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Children's Fiction General

Smokeroom on the Kyle

by (author) Ted Russell

illustrated by Tara Fleming

Flanker Press
Initial publish date
Jun 2017
General, Marine Life, Humorous Stories
Recommended Age
7 to 9
Recommended Grade
2 to 4
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Jun 2017
    List Price

Classroom Resources

Where to buy it



Tall are the tales that fishermen tell when summer's work is done,
Of fish they've caught and birds they've shot, and crazy risks they've run.
But never did fishermen tell a tale so tall by half a mile,
As Grampa Walcott told one night in the smokeroom on the Kyle.
Ted Russell's "Smokeroom on the Kyle" made its debut on CBC Radio, when Uncle Mose regaled audiences in the 1950s and '60s with tales about a little town called Pigeon Inlet. The famous poem has lived on in recitation, performed by many for schools, radio, and television. Now, this whimsical yarn about jigging squid in outport Newfoundland and Labrador appears for the first time as an illustrated book for children.
Smokeroom on the Kyle is a Newfoundland and Labrador classic brought to life through gorgeous watercolour illustrations. It is written by Ted Russell, also known as Uncle Mose, and illustrated by Tara Fleming, an artist who has worked on such television series as Republic of Doyle and Frontier.

About the authors

Edward “Ted” Russell was born in Coley’s Point, Conception Bay, in 1904. At sixteen, he undertook his first teaching assignment at Pass Island. For the next twenty-three years, he worked in outport communities as a teacher and later a magistrate. In 1943 he moved to St. John’s to accept the position of Director of Co-operatives for the Commission of Government.After a brief stint in politics (a member of the first Smallwood cabinet), Ted returned to teaching. But he also found a new opportunity to give expression to the more creative side of his nature. In 1953 he was offered a spot on CBC Radio’s Fishermen’s Broadcast as Uncle Mose. The highly successful “The Chronicles of Uncle Mose” continued until 1962. During this period Ted also wrote several radio plays, all of which were broadcast by CBC. The last years of his working life were spent on the faculty of Memorial University (English department) from which he retired in 1973. He died four years later.Ted married Dora Oake (of Change Islands) in 1934. They had five children: Rhona, Elizabeth “Betty,” June, Margaret “Peggy,” and Kelly.

Ted Russell's profile page

Tara Fleming is a freelance illustrator and a graphic designer who works primarily in the film and television industry. She was born in Portsmouth, England, and now resides in St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador. She obtained her bachelor of fine arts at NSCAD University in Nova Scotia in 2005 and completed a graduate certificate in illustration a year later at Sheridan College in Ontario. Tara has loved reading and drawing from a very young age, and she continues to be captivated by the stories of talented authors brought to life through illustration. In 2009, Tara created illustrations for Fish for Dinner, a collection of stories by Paul O’Neill. Smokeroom on the Kyle by Ted Russell is the first children’s book that she has illustrated.

Tara Fleming's profile page

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