Vermond, Kira (Guelph, ON)

Vermond, Kira (Guelph, ON)

Writers’ Union Member and eligible for subsidies. Norma Fleck winner. Kirkus Best Book 2020. Forest of Reading finalist (multiple). Numerous starred reviews in Canada and U.S. Grades 3-8.

Rates: $350 for one session, $650 for two, $875 for three (plus HST). Travel costs waived in Guelph, Kitchener, Waterloo, Cambridge, Milton and local area. NEW! For virtual 30-50 minute sessions: $200 +HST. Want to book Kira and one of her talented illustrators for a joint presentation? Please ask for rates. (Psst! They’re super fun – the illustrators “live draw” while Kira speaks. It’s a party on your screen….)

With her background in broadcast and journalism, Kira is a talented and experienced presenter who knows how to tell entertaining, true stories that bring new concepts to life with warmth and humour. Kira believes strongly that there’s nothing “non about non-fiction.” So whether she’s exploring why worms come out when it rains, why yap stones are the coolest form of currency, or how fondue became a fad, her high-energy and interactive style makes for engaging, funny and educational sessions. Kira is also able to tailor stories for multiple ages and grades. Flexibility is her middle name.

What kids say about Kira and her author talks:

That was way better than I expected.

I can’t believe you have some grey hair. You’re too funny to be old.

You sign books weird.” (It’s true. She does.)

Presentations

Here is a sample of Kira’s sessions: She is also happy to cater to your class based on any of her books, or do a more traditional author reading and Q&A visit.

What’s up with fads and trends? 

Would you ever swallow a live goldfish? Pour a bucket of ice water over your head? Wear seriously ugly shoes? Who would do that? And — more importantly — why? Trends may seem trivial on the surface, but they have the power to make regular people do pretty irregular things! Jump into the frenzied world of viral videos and songs, faddish food and clothes, and even dangerous crazes!

NEW ON REQUEST: Coming together online, Trending: How and Why Stuff Gets Popular (Owlkids, 2020) author Kira Vermond and illustrator Clayton Hanmer tell (and draw!) stories about how fads take off and spread, how they can be crafted to lure you in — and how to recognize bandwagon behaviour the minute you see it. (The pandemic toilet paper craze, anyone?)

To listen to a sample, google: “The Buzz: Kids Edition.” Or find the podcast wherever you listen to your pods.

Length 30-60 minutes, depending on class needs
For grades 3-6

Why don’t cars run on apple juice, anyway?

Can rats burp? If you sneeze in space, will your head explode? And why do we have butts? With a team of Ontario Science Centre experts, Kira wrote two Q&A books that serve up fun and surprising answers to science questions from curious kids. In this interactive session, students discover mind-blowing facts about our world and beyond, from burps to black holes, T. rexes to time travel.

NEW ON REQUEST: Coming together online, author Kira Vermond and illustrator Suharu Ogawa tell (and draw!) stories about science facts based on real kids’ questions.

Length 30-60 minutes, depending on class needs
For grades 3-6

Let’s talk money!

Credit cards, bartering and yap stones. What do they have in common? They’re all part of my dynamic presentation for schools and libraries. With money and personal finance getting more airplay at schools across Canada and the U.S., Kira makes the curriculum come to life with fun stories, weird anecdotes and audience participation. Kids check out a counterfeit bill, discuss the downside to winning the lottery, and examine their own values and beliefs about what makes a person rich. After this presentation, students will never look at a can of beans or a bag of jellybeans in the same way again! (Schedule a visit to find out why….)

Length: 50-60 minutes

For grades 5-8

Maximum number of students per session: JK-G2 up to 50 students. 100+ for older grades. Writing workshops for middle school students are best for small groups (12-25 students).

I am comfortable presenting in classroom, library, auditorium, and gymnasium. (Library preferred.)

Equipment and other requirements

A microphone for large rooms or groups, a table for props, chair for breaks, glass of water.

A black or white board, or flip chart. Markers or chalk.

I request that a librarian, teacher or other school representative be present throughout presentations. Thank you!

Contact Kira for a visit

    Kyi, Tanya Lloyd (Vancouver, B.C.)

    Writers’ Union Member
    Grades 4-12
    $300+HST per presentation; $900+HST for a full day (four sessions); $200+HST for virtual
    presentations

    Tanya’s a funny and engaging storyteller, and her interactive presentations get kids excited about writing, creativity, and scientific discovery.

    Tanya’s published more than 25 books for children and young adults. She writes both fiction and non-fiction, often choosing topics related to science, pop culture, or social history — or a combination of the three. Her favourite tales are those about rogue scientists, obsessed adventurers, and risk-takers who’ve changed the world.

    Nominations:

    Under Pressure: The Science of Stress is shortlisted for the 2021 Yellow Cedar Award (ON)

    Mya’s Strategy to Save the World is shortlisted for the 2021 Red Cedar Award (BC), the 2020/2021 Chocolate Lily Award (BC), and the 2020/2021 Hackmatack Children’ s Choice Book Award (Atlantic Canada)

    This Is Your Brain on Stereotypes is shortlisted for the 2020 Cybils Awards

    Me and Banksy is a May 2020 Canadian Children’s Book Centre Reading List Pick and one of CCBC’s Fall 2020 Best Books for Kids and Teens

    Several of Tanya’s presentations work well in-person or virtually. In Tanya’s “Under Pressure” presentation, there are fascinating facts about stress, wacky historical experiments in the name of research, and—most importantly—practical ways to address everyday anxiety. Students “interview” virtual scientists and experiment with five stress-busting methods during the presentation. In Tanya’s “This Is Your Brain on Stereotypes” session, she offers a sometimes silly and sometimes serious introduction to the science of stereotypes. The presentation covers the history of discrimination, secret biases in our brains, and how stereotypes affect our sense of self. Interactive sections help young people make sense of how and why we sort and classify the world around us — and how we might broaden our horizons.

    Audience limits: 100+
    Set-up requirements: a screen and projector; a table or desk for props

    Contact Tanya to book a visit…

      Groc, Isabelle (Vancouver, BC)

      Writer’s Union member. Member of the Children’s Writers & Illustrators of British Columbia Society; Canadian Society of Children’s Authors, Illustrators and Performers; Society of Environmental Journalists; American Society of Journalists and Authors. Fellow of the Explorers Club; UK Royal Geographical Society: Royal Canadian Geographical Society.

      Isabelle is available for author visits, school and library presentations, and conferences.
      Virtual presentations only during COVID.

      In-person visit rates (45 minutes to 1 hour): $300 for one session: $450 for two; $650 for three: $850 for the full day (four sessions) plus GST. Travel fees (airfare and lodging) apply for in-person visits outside the Lower Mainland.

      Virtual visit rates (30 minutes to 1 hour): $200-250 per session (plus GST).

      Isabelle Groc is an award-winning writer, conservation photographer, documentary filmmaker, and children’s book author focusing on environmental science, wildlife conservation, endangered species and the relationships between people and the natural world.

      Isabelle grew up in France and now lives in Vancouver. With degrees in journalism from Columbia University and urban planning from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, she brings a unique perspective to documenting the impacts of human activities on threatened species and habitats. Her stories and photographs have appeared in international media including National Geographic News, BBC Wildlife, Canadian Wildlife, New Scientist, and The Guardian. Isabelle has also written and directed over a dozen films on wildlife.

      Her book Conservation Canines: How Dogs Work for the Environment has been chosen as a Junior Library Guild Gold Standard selection and the book has already received a starred review from the American Library Association’s Booklist and highly recommended reviews from the Canadian Review of Materials and the School Library Journal.

      Gone is Gone: Wildlife Under Threat was a finalist for the 2021 Yellow Cedar Award. Sea Otters: A Survival Story  is the winner of the 2021 American Society of Journalists and Authors (ASJA) in the children’s book category and is on the 2021 Outstanding Science Trade Book List. Her documentary Toad People won a Wildscreen Panda Impact Award. 
      Isabelle loves sharing her passion for the natural world with audiences of all ages, and delivers unique presentations, supported by stunning visuals and film clips. Isabelle’s background as a writer, photojournalist and filmmaker greatly enhances her presentations as she shares personal stories from working in the field alongside conservationists and scientists to inspire and educate students. Her presentations are also relevant to adults who want to make a difference for the natural world.

      Presentations (all grades)

      Wildlife’s best friends: dogs working for conservation (all grades)

      Based on Isabelle’s book Conservation Canines: How Dogs Work for the Environment, Isabelle shares the stories of brave canines working to protect wildlife around the world.

      Act for the wild: Conservation close to home (all grades)

      Wildlife conservation starts on our doorstep. You don’t have to travel to the most remote corners of the earth to engage with wildlife. Any step you can take to protect habitat and wildlife close to home makes a difference and helps create global impact.

      Combining stories, photographs and short film clips, this talk presents the “how” and “why” of endangered species around the world, what people are doing to conserve them, and what children can do on their own and with their families to reduce their impact, engage with the wild, and take steps to protect habitat and wildlife close to home. The book draws from field stories and photographs from Isabelle’s book: Gone is Gone: Wildlife under Threat.

      Sea otters: A survival story (all grades)

      Hunted to near extinction for their fur during the 18th and 19th centuries, sea otters are returning to their territories from California to Alaska, through dedicated conservation efforts. They symbolize the large impact — both positive and negative — that humans can have on wildlife. They now have also unleashed their great ecological powers and have become one of the best examples of a keystone species.

      Based on Isabelle’s book, Sea Otters: A Survival Story, this engaging and visual
      presentation takes audiences on a tale of survival and transformation. Drawing from the author’s journey in sea otter country along the Pacific Coast over a period of ten years, the presentation explores the otters’ unique lifestyle, their remarkable comeback from the brink of extinction, and how they leave their mark (or pawprint) on the environment, in obvious and subtle ways.

      British Columbia’s species at risk (all grades)

      From burrowing owls to grizzly bears, rattlesnakes and American badgers, British Columbia is home to more wild plant and animal species than any other province in Canada and is also one of the last holdouts for many large mammals that once roamed much of North America. Sadly many of these species are at risk. Learn about BC’s species at risk through this compelling presentation supported by Isabelle’s photographs, films, and field anecdotes, working alongside conservation groups and scientists to obtain better protection for some of Canada’s most precious species.

      Wildlife’s best friends: dogs working for conservation (all grades)

      Based on Isabelle’s upcoming book to be published in the fall 2021, Isabelle shares the stories of brave canines working to protect wildlife around the world.

      Storytelling programs (secondary and adults)

      The three programs below appeal to young people and adults who are interested in and/or consider careers in the environmental sector, journalism, photojournalism, documentary filmmaking, and conservation photography.

      From whales to toads: visual storytelling for conservation (Grades 9-12)

      Bringing attention to little-known, elusive, under-appreciated species that people do not often see in the wild can be a challenge for environmental groups or anyone interested in making a difference for wildlife conservation. Visual storytelling tools can help address this disconnect and renew public commitment for those species that are often overshadowed by more charismatic members of the natural world. Drawing from examples of impact-driven storytelling campaigns, Isabelle’s presentation explores how photography, filmmaking, art, and visual branding combined with science-based information can all work together to give new voices to endangered species, inviting the public to experience the natural world in a powerful and intimate way and take action for wildlife conservation.

      Life of a Conservation Photographer: Stories from the field (grades 9 to 12)

      From photographing mountain caribou from a helicopter to working with scientists capturing narwhal in the Arctic’s freezing waters, Isabelle has many field stories and photographs to share. In this presentation she highlights her work with scientists in the field, how she develops trust, builds story angles, adapts to different working environments, and how her photography and stories can help build public exposure on important science and conservation work.

      Story and Photographs By…: The Craft of Storytelling (grades 9 to 12)

      In this program, Isabelle shares her experience as an environmental photojournalist and how she combines photography and words to tell conservation stories.  She shares her creative process and discusses best practices for crafting pitches, finding the right audience, and taking a project from concept to publication.

      In-person visit equipment: microphone for larger group, table, screen and projector for PowerPoint presentation, speakers for video and audio clips, and adaptors necessary to work with Isabelle’s MacBook.
      Vegetarian lunch for full-day visit; water
      Maximum number of students per session: flexible. And varies with program.

      Virtual visits: conducted via Zoom or other preferred online platform; support personnel (to moderate and manage technical aspects)

      Contact Isabelle to book a visit:

        Rao, Anuradha (Vancouver, BC)

        Anuradha Rao

        Member of The Writers’ Union of Canada and the Federation of British Columbia Writers. Language of presentation: English. Grade levels: 3 to adult. Available for virtual visits.

        Rate: sliding scale $250-$350 per session + GST.

        Anuradha Rao, M.Sc., R.P.Bio, Cert. RNS is a marine conservation biologist, writer and facilitator.

        Anu was born and raised in Ontario. She has worked on research, conservation, restoration, planning and stewardship projects with communities and organizations on the coasts of Canada and in 12 other countries. A child of Indian immigrants, her worldview and approach to science are heavily influenced by teachings from her own culture and from Indigenous knowledge holders. These teachings and the principles of ecology have shown her that everything and everyone is connected, and that we must remember this in our actions and interactions.

        Anuradha Rao

        One Earth Workshops:

        One Earth sessions are always interactive! The program can be adapted as needed, but in general includes:

        *An icebreaker or stretch

        *Brief story of the author’s journey

        *Themes cultural diversity and heroes

        *Sharing the faces and words of environmental role models

        *A reading from One Earth

        *Participatory activities:

        Elementary through secondary: The focus is on encouraging children and youth to think about and express their own or their family’s connections to nature through meditation, movement and art. 

        Post-secondary and adult: Activities are tailored to the audience and can involve small group work, plenary sharing or personal reflection to explore ideas such as how we connect to role models, the natural world and each other.

        These activities can have options for inclusivity, for example verbal, visual, written and anonymous participation. Advance correspondence with teachers or coordinators is preferred to enable the workshop to meet participants’ and educators’ needs.

        Custom workshops: 

        Trained in participatory facilitation and experienced in delivering presentations and workshops for all ages, Anuradha can tailor a workshop to the needs of any group from youth to adults, following advance discussion with group leaders. Potential presentation and workshop topics include (but are not limited to):

        *connecting with nature 

        *pathways to careers in conservation and the environment

        *the intersections of science, environment and culture

        *from interviewing to storytelling

        *the art and science of writing grant proposals and reports

        Rate: Variable depending on length and complexity.

        Equipment: Virtual visits preferentially require an existing platform and support personnel to manage technical aspects. Workshops for schools can benefit from access to basic drawing materials, e.g. paper and markers, pencils or crayons. Home-based learners can use household items.

        Contact Anuradha for a visit:

          Humphrey, Anna (Kitchener-Waterloo, ON)

          annahumphrey1Kitchener-Waterloo. English author. Grades 2–6. $275 + HST for one 45–60 minute session in-person. Virtual (Skype) visits: $150 + HST for 30–60 minutes.

          Anna is the author of the Megabat series (ideal for readers 6–9) and of the comic-filled Clara Humble series (for readers ages 8–12). She is also the author of Ruby Goldberg’s Bright Idea, a middle grade novel that relates to simple machines/Rube Goldberg machines and ties in well with STEM topics.


           

          Presentations will include a talk about what it takes to become an author and a discussion about craft (from finding inspiration, to making your words ring true, to revising, then revising again). There will also
          be a short reading and an opportunity for students to ask questions.

          Maximum number of students per session: 150 (flexible)
          Preferred venues: library, classroom
          Equipment requirements: table, screen with laptop set up for PowerPoint, microphone if the only space available is the gymnasium.

          CONTACT:

            McLeod, Cinders (Toronto)

            Writers’ Union Member. Now doing virtual visits only: $200 for one 60 minute session, $350 for 2, $525 for 3, $675 for 4. Maximum 4
            sessions per day. JK to SK: two 30-minute sessions for the price of 1.

            Cinders presents to JK to Grade 3. Single class size is best for discussion, but Cinders is flexible.

            Author-illustrator of the Moneybunnies financial literacy for young children series, published by Penguin N.Y. She is also a well known human rights cartoonist and musician. Cinders has 20 years’ experience in Canadian and British books and newspapers, is the creator of the 8-year-old Broomie Law cartoon and one of the few published, women political cartoonists in the world. She is also an experienced performer (singer, songwriter, double bassist with a record on Billy Bragg’s label) and cartoon workshop presenter. She wrote and illustrated EARN IT! SPEND IT! SAVE IT! and GIVE IT! for ages 3- 8 because it’s never too early to teach children about money. The Moneybunnies series is popular with STEM educators.

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            Fernandez, Caroline (Toronto, ON)

            Caroline-Fernandez

            Writer’s Union member. CANSCAIP. SCWBI. Silver Birch Non-Fiction Honour Book Award 2016.

            Rates: $275 for one session, $500 for two, $800 for a full day (max four sessions) + travel expenses outside GTA.

            Virtual visits: $150 +HST (one 60 minutes or divided into two 30 minutes) (Zoom or Skype)

            Caroline is an enthusiastic presenter who encourages interaction during visits.

            Presentations by Grades

            Caroline is happy to work with teachers and librarians to develop a need-specific presentation, but here are some examples:

            Grades JK-6 (60 minutes)

            Picture book reading + author Q & A

            • Stop Reading This Book

            The book judges the reader by their cover. Would you….could you stop reading this book?!

            Keywords: antagonists, protagonists, conflict, resolution, picture book, diversity, bullying, reading.

            • The Adventures of Grandmasaurus
            • The Adventures of Grandmasaurus At the Aquarium Rescue Centre
            • The Adventures of Grandmasaurus At the Supermarket

            Grandma sneezes herself into different dinosaurs on a field trip to the museum. Role reversal story where the kids know the rules better than Grandmasaurus.

            Keywords: inter-generational relationships, non-gendered characters, role reversal, literary non-fiction, diversity, facts, role reversal, dinosaurs

            • Boredom Busters
            • More Boredom Busters

            Let’s dive into busting boredom! Brainstorming on things you can craft using supplies you have around your home or classroom. Great for makerspace and school-vacation activity ideas!

            Keywords: Screen-free activities, recycle/upcycle, STEM, creativity, boredom busters.

            Equipment required: Table. Library or classroom preferred.

            Mid-morning start time requested.

            Caroline offers writing coaching and consulting for social media – please contact her (below) for rates. 

            Contact Caroline for a visit:

              Becker, Helaine (Toronto, ON)

              Toronto. Writers’ Union Member. National Bestseller. 2+time Silver Birch winner. Multi awards. K-8. Please note: Helaine’s rate is $800 + HST for two sessions, $1000 + HST for three and $1250 +HST for four, plus travel from Toronto.

              Helaine is an experienced and passionate presenter – and so funny that she is often told she should be a stand-up comedian. She can do up to four side-splitting and inspirational presentations in the same school or area in a day. As the author of picture books, chapter books, middle grade novels, non-fiction and YA novels, she routinely presents to an entire school over the course of a day. She also loves speaking to adult groups and showing off her underwear (her underwear puppet, that is).

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