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About Cynthia Reyes
Cynthia's books for adults are about unusual homes, the people who love them, and the life events connected to these places. She has written three such books so far: the bestselling A Good Home, An Honest House, winner of the Diamond Award for Book of the Year (2016), and, released in 2019, Twigs in my Hair - A Gardening Memoir.
Cynthia co-authors the "Myrtle the Purple Turtle" children's picture books with her daughter Lauren Reyes-Grange. The award-winning series has been praised by parents, teachers, librarians and most of all, the book's target audience: children.
REVIEWS OF MYRTLE THE PURPLE TURTLE:
Cynthia is a former journalist, trainer and executive producer with the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. More than a hundred episodes of her programs for children and adults have appeared on network television. She has won national and international awards for her work, including the Children's Broadcast Institute Award, the Trailblazer Award and the Crystal Award for Outstanding Achievement in Film and Television.
A Good Home is a magical story, starting as it does in "the little pink farmhouse" of the author's early years with the joys, adventures and miracles of childhood.
An Honest House proves the saying that you never know what goes on behind the walls of a beautiful home. It follows the author and her family over three years in their Victorian farmhouse, Ambercroft.
There is an abundance of beauty, humour, joy and wisdom in Cynthia's books. Readers find themselves re-reading them, not wanting to leave the world she creates.
REVIEWS OF AN HONEST HOUSE :
REVIEWS OF A GOOD HOME:
Cynthia may be reached through her blog at: cynthiasreyes.com
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Full of lovingly drawn characters and vividly described places, A Good Home takes the reader through deeply moving stories of marriage, children, the death of parents, and an accident that takes its high-flying author down a humbling notch. Its pages sparkle with stories and reflections on home as:
- A foundation on which to build connections with children, relatives, and friends
- A place to celebrate the joys of elegant design, overflowing gardens (except for the wisteria vine, which cannot be coaxed into blooming), and the sharing of good food
- A wise teacher, showing us who we really were -- and who we really are
Praise for the author's previous book, A Good Home:
"...full of warmth, deep emotions, and a vibrant understanding of just what a home can mean." --YVONNE BLACKWOOD, author of Into Africa: The Return
"Reyes' glass is almost always half full, but ours, as we read her uplifting story, always brims over." --COLIN McALLISTER and JUSTIN RYAN, colinandjustin.
Reviews of Myrtle the Purple Turtle
"For those of us who want to teach the children in our lives about acceptance and friendship comes this charming tale of a purple turtle longing to be green that’s perfect to pop into your beach or overnight bag for bedtime reading to little ones. When Myrtle realizes that she’s not the same colour as her playmates, she tries to reinvent herself as someone different. It takes a few humorous attempts to reinvent herself and some help from her friends before she realizes that she’s wonderful just as she is. Inspired by the experience of one of her own daughters, Canadian writer Cynthia Reyes has penned a story with delightful characters and an ever-important message: every one of us is different, and we’re all extraordinary." - Canadian Living Magazine
“This book will be a joy to children who need to be told, again and again, that they are beautiful in the skin they’re in, that the beauty of diversity is one which includes them.” Andrea Torrey Balsara, author and illustrator.
“‘Myrtle the Purple Turtle’ is one of the most striking, original children’s books released in recent years.” – Annika, Goodreads
“This is a beautifully illustrated children's book, that gently encourages the young to accept that being different should be celebrated.” – Sally, Goodreads
“My 3 little girls [ages] 8, 4 and 2, LOVE Myrtle and her adventures towards self-acceptance. The pictures are vibrant, the story is heart-warming and this has quickly become one of our most asked for books in the house. “ – Nadine, Amazon Review
“Must read for all young children.” – Sue, Amazon Review
“I loved reading this book to my young daughters. It emphasizes the importance of self-acceptance in a very relatable way to young kids and it gave me the opportunity to explain the issue of bullying, friendship and staying true to oneself.” – Jasmine, Amazon Review
“A story to be read over and over again.” – Allie, Amazon Review
“I loved this story, and even more so, my kids loved it. It has such a powerful and relatable moral. It gave me the opportunity speak to my children about acceptance, kindness, differences in the people we see all around us and to love and respect everyone for who they are, and not how they appear. And most importantly, to love yourself just the way you are.” – Julia, Facebook Review
Myrtle and the Big Mistake is the fourth book in the best-selling children’s series, Myrtle the Purple Turtle, about friendship, kindness, inclusion and self-esteem. Written by Cynthia Reyes and Lauren Reyes-Grange, the books have been praised by children, parents and grandparents, teachers, librarians and book reviewers around the world.
Reviews of the Myrtle the Purple Turtle series
“Myrtle the Purple Turtle is one of the most striking, original children’s books released in recent years.” Annika Perry, author
“Inspired by the experience of one of her own daughters, Canadian writer Cynthia Reyes has penned a story with delightful characters and an ever-important message: every one of us is different, and we’re all extraordinary.” Canadian Living Magazine
“I wish I’d had Myrtle when I was younger. I wish someone had told me that I was special as I was.” Andrea Stephenson, writer
“I love the pictures and that Myrtle is purple. I love how, even though someone is different, they’re special and that came out in the story.” Ava, 7 years old
“This is a superbly attractive children’s picture book that will engage young children from cover to cover. The illustrations are amazing. The story is beautifully written in a simple language style young children can easily relate to.” Kevin Cooper, author, reviewer and former educator
“Myrtle’s Game is an excellent library addition for parents and teachers. I will continue to use his book with my own children and my students, to open the dialogue about acceptance, friendship and never giving up!” Erin Taylor, teacher and parent
“Myrtle’s Game is another wonderful book about the power of self-acceptance and good friends. Our differences make communities vibrant and stronger—including soccer teams. Well done, Cynthia and Lauren. What a blessing you are to children who love to read and be read to.” Wendy Macdonald, writer, podcaster and grandparent
Praise for Twigs in My Hair:
“Her best book yet! Cynthia’s most recent memoir takes us on a journey through the various gardens of her life: the wonder, magic and miracle of her childhood gardens; the gardens she and her husband “negotiate” as a newly married couple; the apprenticeship gardens of family and community; and finally, the mature garden of acceptance. It is a journey full of insights, humour, and struggle, but ultimately, one of growth and the recognition that by nurturing our gardens we nurture ourselves.” Jean Gairdner, author and lifelong gardener.
“How obstinate does a wisteria have to be before you resort to verse? How do you get a fox to pee in a bottle? Cynthia's zestful pursuit of beauty in the gardens of her life is told with her characteristic warmth, humour and honesty. Along the way we meet many friends – human and animal – and absorb her shining examples of passion, patience and, finally, grace. This is a story for our times.” Dr. Hilary Custance Green, gardener and author of Border Line, a novel.
“Cynthia welcomes us into many beautiful gardens - some hers, some belonging to friends, family and mentors - and we delight in the rewards of labour and love, treasure the time spent with loved ones, and share the intense pain of struggle and heartache. Whether you are a seasoned gardener or a complete novice, you'll see yourself somewhere in these pages, and I guarantee you'll garner some inspiration for your own gardening life.” Sheryl Normandeau, master gardener and author of Little Leaves: Intensive Gardening Goes Micro.
CYNTHIA REYES, author of A Good Home, An Honest House and the children’s books Myrtle the Purple Turtle, Myrtle’s Game and Myrtle Makes a New Friend, returns to the gardens she loves with Twigs in My Hair – A Gardening Memoir. A former television journalist, trainer and executive producer with the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, Cynthia has also written for Arabella Magazine, The Toronto Star, The Globe and Mail and other publications.
Awards and recognition include the Diamond Award for Book of the Year, the CBC President’s Award, the Children’s Broadcast Institute Award, the Crystal Award for Outstanding Achievement in Film and Television, and the Purple Dragonfly Award. In 2016, she was inducted into the Order of Distinction – Commander Level, by Jamaica, her country of birth.
Cynthia and her husband live in a small town in Ontario, Canada. They have two beloved daughters and sons-in-law.