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Paulette Bourgeois
Author
Paulette Bourgeois
In 1983, Toronto journalist Paulette Bourgeois decided to write a children’s book. All she needed was an idea. That idea came one night as she was watching an episode of the television series M*A*S*H. The character of Hawkeye Pierce refused to enter a cave because he was claustrophobic. “I’m so scared that if I were a turtle, I’d be afraid of my own shell,” he said. Thus was born Franklin in the Dark, a tale of a little green turtle who’s afraid of small dark places, including his own shell. The name of the turtle came, Bourgeois thought, out of the blue. “Now I realize that Hawkeye’s full name is Franklin Benjamin Pierce!”
The story was rejected by six publishers before Kids Can Press expressed interest. After Bourgeois rewrote the story several times, it was sent to illustrator Brenda Clark. For that first story, there was no collaboration between author and illustrator; in fact, the two didn’t meet until after the book was published. “When I first saw the illustrations, I was overwhelmed by Brenda’s talent,” says Bourgeois. “I think the reason the books have done so well is because Brenda has made the characters so empathetic.” Franklin in the Dark sold an astounding 10 000 copies when it appeared in 1986.
Despite the success of her first effort, Bourgeois was surprised when Kids Can Press asked her to write a second Franklin story. “Franklin in the Dark was one story about one thing,” she said. “I never intended to write a series.” However, she found another situation true to the life of a five year old and Hurry Up, Franklin was published in 1989. Bourgeois and Clark have since created more than two dozen Franklin stories that appear in 31 countries and 17 languages, including Hebrew, Greek and Turkish. There are now more than 20 million Franklin books in print around the world, a television series, and a host of Franklin merchandise.
Bourgeois’ journey from journalist to children’s book writer followed a somewhat meandering path. Born in Winnipeg, Bourgeois was eight when her family began a series of moves. “Many people think moving is a terrible experience,” she says. “I liked it. You learn to adapt to new situations and always have a sense that you are, for a while, an outsider looking in. Writers are observers, and I wonder if moving a lot when I was younger honed my observational skills.”
Bourgeois earned a B.Sc. at the University of Western Ontario and became a psychiatric occupational therapist. After working in her field for two years, she decided it wasn’t for her. “I realized I genuinely enjoyed writing reports more than I did the therapeutic situations,” she says. To explore the writing process further, Bourgeois enrolled in the journalism program at Ottawa’s Carlton University. She launched her career working for the Ottawa Citizen and then as an on-air reporter for CBC-TV. Bourgeois then moved to Washington, D.C., where she began freelancing for Chatelaine, Canadian Living, Reader’s Digest and Maclean’s. “The decision to freelance was made for me,” she explains. “I couldn’t get a full-time job because I couldn’t get a green card.”
By 1983, Bourgeois was back in Toronto and expecting her first child. “I didn’t want to run around the country doing interviews, working long hours and trying to take care of a baby,” she says. So she decided to write a children’s book. “I see writing as a job, so I approached this goal pragmatically. I went to the library and started at ‘A’ in the picture-book section and read through to ‘Z.’ At the end, I knew what I liked and what I thought was good. All I needed was the idea.” Enter Hawkeye Pierce.
Although Bourgeois is best known for the Franklin books, she has also written many fiction and non-fiction titles for Kids Can Press, including the In My Neighbourhood series and two books in the Starting with Space series. “I get bored easily,” she explains. “I enjoy researching information books and, because of my journalism background, I’m not afraid to ask dumb questions. Kids are like that too. They want to know; they ask.” Bourgeois’ own children, Natalie and Gordon are both her biggest critics and biggest supporters.
Bourgeois is also known as an avid quilter. She designs and creates original wall quilts. She recently combined her two passions by writing Oma’s Quilt, a picture book released by Kids Can Press in 2001. “Quilting involves a different part of the brain than writing,” she explains. “I find quilting repetitive and restful and it allows the writer to recharge her batteries.”

Picture Books
  • Big Sarah's Little Boots, 1987
  • Finders Keepers for Franklin, 2001
  • Franklin and Harriet, 2001
  • Franklin and Me, 1994
  • Franklin and the Thunderstorm, 1999
  • Franklin and the Tooth Fairy, 2000
  • Franklin Fibs, 1999
  • Franklin Goes to Day Camp, 1997
  • Franklin Goes to School, 1995
  • Franklin Goes to the Hospital, 2001
  • Franklin Has a Sleepover, 1996
  • Franklin in the Dark, 2000
  • Franklin in the Dark, 2000
  • Franklin Is Bossy, 2000
  • Franklin Is Lost, 1999
  • Franklin Is Messy, 1994
  • Franklin Plays the Game, 1999
  • Franklin Rides a Bike, 1997
  • Franklin Says I Love You, 2002
  • Franklin Wants a Pet, 2000
  • Franklin's Baby Sister, 2000
  • Franklin's Bad Day, 2000
  • Franklin's Blanket, 2000
  • Franklin's Christmas Gift, 1998
  • Franklin's Class Trip, 1999
  • Franklin's Classic Treasury, Volume II, 2000
  • Franklin's Family Treasury, 2003
  • Franklin's First Day at School, 2000
  • Franklin's Halloween, 1996
  • Franklin's Holiday Treasury, 2002
  • Franklin's Neighborhood, 1999
  • Franklin's New Friend, 2000
  • Franklin's Pet Problem, 2000
  • Franklin's School Play, 1999
  • Franklin's School Treasury, 2001
  • Franklin's Secret Club, 1998
  • Franklin's Special Blanket, 2000
  • Franklin's Thanksgiving, 2001
  • Franklin's Valentine Cards, 1998
  • Franklin's Valentines, 1998
  • Hurry Up, Franklin, 2000
  • Oma's Quilt, 2001

Non-Fiction
  • The Dirt on Dirt, 2008

First Readers
  • Firefighters, 2005
  • Postal Workers, 2005


Franklin and Harriet
2002Young Adults’ Choices, International Reading Association Short-Listed
Franklin Says I Love You
2003Childrens’ Choices, International Reading Association Short-Listed
Franklin’s Class Trip
2000Children’s Choices, International Reading Association and the Canadian Book Association Winner
Oma’s Quilt
2002ForeWord Magazine, Book of the Year Award Short-Listed
Paulette Bourgeois
Author
Paulette Bourgeois
In 1983, Toronto journalist Paulette Bourgeois decided to write a children’s book. All she needed was an idea. That idea came one night as she was watching an episode of the television series M*A*S*H. The character of Hawkeye Pierce refused to enter a cave because he was claustrophobic. “I’m so scared that if I were a turtle, I’d be afraid of my own shell,” he said. Thus was born Franklin in the Dark, a tale of a little green turtle who’s afraid of small dark places, including his own shell. The name of the turtle came, Bourgeois thought, out of the blue. “Now I realize that Hawkeye’s full name is Franklin Benjamin Pierce!”
The story was rejected by six publishers before Kids Can Press expressed interest. After Bourgeois rewrote the story several times, it was sent to illustrator Brenda Clark. For that first story, there was no collaboration between author and illustrator; in fact, the two didn’t meet until after the book was published. “When I first saw the illustrations, I was overwhelmed by Brenda’s talent,” says Bourgeois. “I think the reason the books have done so well is because Brenda has made the characters so empathetic.” Franklin in the Dark sold an astounding 10 000 copies when it appeared in 1986.
Despite the success of her first effort, Bourgeois was surprised when Kids Can Press asked her to write a second Franklin story. “Franklin in the Dark was one story about one thing,” she said. “I never intended to write a series.” However, she found another situation true to the life of a five year old and Hurry Up, Franklin was published in 1989. Bourgeois and Clark have since created more than two dozen Franklin stories that appear in 31 countries and 17 languages, including Hebrew, Greek and Turkish. There are now more than 20 million Franklin books in print around the world, a television series, and a host of Franklin merchandise.
Bourgeois’ journey from journalist to children’s book writer followed a somewhat meandering path. Born in Winnipeg, Bourgeois was eight when her family began a series of moves. “Many people think moving is a terrible experience,” she says. “I liked it. You learn to adapt to new situations and always have a sense that you are, for a while, an outsider looking in. Writers are observers, and I wonder if moving a lot when I was younger honed my observational skills.”
Bourgeois earned a B.Sc. at the University of Western Ontario and became a psychiatric occupational therapist. After working in her field for two years, she decided it wasn’t for her. “I realized I genuinely enjoyed writing reports more than I did the therapeutic situations,” she says. To explore the writing process further, Bourgeois enrolled in the journalism program at Ottawa’s Carlton University. She launched her career working for the Ottawa Citizen and then as an on-air reporter for CBC-TV. Bourgeois then moved to Washington, D.C., where she began freelancing for Chatelaine, Canadian Living, Reader’s Digest and Maclean’s. “The decision to freelance was made for me,” she explains. “I couldn’t get a full-time job because I couldn’t get a green card.”
By 1983, Bourgeois was back in Toronto and expecting her first child. “I didn’t want to run around the country doing interviews, working long hours and trying to take care of a baby,” she says. So she decided to write a children’s book. “I see writing as a job, so I approached this goal pragmatically. I went to the library and started at ‘A’ in the picture-book section and read through to ‘Z.’ At the end, I knew what I liked and what I thought was good. All I needed was the idea.” Enter Hawkeye Pierce.
Although Bourgeois is best known for the Franklin books, she has also written many fiction and non-fiction titles for Kids Can Press, including the In My Neighbourhood series and two books in the Starting with Space series. “I get bored easily,” she explains. “I enjoy researching information books and, because of my journalism background, I’m not afraid to ask dumb questions. Kids are like that too. They want to know; they ask.” Bourgeois’ own children, Natalie and Gordon are both her biggest critics and biggest supporters.
Bourgeois is also known as an avid quilter. She designs and creates original wall quilts. She recently combined her two passions by writing Oma’s Quilt, a picture book released by Kids Can Press in 2001. “Quilting involves a different part of the brain than writing,” she explains. “I find quilting repetitive and restful and it allows the writer to recharge her batteries.”

Picture Books
  • Big Sarah's Little Boots, 1987
  • Finders Keepers for Franklin, 2001
  • Franklin and Harriet, 2001
  • Franklin and Me, 1994
  • Franklin and the Thunderstorm, 1999
  • Franklin and the Tooth Fairy, 2000
  • Franklin Fibs, 1999
  • Franklin Goes to Day Camp, 1997
  • Franklin Goes to School, 1995
  • Franklin Goes to the Hospital, 2001
  • Franklin Has a Sleepover, 1996
  • Franklin in the Dark, 2000
  • Franklin in the Dark, 2000
  • Franklin Is Bossy, 2000
  • Franklin Is Lost, 1999
  • Franklin Is Messy, 1994
  • Franklin Plays the Game, 1999
  • Franklin Rides a Bike, 1997
  • Franklin Says I Love You, 2002
  • Franklin Wants a Pet, 2000
  • Franklin's Baby Sister, 2000
  • Franklin's Bad Day, 2000
  • Franklin's Blanket, 2000
  • Franklin's Christmas Gift, 1998
  • Franklin's Class Trip, 1999
  • Franklin's Classic Treasury, Volume II, 2000
  • Franklin's Family Treasury, 2003
  • Franklin's First Day at School, 2000
  • Franklin's Halloween, 1996
  • Franklin's Holiday Treasury, 2002
  • Franklin's Neighborhood, 1999
  • Franklin's New Friend, 2000
  • Franklin's Pet Problem, 2000
  • Franklin's School Play, 1999
  • Franklin's School Treasury, 2001
  • Franklin's Secret Club, 1998
  • Franklin's Special Blanket, 2000
  • Franklin's Thanksgiving, 2001
  • Franklin's Valentine Cards, 1998
  • Franklin's Valentines, 1998
  • Hurry Up, Franklin, 2000
  • Oma's Quilt, 2001

Non-Fiction
  • The Dirt on Dirt, 2008

First Readers
  • Firefighters, 2005
  • Postal Workers, 2005


Franklin and Harriet
2002Young Adults’ Choices, International Reading Association Short-Listed
Franklin Says I Love You
2003Childrens’ Choices, International Reading Association Short-Listed
Franklin’s Class Trip
2000Children’s Choices, International Reading Association and the Canadian Book Association Winner
Oma’s Quilt
2002ForeWord Magazine, Book of the Year Award Short-Listed
Paulette Bourgeois
Paulette Bourgeois
Author
Paulette Bourgeois
In 1983, Toronto journalist Paulette Bourgeois decided to write a children’s book. All she needed was an idea. That idea came one night as she was watching an episode of the television series M*A*S*H. The character of Hawkeye Pierce refused to enter a cave because he was claustrophobic. “I’m so scared that if I were a turtle, I’d be afraid of my own shell,” he said. Thus was born Franklin in the Dark, a tale of a little green turtle who’s afraid of small dark places, including his own shell. The name of the turtle came, Bourgeois thought, out of the blue. “Now I realize that Hawkeye’s full name is Franklin Benjamin Pierce!”
The story was rejected by six publishers before Kids Can Press expressed interest. After Bourgeois rewrote the story several times, it was sent to illustrator Brenda Clark. For that first story, there was no collaboration between author and illustrator; in fact, the two didn’t meet until after the book was published. “When I first saw the illustrations, I was overwhelmed by Brenda’s talent,” says Bourgeois. “I think the reason the books have done so well is because Brenda has made the characters so empathetic.” Franklin in the Dark sold an astounding 10 000 copies when it appeared in 1986.
Despite the success of her first effort, Bourgeois was surprised when Kids Can Press asked her to write a second Franklin story. “Franklin in the Dark was one story about one thing,” she said. “I never intended to write a series.” However, she found another situation true to the life of a five year old and Hurry Up, Franklin was published in 1989. Bourgeois and Clark have since created more than two dozen Franklin stories that appear in 31 countries and 17 languages, including Hebrew, Greek and Turkish. There are now more than 20 million Franklin books in print around the world, a television series, and a host of Franklin merchandise.
Bourgeois’ journey from journalist to children’s book writer followed a somewhat meandering path. Born in Winnipeg, Bourgeois was eight when her family began a series of moves. “Many people think moving is a terrible experience,” she says. “I liked it. You learn to adapt to new situations and always have a sense that you are, for a while, an outsider looking in. Writers are observers, and I wonder if moving a lot when I was younger honed my observational skills.”
Bourgeois earned a B.Sc. at the University of Western Ontario and became a psychiatric occupational therapist. After working in her field for two years, she decided it wasn’t for her. “I realized I genuinely enjoyed writing reports more than I did the therapeutic situations,” she says. To explore the writing process further, Bourgeois enrolled in the journalism program at Ottawa’s Carlton University. She launched her career working for the Ottawa Citizen and then as an on-air reporter for CBC-TV. Bourgeois then moved to Washington, D.C., where she began freelancing for Chatelaine, Canadian Living, Reader’s Digest and Maclean’s. “The decision to freelance was made for me,” she explains. “I couldn’t get a full-time job because I couldn’t get a green card.”
By 1983, Bourgeois was back in Toronto and expecting her first child. “I didn’t want to run around the country doing interviews, working long hours and trying to take care of a baby,” she says. So she decided to write a children’s book. “I see writing as a job, so I approached this goal pragmatically. I went to the library and started at ‘A’ in the picture-book section and read through to ‘Z.’ At the end, I knew what I liked and what I thought was good. All I needed was the idea.” Enter Hawkeye Pierce.
Although Bourgeois is best known for the Franklin books, she has also written many fiction and non-fiction titles for Kids Can Press, including the In My Neighbourhood series and two books in the Starting with Space series. “I get bored easily,” she explains. “I enjoy researching information books and, because of my journalism background, I’m not afraid to ask dumb questions. Kids are like that too. They want to know; they ask.” Bourgeois’ own children, Natalie and Gordon are both her biggest critics and biggest supporters.
Bourgeois is also known as an avid quilter. She designs and creates original wall quilts. She recently combined her two passions by writing Oma’s Quilt, a picture book released by Kids Can Press in 2001. “Quilting involves a different part of the brain than writing,” she explains. “I find quilting repetitive and restful and it allows the writer to recharge her batteries.”

Picture Books
  • Big Sarah's Little Boots, 1987
  • Finders Keepers for Franklin, 2001
  • Franklin and Harriet, 2001
  • Franklin and Me, 1994
  • Franklin and the Thunderstorm, 1999
  • Franklin and the Tooth Fairy, 2000
  • Franklin Fibs, 1999
  • Franklin Goes to Day Camp, 1997
  • Franklin Goes to School, 1995
  • Franklin Goes to the Hospital, 2001
  • Franklin Has a Sleepover, 1996
  • Franklin in the Dark, 2000
  • Franklin in the Dark, 2000
  • Franklin Is Bossy, 2000
  • Franklin Is Lost, 1999
  • Franklin Is Messy, 1994
  • Franklin Plays the Game, 1999
  • Franklin Rides a Bike, 1997
  • Franklin Says I Love You, 2002
  • Franklin Wants a Pet, 2000
  • Franklin's Baby Sister, 2000
  • Franklin's Bad Day, 2000
  • Franklin's Blanket, 2000
  • Franklin's Christmas Gift, 1998
  • Franklin's Class Trip, 1999
  • Franklin's Classic Treasury, Volume II, 2000
  • Franklin's Family Treasury, 2003
  • Franklin's First Day at School, 2000
  • Franklin's Halloween, 1996
  • Franklin's Holiday Treasury, 2002
  • Franklin's Neighborhood, 1999
  • Franklin's New Friend, 2000
  • Franklin's Pet Problem, 2000
  • Franklin's School Play, 1999
  • Franklin's School Treasury, 2001
  • Franklin's Secret Club, 1998
  • Franklin's Special Blanket, 2000
  • Franklin's Thanksgiving, 2001
  • Franklin's Valentine Cards, 1998
  • Franklin's Valentines, 1998
  • Hurry Up, Franklin, 2000
  • Oma's Quilt, 2001

Non-Fiction
  • The Dirt on Dirt, 2008

First Readers
  • Firefighters, 2005
  • Postal Workers, 2005


Franklin and Harriet
2002Young Adults’ Choices, International Reading Association Short-Listed
Franklin Says I Love You
2003Childrens’ Choices, International Reading Association Short-Listed
Franklin’s Class Trip
2000Children’s Choices, International Reading Association and the Canadian Book Association Winner
Oma’s Quilt
2002ForeWord Magazine, Book of the Year Award Short-Listed
 
Books by Paulette Bourgeois have been the recipients of the following awards: