Author and Illustrator


Running Press, 2013.

Translations in Portugese, Cantonese and Mandarin.

Something magical happens when you plant a dream with a seed. With plenty of love, nurture, and patience, both can blossom into an extraordinary gift.

local bookstores, Chapters, Indigo, and Target
USA Amazon  CAN Amazon


Part of the Society of Illustrators - Original Art Show


Publisher’s Weekly“A small boy first plants the seed, then watches the sapling grow as the seasons pass. With his yellow rubber raincoat and translucent umbrella on a rainy spring day, he looks as though he could have been cut from a vintage greeting card. Patterned and diaphanous papers add depth and texture—in winter, the boy gazes out at the snow from inside a cozy room lined with grapevine wallpaper; on a summer night, his tent is lit from within, the tree now big enough to tower over it. Eventually, the boy becomes a man and the sapling a full-fledged tree (“Season by season,/ Year by year…/ That tree will grow SO LARGE/ It will hold you”), cementing MacKay’s message about the value of persistence.”

Quill & QuireStarred Review“The sparely written text, about waiting, hope, and fulfillment, is richly elaborated by the pictures, which show the beauty of the changing seasons, the varieties of birds perching or nesting in the tree, and the developing interests of the boy as he studies a caterpillar, romps with friends, and reads in the tree’s shade. Each page promises many rewards through repeated viewings, and the book seems destined to become a classic.”

National Post (Mar. 2) – “…it’ll be time to return to the garden. Prepare with this first book by Elly Mackay, which follows a seed’s germination process through the seasons by photographing elaborate yupo paper dioramas. The results are ethereal and expressive, and look nothing like most children’s books.”

View the Book Trailer! If You Hold A Seed…



As a summer evening descends, three young children begin to play with shadows in the garden. When the shadows flutter away, the children begin to race after them. They find that the shadows move swiftly, and are always just out of reach. Night finally arrives and home calls them to bed, where the children can dream of a new day full of possibilities and know that it is our hopes and dreams that keep us moving forward.


“Intriguing illustrations draw readers into a meditation on shadows…Playful and more than just a little mysterious—like a shadow-puppet play in full color.”
–Kirkus Reviews

“Elly MacKay has produced a book bursting with gorgeous illustrations.” - Today’s Parent, July, 2014

“A perfect bedtime read for little dreamers, this gorgeous book celebrates the wonder of kids joyously chasing summer’s twilight shadows, which always seem to dance just out of reach. When nighttime falls and the shadows are gone, it’s time to go to sleep.” – Canadian Family, July, 2014

National Post Video Review by Mark Medley



Anne of Green Gables -Box Set -8 Books

COMING 2014. Random House Penguin (Tundra) is putting out a box set of the Anne of Green Gables series by L.M. Montgomery. The 12 year old in me is over the moon!  I hope you will read these treasured books again and enjoy the new covers.

Here you can find the novels. Random House Canada – Anne of Green Gables

Emily of New Moon Series – 3 Books

COMING 2014. Random House Penguin (Tundra) will be releasing a new set of the Emily of New Moon series by L.M. Montgomery.

Fall Leaves

COMING Fall 2014. This is a charmingly clever book by Loretta Holland that playfully explores the passage of autumn with wordplay. It will be published by Houghton Mifflin Books for Children.

Best Gifts

This is a new edition of The Best Gifts by Marsha Skrypuch, follows the life of a girl named Sarah through the major events in her life. This book celebrates breastfeeding and the gifts that we give our children that only require love and our nurturing. 2013 by Fitzhenry and Whiteside.  It can be purchased here on

Margaret and the Moth Tree

By Kari and Brit Trojan, published by Kids Can Press, 2012. Cover illustration. Available here.


Also Published In

Papercraft 2

Through Gestalten Books:

Grand Marnier – The Grand Giving Tree

I worked in collaboration with the Woo Agency on this project for Grand Marnier.
















From the Woo AgencyGrand Marnier wanted to spread some good cheer with its Facebook fans during the holiday season, and make some new friends along the way. So we created the Grand Giving Tree — a Facebook app and microsite that allowed users to select an ornament associated with the cause of their choice — Wildlife Fund, WaterAid or Cool Earth. Quickly Grand Marnier fans – and new fans – began trimming our tree in droves, and were rewarded by seeing their ornament proudly hung upon the Grand Giving Tree amidst a magical winter wonderland. The cause with the most ornaments at the end of the program received the “Grand Gift” — a sizeable charitable donation from Grand Marnier. The program won Grand Marnier its biggest monthly fan increase for the year, with users voluntarily choosing to like us. A merry outcome, indeed.

La Petite Magazine

Design for La Petite Magazine (below: collaborations with fashion photographer Jodi Palmer - Clothes: Jumina)