Born in Montreal, Quebec, Canada; daughter of a psychiatrist; married Alan Gold (a doctor); children: five. Education: McGill University, B.S.; Concordia University, music degree. Hobbies and other interests: Swimming, caring for dogs.
Home —Montreal, Quebec, Canada. Office —P.O. Box 23, Victoria Station, Montreal, QC, Canada H3Z 2V4. E-mail —[email protected].
CBC Radio, Montreal, Quebec, Canada, freelance broadcaster; writer. Teacher of remedial subjects to children with learning disabilities, McGill-Montreal Children's Hospital Learning Centre, Montreal.
Canadian Children's Book Centre, Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators, Writers' Union of Canada, CanCopy, Quebec Writers' Federation, Canadian Society of Children's Authors, Illustrators and Performers, Children's Literature Round Table of Montreal.
Best Bet citation, Ontario Library Association, 1999, for My Four Lions.
My Four Lions, illustrated by Joanne Stanbridge, Annick Press, 1999.
Strange School, Secret Wish, Beach Holme Publishing, 2001.
Work in Progress
This Horse of a Different Color, a novel for horse-lovers; Take Me With You, a picture book on Canadian geese; Millie's War, a juvenile fantasy; and Amy's Fortune, an adventure tale.
Bernice Gold is a musician, a teacher, and a mother of five grown children. She moved into writing as a way to revisit her own happy childhood. Although Gold's books are not strictly biographical, they do capture the warmth of growing up with an active imagination and with dreams that take time and effort to realize. Gold told SATA that she writes stories because she spent so many pleasant hours reading as a child in a home filled with books. "When I was growing up," she recalled, "my brother, sister, and I had our own bookshelves and right beside them, a shabby old red leather chair. You could lose yourself in its arms and find yourself in the story. I loved being a part of the story. I think that writing helps to keep me there, on the inside, which is just where I want to be."
My Four Lions is a picture book that shows one plucky youngster's solution to a common problem. Ben walks home from school on a snowy afternoon and lets himself into his apartment. While waiting for his mother to return from work, Ben conjures a jungle with a campfire, surrounded by his four lion friends who sometimes need to be reassured about the growing darkness. In return for Ben's reassurance, the lions guard him when his mother tucks him in to sleep for the night. A reviewer for Resource Links found My Four Lions appealing for "Gold's ability to combine a heartwarming, simple story with the realities of everyday urban life."
In Strange School, Secret Wish, Jenny Merrill dreams of owning the beautiful violin she sees in Eaton's catalogue. But she lives in a train car, and her family cannot afford any luxury items. Secretly Jenny hatches a plan to raise the money she will need for the violin—and eventually she enlists the help of family and friends to realize her dream. In Resource Links, Gillian Richardson described Jenny as a "likeable character" whose challenges will appeal to other children who must balance ambitions against family obligations. Richardson concluded: "This is a pleasant story, with a unique setting that will introduce students to a chapter of Canadian history in a rural community."
Biographical and Critical Sources
Resource Links, December, 1999, review of My Four Lions, p. 5; February, 2002, Gillian Richardson, review of Strange School, Secret Wish, p. 10.
School Library Journal, March, 2000, Maryann H. Owen, review of My Four Lions, p. 197.
Bernice Gold Home Page, http://www.bernicegold.ca/ (December 11, 2003).