Syed, Anoosha (Milton, ON)

Forest of Reading Blue Spruce Award Nominee, APALA Honor for Bilal Cooks Daal, Society of Illustrators Original Art Show, Royal Society’s Young People’s Book Prize Shortlist, featured in Netflix series ‘Bookmarks’, featured in Eric Carle museum, Otter Award nominee

Anoosha Syed is a Pakistani-Canadian character designer and the illustrator of over twenty books, including I Am Perfectly Designed by Karamo Brown, APALA honor book, Bilal Cooks Daal by Aisha Saeed and her author/illustrator debut, That’s Not My Name!

She draws inspiration from mid-century artists and her south-asian heritage, and she aims to create inclusive books that children can see themselves in.

Book topics: Empathy, First Day of School, Self-empowerment, Food and Culture. Family, South Asian

Rates: $350 for 60 minute session, $450 for two, Plus a travel fee of $0.50/km if outside GTA. Anoosha is open to traveling further with additional food, travel, and accommodation charges.
Virtual visit fees: $150 for each 30 mins

Presentation format
Book reading + drawing demonstration (JK-3, 30min)
Reading of a selected picture book, followed by a drawing demonstration based on the book. Q+A at the end.

Careers: How I write/illustrate my picture books (Middleschool/Highschool, 60min) + Q&A

How I wrote/illustrate my book ‘That’s Not My Name’, and how the publishing industry works!

Other notes
A projector is required for in-person visits, and microphone + podium for larger groups.
For drawing activities, an easel with paper as well as paper, markers, crayons for the children to draw along with.
In-person presentations for JK-2 max 30 per group, teacher/facilitator MUST be present.
+HST
+Travel outside of GTA

Contact Anoosha to book a visit:

    Smith, Sadé (Mississauga, ON)

    Blue Spruce Award nominee for the Forest of Reading 2023 for her debut children’s picture book Granny’s Kitchen illustrated by Ken Daley.

    Rates: $250 plus HST for one session, $450 for two, $675 for three, $900 for a full day (four sessions). Plus a travel fee of $0.50/km if outside Toronto or Peel.

    Virtual visits: $150 plus HST for one session (60 minutes), $100 for each additional session on the same day to a maximum of four sessions.

    Sadé Smith is a Canadian children’s book author of Jamaican descent. Her books often involve food with colorful illustrations to capture the vibrancy and beauty of the Caribbean islands. In addition to writing, Sadé is also a design technologist and she is very passionate about literature. She writes books of representation for young readers. She provides games, activities, book readings and writing workshops for young students aged 3-8 (grades Kindergarten to grade 3).

    Presentations/workshops – Age group: 3-8 years old (Grades K-3)

    30 Minutes each part (split into 2 parts with a short break to accommodate for younger audiences).

    This collaborative school/library presentation includes:

    • Author introduction and background / biography
    • Introduction on writing / inspiration for the book
    • Showing of the Shelly-Ann doll to be passed around (depending on age group)
    • Topics about family, food, language, Jamaican culture and fun facts that are located on the back page of the Granny’s Kitchen book. Ask the readers/listeners about their experiences in Jamaica. Show the Jamaican flag and allow the readers/listeners to learn Patois (Jamaican language) that is shown throughout the book.
    • Colour in an empty template of the Jamaican flag and explain the colours of the Jamaican flag and what they represent. Readers/listeners can also draw and colour in their own country’s (or family background’s) flag on a blank page. Show art work.
    • A fun game involving live props (and/or a digital presentation) of cooking utensils, equipment, Caribbean foods and fruits. (Guess the name of the food/fruit/kitchen items). This is a fun and educational way for the readers/listeners to learn about new things and foods that they may not know about.
    • A live reading of GRANNY’S KITCHEN with enlarged illustrations shown on screen/projector (if needed to enhance visual effect for Storytime) followed by a Question and Comment period.
    • A quiz pertaining to the story by way of a Kahoot game or crossword puzzle, with prizes included (if in-person). (Prizes will include bookmarks with a recipe on the back, bookplates and occasionally, a signed copy of the book, depending on availability of copies on hand). Some prizes may be mailed out to school afterward for virtual presentations).
    • Social media handles and website / contact information. Information on where and how to purchase the book. Information about upcoming books and projects.
    • Information about the “Kidz Korner” tab on the Sadé Smith website where students may find fun activities and download reading and writing templates for their own use.

    Note: Workshops are 60 minutes in length and split into two parts to accommodate for a younger audience.

    To encourage interaction during in-person presentations, Sadé would prefer to meet with smaller groups at a time with a maximum of 4 groups per day.

    Equipment Required:

    • One table for presentation items and materials
    • Separate table and chair to accommodate for book sales and signings (if requested)
    • Computer with projector or television screen for displaying PowerPoint presentation from a USB drive or laptop
    • Blank paper and crayons (if children would like to draw their own flag).

    Note: Author will bring all required decorations and props needed for presentation.

    Contact Sadé to book a visit:

      Bobet, Leah. (Toronto. ON)

      Fiction, Poetry, and Non-Fiction. OLA Best Bets selection. Winner of the Prix Aurora Award, Sunburst Award, Utopia Award, Copper Cylinder Award, and Lydia Langstaff Prize; shortlisted for the Andre Norton Award for Young Adult Science Fiction and Fantasy, Cybils Award, and Canadian Library Association Young Adult Book Award.

      $350 for one hour-long session, $600 for two, $850 for three, and $1000 for four, plus transit costs to public transit-accessible schools, or where transport from the nearest transit stop/station is available. For virtual visits: $275 for one session, 60-90 minutes, $175 for each additional session on the same day. Leah is happy to discuss alternate rates with high-needs or under-resourced schools.

      Fantasy novelist, bookseller, critic, and editor Leah Bobet knows the half the joy of reading is getting curious about something new. She gives inclusive, information-rich presentations that make sure to keep things fun—and emphasize the talents participants already have. She specializes in fantasy and science fiction, climate fiction, and poetry, and strongly believes in a supportive, positive presentation style that emphasizes tools over rules. The goal: to make sure students leave feeling confident, curious, and inspired.

      Leah works with groups from Grade 7 and up (adults included!) and has given presentations and workshops at Toronto Public Library, Oakville Public Library, London Book Camp, Word on the Street, the Tucson Festival of Books, and universities across North America. Presentations are tailored to fit your group’s interests and current classroom topics, and can be custom-designed for your group with appropriate lead time.

      Recent presentation topics include:

      Writing Urban Fantasy: Finding Magic in Your Neighbourhood

      A workshop-style presentation for fantasy readers, geography classes, or Writer’s Craft groups, this presentation introduces students to the core concepts of writing urban fantasy and finding places in one’s everyday world where magic can fit. Includes a 30-minute writing and sharing activity, and focuses on the basic skill of reading and writing fantasy: seeing wonder in our everyday surroundings.

      Where It Comes From: Worldbuilding, the Apocalypse, and All Our Stuff

      Using Leah’s 2015 YA novel An Inheritance of Ashes as a basis, this presentation talks about the everyday things we use—sugar, plastic, soap—and how many people’s work goes into building our average day.  Through showing how Ashes builds a post-apocalyptic world without industrialization, the group discusses repurposing, reusing, sharing economies, and how making it yourself can be a lot of fun.

      This presentation is great for classes focusing on sustainability, materials science, or environmental studies.

      Above and Toronto’s Secret Spaces

      Using Leah’s 2012 novel Above as a jumping-off point, this presentation digs into Toronto’s (very real!) underground sewers, tunnels, and abandoned places to explore the cooler side of local history, and how our neighbourhoods are made of not just buildings but experiences.

      This semi-interactive presentation touches on fantasy-novel worldbuilding, but prompts students to explore how people move through the same spaces in different ways, consider whose stories we tell

      —and think about how we design space for the society we want.

      This presentation is a great fit for classes focusing on Canadian history, social studies, or geography.

      Poetry is music

      Poetry can be intimidating—or not! This presentation draws on pop songs, contemporary poetry, and music theory to show participants how to think of poetry as a house made of sound. The goal: to take down obstacles between poetry and readers.

      This presentation is a great fit for English or music classes, or as an extracurricular for school choir groups.

      Equipment: Leah is happy to work with groups of up to 75, though workshops will run best when capped at 20 participants. Screen and projector appreciated for Powerpoint presentations; clear sound equipment for poetry presentations. If the room is larger or has difficult acoustics, a microphone is appreciated, as is a bottle of water. For multi-presentation days, a strictly gluten-free lunch or snacks (celiac-safe) are greatly appreciated.

      Contact Leah to book a visit:

        Vitalis, Jessica (Waterloo, ON)

        Writer’s Union, CANSCAIP, SCBWI. 45 to 60-minute virtual session: $250. In person: $300 (1 session—available in Waterloo region only), $600 (2 sessions), $850 (3 sessions), $1000 (4 sessions). Sessions may be split between nearby schools on the same day. Prices quoted do not include travel costs. (Travel costs waived in Waterloo, Kitchener, Cambridge and Guelph.)

        JESSICA VITALIS is a Columbia MBA-wielding author and presenter on a mission to write and share entertaining and thought-provoking literature. She founded Magic in the Middle, a series of free monthly recorded book talks, to help educators introduce young readers to new fantasy books. She was recently named a 2021 Canada Council of the Arts Grant Recipient and featured on CBCs Here and Now. The Wolf’s Curse and The Rabbit’s Gift are standalone companion novels published by Greenwillow/HarperCollins. Two more books, Coyote Queen, and an unnamed standalone, will follow in 2023 and 2024.

        When she’s not writing, Jessica’s favorite activity is talking about writing; her presentations are best suited for students grades four and up (and adults of any age). She is also available for festivals, conferences, and keynote speeches and can speak to issues ranging from SEL topics to grief and healing.

        Offerings include (but are not limited to):

        The Story Behind the Story: This interactive presentation includes the inspiration behind Jessica’s books, a short reading, stories of tenacity and perseverance related to her unusual childhood and 13-year journey to publication, and a peek at the revision process (including the most important tool in her writer’s toolbox!). Q&A included. For small or large groups (grades 4+).

        Stand Out From The Crowd: Creating Compelling Characters: In this hands-on writing workshop, participants look at what makes characters come alive in readers’ hearts and minds and learn how to develop memorable characters using the author’s secret technique to show and not tell. For smaller groups (ages 10 to adult).

        The Building Blocks of Story: Using the building blocks of story, we’ll work through a flexible pre-writing strategy that provides authors with a framework to draft a novel without bogging them down or making the drafting process feel too prescriptive. For small or large groups (adults only).

        “Jessica’s presentation was so inspiring and energizing for our fifth and sixth grade students! Her stories––both on and off the page––are magnetic. A couple of our more reluctant learners sought Jessica out after the talk to connect with her and have their photos takes. What a wonderful celebration of reading and writing!” -Elementary school librarian

        “Jessica did a beautiful presentation for my 7th grade reading classes. My students were engrossed! At the end, she answered all of their questions about being an author, the writing process, and everything in between! It was such a fantastic experience for my students!” – 7th Grade Teacher

        “[Jessica’s] presentation totally changed my life! It was so incredibly helpful and exactly what I needed for my writing.” -Workshop attendee

        Maximum group size: No limit on large group offerings. Smaller group offerings are better suited for individual school classes or conference breakout sessions.

        Venues: Flexible as long as a microphone and projection screen are available.

        Tech Requirements: Microphone (when necessary), digital projector and screen (most presentations are accompanied by PowerPoint slides; Jessica can either hook up with her laptop or bring in a flash drive), water, and lunch (for full day visits).

        Jessica looks forward to connecting with you!

        Contact Jessica to book a visit:

          West Lewis, Amanda (Perth, ON)

          Member of The Writer’s Union of Canada; Society of Children’s Book Authors and Illustrators (SCBWI); Canadian Society of Children’s Authors, Illustrators & Performers (Canscaip); Access Copyright; MASC Artist/Instructor

          Presentations:

          One Session, In-Person: 50 minutes $395 + HST

          One Session, Virtual: 50-minute session: $265 + HST
          Half-day, In-Person or Virtual: Two 50-minute sessions $545 + HST
          Full-day, In-Person or Virtual: Three 50-minute sessions $670 + HST

          Workshops:

          One Session (Virtual only): 50-minute session: $265 + HST

          Half-Day, In-Person or Virtual: Two 60-minute sessions, or a two-hour session: $ 365 + HST

          Full-Day, In-Person or Virtual: Three 60-minute sessions: $525 +HST

          Travel $.50/km roundtrip outside of GTA and Eastern Ontario

          AMANDA WEST LEWIS is a writer, theatre creator, calligrapher and experienced teaching artist who is passionately interested in exploring the world from the perspective of young people. Her most recent book These Are Not the Words, is a semi-autobiographical novel that uses prose, poetry, jazz and Shakespeare to confront addiction and mental health issues in the lower East side of Manhattan, 1963. Previous books include award nominated September 17 (about the City of Benares disaster, 1940) and The Pact (based on the true-life story of a young boy in Nazi Germany). Amanda has published eight books for young readers and was the Founder and Artistic Director of the Ottawa Children’s Theatre. She weaves her backgrounds in theatre and calligraphy to teach and present to students of all ages.

          All of Amanda’s presentations and workshops are adapted to the age of the group. They are geared to each class’s needs and curriculum interests. She loves to work with you to support what you are doing. Please inquire.

          Examples of Presentations/Readings:

          All presentations include a Q & A

          Maximum audience size 300

          (Grades 5 – 12)

          “Jazz and The Tempest” explores the creation of These Are Not the Words, a novel in poetry and prose. Working with examples from the novel, we’ll explore how sound and rhythm can reflect character and pace. As we dig deeper, we will look at how the novel’s difficult themes of addiction and mental health were presented through poetry.

          “Conflict From Both Sides” tells the story behind the story, revealing the true events and people that inspired the novels September 17 and The Pact. We’ll look at images of children from England and Germany during World War 2, to understand the challenges they faced during wartime. The focus is on an empathetic understanding from a child’s perspective view and touches on propaganda, indoctrination, racism, and survival.

          Equipment And Other Requirements: A projector compatible with a MAC or a computer for a memory stick.

          Examples of Workshops

          Adapted to the age of the students

          Maximum 30 students

          Grades 1- 4 & 5 – 12

          “Thrum, Hiss, Warble”

          Writing poetry lets you play with language, and rediscover joy in the sound, rhythm, look and meaning of words. It’s the foundation for any writer to learn their craft, no matter what genre they work in. In this workshop we’ll play with the elasticity of language and discover a unique and individual writer’s voice. 

          “What’s Beyond?”

          Drawing on improvisation and drama games, this workshop will explore character motivation, points of view and dialogue as we discover the hidden meaning beyond the words. Conveying the space between words –– the pauses in life –– is an essential skill for any writer.

          Grades 5 – 12

          “Who’s in the Picture?”

          A picture can tell you a lot about a person. But it’s the writer who discovers who that person is and how they fit into a story. This workshop will use photographs and pictures to get participants creating characters and inventing unique and vibrant stories. You’ll dig deeper with some role-play and dialogue writing. But beware – characters often take on lives of their own and drag you off on unexpected adventures!

          “Illuminated Letters”

          The workshop helps to develop a love and passion for letters, combining writing skills with artwork.  We start by writing simple poems based on participants’ names. Students are then shown how to draw Versal letters in the style of 15th Century Books of Hours. These illuminated letters will be used to create a uniquely decorated poem.

          Workshop Equipment: Writing implements. Chalkboard or Flip Chart. In addition: “What’s Beyond” requires a bit of space to move. “Illuminated Letters” requires paper and pencil. Amanda will bring all additional supplies.

          Contact Amanda to book a visit:

            Alladin, Erin (Parry Sound region, ON)

            Writer’s Union member. $250+HST for one 45-60-minute session, $450+HST for two, $675 for three, $900 for a full day (four sessions). If travel is over 50 km, a CRA-based travel rate applies of $0.61 per kilometer, round trip.

            Virtual Visits: $150 for one 45-60 minute session. $125+HST for each additional visit the same day.

            Erin is an author, editor, and educator with a particular passion for outdoor education. She loves to craft energetic author presentations that bring together her years of experience creating children’s programming, teaching outdoor living skills, training adults in leadership and drama, and running gardening workshops. She published her first picture book, Outside, You Notice, after a decade of working in the children’s publishing industry and can offer a rewarding peek behind the curtain of how books are written, illustrated, contracted, edited, produced, and promoted.

            To each presentation, Erin brings her experience and training in engaging groups of every kind. She uses songs, stretches, responsive activities, and games, all focused around a central theme, to keep even the wiggliest audience learning with attention and glee. She also loves to give students the opportunity to share what they themselves have noticed outside. She can provide worksheets to teachers and leaders who want to prep their group a week or so before the presentation to go out and make some observations to share. Physical show-and-tell (e.g. produce from the garden, a cool rock, an old nest, etc.) is welcome.

            Book sales can be organized in advance. Erin will offer ordering instructions upon request.

            The following presentation frameworks can be adapted to meet an audience’s needs:

            Born Naturalists: Ideal for the youngest audiences. In a presentation full of movement, songs, and activities, Erin celebrates kids’ ability to learn about nature simply by paying attention with their own senses. Throughout the presentation, Erin invites students to share their own experiences of spending time outside and noticing interesting things. During an interactive reading of Outside, You Notice, Erin uses props to illustrate a number of the nature facts the book contains.

            Curriculum connections: the five senses; pollinators; the needs of living things; plant life cycles; mindfulness; healthy, active movement

            Notice, Wonder, Write: Ideal for grades 2 and up. In this workshop, Erin takes the audience through the process of transforming Outside, You Notice from idea to book. An interactive book reading is included, if desired. Erin then models the writing of a nonfiction paragraph using her own sensory observations paired with research. A shared writing activity follows, and worksheets are available for optional independent writing later.

            With communication beforehand, this presentation can tie in to a curriculum topic your class is currently studying.

            Custom Nature Workshop: Please contact Erin to discuss specifics if you are looking for a custom outdoor education experience centered around seed starting, a nature walk, gardening, or plant identification.

            Group Sizes:
            Erin’s Born Naturalists presentation can be conducted for any group size, but for an emphasis on discussion and student sharing, one class is ideal. For Notice, Wonder, Write workshops and custom nature workshops, maximum 35.

            Setup:
            For virtual visits, Erin prefers a setup that allows her to see all participants, since she has designed many activities to let them give responses through actions. For discussion periods, a teacher/leader should be prepared to choose which participant will speak next and to manage the mute/unmute button.

            For in-person visits, Erin requires water and a chair or stool to be available. Erin lives with chronic fatigue syndrome and, while she will be energetic and on her feet throughout most of the presentation, she will need the option to sit, particularly during any waiting periods between presentations. For Notice, Wonder, Write workshops, chart paper, a whiteboard, or similar is needed. For group sizes over 35 in a gym or auditorium, a microphone and projector are preferred (Erin can bring her own laptop if it can connect to the school’s projector, or she can bring a PDF of her slides on a USB stick)

            If outdoor space is available, it can be rewarding to conduct the Born Naturalists presentation outside (limit to 35 participants).  

            Contact Erin to book a visit:

              Miskonoodinkwe Smith, Christine (Toronto, ON)

              Miskonoodinkwe Smith, Christine

              Indigenous Editor’s Association, longlisted for the First Nations Community Reads Program, ANDPVA National Signature Online Event 2022.

              Presentation Rates: 250.00 for one session, $450.00 for two, $675.00 for three, $1,000 for full day. Travel fee $.50/km if outside of Toronto. I don’t drive and would require funding for train or bus, plus Uber if available.

              Virtual Visit Fees range from $200-$250

              Christine Miskonoodinkwe-Smith- is a Saulteaux woman from Peguis First Nation and the author of “These Are the Stories: Memories of a 60s Scoop Survivor”. She is an author, editor, writer, and journalist who graduated from the University of Toronto with a specialization in Aboriginal Studies in June 2011 and went on to receive her Master’s in Education in Social Justice in June 2017. Her first non-fiction story “Choosing the Path to Healing” appeared in the 2006 anthology Growing Up Girl: An Anthology of Voices from Marginalized Spaces. She has written for the Native Canadian, Anishinabek News, Windspeaker, FNH Magazine, New Tribe Magazine, Muskrat Magazine and the Piker Press. She has also co-edited the anthology Bawaajigan with fellow Indigenous writer Nathan Niigan Noodin Adler.

              these-are-the-stories-Miskonoodinkwe-Smith-Christine.jpg

              Readings, Talks on Healing, Writing

              Preferred Venues- small spaces, libraries, café’s etc

              Preferred Audience Size-10-25 people, more if comfortable

              Tech requirements- microphone, sound system

              Contact Chrissy Miskonoodinkwe Smith:

                Chua, Charlene (Hamilton, ON)

                Charlene Chua (she/they) is an author-illustrator & member of SCBWI and CANSCAIP. She presents for JK-2, or for highschool upwards.

                Virtual visits start from $150 for a half hour presentation (JK-2), $200 for 1h presentation (highschool/adults). In-person presentations please email.

                HST is extra. Travel fees apply for in-person presentations (the author does not drive).

                Charlene is the author-illustrator of Hug?, as well as the illustrator on numerous picture books. Books she has worked on have been shortlisted for various awards including Blue Spruce, Silver Birch, LAMBA Literary, Ruth and Sylvia Schwartz Children’s Book Award. Originally from Singapore, they moved to Canada in 2007, and currently live in Hamilton, ON.

                Example presentations

                Book reading + drawing demonstration (JK-2, approx. 20-30min)

                Reading of a selected picture book, followed by a drawing demonstration based on the book. Q+A at the end.

                Careers: How I became a picture book illustrator (Highschool-adult, approx. 60min)

                Presentation of my career path from starting out in illustration to transitioning into a specialized illustrator for picture books

                Other notes

                For in-person presentations, I need a laptop and projector. For drawing activities, an easel with paper as well as paper, markers, crayons for the children to draw along with. In-person presentations for JK-2 max 30 per group, teacher/facilitator MUST be present (excepting festivals & events).

                Contact Charlene:

                  Macaulay, Regan W. H. (Toronto, ON)

                  Member of the Writer’s Union, CANSCAIP, Storylines Trust, SCBWI, IAAMB, and the Academy of Canadian Cinema & Television. Multi-awards, including Literary Classics Book Awards (Silver), Purple Dragonfly Book Awards, Royal Dragonfly Book Awards, Pinnacle Book Achievement Awards, Canada Book Awards, Finalist for Best Book Awards, Wishing Shelf Book Awards for my 8 picture books so far. Ages 5 – 8/Kindergarten – Grade 3.

                  $200 for one in-person reading, Q&A, and prepared presentation, plus travel ($15 within Toronto, cost of return ticket on a case-by-case basis for outside of Toronto within southern Ontario—in-person visits will depend on ease of travel to the location). All activity PDFs and book order forms are included and emailed in advance of the scheduled visit.

                  $150 for one virtual reading, Q&A, and prepared presentation. All activity PDFs and book order forms are included and emailed in advance of the scheduled visit.

                  Regan has been a published children’s book author since 2015, and has been doing in person class presentations as her schedule has permitted since 2018. In 2020, she pivoted to virtual presentations. Because of her commitment to writing, her canine and feline massage therapy business, and marketing her three businesses, she is only available for 1-2 class presentations in one day. She is now also expanding to include more school and library visits.

                  Presentations according to book and Grades:

                  Tamara Turtle’s Life So Far (Grades 2 & 3): Through the eyes of one Red-eared Slider turtle, this story explains why pet turtles should never be impulse purchases, and why they should not be released into the wild.

                  After the reading of the story, I have a keynote presentation that includes discussion/comparison of portions of the story (i.e. What does the Painted turtle mean when she says the wrong kind of animal in the wrong place can throw everything off?); optional exercise—dividing into groups to make lists of what was learned from the book, and questions they still have; basic facts about Red-eared Slider turtles; Red-eared Slider key features; turtles you might find in pet stores; turtles native to Ontario; map of Red-eared Slider distribution; map showing where they have “invaded” Ontario; pet turtle set up equipment; what a pet Red-eared Slider needs to be happy & healthy in your home; pet turtle foods and “human foods” that they can and cannot eat; approximate (and simple) budget for keeping a pet turtle (to discourage impulse buying or adopting); reasons people sometimes give up their pet turtles and what they should do; what is a herpetologist?; optional vocabulary and activities (make a poster, make a diorama, raising awareness certificate).

                  Easy and fun activities included in the PDF I email in advance, along with book order forms: four colouring pages, a maze, picture drawing. The length of this presentation can be adjusted to best suit your class, whether you need to fill an hour or half an hour.

                  Beverlee Beaz the Brown Burmese (Gr. K, 1 & 2): This story is about a Burmese cat whose creative imagination games take her on wonderful adventures. 

                  After the reading of the story, I have a keynote presentation that includes a little bit of background on the origins of the Burmese cat; examples of Beverlee’s imagination games; then the kids get a chance to reimagine different animals!

                  Easy and fun activities included in the PDF I email in advance, along with book order forms: five colouring pages, a story writing page, drawing pages, and a maze. The approximate length of the reading, Q&A, and presentation is 20-30 minutes.

                  Mixter Twizzle’s Breakfast (Gr. K, 1 & 2): This story is about an odd, red, round-shaped mischievous creature living at Riverdale Farm in Toronto, who learns the error of his mischievous ways when he accidentally hatches a baby chick.

                  After the reading of the story, I have a keynote presentation that includes some background information about Riverdale Farm (in Toronto, where the story is set); short presentations on some of the farm animals present in the story.

                  Easy and fun activities included in the PDF I email in advance, along with book order forms: three colouring pages, maze, drawing page, make a poster, and parts of a chicken. The approximate length of the reading, Q&A, and presentation is 30 minutes.

                  Libby the Lobivia Jajoiana (Gr. 2 & 3): This story is about a cactus plant who learns that what makes her different also makes her very special.

                  After the reading of the story, I have a keynote presentation that includes information and background on Libby’s (lobivia jajoiana cactus) and Violet’s (African Violets) native habitats; violets in space trivia; cactus uniqueness and traits (how they evolved); growing a cactus or violet at home. Easy and fun activities included in the PDF I email in advance, along with book order forms: three colouring pages, drawing pages, maze, and further to growing a cactus at home (full instructions through Cactus Caffeine’s YouTube channel). The approximate length of the reading, Q&A, and presentation is 30 minutes.

                  Dog Band (Gr. 1 & 2): In this story, a newly formed band comprised of dogs ask their group of diverse friends—from dogs to frogs—what their favourite music genre is as they decide what kind of music they want the band to play.

                  After the reading of the story, I have a keynote presentation that includes information on some of the real life versions of the main characters, along with some background on their (dog) breeds; information about types of musical instruments, including brass, percussion, strings, keyboards, and woodwinds. The presentation will develop to include different music genres in future.

                  Easy and fun activities included in the PDF I email in advance, along with book order forms: five colouring pages, two drawing pages, maze, name the members of the band, and postcard. The approximate length of the reading, Q&A, and presentation is 30 minutes.

                  Sloth the Lazy Dragon (Gr. K, 1 & 2): In this story, a brave little dwarf helps Sloth get in shape by teaching the dragon about nutrition and exercise.

                  After the reading of the story, I have a keynote presentation that includes examples of healthy foods; examples of exercise (which can be turned into an interactive activity); which are the healthier food choices discussion.

                  Easy and fun activities included in the PDF I email in advance, along with book order forms: make a poster, name some vegetables, name some fruit, circle healthy food choices, two colouring pages, two drawing pages, maze.

                  Merry Myrrh the Christmas Bat (Gr. K, 1 & 2): In this story, Myrrh experiences the wonders of his first Christmas, as well as the kindness of the farm family that find him in their home.

                  After the reading of the story, I have a keynote presentation that includes information about the little brown bat, including North American distribution map; information about white-nose syndrome (which adversely affects many bats); frequently asked questions about bats answered; why bats are so important to our ecosystem.

                  Easy and fun activities included in the PDF I email in advance, along with book order forms: three colouring pages, parts of a bat sheet, maze, make a poster, and draw the four seasons. The approximate length of the reading, Q&A, and presentation is 30 minutes.

                  Chloe the Unfeathered Parrot (Gr. 1, 2 & 3): This tale is based on a true story, and a true parrot, and the people at the Parrot Sanctuary who help this near-featherless parrot find her forever flock.

                  For the moment, only the reading and Q&A option is available. A presentation on parrots is COMING SOON.

                  I prefer groups of no more than two classes (of approximately 30 students per class). Any venue is fine (in-person) provided there is a projector and screen available. I have a MacBook Air M1 2020, or iPad Pro first generation with an HDMI adaptor for each. I can also provide the files on a USB thumb drive. If absolutely necessary, I do have an Epson projector, but I do not have a screen. PDFs of activities and book order forms will be sent by email in advance. It is up to you whether you prefer to pass these forms or activities on to students/parents by email, or print out and photocopy for your class.

                  Contact Regan:

                    Bailey, Jen Lynn (Ottawa, ON)

                    Photo Credit: Sam Bond Photography

                    Member of The Writers’ Union of Canada, the Ontario College of Teachers, the International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY) Canada, the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI), and the Canadian Society of Children’s Authors, Illustrators and Performers (CANSCAIP). English language presentations and workshops for grades K-5; all ages on request.

                    In-person rates (45-minute sessions): $250 for one, $450 for two, $675 for three, $900 for a full day (4 sessions). For kindergarten classes, Jen offers two 25-minute sessions for $250, or a discounted rate for one session if combined with a second session for an older group. A CRA-based travel rate of $0.61/km, round-trip, applies if location is more than 25 km from downtown Ottawa. Jen is willing to travel anywhere within a 150 km radius of Ottawa and is open to travelling further with additional food and accommodation charges. Virtual visit fees are $150 for one 45-minute session (or two 25-minute sessions for kindergarten students); $125 for each additional session the same day.

                    Jen Lynn Bailey is a children’s author and certified Ontario elementary teacher whose debut picture book This is the Boat that Ben Built (illustrated by Maggie Zeng) was published in 2022 by Pajama Press. She holds a Master of Fine Arts in Writing for Children and Young Adults from Vermont College of Fine Arts, a Bachelor of Science in Integrated Science Studies from Carleton University, and a Bachelor of Science in Education from Martin Luther College. Previously Jen taught science and French in an elementary school and writing and editing in the Professional Writing program at Algonquin College. Now Jen works for the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada where she combines her love of science, education, and writing by supporting science and engineering promotion programs.

                    Jen is an experienced teacher, workshop leader, and presenter who loves introducing kids to the animals of the northern river ecosystem through fun, interactive sessions. She also enjoys teaching about writing and about how picture books are made. She will gladly collaborate with teachers and/or librarians to customize visits to meet the children’s interests and the teachers’ curriculum requirements. Students and staff have the option to order personalized, signed books which will be delivered to their school. Jen will provide ordering instructions.

                    Jen Lynn Bailey  the boat that ben built

                    Here are some sample presentations, which each include an author intro and Q&A: 

                    This is the Boat that Ben Built – Participatory Reading & Activities Age level: K – grade 1;Duration: two 25-minute sessions

                    The first 25-minute session introduces kids to the northern river ecosystem in a fun participatory reading session of This is the Boat that Ben Built. Jen also discusses idea generation and the inspiration for the story. The second 25-minute session includes a generative alliteration activity and an animal size classification activity.

                    Key concepts: ecology, species diversity, food webs, STEM, poetry

                    Key themes: curiosity, natural world, exploration

                    Explore a Book! Explore an Ecosystem! Age level: Grades 2-5; Duration: 45-60 minutes

                    Kids will develop an explorer mindset toward 1) picture books and 2) the northern river ecosystem. Following a reading of This is the Boat that Ben Built, they will discover how the author and illustrator work together to create a picture book, brainstorm other living and non-living parts of a river ecosystem, and add their own living thing to the story.

                    Key concepts: ecology, species diversity, food webs, STEM, picture book creation, writing process, cumulative stories, science

                    Key themes: curiosity, natural world, exploration

                    Levels: primary, junior, grade 2, grade 3, grade 4, grade 5

                    Writer’s Workshop Age level: K – grade 5; Duration: 45-60 minutes (shorter for kindergarten)

                    Using This is the Boat that Ben Built, Jen will describe poetic techniques and explore word choices that make compelling, rhythmic stories. Includes generative writing and sharing time.

                    If you are interested in writing workshops for students in grades 6 – 8, secondary school, or college, or in workshops for adults, please contact Jen about your group’s needs.

                    Library Storytime Age level: preschool – grade 1; duration 30-45 minutes

                    Following a participatory reading of This is the Boat that Ben Built, Jen will lead kids in a simple craft about the animals in the northern river ecosystem. Digital templates will be provided in advance; craft supplies to be provided by the library.

                    All venues; library or classroom preferred.

                    General Equipment needs: For in-person visits, laptop with PowerPoint or Google Slides (can bring own laptop if it can be connected to school projector, otherwise will bring USB stick), digital projector and screen for presentation, microphone if space larger than classroom, chair or stool, glass of water. For virtual visits, school Zoom account (or similar). Student supplies depend on chosen session and will be discussed prior to visit. Teacher or librarian must be present for all presentations, virtual or in-person.

                    Jen offers picture book manuscript critiques as well.

                    Contact Jen: