Mary Alice Downie has written and edited more than two dozen books for children and adults: picture-books, novels, anthologies, and folktales. Her most recent publication, Early Voices: Portraits of Canada by Women Writers 1639-1914 (Dundurn 2010) is suitable for high schools. A Pioneer Alphabet, the book before that, is for the younger set.
Mary Alice has given readings and workshops across Canada ranging from a one-room library in a fishing village in P.E.I., a temporary city in Sundance near James Bay, to an entire school of 170 children in a Boy Scout hut in Newnham, Cambridge.
A Pioneer Alphabet (Tundra Books, 2009)
Alison’s Ghosts with John Downie (Lorimer, 2008)
A Song for Acadia/Une Chanson pour l’Acadie (Nimbus Books, 2004)
Scared Sarah (Fitzhenry & Whiteside, 2002)
Bright Paddles (Fitzhenry & Whiteside, 1999)
Canadian Children’s Book Centre “Our Choice” awards for various books
Canada Council, Ontario Arts Council, and Ontario Heritage, Laidlaw Foundation, Exploration, Multicultural Directorate
Praise for A Pioneer ABC
“A Pioneer ABC is a sweet natured book…the book conveys a feeling of the beauty of rural life, the satisfaction of self-sufficiency, and –above all-the strong bonds of family affection.”
-Quill & Quire
“Mary Jane Gerber’s museum quality artwork perfectly showcases Mary Alice Downie’s alphabet book, A Pioneer ABC….Unique, imaginative, and a brilliant approach to children learning their alphabet…”
-MBR: Children’s Bookwatch
“…this beautifully illustrated picture book is an excellent resource focusing on the Pioneers… Artistically, this book is a brilliant example of creating an alphabet book aimed at younger children. The illustrations boast exquisite colours and fine detail…This is a delightful book…”
-Children’s Book News