Princess Leora sets out on a desperate quest to find one unbroken balloon before the sun rises. Only one balloon can complete the Wizard's secret spell and destroy the Archduke's evil plan to take over the kingdom.

It was because my daughter Ingrid's balloon popped on a treebranch, that I became a children's author. To console her, I made up a story about a magic tree that blossomed balloons. We liked it so much, I decided to write it down and see if I could get it published. Since I was an artist by trade, of course I drew pictures to go along with it. Fifteen years and a skid-zillion rejection slips later, (enough to wallpaper one wall of my studio,) a miracle happened. Scholastic Canada decided to take a chance on an untried author and published my first book, The Balloon Tree.

BEHIND THE SCENES
My husband, Brian is the king. And yes, he does wear glasses. My older daughter, Ingrid, (whose balloon started it all,) appears on the second page wearing a blue dress. My daughter, Melissa posed as Princess Leora when she was seven years old. Their cousin, Alexis appears on that same page wearing a green dress. The evil Archduke is modeled after a person in a painting by Jan van Eyck. His name was Arnolfini.

The Balloon Tree. Scholastic Canada, 1984; as L'arbre aux ballons, Scholastic, 1985
ISBN 0-590-24313-6

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