It was in a design class taught by Michèle Lemieux at the University of Quebec in Montreal that author and illustrator Mélanie Watt created her first picture book, Leon the Chameleon, which was later published by Kids Can Press. Watt went on to create several more books, including the Learning with Animals collection and Augustine, which was named an ALA Notable Children's Book. Watt has also illustrated Where Does a Tiger-Heron Spend the Night? and Bearcub and Mama, which won the 2006 IRA Teachers” Choices Project.
Mélanie's best known book, Scaredy Squirrel, has won many awards, including the Ruth and Sylvia Schwartz Children”s Book Award for Children”s Picture Book and the Amelia Frances Howard-Gibbon Illustrator”s Award. The release of Scaredy Squirrel Makes a Friend was met with enthusiastic reviews and incredible sales, confirming the arrival of kid lit's newest superstar. Chester, Chester's Back! and Chester's Masterpiece are about a megalomaniac cat who is every bit the antithesis to Scaredy. Chester has already become a bestseller, and shows the breadth and creativity of Mélanie Watt.
Scaredy returns to take a few more tentative steps out of his comfort zone in Scaredy Squirrel at the Beach and Scaredy Squirrel at Night. Mélanie has often noted how the Scaredy Squirrel books helped her work out her own insecurities and fears, as the success of these titles has required her to venture out into the unknown, and like Scaredy she has found the experience truly uplifting.