National award-winning author of middle grade novels and picture books.
Winner of the Marilyn Baillie Picture Book Prize, the Alice Kitts Memorial Award for Excellence in Children’s Writing, and the Hackmatack Award. Shortlisted for the Silver Birch Award, the Diamond Willow Award, and the Manitoba Young Readers Choice Award.
Member of The Writer’s Union of Canada (TWUC), the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI), the Canadian Society of Children’s Authors Illustrators and Performers (CANSCAIP), and the Writers Federation of New Brunswick (WFNB). English presentations and workshops for Grades K-5; all ages and grades available upon request. Also available for PD sessions and adult workshops.
Virtual Visits: $200 plus HST
In-person rates $275 plus HST per one 45-minute session OR $1000 plus HST for four sessions (full day) PLUS travel from Moncton, New Brunswick
PLEASE NOTE: Jennifer has no in-person Ontario visits planned at this time but is open to proposals if travel and accommodations can be provided.
A dynamic presenter and workshop leader, Jennifer is known for her engaging storytelling style. Her books are popular with avid and reluctant readers alike, and have been included in classroom reading programs, literacy initiatives and book clubs across the country. Jennifer received her B.A. (Honours English Literature) from St. Francis Xavier University in Antigonish, Nova Scotia before going on to earn her M.A. in English Literature with a Directed Study in Children’s Literature from the University of Victoria in Victoria, British Columbia.
*Author presentations include:
Pugs Cause Traffic Jams – Take a romp through a dog-loving neighbourhood of quirky canines and their humans. An interactive reading and presentation of the hilarious picture book, Pugs Cause Traffic Jams (words by Jennifer McGrath, pictures by Kathryn Durst, published by Kids Can Press). Includes fun activities and printables.
The Snows Knows – Who lives in the winter woods? The snow knows! Discover a world of wildlife in this gentle, seek-and-find storybook . An interactive reading and presentation of the awarding picture book, The Snow Knows (words by Jennifer McGrath, pictures by Josée Bisaillon. Published by Nimbus Publishing).
The Joob-Joob Jungle (*In-person only) – take a safari into the jungle of your imagination in this dynamic poetry presentation and interactive performance, featuring candy jungles, magic carpets and dragons!
Halloween Moon: Petrifying Poetry and Terrifying Tongue-Twisters – Join Jennifer for a treat-or-treat bag full of Halloween fun and rhymes.
Gadzooks the Christmas Goose – a holiday-themed reading and presentation about a wayward goose and a grumpy grandpa.
Grades 3-5 (and up)
Chocolate River Rescue What would YOU do if you were stranded on an ice floe, being swept down-river toward the sea? Join Jennifer for the story behind the story of the award-winning middle grade adventure novel, Chocolate River Rescue…and learn the surprising secrets of the real ‘Chocolate River.’ Themes and curriculum tie-ins include resourcefulness, friendship, teamwork, outdoor skills, geography, social studies, science and nature.
White Cave Escape The friends from Chocolate River Rescue return in this follow-up wilderness adventure. Learn about the unique ‘white rock hills’ in New Brunswick. We’ll discuss wilderness survival skills, sinkholes, caves, abandoned quarries and…forest fires! Curriculum tie-ins include: geology, science and nature, environment studies, environmental stewardship, wildlife, resourcefulness, friendship, outdoor skills.
* Other workshops may be available. Please email the author to discuss your needs.
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)
Toronto. Writers’ Union Member. Silver Birch Non-Fiction Award and Hackmatack Award winner. All ages. Rob’s rate is $250 for one session, $450 for 2, $600 for 3, $800 for 4 (maximum of 4 per day / if outside of Toronto area minimum of 2 per day), plus travel costs for locations outside of Toronto. Virtual Visits: (first 15 minute session is free), subsequent 30 – 60 minute sessions $100, Skype. No HST.
Rob is an award-winning author of nine children’s books, biologist, professional wildlife campaigner, part-time adventurer and recipient of the prestigious Federic A. McGrand Lifetime Achievement Award for substantial contributions to animal welfare in Canada. Continue reading “Laidlaw, Rob (Toronto, ON)”