Laura Alary

Laura Alary

Writing stories that make us bigger on the inside

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Celebrating in a Pandemic

July 24, 2020


It seems trivial to be mourning small disappointments when so many people are suffering great losses. But whether you are an author feeling disheartened at the cancellation of a book launch, a teenager saddened by the loss of a much-anticipated graduation celebration, or a child feeling down about not having friends over for her birthday, the sadness is real.

In this article, originally written for Presbyterian Connection then republished on the Knox College website, I wrestle with whether or not it’s OK to celebrate my new book (What Grew in Larry’s Garden) in the midst of a global pandemic.

The fact that I am posting this probably gives you a clue where I come down on the question, but if you want to hear more you can find the article here.

Eden Mills Writers’ Festival Online

June 15, 2020


Just in case you missed going behind the scenes with What Grew in Larry’s Garden at the Eden Mills Writers’ Festival Online, you can still tune in and see me and illustrator Kass Reich talking about how the book came to be. For a limited time you can watch the recording here.

Breathe: A New Book for Pentecost 2021

May 31, 2020

IMG_1299Today is Pentecost. While this year our celebrations are mingled with lament, the promise and challenge of the gift of the Spirit is just as vital as ever. I thought I would share a few words from my forthcoming book Breathe: A Child’s Guide to Ascension, Pentecost, and The Growing Time (Paraclete Press, 2021):

On the day of Pentecost
the church is dressed in red—the color of fire.
We celebrate the gift of the Spirit with a cake and candles,
streamers and pinwheels.
The wind catches them and sets them spinning.
It breathes into the banners over our heads
and makes them dance.

I can’t see the wind, but I know when it is near.
It makes things move.

…I used to wonder how Jesus could go away,
and yet promise to be with us always.
Now I am starting to see.

The Spirit that was in Jesus is in us, too.
We are his body now,
his way of being in the world.

Whenever we choose kindness,
make peace,
live gently,
show patience,
feel joy,
give love,
Jesus is there.

Breathe is a companion to Look! A Child’s Guide to Advent and Christmas and Make Room: A Child’s Guide to Lent and Easter. Watch for it in Sprint 2021.

Larry Earned Some Badges!

April 23, 2020

94318161_578787352733961_6504015954408636416_n-2I was delighted to hear from today. They have included What Grew in Larry’s Garden among their book choices for spring, and the reviews are good. They have even awarded the book their Heartstrings and Thoughtful Citizen badges. That warms my heart and tomatoes. Check out the reviews here.

Canlit for Little Canadians

April 23, 2020

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Many thanks to Helen Kubiw for the great review of What Grew in Larry’s Garden on her blog CanLit for Little Canadians. Acknowledging the message that “community comes with time and effort and is worth both,” Helen concludes, “What Grew in Larry’s Garden is rosy reciprocity, budding bonds and sprouts of support. Ah, for every garden to be this lush.” Read the review here

Sierra Club is Loving Larry’s Garden

March 17, 2020

I love stumbling across reviews (good ones, that is) of my books online. Today I came across this list of picture books recommended by the Sierra Club to get children excited about food–growing it, eating it, and sharing it. As someone who cares about nutrition and sustainability, I consider it an honour to see my book on this list. Check out the post here.Screen Shot 2020-03-17 at 3.32.08 PM

Book Launch!

February 28, 2020

CHANGE OF PLANS: In response to public health measures taken to prevent the further spread of COVID-19, the book launch for What Grew in Larry’s Garden has been postponed until further notice. Thank you for your patience and understanding.

Save the date! Thursday April 2nd, 2020

Everyone is welcome to celebrate the launch of What Grew in Larry’s Garden! The event will be held at the beautiful Caven Library, Knox College, 59 St. George Street, Toronto on Thursday April 2nd, 2020. There will be gathering and refreshments on the main level at 4:30, a reading of the book in the library at 5:00, followed by a book signing and more refreshments. More details (including how to RSVP) will follow, so stay tuned.