Viola Whitney Pratt

Viola Leone Whitney (1892-1984) was born in Atherley, Ontario on 23 February 1892. She completed grade eight when she was eleven and graduated Orillia Collegiate at age 15. Too young to attend university, she stayed home and studied music until she tired of it. She turned to teaching and was employed in Zephyr. She entered Victoria College at the University of Toronto in 1909, where she was editor of the student literary journal, graduated in 1913, she attended the Ontario College of Education and then went on to teach in Amherstburg, Renfrew and St. Mary’s.

On 20 August 1918, she married Edwin John Pratt. They had one daughter, Mildred Claire Pratt, born in 1921.

From 1920 to 1936, the Pratt family kept a cottage in Bobcaygeon on Sturgeon Lake, where the family spent their summers.

Viola was a founding member and editor of World Friends, a magazine for children published by the Women’s Missionary Society of the United Church of Canada. She retired from her editorial position in 1955.

In the 1930s, Viola was president of the Canadian Authors’ Association.

She read to blind students at the University during and after the Second World War.

She wrote book reviews for the Globe and Mail.

Viola was an essayist and public speaker. These were collected and published in a book edited by her daughter Claire Pratt, Viola Whitney Pratt: Papers and Speeches (1990.)

In 1956, Viola was awarded an Honourary Doctorate of Sacred Letters from Victoria University.


World Friends

One Family (1937)

Famous Doctors (1956)

Journeying with the Year: a world friends anthology, Women’s Missionary Society of Canada (1957)

Further Reading:

Viola Whitney Pratt: papers and speeches (1990), Claire Pratt.

Viola Whitney Pratt at Canada’s Early Women Writers Project

Viola Leone Whitney Pratt fonds at University of Toronto

Heather Bradley

Cameron-area author of When We All Get Together, Bradley is a retired elementary teacher, who has also worked for the Ontario Science Centre. In 1994, she was awarded the William C. McMaster Award from Scholastic Canada for her essay about children’s literature.

When We All Get Together was the 2022 silver medal winner of the Moonbeam Children’s Book Awards.

“I found out about it [awards] through one of my writer’s groups and decided to submit it with no idea it would even be accepted, never mind win an award … I would have been pleased to get an honourable mention,” said Bradley. “Getting to the podium shows me that it was a worthwhile endeavour.”


We Both Speak English But… (forthcoming)

When We All Get Together (2021)

Don’t Wait for Your Ship to Come In – Throw it a line and drag it to shore! (2006)

Kevin Frank

Kevin Frank is a cartoonist and graphic novelist.

Author website:

Laugh-out-loud funny! Perfect read aloud and a wonderful companion to any story time circle. Graphic novel format introduces visual storytelling alongside humorous dialog and plot.
This fully illustrated middle grade graphic novel for kids who like silly books will take you on a swashbuckling journey like no other! Join a comical cast of backyard pets – Captain Hooktail, First Mate Chubs, Helmsman Patch and Tinkles – as they hunt for treasure (at the local butshop) and fight with sworn enemies (alley cats!).

Scurvy Dogs
True North
Balaam’s Chicken
Alex and the four-headed gargantuan

Jean Booker

Jean Booker grew up in England during World War II, and moved to Canada after a 10-year correspondence with a pen-pal in Montreal. She has written many stories for children and was a member of a long-standing writer group that included Bernice Thurman Hunter, Pat Hancock, and Barbara Greenwood. She lives in Bobcaygeon and is published by Scholastic and Fitzhenry & Whiteside.

Still At War
Keeping Secrets
Mystery House

Available at Kent Bookstore.