Dobson, Jillian (Richmond Hill, ON)

Photo credit: Dorothy Puddester

Jillian is a member of The Writers Union of Canada (TWUC), the Canadian Society of Children’s Authors Illustrators and Performers (CANSCAIP), the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) and the CCBC.

Jillian is the author of GIRL TAKES DRASTIC STEP!: How Molly Lamb Bobak Became Canada’s First Official Woman War Artist with artwork by Genevieve Simms. This is an inspirational story of perseverance through art with the title drawn directly from the first page of Molly Lamb Bobak’s World War II war diary.

In Person Rates: $200 for one session (45 mins) Plus a travel fee of $0.50/km if outside of Greater Toronto Area. Virtual visits (30 mins) $150 (All visits subject to HST).

This book and presentation would support the following subjects and themes:

Canadian History/World War II History/Art History/Art/English/Remembrance Day/International Women’s Day/Women’s History Month

Jillian is an experienced presenter and will engage young readers in the story of hard work and determination of how Molly Lamb Bobak followed her dream and became Canada’s first official woman war artist. Jillian will highlight how author and illustrator work together and the research process for this book including a glimpse of pages of Molly’s war diary.

A live reading of the book followed by an introductory discussion and visual presentation about how women enlisted in the Canadian Women’s Army Corp during WWII and what that experience was like for them based on Molly Lamb Bobak’s headline style journal.

An engaging hands-on activity will encourage students to document, through writing and various mediums of art including sketching, doodling and drawing what goes on in their lives and classrooms in a unique way. Students will work on activity sheets to write their own headlines and then work as reporters to create a shared classroom headline journal.

For older grades there will be a discussion about perseverance and following your dreams based on the story with art prompts for creating a dream journal.

English language presentations for grades K-6 with a maximum per group of 30 with teacher or librarian present. Jillian will gladly collaborate with teachers or librarians to tailor the presentation to the interests and needs of the participants. Personalized and signed books may be ordered in advance and information will be provided to the organizer.

Virtual Presentations:

Reading and interactive online activity of building a classroom headline journal page or guided instruction through activity sheet shared with teacher/librarian in advance. Grades 1-6 – 45 minutes.

Library Visits: (Pre-school to grade 6)

Interactive reading followed by guided multi-media worksheet activity to create a headline journal page.

Technology required: Screen or area to project, table and chair or stool

Contact Jillian to book a visit:

    Polak, Monique (Montreal, Quebec)

    Writers’ Union of Canada, CANSCAIP, Quebec Writers’ Federation, English Language Arts Network

    Monique Polak is three-time winner of the Quebec Writers’ Federation Prize for Children’s and Young Adult Literature, recently renamed the Janet Savage Blachford Prize for Children’s and Young Adult Literature. Her work has been nominated for several prizes including the Arthur Ellis Award, Best Juvenile or Crime Book and the Geoffrey Bilson Award for Historical Fiction for Young People.

    Presentation rates: $250 per hour. Plus travel unless I am in Toronto area for
    other reasons. I come to Toronto several times a year to visit family and friends. I charge HST.

    Monique Polak is the author of 32 books for young people – and she has two
    more books slated for publication! Monique was a long-time teacher at
    Marianopolis College in Montreal, where she taught, amongst other courses,
    Writing for Children and Print Journalism. Monique began her writing career as a reporter and her stories have been published in newspapers across Canada. A
    classic extrovert, Monique loves doing writing workshops with kids (and adults) of all ages. Monique’s mother was a Holocaust survivor who went to school with Anne Frank, and Monique has a special interest in Holocaust stories and the history of the Holocaust.

    Monique has done writing workshops for students in Grade 1 all the way to

    With her youngest audiences (Grades 1-3), Monique teaches basic story-telling
    skills, such as how to find a beginning, middle and end, and how to ensure that a story has drama. She also reads from her new picture book, The Brass Charm.

    With older audiences (this includes students in Grades 4 and up, high school
    and college students), Monique shares writing tips she wishes someone had
    shared with her when she was an aspiring author. Monique also discusses the
    inspiration behind some of her stories. And of course, expect Monique – who
    love stories – to tell some stories. You can also expect writing exercises.
    Monique is especially interested in personal memory as a source of inspiration.
    One of her exercises is designed to use personal memory to find the story
    participants in her workshops most need to tell!

    Monique can handle groups of any size! No special supplies needed – Monique’s only requirement is that students have paper and pen (or in the case of very young participants, crayons!).

    Contact Monique to book a visit:

      Messier, Mireille (Toronto, ON)

      Writers’ Union Member. French/English author. Picture books. Great for immersion students! K to 6.

      Mireille’s rate for a 45/50-minute virtual presentation is $250 for 1-5 classes, $350 for 6-10 classes and $450 for 11+ classes. HST extra. Please note that presentations may not be recorded for later use or shared.

      Mireille has a picture book ideal for Remembrance Day with students in grades 1-6! Contact her about presenting “Sergeant Billy: The True Story of the Goat Who Went to War” at your school or event! (available in English or French)

      Mireille can present “Treasure”/ “Trésor”, “The Branch” / “Ma branche préférée” and “Fatima and the Clementine Thieves/Fatima et les voleurs de clémentines” ans “La magie de Casse-Noisette”/ “Nutcracker Night” in either English or French or both.

      Mireille also has many books that are published in French only and range in genre – from picture books, to chapter books and non-fiction. She enjoys presenting to immersion students and offers lively presentations that are tailored to the language level of the students.

      School presentations will include a reading of the selected book, an activity based on the theme of the book and a discussion with the author about her craft.

      Available in French or English/French (bilingual) Mireille is a member of The Writers’ Union of Canada, and so schools wishing to invite her may be eligible for a travel and fee subsidy to off-set the cost of her visit.

      Here is an example of her presentations by grade:

      JK to 1: two 30-minute sessions for the price of one full session using her book “Quel fouillis!” (includes a tool-related activity and a song) or “Une Bestiole à l’école” (includes an insect-related activity and a song).

      Grade 1 to 4: The majority of Mireille’s books are for this age group. 45 to 60 minutes: Session featuring a book of your choice plus a related activity followed by a Q&A on topic/book selected.

      Themes available: Remembrance Day/World War I/ World War II/Military Mascot (Sergeant Billy), Environmental conservation (Treasure/Trésor), Environment/Weather (The Branch/Ma branche préférée), Nature/Animals (Tellement Sauvage), Travel/Geography (Charlotte partout), Non-Violent Conflict Resolution (Fatima), Anagrams/Word Play (Voilier d’Olivier/Quand les zéros), Food/Cooking (Salade de César), Sports (Charlotte Olympique)…

      Grade 4 to 6: 45 to 60 minutes. Session featuring a book of your choice plus a related activity followed by a Q&A on topic/book selected. Books available for this level are “Fatima et les voleurs de clémentines” (advanced picture book) and the middle-grade chapter books from Les aventures de Viviane et Simon series.

      Contact Mireille to book a visit: