Life, the Universe and Everything


author Nidhi Kamra

Guest Post: Drones Over Your Head – Part 1

“Quarantine.” That’s probably one of the most echoed words in the world during the Covid-19 crisis. And whether you are 9 or 99, it’s a word you won’t forget. I bet you missed that hot gooey chocolate fudge on cold vanilla ... Read More  

Cover of What if Soldiers Fought with Pillows by Heather Camlot

Cantastic Authorpalooza: Heather Camlot

“Where do your ideas come from?” That’s the question I get asked most from children and adults alike. The simplest answer is, from my life. Don’t misunderstand, I don’t have a wild and crazy life full of intrigue and adventure. ... Read More  

Cover of Drawdown, edited by Paul Hawken

Drawdown: Yes, It IS Possible to Reverse Global Warming

If you're anything like me, media coverage of climate change has given you the following impressions: Dependence on fossil fuels is the main reason for climate change. Individuals bear ultimate responsibility for climate change, because we make choices that are bad ... Read More  

Giants in the Canyons: Where Nonfiction Writers Get Their Ideas

The human brain is really good at filtering out extraneous information. It's a survival instinct meant to focus our attention on things essential to life (ripe cherries!) and things that might kill us (bears!). Grappling with these big picture ... Read More  

Ann Eriksson in Cedar Flats

STEMinism Sunday: Biologist, Novelist, and Children’s Nonfiction Writer Ann Eriksson

Welcome to STEMinism Sunday! As a former woman in science, I have a deep and enduring interest in the experiences and representation of women in STEM fields (science, technology, engineering, and math). This series will be an opportunity for ... Read More  

cover of He Must Like You, by Danielle Younge-Ullman

Cantastic Authorpalooza: Danielle Younge-Ullman

The idea for my teen novel, HE MUST LIKE YOU, which comes out on July 14, arrived in a kind of backwards manner. Let me explain: about a year before the #metoo movement took off, there was a high ... Read More  

Rampage movie poster

Representation of (Mad) Women Scientists in Rampage

One of the reasons I started Mad Scientist Mondays was because a lot of people don't actually know any scientists. As a result, cultural depictions of science and scientists - like those in movies and on TV - have ... Read More  

The Idea Store: Sources of Inspiration for Children’s Writers

When asked where we get our ideas, writers often joke "The idea store." In an age where we can type "writing prompts" into Google and return literally thousands of starting points for our next masterpieces, it's actually not that ... Read More  

A bokiboki, a type of mongoose native to Madagascar

STEMinism Sunday with Conservation Biologist Rina Nichols

The goal of conservation biology is to maintain the planet’s biological diversity (biodiversity). So basically, it is a science born from the impact that humans have on nature. But it differs somewhat from other biological sciences because it is ... Read More  

cover of The Boreal Forest by L. E. Carmichael

The Final Forest Friday

In the three years I spent working on The Boreal Forest and preparing to release it into the world, I never in my wildest dreams expected to have to do it during a pandemic. And it's been both harder ... Read More  

Cover of Honeycake: A Family of Spices

Cantastic Authorpalooza: Medea Kalantar

I was born in Georgia, USSR and immigrated to Canada when I was four years old. I lived in Toronto, Ontario for the most part of my life. I’ve been married to my husband Esfandiar for over 28 years ... Read More  

The boreal forest is a vast and vital wilderness that is worth protecting.

How Can We Preserve The Boreal Forest?

Last week we talked about some of the reasons that the boreal forest matters - not just to those of us who live there, but to the entire world. This week, I wanted to draw your attention to some ... Read More  

In addition to providing habitat for plants and animals, the boreal forest supports people's cultural, spiritual, and aesthetic needs.

What Is a Forest For?

When I was writing The Boreal Forest, one of my goals was to shine some light on ecological processes - by showing how a forest works, I could hopefully show what a forest is for... by which I mean, ... Read More  

Teach Write: Five Tasks to Complete BEFORE You Start Writing

For the last few months, we've been talking about the first two things we must do before we sit down to write: Identify our audience Who are we writing for? Kids, adults, professional peers, our teachers? What does that audience need from ... Read More  

The Canada lynx is one of the few cat species to call the boreal forest home.

How Do You End a Book, Anyway?

This is the original draft of the final scene in The Boreal Forest: Snow falls from a flat grey sky. It hisses in the steam that rises from a hotspring. A snowshoe hare laps at the warm water. She nibbles ... Read More  

Great Tit sketches by June Steube

June Steube On the Art and Science of Nature Illustration

A special treat today: an interview with illustrator June Steube! June's specialty is science and nature illustration, and she's worked for clients as diverse as Canada Post and the Canadian Museum of Nature. She's currently illustrating her first children's ... Read More  

Squirrels are familiar denizens of both North American and Eurasian boreal forests, building hordes on both continents.

Hoards: Not Just for Dragons Anymore

Pages 34-35 of The Boreal Forest show boreal birds migrating south for the winter. That scene originally included this snippet, showing a different winter survival strategy: Red squirrels fill their winter pantries. One hauls a mushroom up a pine, wedging ... Read More  

book cover of Zebi's Dream by Farida Mirza

Cantastic Authorpalooza: Farida Mirza

Welcome to Cantastic Authorpalooza, featuring posts by and about great Canadian children's writers! Today's guest: Farida Mizra. Take it away, Farida! My memories of growing up in pre-digital South East Asia are rich with images of living in extended families, ... Read More