Galat, Joan Marie (Edmonton, Alberta)

Special Offer: Arrange for a second school to book two or more sessions and get a free audio book: Mortimer: Rat Race to Space.

Writers’ Union of Canada member. Fiction | Nonfiction | STEM | STEAM |K-12 | family audience |professional development | Selection of awards: Crystal Kite for Canada, Green Prize for Sustainable Literature, Skipping Stones (2X), Writer’s Guild of Alberta children’s lit award (2X), and Moonbeam (3X). Shortlisted: Rocky Mountain, Red Cedar, Hackmatack, and others. Recipient of the Martha Weston Grant awarded annually to one worldwide member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI).

Virtual visits: $250/one session (up to 50 minutes), $225/each additional same-day session (plus GST).

In-person: $500/two sessions, $750/three, $950/four plus GST and travel expenses to be negotiated. (Can be shared among schools.) Joan is happy to travel! Reach out to see if she already has plans to visit your area.

Joan Marie Galat began her writing career at age 12 when she was hired as a newspaper columnist by an editor who may not have known her age. Now with 25+ books, a bestseller, and translations in seven languages (that she can’t read), Joan delivers lively presentations to get students excited about books and STEM. Her topics include sky science (outer space and astronomy fun!), engineering, animals, the environment, and activism. Nominated for the 2024 Red Cedar, Mortimer: Rat Race to Space is about a lab rat on the International Space Station who collects video evidence (destined for YouTube) to prove his species should be the first to settle on Mars. A versatile and experienced presenter, Joan has traveled across Canada and internationally to promote literacy and STEM. She even spoke at a United Nations event! Joan delivers the message—there’s a book for every child.

STEM-THEMED LITERACY BUILDING PRESENTATIONS

Joan’s focus on STEM and STEAM subjects offers curriculum bonuses that encourage students to explore their world. Audiences find it hard to resist the lure of constellations, exploding stars, black holes, and the myths and legends early peoples and ancient cultures first told to explain the night sky.

Joan makes it easier for students to picture themselves as writers when she shares her story of becoming a paid columnist at age 12. Interest in writing builds when Joan reveals how she “literally” launches her books in rockets! By the end of Joan’s talks, students will appreciate the idea that writing can be fun. They’ll know how to find the North Star and a few constellations, and feel motivated to explore their passions through books.

Kindergarten to Grade 2: Pictures in the Sky
Joan uses science and storytelling to introduce the wonders of the night sky. She shows how to find the North Star and constellations, and leads a game called “Picture Book: Fact or Fiction.” Joan shares the most important point to remember to become a better writer and juggles star-shaped beanbags to reinforce the importance of reading (by explaining she learned to juggle from a book).

Grades 3 to 6: A Rat, A Rocket, and Science 
Discover how scientific facts and imagination mix, and what happens when a journal-keeping lab rat starts thinking about living on Mars. We’ll talk about research, misinformation, and correcting mistakes—both in writing and friendships—in this lively and informative session based on Mortimer: Rat Race to Space.

Grades 3 to 6: Explore the Night
Joan uses science and storytelling to introduce the wonders of the night sky. Students discover what happens when stars explode and black holes form, as well as how to find constellations and the North Star. Joan inspires future authors with her story of becoming published at age of 12. She offers writing and editing tips and reinforces literacy by juggling star-shaped beanbags, while making sure kids understand she learned to juggle from reading a nonfiction book.

Grades 3-6: Solve This!

From bubble wrap to bridges, the miracles of engineering are all around you. Find out how engineers dream up new ideas and bring them to life. Discover what happens when things go wrong! Get ready to help tackle some rather unusual problems, and since engineers must record their results, expect writing tips, too. Based on Solve This! Wild and Wacky Challenges for the Genius Engineer in You (National Geographic Kids).

Grades 4 to 12: The Northern Lights and Dark Matters
Early cultures looked up at the same night sky we see today, seeking connections between events on Earth and what occurred overhead. They told stories to explain the northern lights and other night sky phenomena. Discover the science and legends of the lights and why dark skies are important in this STEM-themed presentation based on Dot to Dot in the Sky, Stories of the Aurora and Dark Matters, Nature’s Reaction to Light Pollution.

Grades 6-12: Make Your Mark, Make a Difference
Joan invites students to consider their wishes for the world and how they can spark change. She encourages them to read fact-based books, base opinions on scientific evidence, and master writing skills to better communicate their concerns. Based on issues raised in Joan’s books and her 2024 release—Make Your Mark, Make a Difference—A Kid’s Guide to Standing Up For People, Animals, and the Planet (Aladdin/Simon & Schuster/Beyond Words).

Grades 7 to 9: Password to Publishing
Launched with celestial storytelling, this junior high presentation shares how Joan became a paid writer in grade eight. Using personal stories to show how she built her skills, Joan shows how perseverance benefits anyone pursuing a dream. This session includes tips on writing, revising, and finding writing topics. Hosts may extend presentation benefits by accessing writing resources on Joan’s website.

Grades 10 to 12: Write Your Own Future
Joan discusses communication as a career, noting that most writing in adult life is fact-based. She shares her experience writing in different styles including speechwriting, websites, and radio commercials. Joan delivers the message that good writing is essential in all career fields, particularly with changing technology and competitive environments.

FAMILY LITERACY EVENTS

Dot to Dot in the Sky
Joan introduces the wonders of the night sky using storytelling to share ancient myths, interspersed with astronomy facts. Her enthusiasm for stargazing is contagious and leaves attendees ready to locate constellations and explore the mysteries of the night sky on their own. Dot to Dot in the Sky can be offered as an evening star gazing session.

WRITING AND STORYTELLING WORKSHOPS

K-2: Finding Facts and Telling Stories
Oral storytelling is the first step to story writing. Students discover how to express what they already know, as everyone contributes in this fun group-writing effort.

Grades 3-7: Write Like a Rat
Mortimer, a journal-keeping lab rat on the International Space Station is determined to prove his species is best suited to colonizing Mars. He records the results in his journal, uses a secret code, and makes videos for YouTube. Discover how you too can write like a rat. Based on Mortimer: Rat Race to Space (DCB).

Grades 3-7: Stories in the Stars
If the thought of writing makes your class groan, book this workshop to show how developing a story need not feel like a baffling task. Students enter the room with a blank piece of paper and leave with the first draft of an exciting space-themed story.

Grades 8-12: WordPlay for Teens
Teens explore and grow their abilities through a variety of snappy creative writing activities that show how fun it can be to play with words. Expect creativity warm-ups, idea-triggers, self-editing tips, and time to write the first draft of an unforgettable story.

  • Additional topics upon request. If you’d like something different than described here, let Joan know. She is happy to work with you!

BOOKING DETAILS

In-person: up to 75 students. One location for day, preferably library.

Virtual: up to three classroom logins.

Workshops: one class/session.

In-person: Joan requires a laptop with PowerPoint, external speakers, table to display books, and glass of water. If possible, a remote control is also helpful. Please provide a meal if hosting over lunchtime. If you prefer a no-tech presentation, no problem—just let Joan know in advance.

Virtual: Joan can present using Zoom, Microsoft Teams, and Google Meet, or other platforms you may suggest, and schedule all time zones.

Presentation content/delivery is modified to match the grades present. A flexible speaker, Joan can accommodate most requests, but does recommend these common groupings K-2, 3-6, 7-9, 9-12.

Joan Marie Galat offers query letter and manuscript critiques, freelance editing, and consultations on getting published

Contact Joan Marie to book a visit:

    Kachala, Elaine (Toronto, Ontario)

    The Writer’s Union of Canada, SCBWI & CANSCAIP; Selected accolades: AAAS/Subaru SB&F Prize for Excellence in Science Books (Longlist, 2024); NSTA/CBC Best STEM Books K-12 (2023); Red Cedar Book Awards (Shortlist, 2023); SCBWI Golden Kite Award (Finalist- NF Text for Older Readers, 2023); Children’s Book Council (Hot off the Press); Best Books (Canadian Children’s Book Centre); Best S&L Books (Tinlids); Top Grade CanLit for the Classroom; TEACH Magazine. Under contract with Orca Book Publishers for a second book, Building Homes for All.

    Presentations (in-person): $250 for one session (30-60 minutes), $450 for two, $675 for three, and $900 for a full day (four sessions). Plus a travel fee of $0.50/km if outside Toronto. 

    AAAS/Subaru SB&F Prize for Excellence in Science Books, Finalist, 2024, NSTA/CBC Best STEM Books, 2023, Red Cedar Book Awards, Shortlist, 2023-2024

    Elaine Kachala is a health-policy researcher, writer, adviser, and children’s author. She is the author of Superpower? The Wearable-Tech Revolution (Orca Book Publishers). Part of the popular Orca Think nonfiction series, this book is a fascinating look into how the same technologies that help and heal us also pose ethical concerns. Elaine delivers an exciting presentation and brings a unique perspective to the topic of wearable technology that kids and educators find intriguing!

    Two thumbs up! Kids, parents, teachers, and librarians say that Elaine’s book and presentations inspire young people to wonder about inventing technology for a better world. 

    Elain Kachala

    BOOKS:

    Superpower? The Wearable-Tech Revolution, Orca Book Publishers, 2022, illustrated by Belle Wuthrich. Themes: Technology & Society / Wearable Computing / Inventions / Young Inventors / Robotics/ Responsible Design / STEM / STEAM / Human-Machine Evolution / Critical-thinking / Teamwork / Diversity & Inclusion.

    A free teaching guide is available.

    STUDENT PRESENTATIONS:

    Grades 4-8

    Do you wonder how wearable technology (the next wave of computing), changes us and society? 

    Can innovation go too far? 

    How do we design responsible technology to gain benefits and mitigate harm?

    Are you interested in stories about inventors, including young inventors, and how they’re navigating the next tech frontier?

    Curious about what it’s like to be a children’s author?

    Elaine will cover these topics and more through an engaging, interactive, and tailored presentation.

    Following a brief introduction about myself, I’ll draw from pre-reading questions in the Teacher’s Guide to activate students’ background knowledge and excite them about the subject of wearable technologies.

    I’ll highlight what wearable technology is and how it works, with examples of how wearables  impact our lives and change the world.

    I’ll introduce students to some of the experts in the book. They’ll meet inventors, engineers, scientists, and young people who see a problem and create technology to solve it. But the experts face a dilemma when their devices have unintended consequences; we’ll discuss this dilemma. 

    I’ll briefly speak about what it’s like to be a nonfiction children’s author and to write this book.

    I’ll use slides for visuals, and there will be a Q/A opportunity.

    I’ll have bookmarks and a Get Brainstorming Activity (from the book) for handouts. 

    Elaine’s happy to lead small or large groups. She’ll present to classes individually or grouped but asks that they’re grouped appropriately by grade level (i.e., 4-6; 7-8)

    EDUCATORS:

    Are you seeking a helpful STEM/STEAM and social studies resource for the revised science and technology curriculum? Superpower? and the accompanying Teacher’s Guide helps readers connect STEM/STEAM topics from school with the effects of science and tech on their lives and the world.

    Presentation: CAUTION! Move Slow + Think Human: Helping Students Consider the Pros, Cons, and Ethics of Technology Design and Use.

    Wearable computing is the next tech frontier that will change our lives. It’s a topic steeped in a fantastic mix of benefits, risks, and ethical problems. Drawing from Superpower? Elaine will explain how scientists, engineers, designers, and young inventors navigate with responsible design—an approach to complement the engineering and design process and human-centered design thinking. By highlighting controversial technologies and examples from the accompanying Guide, this session will show how to prompt students’ critical thinking about the pros, cons, and ethics of technology and why inventors are calling for a societal debate—let’s talk!

    EQUIPMENT REQUIRED:

    I use PowerPoint, so I need a projector, screen, and extension cord. Water would be great too! And lunch and coffee if I’m staying for the day. A microphone for larger groups, in the gym, or if the room acoustics are questionable.

    Contact Elaine to book a visit:

      Clendenan, Megan (Vancouver, BC)

      An award-winning author of both non-fiction and fiction, Megan Clendenan lives in Vancouver, BC. She is a member of the Writers’ Union of Canada and presents in English to grades 3 through 9. Her books have STEM, environmental, social justice, innovation, inclusion, sustainability, friendship, and perseverance themes.

      In-person rates: $250 for one one-hour session, $450 for two, $675 for three, $900 for a full day (four sessions). Travel fee if outside Metro Vancouver of $0.50/km. Virtual visit rates: $150 for a one-hour session, $125 for each additional session on the same day.

      Megan loves writing non-fiction that explores the connections between history, society, and the environment. She is the author of three middle-grade nonfiction books: DESIGN LIKE NATURE:BIOMIMICRY FOR A HEALTHY PLANET, which earned a starred review from School Library Journal (2021, co-authored with Kim Ryall Woolcock), FRESH AIR, CLEAN WATER: OUR RIGHT TO A HEALTHY ENVIRONMENT (2022), which won the 2023 Green Earth Book Award, and CITIES: HOW HUMANS LIVE TOGETHER (2023). She is also the author of a middle-grade novel, OFFBEAT (2018). When she’s not writing or reading, Megan is often running or biking on her local trails, or learning how to grow food in her backyard.

      Presentations for Grades 3-9

      Problem-Solve with Nature

      Can we learn from nature to solve environmental problems and live in better harmony with our world? Yes, yes we can! In this presentation drawing from DESIGN LIKE NATURE, students have an opportunity to learn about the exciting new science field of biomimicry and how it can help us adapt in the face of climate change. Students will have the chance to use their creativity to sketch their own biomimicry invention.

      Best for grades 3-6

      What Makes a City a Good Place to Live?

      Drawing from CITIES: HOW HUMANS LIVE TOGETHER, this presentation looks at the history of cities and how they can be more sustainable and inclusive places for all people to live. Students will discuss what makes an ideal city, and learn about issues like food security, population growth, transportation, renewable power sources, and safe water. Includes interactive and hands-on activities.

      Best for grades 3-7

      Exploring Positive Ways to Create Change

      Drawing from FRESH AIR, CLEAN WATER: OUR RIGHT TO A HEALTHY ENVIRONMENT this presentation introduces social and environmental justice and kid activists from around the world. The presentation is grounded in hope and includes interactive activities that give students a chance to learn about activism, human rights, government systems, laws, equality, and citizen science.

      Best for grades 4-8

      From Spark to Fire: Developing Story Ideas

      How does a book get from the kernel of an idea to an entire story? In this workshop, Megan explores how sparks of ideas are fueled into stories and the creativity behind that process. She uses writing prompts that get students’ creativity revved up! She also talks about being an author and saves time for Q&A.

      Best for grades 6-9

      Write, Rewrite, Repeat!

      After you’ve written your first draft, the fun of revising begins! This presentation focuses on techniques for revision, and that it can be a fun part of the creative process. Megan will use examples from her published books and show students her early drafts, the editing process, and then the final product. She also talks about being an author and saves time for Q&A.

      Best for grades 6-9

      For in-person visits, connecting her Mac laptop to a projector is helpful. For virtual visits, Megan can use Zoom or Google Meet, and she can adapt to other platforms. Screen sharing helps her show fun examples! Megan prefers to present in either the classroom or the library. 35-40 max group size preferred for one session.

      Contact Megan to book a visit:

        Bailey, Jen Lynn (Ottawa, ON)

        Photo Credit: Sam Bond Photography

        Jen Lynn Bailey is an award-winning children’s author and certified Ontario elementary teacher. She is the recipient of the 2023 Ruth and Sylvia Schwartz Children’s Book Award, picture book category, for her debut picture book This is the Boat that Ben Built (illustrated by Maggie Zeng, published by Pajama Press 2022).

        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-6; all ages on request.

        In-person rates for a classroom visit (45- to 60-minute sessions): $275 for one, $400 for two, $525 for three, $650 for a full day (4 sessions). For kindergarten classes, Jen offers two 25-minute sessions for $275, or a discounted rate for a single session combined with a second for an older group. For larger venues with up to 100 students in the same or adjacent grade level(s): $375 for a 45- to 60-minute presentation. A CRA-based travel rate of $0.61/km, round-trip, applies, from downtown Ottawa.

        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 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.

        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. Appropriate for up to 30 students for optimal engagement.

        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. Appropriate for classroom visits or larger venues.

        Students will explore the picture book This is the Boat that Ben Built through the lens of a reader, writer, scientist, and artist. They’ll discover how the author and illustrator work together to create a picture book, and how the animals of the northern river ecosystem are interconnected in the story and real world.

        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 Workshops Age level: K – grade 5; Duration: 45-60 minutes (shorter for kindergarten). Appropriate for visits with up to 30 students.

        Animals as Story Starters: Stories ideas come from our real-world experiences with people, places, and things. One great source of inspiration is animals in their natural environments. In this workshop, we’ll use animal behaviours, habitats, and adaptations to generate story characters, settings, and conflicts.

        Witty Words, Awesome Animals: A Poetry Workshop: Kids will use their “poetry toolkits” to uncover meaning and music in a variety of animal poems, then generate their own. Includes an exploration of poetic techniques such as similes and metaphors, alliteration, consonance, assonance, and onomatopoeia, as well as a look into animal behaviour, habitats, and adaptations.

        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. Jen offers picture book manuscript critiques as well.

        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.

        General Equipment needs: For in-person visits, laptop with PowerPoint or Google Slides (Jen will bring her own laptop if it can be connected to school projector, otherwise she will bring a USB stick), digital projector and screen for presentation, microphone if the space is larger than a classroom, chair or stool. 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:

          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

            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.

            In-person visit rates (45 minutes to 1 hour): $400 for one session: $550 for two; $700 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): $250-400 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; has been selected as a 2022 Green Earth Book Awards Honor Book; and has won the 2022 American Society of Journalists and Authors Book Award in the Children’s Book CategoryThe book has also 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.

            Sea Otters: A Survival Story is the winner of the 2021 American Society of Journalists and Authors in the Children’s Book category; was on the 2021 Outstanding Science Trade Book List and was a 2021-2022 Red Cedar Book Award nominee.

            Gone is Gone: Wildlife Under Threat was a finalist for the 2021 Yellow Cedar Award. 

            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:

              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.

                Continue reading “McLeod, Cinders (Toronto)”

                Fernandez, Caroline (Toronto, ON)

                Caroline-Fernandez

                Writer’s Union member. CANSCAIP. SCWBI. Silver Birch Non-Fiction Honour Book Award 2016. Purple Dragonfly Award winner (multiple awards). Next Generation Indie Book Awards Finalist.

                Rates: $250 per session up to 4 sessions per day.

                Virtual visits: $200 (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

                All presentations include a reading, engaging activities, and author Q & A. Caroline is happy to work with teachers and librarians to develop a need-specific presentation, but here are some examples:

                Middle Grade (60 minutes)

                • Plague Thieves

                Reading of Plague Thieves. Then, discussion of inspiration, brainstorming, researching, writing, revision, and editing of this historic middle grade novel. Discussion on the challenges of incorporating real facts into middle grade historical fiction.

                Themes: middle grade books, writing and editing, research, historical fiction, geography, history, pandemics, urbanization, STEM in renaissance times Vs modern times

                Grades JK-6 (60 minutes)

                Asha and Baz series (chapter book series)

                • Asha and Baz Meet Mary Sherman Morgan
                • Asha and Baz Meet Hedy Lamarr
                • Asha and Baz Meet Elizebeth Friedman
                • Asha and Baz Meet Katia Krafft

                In the Asha and Baz series, two children are faced with a STEM challenge in school. They time travel to meet a women in history who has made a significant discovery which relates back to their school challenge. They learn about the woman, her time, and her STEM genre. Then, they travel back to their time and apply what they learn to their class challenge. Each of the STEM challenges can be reproduced as an activity at home or in class using simple materials.

                Themes: science and technology, women in science, history, biography, space, STEM, gender equality, early reader chapter book

                • Hide and Seek: Wild Animal Groups in North America (picture book)

                Themes: collective nouns, animals, migration of monarch butterfly, North America, finding one’s place, inclusivity, Earth Day, Earth Month, picture book

                • Stop Reading This Book (picture book)

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

                Themes: antagonists, protagonists, conflict, resolution, picture book, diversity, bullying, reading, picture book

                The Adventures of Grandmasaurus (picture book series)

                • 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.

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

                • 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!

                Themes: Screen-free activities, recycle/upcycle, STEM, creativity, boredom busters, activity books

                Equipment required: Table. Library or classroom preferred.

                Mid-morning start time requested.

                Caroline also offers book marketing coaching for authors

                Contact Caroline for a visit:

                  Carmichael, LE PhD (Trenton, ON)

                  Carmichael1

                  Writers’ Union Member. Award-winning author of more than 20 STEM books for kids.

                  Fees for on-site visits: $350 + HST for up to one hour, $600 + HST half day, $900 + HST full day (4 hours). Travel and/or accommodation fees may also apply. Fees for virtual visits: $300 + HST for up to 1 hour, $200 + HST for each additional presentation on the same day, to a maximum of 4 hours.

                  Lindsey specializes in making science engaging, relevant, and above all, fun. She also has 20 years’ experience as a writing instructor, offering workshops for both children and adults. 

                  NEW STEM PROGRAM for 2023-24!

                  (Ant)Arctic Adaptations: Wildlife at the Ends of the Earth. The polar regions are bitterly cold, freeze-dried wildernesses, where the wind can blow harder than hurricanes. They are also the only places on Earth where day—and night—last up to six months. And yet, many animals not only survive in these extreme environments, they thrive! After a brief introduction to the Arctic and Antarctica, kids will be asked to brainstorm a list of polar species. We’ll discuss the adaptations that help their favourite animals stay warm, find food, and raise their babies, all in two of the harshest habitats on the planet. Then, we’ll explore the extreme adaptations of some less-familiar species… including one that protects itself with projectile vomit! 

                  This presentation draws on Lindsey’s experience living in the Arctic, her PhD research on northern wolves and arctic foxes, and her favourite facts from her all-new STEM book, PolarWildlife at the Ends of the Earth. Best for grades 4-6.

                  STEM Programs for K-3

                  What Is a Forest For? Introducing the Boreal Forest. The boreal forest is the largest, most northern forest in the world… and 29% of it is right here in Canada! This introduction to the boreal biome will help kids understand why forests matter. We’ll explore biodiversity with a look at the animals – both iconic and obscure! – who call the boreal forest home. Using a movement activity, we’ll then discuss photosynthesis and how it helps forests prevent climate change. This program runs approximately 30 minutes, leaving plenty of time to answer students’ questions.

                  Laura and the Locusts. In 1875, a swarm of Rocky Mountain locusts destroyed Laura Ingalls Wilder’s family farm. This presentation integrates Laura’s descriptions of the swarm (from On the Banks of Plum Creek) with the newest scientific information on Locust Migration. It’s creepy, crawly fun!

                  STEM Programs for 4-6

                  Fur and Feathers and Frogs, Oh My! Amazing Animals of the Boreal Forest. Who calls the boreal forest home? Moose and loons and beavers are both iconic and familiar; tanukis and teals and star-nosed moles, not so much! After a brief introduction to the boreal forest, kids will be asked to brainstorm a list of boreal species. We’ll take a few moments to learn about some of the biome’s more unusual occupants, through a reading from The Boreal Forest that brings these species to vivid life. From the reading, kids will identify three common adaptations for surviving boreal winters, with examples of animals that use each one. We’ll then discuss two extreme winter adaptations before ending with plenty of time for questions.

                  Ocean Migrations – Over the Ice and Under the Sea. What do wolves, humpback whales, and arctic foxes have in common? Whether over the ice or under the sea, their life cycles all include migration. Drawing on discoveries from Humpback Whale Migration and Lindsey’s award-winning PhD research, this program explores different types of migration and how the world’s oceans influence animal movements. The potential impacts of global climate change on wildlife migration are also discussed.

                  STEM Programs for 7-12

                  Source or Sink? The Carbon Cycle and Climate Change. Carbon sinks are ecosystems that trap more CO2 via photosynthesis than they release into the atmosphere each year. As our climate changes, scientists fear that some carbon sinks could become carbon sources… accelerating further warming. In this presentation, we’ll explore the stages of the carbon cycle in the context of the boreal forest and the polar regions, showing how regional events connect to a global process.  After discussing the impacts of climate change on life in northern and polar ecosystems, kids will take action by brainstorming simple strategies they can use to reduce their carbon footprints, influence climate policy, and preserve these vast Canadian wildernesses for future generations.

                  Writing Workshops

                  Grades 4-6: What’s Your Book About? How to Decide What to Leave Out. “What’s your book about?” is the second-most-common thing people ask a writer – just after “Where do you get your ideas?” But before we can tell other people, we have to be able to tell ourselves. Knowing what the book is really about lets us research efficiently, revise strategically, and avoid time-consuming tangents… producing a final draft that’s concise, cohesive, and effective. In this presentation, I share the coolest animal facts that aren’t in The Boreal Forest, and explain exactly why I cut them. Then, we’ll walk through each draft of the book’s opening scene, exploring the step-by-step-decision-making process of rewriting. Throughout the program, two-minute challenges will give students a chance to apply these techniques to their own manuscripts.

                  Grades 7-12: Writing Down the Feels. Why do we forget some stories, while others stay with us for years? Be they nonfiction, fiction, or poetry, stories with staying power are the ones that make us feel. This workshop explores the connections between language and emotions, teaching writers how to manipulate their reader’s response. Students will harness the emotional resonance of vivid words and figures of speech, bringing their descriptions to life.

                  Important Info:

                  For on-site visits, Lindsey requires a laptop and projector for PowerPoint slides.

                  For virtual visits, Lindsey can present in Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Google Meet, and YouTube Live. She can accommodate schedules in a range of time zones.