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The Joys of a Wild Collaboration

Karen Reczuch and I count ourselves as lucky! Most authors and illustrators do not get to work directly together on a book. An editor is usually the conduit between the two (mainly to protect the illustrator from the possibility of an overbearing author directing the art).

In our case, while we still rely on our wonderful editor, Karen and I also regularly talk about our books-in-progress, share research materials and—best of all—take fun trips to the west coast of Vancouver Island together!

Selfie of Deborah Hodge and Karen Reczuch

Here’s our selfie taken at the start of our most recent trip. We are excited! (Karen on the left, Deborah on the right)]

It all began a few years ago with our first book, West Coast Wild, when Karen and I travelled to the spectacular west coast of Vancouver Island to do photo research. (She and I hadn’t met before—so it was a leap of faith to plan an excursion together!)

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Notes from a Children's Librarian: Life Sciences

Our Children's Librarian columnist, Julie Booker, brings us a new view from the stacks every month.

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Celebrate Earth Day with these (mainly nonfiction) picture books. Ties to the Life Sciences curriculum include: Characteristics of Living Things (Grade 1), Growth and Change in Animals (Grade 2), Habitats (Grade 4) and Biodiversity (Grade 6).

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Wanted! Criminals of the Animal Kingdom, written by Heather Tekavec, illustrated by Susan Batori, is a clever way of presenting information. Each “wanted” animal is showcased alongside a rap sheet of aliases, distinguishing features, life span and sightings (location), and most fun—witnesses and previous arrests. There’s lazy Big Bad Mama (aka the common cuckoo), who sneaks her egg into a neighbouring nest, forcing another mother to do all the hatching. When Big Bad Mama’s baby is born, she pushes out the other eggs and moves into the newly vacated dwelling. The witnesses? Hundreds of angry mother birds. Older students could adapt the rap sheet format in order to record their own research findings. Kindergarten-Grade 3.

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Book Cover Different Same

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Books to Inspire

My grandfather, the late Senator Calvin Ruck, was a storyteller. He’s also one of the most inspirational men I’ve ever had the privilege of knowing. Amazing Black Atlantic Canadians: Inspiring Stories of Courage and Strength was born out of a desire to share some of those stories that he told me as a young girl (including his own). They are stories of courage, strength, hope, and overcoming the odds to do great things.

The following recommended reading list features books that have inspired me to push harder, to dream bigger, and most importantly, to love myself entirely as I am. The titles range from simple children’s picture books to gritty memoirs that put it all on the page and leave you energized to kick up the dust, to take on the world, and to do away with the status quo. The power of the written word is quite remarkable, and I’m so grateful these authors have chosen words that have, and will continue to, inspire so many. 

 

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The following recommended reading list features books that have inspired me to push harder, to dream bigger, and most importantly, to love myself entirely as I am.

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