At the Haiku Zoo

My newest book, entitled At the Haiku Zoo, released today!

The book was inspired by a trip my family took to Busch Gardens in Tampa Bay, Florida. Busch Gardens has a wonderful balance of amusement park rides and animal habitats–which energized the thrill-seekers in our group as well as the animal-lovers. I could have spent days there!

The biggest challenge in writing this book? Narrowing down which wild animals would inhabit the pages! I love involving other people in the writing process, so I conducted two surveys to help with this. I posted the first survey on Facebook, asking people to name the five animals they most liked to see on a trip to the zoo. Here are the results of the Facebook survey: 


Using the results of the Facebook survey, I made a list of 18 animals and asked early elementary students to vote for their favorite animal. Here are the results of the student survey:


Although none of the students voted for the giraffe, I took the liberty of making sure one made it into the book–after all, they’re one of MY favorite animals to visit:-) Also, if you look, you may notice a correlation between the students’ survey results and the cover of the book.

Haiku is such a beautiful form of expression. It invites us to extricate ourselves from the busy rush around us. To focus on the here and the now of a little slice of life–a slice we might miss out on otherwise. Like a photograph, a haiku poem creates a snapshot–a word snapshot–of a moment in time.

I hope that you enjoy the word snapshots in At the Haiku Zoo.  

You can click here if you’d like to buy the book or find out more about it.

Free Christmas Coloring Page


This is an illustration I did for a Christmas coloring book. It was fun to read the Christmas story in Luke Chapter 2 and to imagine what transpired around the time Jesus was born. I don’t think I’d ever realized how long the trip was that Mary and Joseph took until I worked on this project–they traveled 80 to 90 miles to get from Nazareth to Bethlehem!

A trip of 80 to 90 miles is nothing for us with our current forms of transportation, but for Mary and Joseph–who may or may not have had a donkey to help with transport–it was quite an undertaking. Especially since baby Jesus was due anytime. Having had four children of my own, I can’t imagine making a trip like that in the last few weeks of pregnancy!

Anyway, I wanted to take a moment to say Merry Christmas, and to give you a little gift. If you click on the image above, you can download a free coloring page for Mary and Joseph’s trip to Bethlehem.

I hope you have a very Merry Christmas!

Very Truly Yours, Bernice

The Gift of Reading for $1.00 or less!


As a welcome to the new year–and because I LOVE to read and to share the gift of reading–all my books are $0.99 or less over at this week!

You can click on the images below to go to each book’s page and get your copies. Please spread the word so that as many people  can enjoy the books as possible 🙂

Happy reading,


have you seen my frog 8 by 8 front cover


Haz Visto a mi rana front cover no seal

Very Hungry Duck 2nd edition cover 2

pato muy hambrienta front cover con espanol estomago

The Story Behind HAVE YOU SEEN MY FROG? (and how you can get a free copy)

You may have noticed that I’ve been pretty quiet lately. Whenever that happens, you can be sure that I’m hiding away, working so hard on something that all my time and creativity are funneled toward that task.

And that task is now complete–hurrah!

For the past year and a half or so, I’ve been working on the story for Duck’s second picture book. This story originated from a vivid memory an aunt (I love you,Auntie Jane!) has about a certain “frog incident” that occurred when I was too young to remember (or to know better, hopefully). Said incident involved a cup of coffee and a frog and you can guess who instigated the incident (or find out by watching the video above or by reading this blog post).

I’d worked on the story off and on, but the details didn’t “click” until this fall when I discovered what Duck’s problem REALLY was (I already knew what Auntie Duck’s problem was :-), but she wasn’t the main character). Now that the last details have been completed and the book is available (ask for HAVE YOU SEEN MY FROG? at your favorite bookstore or find it at here), I won’t be QUITE as quiet.

In fact, over the next couple of weeks I’ll be posting some of the behind-the-scenes stories that have been percolating (watch out, Auntie Duck!), some ways to use HAVE YOU SEEN MY FROG? to create teachable moments with children, and other goodies pertaining to the story.

Until December 31st, you can get a FREE copy of the e-book for HAVE YOU SEEN MY FROG? by clicking this link.

And you can download a free activity packet for the book here.


Enter to Win a Copy of The Very Hungry Duck!

Very Hungry Duck 2nd edition cover 2

Enter to win an autographed copy of The Very Hungry Duck!

Entry begins April 21, 2015 (12:00 am)  and ends May 1, 2015 (11:59 pm).

Just click on the following link:  a Rafflecopter giveaway and follow one or more of the instructions listed there. You can enter every day!

After you enter to win this copy, you can increase your odds of winning another book if you go to Goodreads and enter a separate giveaway there! This link will get you there ASAP: Goodreads giveaway for The Very Hungry Duck

Good luck, and happy reading!

Vote for Your Favorite Teddy Bear Name!

teddy wait

It’s voting time!

First, I want to thank everyone who suggested a name for Ally’s teddy bear. The names were very creative and sweet, and it was hard to choose between them.

I chose a top five from the list, and have included them in the survey. Please vote for your favorite name–and invite friends and family to vote, too 🙂 I believe the survey only allows one response per computer, so family members who live in the same house may need to vote on different computers or devices.

Voting is open until midnight on September 14th, 2014.

I can hardly wait to see what name is chosen, and who wins a copy of On the Bottom of My Shoe after the book is completed!

Create your free online surveys with SurveyMonkey , the world’s leading questionnaire tool.

Book Signing at Lewiston Hastings


hastings book signing flyer as pic

I’m excited to announce my first local book signing!

If you live close to the Lewis-Clark Valley, I’d love to see you at Hastings in Lewiston on July 26th. I will be there from 1:00 to 6:00, with interactive story times at 1:00 and 4:00.

Stop by for a story time and free craft activities, or just to say hi!

Where’s Duck?


mother duck


“Duck?” Mama asked.

“Where are you, Duck? The other kids are at school, so we can work on your coloring pages now.”

Duck didn’t answer.



duck sleep


Mama walked in to Duck’s room.

Duck was curled up on the floor. Her beak was tucked under her wing.

What was Duck doing?



duck blankie


Duck was sleeping!

“Ah, my sweet little Duck,” Mama whispered. She pulled a blanket over Duck and gave her a gentle kiss. “We can work on your coloring pages another time.”



If you would like to print and color pages from Duck’s coloring book, check out the Resources page for her free coloring pages. She and Mama will post them after her nap.