Now and then illustrators get projects that aren’t straightforward, and not only challenge our technical skills but also our ability to research. I was thrilled when I signed my first illustration contract for a children’s poetry book titled “Recess ... Read More
Last fall, I was lucky enough to visit the ruins of Pompeii. October not withstanding, it was a hot, sunny day, even first thing in the morning when our tour group arrived. In the distance, the green slopes of ... Read More
Today we're continuing our discussion of research, with a focus on a special type of primary source - the expert. First, what do I mean when I say "expert"? As a former scientist and writer of sciencey books, I ... Read More
It's almost Remembrance Day in Canada, so it's high time for a special edition of Cantastic Authorpalooza. Today, I'm welcoming my not-so-evil stepmother, Jaqueline Carmichael, who is celebrating the release of her newest book, Heard Amid the Guns: True ... Read More
It all began at the Vancouver Aquarium where the instant I first saw sea otters, I was smitten! Cuteness overload! Especially when they linked paws! But it got even better. I was amazed to learn that in the wild, ... Read More
YOU GUYS. The Boreal Forest has been nominated for a YELLOW CEDAR AWARD in the FOREST OF READING.
If you're not familiar, the Forest of Reading is the largest recreational reading program in Canada. Kids across the country can register ... Read More
Last time we compared primary and secondary sources and talked about how to use them when researching writing assignments or creative projects. Today, we're getting a bit more practical, with some tips for finding and accessing peer-reviewed journal articles, ... Read More
Once upon a time, I had a dream: I wanted to write nonfiction. Keep in mind, this was many years ago, and I came from a poetry and fiction background. I had been writing poetry since I was six, ... Read More
It's Science Literacy Week!
*Fires cannons full of biodegradable confetti*
The brainchild of Jesse Hildebrand, Science Literacy Week started as a grassroots initiative meant to raise awareness about science: what it is, how it works, and why it's awesome. It's grown ... Read More
We are going to be devoting many Teach Write columns to the intricacies of research for student and professional writers. Today, we are starting with the fundamentals: the difference between primary and secondary sources. Students need to understand this ... Read More
While selecting a drone, it is imperative to first define the mission. Missions fall under the Ds category – for example, Dull, Dirty, Dangerous, Difficult, Dash, Delivery etc. ‘Dull,’ synonymous with ‘boring,’ is exactly that – a mission that ... Read More
Ghost. That one word has a strange power. All I have to do is announce that I’m going to tell a ghost story and children sharpen to attention. Grownups too. It seems that we are all touched by ghosts, ... Read More
It's been almost six months since the WHO declared COVID-19 a global pandemic. Since then, the world's turned upside down... and as much as we'd all like to think that things will "go back to normal," I think the ... Read More
School is starting soon (however strange and remote it may be), which means... writing assignments! Today on Teach Write, we are talking about coming up with ideas for writing on assigned topics.
True story: most of my children's books are ... Read More
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
“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
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
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