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Founded in 1988, and based in Markham, Ontario, Canada, Tree House Press is a leading K-12 educational publisher of reading, writing, mathematics, media study, literature study, OSSLT, EQAO, Northern and Western Protocol aligned, and Common Core State Standards aligned classroom titles. We boast an impressive line-up of talented and well-known, professional, curriculum-focused, and highly experienced educational authors. Tree House Press publications have helped millions of students world-wide succeed in education.

We believe so strongly in our titles that we offer a 100%, unconditional, money-back guarantee if you are unhappy with your purchase for any reason. We almost never have a return, but if you decide you don't like the publication, simply return the unused titles within 30 days for a full refund.

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Our Author Team Leaders

David Booth

For over 40 years, David Booth has been involved in education as a classroom teacher, language arts consultant, professor, speaker, and author. A popular international speaker, David Booth has presented at hundreds of conferences on all areas of language learning. He has won numerous awards for his contributions to the teaching of reading and for his books for young people. David has hundreds of titles in print including several word study books for Tree House Press.

Jack Booth

Jack Booth has worked in education as a teacher, language arts consultant, and author. The titles in the series of books he has developed number in the hundreds. As well as books for the students, Jack has authored dozens of manuals and evaluation/assessment guides for use by teachers and parents. He has presented keynote speeches, conducted seminars, and taught courses throughout Canada, the U.S., and China. In addition to writing many Tree House Press publications, he also serves as Chief Editor for Tree House Press.

Julian D'Angela

Julian graduated in 1968 from McMaster University with a BSc in Mathematics and in 1975 from Niagara University with a Master of Science in Education. In 1976 he received Honour Specialist Certification in Mathematics. In his career, he has actively assisted students and teachers to strive for excellence through a variety of roles: Elementary Math Resource Teacher, Secondary Math/Science/Computer Teacher, Chairman of Pure and Applied Sciences, Mathematics Department Head, Secondary Vice-Principal, and Computer Consultant for the Hamilton Wentworth Catholic District School Board. For more than 30 years he has been a Math author of textbooks and workbooks, a designer of Math resource materials, and a workshop and conference presenter. Julian has a particular interest in recreational mathematics because of its ability to highlight the joy and beauty in Mathematics and highly motivate all students to discover and explore the math that exists all around them. The TREE HOUSE MATH PROGRAM is his latest collaborative project. This series contains many unique elements to both support the struggling student and challenge the inquiring mind. These elements include incorporating the use of many manipulatives, a welcoming and colourful visual layout, concrete and practical problems, math talks, home connections and EQAO-style assessments. It also provides an opportunity for students to organize their work maintaining a record that they can share with classmates and their parents and use as a reference later. Providing students with opportunities to experience AHA! moments in mathematics will help them develop their confidence in mathematics leading to greater success both in and outside school.

Josephine Lashmar

Josephine Lashmar is a graduate of McMaster University and Hamilton Teachers College. She taught for 33 years retiring in 2000 to turn her attention to publishing. For over 27 years Josephine Lashmar has been involved in Special Education as a Resource Teacher, a Special Language Class Teacher, and as a Special Education Consultant working in assessment and remediation. She has taught Special Education Courses and conducted many workshops and seminars. Other educational involvements include membership in The Council for Exceptional Children sitting as past president of the local chapter of CEC as well as serving on the provincial executive of CEC. She has also been a marker of EQAO grade 3 writing assessment. She was a contributor to the Gage Cornerstones Reading Program, and has written and edited numerous titles for Tree House Press.

Patrick Lashmar

Patrick Lashmar graduated with a Masters of Education degree from The University of Toronto in 1977. For 28 years, Patrick served as the Language Arts/Literacy Consultant coordinating literacy programs for 59 elementary and secondary schools. Being in curriculum for such an extended period offered him the opportunity to contribute to numerous Ontario Ministry of Education documents and projects. At the EQAO, he was given the opportunity to select Provincial Anchor Papers, train and manage markers and in-service principals and teachers across Ontario. He enjoyed leadership roles in numerous professional organizations including being President of the English Coordinators and Consultants of Ontario (ECCO) now known as ELAN, as well as a provincial conference chair for The Ontario Council for the Teaching of English.Authoring educational textbooks was his passion; having written over 100 titles  between the years 1983-2000, many with David Booth, for companies such as Nelson, Gage and Global Modern Curriculum Press (now owned by Pearson), American publisher Modern Curriculum Press, and his own Tree House Press.After retiring from his school board it seemed natural to continue his publishing career on a full-time basis as CEO, publisher, and president of Tree House Press Inc.Patrick is also a Tree House Press author. In total he has sold over 2.5 million copies of his publications.

Joanna Lawson

Joanna Lawson lives in Ancaster, Ontario. She taught most elementary grades, and special education. She was a consultant, principal, professor and conducted workshops throughout Ontario. Two of her four books of poetry won the yearly Award from Arts Hamilton. The Tower Poetry Society and Second Wind Recorder group claim her free time.She has authored many reading and literature books for Tree House Press.

Paul Lessard

Paul Lessard has a M.Ed in curriculum development from O.I.S.E.He has participated in the “Teaching and Learning of Mathematics” for more than four decades, through a variety of roles as an elementary teacher, elementary math consultant, math author, designer of math materials, father and grandfather. Some of his unique insights about “The Teaching and Learning of Mathematics” came to him as he watched his own children (and now their kids) grow up mathematically. His children's never ending adventures with the beauty and power of mathematics is something that he watched them encounter and benefit from almost accidentally, each and every day! Paul has co-authored more than 30 elementary math books, a photo math collection for primary and concrete hands-on math posters for grades 1 through 8. All of the materials he has produced focus on highly visual math that is easy to read for kids, their parents and their teachers. The Tree House Press Math Program highlights this focus by its design, colourful visual layout, math talks, home connections, and modeled sample EQAO-like assessments. Professionally, Paul is a former President of OAME (Ontario Association for Mathematics Education), lifetime member of the Ontario Mathematics Coordinators Association, co-writer of the 1997 EQAO Grade 3 Math assessment , lead marker for the EQAO math marking and Summer Institute Leader for the Ontario Ministry of Education leveling math papers. Paul has given math talks extensively across Canada. His primary goal in all of his math endeavors is to “help kids learn to love math so they will love to learn math.


The Tree House Press Story

-How Humble Lesson Plans Morphed Into a Unique Educational Publishing Company


By Patrick Lashmar- Founder, President and CEO

The Gestation Period

It was 1971 and I was clearly a wet behind the ears rookie - a very young first year teacher up in front of classes of 38-40 students. From day one I knew that for me to be a success in the classroom, I would need to plan very well. I would need to learn how to write my own comprehensive lesson plans and create practical and engaging curriculum units.

What followed then, were endless late night sessions spent creating my own programs. And so began the gestation period for Tree House Press.

At the Board, Peter Burns liked my work well enough to hire me five years later as a Literacy Consultant and for 27 years I worked in the Curriculum Department specializing in writing curriculum units. Among these were poetry units where I could use what I had learned from my songwriting background.

Eventually, I coordinated the Literacy Programs in 52 elementary and 7 secondary schools. Few people stay in curriculum for more than 3-4 years so to have had such a rich and unique tenure was a marvelous opportunity that I relished and for which I will be forever grateful. I would never have been able to create Thee House Press had it not been for this extended apprenticeship.

My Guiding Principle

I worked closely with the other Ontario coordinators on numerous curriculum projects but unlike many of my peers I never subscribed to the belief that only certain "approved" curriculum practices could be promoted while others were to be considered “against the law.” There are a myriad of appropriate curriculum approaches and materials that are effective in the classroom and teachers and principals are the ones in the best position to decide which ones will work best for their students. My tenure as OECTA President for Hamilton-Wentworth Unit had taught me to listen to and fight for my highly educated, professional teachers and principals. My job at the Board was to try to make a rich collage of curriculum approaches and materials readily available so teachers and principals could make the wisest curriculum decisions possible for their kids. This was fundamental to my curriculum work and became a guiding principle as I began to envision my own publishing company - TREE HOUSE PRESS.

The Internship Period

Before Tree House I was fortunate to be invited to write for other publishers. My poetry units got noticed and because of my ability to use my guitar in my workshops I was offered my first book in 1982.I co-authored Poetry In Focus , a high school poetry text that was listed in 5 provinces. Between 1982 and 1999 I contributed to over 100 student books and teacher’s guides for Nelson, Gage, Pearson, Tree House Press, and Globe Modern Curriculum Press - over 20 of these with fellow Tree House author David Booth.

Clear Out the Garage

Operating out of our garage Tree House Press was born in 1988 with the publishing of my first 3- pocket writing portfolios to support teachers and students as they began navigating the stages of the writing process. My partner at the time, Paul Hannam, was in the printing business and was able to facilitate the production of the portfolios.

My marketing plan was basic - give away a writing portfolio to a couple thousand schools with a flyer and wait to see what happens.

The response was immediate and overwhelming. My wife, Josephine, and I mussed about the possibility of selling perhaps 6000 copies - enough to pay for a long weekend holiday in Ireland. Within 2 years we were mailing free samples to every school in Canada. What followed was monumental. In the last 26 years Tree House Press has sold over 1.6 million copies of my humble invention-the three pocket writing portfolio.

David Booth Does Us a Favour

Next, David Booth worked with me to create a series of innovative primary word books for Tree House Press. We referred to these books as our Personal Portable Word Walls. After sampling these to every elementary school in Canada they proved to be needed as well. Today these titles include a picture dictionary and French language editions. No less than a whopping 310 000 copies of these titles have sold to date.

Suddenly, a Family Affair

Of course, my wife and partner, Josephine, was there from the beginning. She had a wonderful career as a Primary teacher and Special Education Consultant. What I didn't know about Primary education she always did. She has helped write and edit many of our books over the years.

About this time our son David joined us in the warehouse. Suddenly, we had become a family business. Over the years he worked his way up to Vice President. As the business began an aggressive growth spurt, David brought in his good friend, Roger Vallve, as General Manager. When we expanded the business, Lenny Bedard and TJ Manners joined the team. They both proved to be loyal long time employees as well.

A Summer of Discontent: Marking EQAO Writing

The next chapter in the Tree House Press story of growth is rooted in a most unlikely place – the early days of the extremely controversial and hotly debated EQAO Assessments.

During the first year of the dreaded assessments, I sat on the EQAO committee that selected the first anchor papers for the writing component .That summer I helped coordinate 20 teams of markers who assessed the first writing tests. Subsequently, I in-serviced principals and teachers across the province.

On the anchor paper committee I was characteristically vocal with some of my peers who had outrageously unrealistic performance expectations for grade 3 and 6 writers.

With my marking team members it was different. With them I mostly listened-I heard their concerns about the inadequacies of the test and of the process itself. I heard about teary eyed kids, anguished parents and frustrated teachers. I determined to use my newly found insight into all things EQAO, the concerns of teachers and principals and my abilities as an educational writer to create practical curriculum units to support students and teachers through the EQAO experience and teach all the core curriculum expectations.

Tree House Press Goes Ballistic

The following year Tree House Press published the first editions of My Ontario Writing 3 and My Ontario Writing 6 personal student Books. More polished editions followed and we sent free samples to every Ontario elementary school making an enormous impact. To date we have sold over 145 000 copies of Ontario Writing 3 and over 141 000 copies of Ontario Writing 6.

These process writing personal student books are integrated with reading, media literacy, and language and include every Ontario writing expectation using EQAO models and formats. More recent editions include Technology Links and EQAO-like Assessment activities and are illustrated in full colour. The program now includes titles for all the grades K-8.

With Joanna Lawson as author and Jack Booth as editor we proceeded to publish a parallel series of integrated reading personal student books for grades 2-6. Again, large quantities were sold, the Grade 3 and 6 books alone selling well over 135 000 copies each.

More impressive than the sales was the impact on EQAO scores. When we correlated Tree House Press sales to school scores it became clear that schools that used our books tended to do better on the tests.

These high volume sales had another added bonus for our customers-incredibly low prices!! Even today we operate on a low profit margin. Our 96 page, fully illustrated in colour Personal StudentBOOKS sell for an unbelievable $9.99 each.

Three long time Math coordinator friends: Paul Lessard, Julian D’Angela, and George Fawcett then gave us our Tree House Press Math Program - a marvelously student friendly program with clear readable text that overcomes the language barrier so students can succeed at math. At last… math books that kids can actually read.

This One We Knocked Out Of the Park!

John Moore and I collaborated to write our best -selling title to date - our OSSLT Workbook that helps prepare Ontario grade 10 students for the Provincial literacy test. With over 318 000 copies sold we are proud to have helped so many students perform better on the OSSLT.

Bill Moore: Dear Friend and Mentor

John Moore’s Dad, the late Bill Moore deserves a very special entry in the history of Tree House Press. An accomplished actor, director, and poet, Bill was also one of Canada’s most prolific educational authors. It was Bill who gave me my first publishing opportunity. Together we co-authored many of the company’s earliest books. For a time, Bill was a partner in Tree House and he backed it financially more than once during tough times.

Bill was the consummate professional, very generous and kind and always a gentleman. He will forever be in our hearts and minds.

From Humble Lesson Plans to a Unique Educational Publishing Company
In total, the Tree House Press catalogue includes over 100 student books and 30 teachers guides. Our books are unique and can be found nowhere else. I call our creations Personal StudentBOOKS - pedagogically sound, curriculum- based resources that bear absolutely no resemblance to the "skill, drill, kill" workbooks of yesteryear.

And so, such is the story of how my song writing background and my humble lesson plans have morphed into a one-of-a-kind educational publishing company providing curriculum that truly makes a difference in the lives of millions of students and teachers.

Randy’s Song: Capturing the Spirit of Tree House Press

Let me conclude this short history the way I used to end my workshops-with one of my songs. I wrote and recorded this in 1977, the year before Tree House Press was born. It speaks to the very soul of the company and continues to be our theme song today.



Randy's Song

One rainy evening, my wife lay sleeping

In the darkness, I sat hearing the raindrops fall

I heard a giggle float down the hall

Our Randy was awake


A yellow light seemed, like a moonbeam

To sneak softly from underneath his bedroom door

Inside Randy lay on the floor

Reading quietly


And with a little grin

He said, "Hi Dad, come on in.

And won't you read with me?

Oh see, you know, only six more pages to go.

And I can't wait to see how the end will be."


We sat on his bed, he placed his head

On my shoulder, the book lay between our knees

He gladly shared the tale with me

I smiled and laughed along


His freckled face beamed, his little book seemed

To be a living and a breathing part of him

Part of Randy, part of his grin

He read it like a song


And so I watched him grow

I watched him come to know

What joys there can be

In learning, feeling, laughing, living

Sighing, crying, sympathizing

With new found friends

 In wondrous worlds

That the authors pen

In words that set us free

Words and Music by Patrick Lashmar

Copyright 1977 Ochsway Music

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