Canadian Author by Gravenhurst Newspaper

Gravenhurst author brings children’s stories to life

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GRAVENHURST – Her passion for educating children is leading a former teacher down a new path.

“I am retired from teaching but not from life,” said Pauline Gallagher, author of four soon-to-be-released children’s ebooks.

According to Gallagher, a Gravenhurst resident for the past 18 years, her stories Mrs. Claus and the November Visit, Belinda’s Dandelion, The Bouncing Blue Ball, and Unicorns Come at Night, will soon be offered on Amazon, Kobo, Barnes & Noble and Apple ibooks.

“The best feedback I received was to have Mrs. Claus and the November Visit win in the Canadian Library Association’s annual contest,” she said. “Fourteen stories were chosen and mine was the only children’s winner.”

Gallagher said her holiday tale centres on a child named Oliver Grant who lives in New York City. When the boy writes a letter to Santa during the month of November and Santa is too busy to respond, he sends his wife to help Oliver with his problem.

Gallagher, who taught in Barrie, said her new profession wasn’t in her plans for her retirement, but when she spent a year working as a librarian in a quiet library she began passing time reading children’s books. It was then she said she noticed a need for more interesting stories. But when she decided to take on the challenge herself, she said her results weren’t much better.

“It was absolute garbage. I thought (to myself), don’t even think of writing,” said Gallagher with a laugh. She said she decided to give up at least short-term and that’s when everything fell into place.

She credits a late night “vision” for pulling all the pieces of her story into focus.

“I stayed up all night writing it,” she said, admitting sheepishly that she didn’t go to work the next day for fear of losing momentum.

Gallagher said despite her passion for writing, getting her stories published was difficult because she couldn’t afford to hire an illustrator.

“Annick Press, Toronto, which at that time, published Robert Munsch, seriously considered my stories,” she said. “(They) took them to two (American) publishers’ conferences but they were unsuccessful. I did not have an artist at that time. Now, fast-forward to 2016 and I have used the images of Public Domain to bring these books back to life.”

Gallagher said she is taking on serious issues in her books, while providing an entertaining read.

In Belinda’s Dandelion she focuses on the issue of bullying and mob mentality using a garden of flowers with one weed to relay the message.

In Unicorns Come at Night she deals with death when the beloved horse of a young girl passes away.

“The loss of a pet is a pain shared by children and adults,” said Gallagher, explaining the idea of the book came to her after visiting a pet cemetery in Boston, MA.

“(I) read memorials with tears in my eyes,” she said, noting the story ends with a “happy twist.”

Each of Gallagher’s stories includes a bonus section of facts and information and she said she has four more expected to be available soon.

Gallagher also hosts a blog site childrenandteensstoriestomotivateandinspire.com where she posts updates on her writing, as well as other interesting resources for parents and children.

Mrs. Claus and the November Visit Plus Bonus Features by Pauline Gallagher

 

The snug home of Mr. & Mrs. Claus at the North Pole
The snug home of Mr. & Mrs. Claus at the North Pole

Mrs. Claus helps Santa during the busy toy making month of November.  Santa has handed her a sad letter from Oliver, a boy in New York City.  Rudolph leads her through the sky to save a little boy.

Mrs. Claus and the November Visit: This story won an award in the cross Canada Library Association’s yearly competition for writers. The story is published in their annual anthology of short stories –Winners Circle 6.

 

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Bonus Book: This is a Christmas story and so I thought I would include Christmas traditions from several countries: Ireland, Spain, Ethiopia, Czechoslovakia, Germany, Sweden and Australia. Some of them are unusual like Catalonia (Spain’s) “Pooping Yule Log.”  In Czechoslovakia, many young women toss shoes, India has banana Christmas trees and in Japan, Christmas dinner is often held at Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) locations.

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All images are professionally formatted in all of my books on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kindle and Apple iBooks.   All should be available by the end of August or before.

Mrs. Claus and the November Visit by Pauline Gallagher on Amazon

Mrs. Claus and the November Visit

by

Pauline Gallagher, M.Ed.

Winner of the Canadian Library Association’s Competition

Published “The Winners Circle 6”

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The fire crackled, sending shafts of light dancing around the darkened room.

 

 

Its warmth relaxed a sleeping husky dog.

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Mrs. Claus rocked gently back and forth. Soon it would be midnight. She glanced again at the letter. Was there really an Oliver Grant? Why did he want to run away? This was one of the many letters sent to Santa Claus just before Christmas. Santa Claus gave many of the letters to his wife.   After all, they worked as a team.

The clock chimed twelve.

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Mrs. Claus quietly put on her outdoor clothes and walked outside. She liked to help Santa even if it meant travelling away from the North Pole.

The crisp arctic night air stung her cheeks and she briefly shivered.

Overhead, a full moon hugged the earth with its gentle light. The twinkling stars looked like a dazzling ceiling of diamonds. Slowly, she made her way across a carpet of sparkling snow.

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A faint jingling of sleigh bells caught her attention. Through the gently falling snow, reindeer silhouettes appeared.

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They approached her with steam rising from their nostrils. The head reindeer snorted a greeting and pawed the frozen snow.

“Hello Rudolph,” whispered Mrs. Claus. “Are you ready for a trip to New York City?”

Rudolph nodded his head. Soon he and the other reindeers were harnessed to the sleigh.

The senior elf made a final check of the equipment

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He signaled to Mrs. Claus. Within seconds, the sleigh gathered speed. Hooves thundered, bells jingled and snow sprayed over the crouched body of Mrs. Claus. Rudolph snorted instructions. Skillfully, and without a thud or a shake, the sleigh took off into the night sky.

Mrs. Claus, dressed in a red snowsuit, wiped the snow from her eyes

Below her, she could see the sleeping village of Elfville.

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November was a busy month. Early each morning, the elves travelled to the North Pole Workshop. They returned home at night feeling very tired, but happy

Santa Claus was a good boss who told wonderful stories and good jokes. Each elf worked hard knowing that many girls and boys were hoping to receive special gifts at Christmas. Their job was to make the toys, paint them and put them in boxes. Finally, a team of specialized elves worked on wrapping the boxes and putting colored bows on top.

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A cloud passed in front of the full moon. Darkness was all around except for the light coming from Rudolph’s red nose.

images-3 copy 3Back in the moonlight again, Mrs. Claus noticed the Christmas Forest. Here, the elves gathered wood for the toys. Christmas Eve was just one month away!

End of Sample Chapter

You may wish to buy the ebook on Amazon.com or other kindle

distributors, under the title.  You can also  view the whole range of

books by Pauline Gallagher.  Thank you.