Author Feature: Kari Jones

A Fair Deal

Fair trade is not about spending more money or buying more stuff. It’s about helping producers in developing countries get a fair price for their goods. In A Fair Deal: Shopping for Social Justice, Kari Jones provides a history of trade, explaining what makes trade systems unfair and what we can do about it. By examining ways in which our global trade systems value some people over others, the book illustrates areas in which fair trade practices can help families all around the world and suggests ways to get involved in making the world a […]






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Monique Gray Smith Reads “You Hold Me Up”

Monique Gray Smith_You Hold Me Up Reading_still

Monique Gray Smith reads her new picture book, You Hold Me Up, to an enthusiastic audience of little ones. You Hold Me Up is a vibrant picture book, beautifully illustrated by celebrated artist Danielle Daniel, that encourages children to show love and support for each other and to consider each other’s well-being in their everyday actions. Consultant, international speaker and award-winning author Monique Gray Smith wrote You Hold Me Up to prompt a dialogue among young people, their care providers and educators about reconciliation and the importance of the connections children make with their friends, […]






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Litter Bug Arts & Crafts

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In What Matters by Alison Hughes and illustrator Holly Hatam, a young boy picks up a single piece of litter. He doesn’t know it, but his small act has big consequences for the little critters whose path would have been blocked, for the grass that would have wilted and for the tiny stream that would have been clogged. The young boy in the story recycles the soda can. But did you know you can reuse materials that often end up in the trash as arts and crafts supplies? It’s easy and fun! How to Make Litter […]






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Students’ and my take—make that double-take—on the doppelgänger

Author, teacher, school visit

  The following post is written by Melanie Jackson, author of Death Drop.   Everyone has one. That not-quite-double, that other self. A nicer other self, or a more sinister one. Possibly a deadly one. I’ve been exploring the idea of the doppelgänger with three classes of Grade 8 Creative Writing students at Vancouver’s Lord Byng Secondary. It’s part of a mystery unit I’m delighted to be teaching, with the help, advice, brilliant comments and unwavering cup-of-tea support of Byng teacher and English Department head Amy Hughes. We’re studying the doppelgänger as portrayed in a […]






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The Unnatural Selections Drawing Game

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Have you ever seen a Hawkodile? Or a Toraffe? What about a Cowaconda? All of these creatures (and more) can be found roaming through the imaginative universe of Unnatural Selections, a picture book by artist Wallace Edwards. To create this book, Professor I.B. Doodling, a traveling artist, took suggestions from schoolchildren to create fantastical hybrid animals. The result is a collection of magnificent beasts that are sure to inspire the imagination. Since your students or children will be full of creative energy after reading Unnatural Selections, here is a simple drawing activity that pairs perfectly […]






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5 books for Earth Day!

Footprints, Orca Footprints, Earth Day, Smart Reading, Environmentalism, Make a differece, what matters, nonfiction, fiction, picture book

Happy Earth Day, readers! Every little thing matters (as we learn in the playful picture book featured below). So let’s get into the green, planet-saving mode with some of our favorite earth-related books!   1. What Matters by Alison Hughes and Illustrated by Holly Hatam What happens when one small boy picks up one small piece of litter? He doesn’t know it, but his tiny act has big consequences. From the miniscule to the universal, What Matters sensitively explores nature’s connections and traces the ripple effects of one child’s good deed to show how we […]






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