Hans Christian Andersen Award. Marie-Louise’s very popular Stella and Sam series has been translated into more than fifteen languages and is loved by children all over the world. Her recent books include Short Stories for Little Monsters and Mustafa. She lives in Montreal. Visit marielouisegay.com. 

Marie-Louise Gay will also be hosting two writing workshops at our festival this year – find out more here!

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Fern and Horn

Fern and Horn are twins who look like two peas in a pod or two stars in the sky. But Fern and Horn have different ways of seeing the world. They try to outdo each other with imagination and improvisation, using crayons and pencils, ripped-up paper and cardboard boxes.

Fern loves to draw flowers and butterflies, birds and bees, caterpillars and orange trees. She draws here, there and everywhere. Horn wants to draw too, but he thinks his flowers look like purple pancakes and his caterpillars like striped socks.

“Draw whatever you want!” Fern tells him.

Horn draws an enormous elephant that tramples all over her pictures.

Fortunately, Fern’s imagination is as big as the universe. She loves gazing at the stars and making star shapes. Again, Horn tries to follow suit, but he is frustrated with his creations and makes a ferocious paper polar bear that devours Fern’s stars.

Undeterred, Fern decides to build a castle that can withstand elephants and polar bears, but a fire-breathing dragon comes along. Luckily, Fern knows exactly what dragons like best …

Illustrations full of vibrant color, collage and exquisite detail complement this story that looks at the endless imagination and creative energy of young children. Marie-Louise Gay suggests that if children are given the time and space to explore the many paths to creativity, the results are brilliant and inspiring.