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
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
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
Today, on Forest Friday, we're going to take a deeper dive behind the scenes into the process of revision. I'm going to share every draft of the first scene in The Boreal Forest (pages 8-9), and explain how the ... Read More
The boreal forest is generally considered a northern forest, because boreal species, like pines and birch and rhododendrons, thrive in cooler climates. But cool climates are also found at high altitudes, so boreal forests extend into mountain ranges along ... Read More
Sunbeams dance in a birch grove, sparkling off the morning dew. Rat-a-tat-a-tat! A northern flicker drums on a burned stump, then flutters to the soil. It pecks and scratches, licking up ants with its long tongue. In a puddle ... Read More
My previous books cover a wide range of age groups and topics, but they all have one thing in common: they are illustrated with photographs. The Boreal Forest was the first book I've ever written that has illustrations instead. ... Read More
I will be doing an online reading from The Boreal Forest TODAY as part of the #KCPSpringReading Relay. The video will go live on YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram at 2:30 EST, but when it's over, it's gone. Don't ... Read More
Here's a sidebar that I'd originally planned to include on pages 20-21:
Iceland's Lake Myvatn is famous—for flies! In summer, up to 50,000 fly larvae hide in every 1 m2 (1.2 y2) of lake bed. Many birds eat these larvae, ... Read More
Next week is March Break, and if you live near Peterborough and have kids that need entertaining.... why not let ME do it? I'm offering two programs on March 19, one of which is special sneak peak at The ... Read More
How did I research The Boreal Forest? I read 238 books, scientific articles, and websites, adding up to untold thousands of pages of research (I didn't actually count). I took 72,400 words of notes (those I did count, or ... Read More
Warning, readers: I’m not a science writer. But like any scientist, I do incorporate research findings (of a sort) into my stories. Here’s one example that’s especially true of my most recent YA novel, Larkin on the Shore.
When stories ... Read More
This will be our final column on audience (at least for now). So buckle up for a crash course on age levels in children's literature!
First, a caveat: the categories I'm presenting here are not absolute. Different people use different ... Read More
A poet and illustrator once said to me, “Why don’t you stick to one kind of writing? You’re all over the place. You should write one kind of book and brand yourself.”
It’s true. I write in many genres— picture ... Read More
Last time, we discussed the special, double audience that we have to consider when writing a class assignment for a teacher. Hopefully that advice will help all the students that have now gone back to school! The audience* for ... Read More