Cantastic Authorpalooza: Karen Patkau

Welcome to Cantastic Authorpalooza, featuring posts by great Canadian children’s writers! Today’s guest: Karen Patkau. Take it away, Karen! Peck! Pick! Pop! Crack! HATCH! A plaster cast of an embryo fossil and three eggs circulated around the room. Dr. David Evans, a paleontologist at the Royal Ontario Museum, described his remarkable find: a dinosaur nursery where he found dinosaur eggs! As a writer and illustrator of non-fiction picture books, nature and animals are my passion.…

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Mad Science Mondays: Egon Spengler Edition

Welcome to Mad Science Mondays, where we talk about depictions of science in movies, TV shows, books, and the media. We dissect the good, the bad, the comical and the outright irresponsible. Who says learning about science can’t be fun? Ghostbusters (1984) is one of the first movies I remember seeing in the theatre as a kid. I’m pretty sure it was the VERY first movie my little brother saw in the theatre: he was…

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Teach Write: Identifying Your Audience

Welcome to Teach Write! This column draws on my 20 years’ experience teaching writing to kids, university students, and adult learners. It includes ideas and exercises that teachers can use in the classroom, and creative writers can use to level up their process. Last time we talked about why it’s important for writers to think about audience – the readers we are writing for. Today, let’s dig a little deeper into types of readers, and…

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STEMinism Sunday: Amanda Roe

Just hanging out in the forest, looking for some bugs. Welcome to STEMinism Sunday! As a former woman in science, I have a deep and enduring interest in the experiences and representation of women in STEM fields (science, technology, engineering, and math). This series will be an opportunity for me – and you – to get to know some of these intellectual badasses. Today I’d like you to meet Dr. Amanda Roe, of the Great…

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Cantastic Authorpalooza: Kenneth Oppel

Welcome to Cantastic Authorpalooza, featuring posts by great Canadian children’s writers! Except for today, because I was traveling, and then I was sick, and then suddenly the post was due. So instead, please enjoy a review of one of the lesser-known-but-equally awesome books by the beloved Kenneth Oppel. Synopsis (from Chapters’ website): When Ben Tomlin’s mother brings home his “new baby brother,” an eight-day-old chimpanzee, Ben is far from thrilled. His father, a renowned behavioural…

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New Technology Revealed Record-Setting Fox Journey, Says Canadian Science Author

News that an arctic fox from Svalbard, Norway, traveled 3,506 km across the sea ice to Ellesmere Island, Canada surprised social media, but not Dr. L. E. Carmichael. The Ontario author of children’s science books is also a scientist whose research revolved around the movements of these plucky little voyagers. Carmichael’s PhD, on the population genetics of wolves and arctic foxes, received a Governor General’s Medal at the University of Alberta in 2006. “In those…

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Mad Science Monday: The (Missing) Link Between Smartphones and Horns

Image by Shahar D. and Sayers M., Scientific Reports, 2019/CC BY 4.0 Welcome to Mad Science Mondays, where we talk about depictions of science in movies, TV shows, books, and the media. We dissect the good, the bad, the comical and the outright irresponsible. Who says learning about science can’t be fun? OK, yes, it’s not technically Monday anymore. I traveled, I was felled by an airplane cold. But then, as I soaked my coughing…

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Teach Write: Who Are You Writing For?

Welcome to Teach Write! This column draws on my 20 years’ experience teaching writing to kids, university students, and adult learners. It includes ideas and exercises that teachers can use in the classroom, and creative writers can use to level up their process. Last time we talked about the 40:20:40 rule of writing, and how the first 40% of the effort that goes into any piece happens in the preparation phase. The very first piece…

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STEMinism Sunday: STEM Books for Junior Scientists

Welcome to STEMinism Sunday! As a former woman in science, I have a deep and enduring interest in the experiences and representation of women in STEM fields (science, technology, engineering, and math). This series will be an opportunity for me – and you – to get to know some of these intellectual badasses. I’m on the road right now, posting between adventures in Cape Breton (*waves from Nova Scotia*), so it’s a quick one today…

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Cantastic Authorpalooza: Ishta Mercurio

Welcome to Cantastic Authorpalooza, featuring posts by great Canadian children’s writers! Today’s guest: Ishta Mercurio. Take it away, Ishta! A Noisy Kind of Quiet I wrote the first draft of SMALL WORLD in 2011. When I tell people that, they always pause. I can see the gears working in their minds: am I THAT BAD at this writing thing? Is publishing THAT SLOW? Does it always take THAT LONG? And how can they ask me…

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