Myrna Guymer reads Canadian Shield Alphabet

Myrna Guymer at a school reading
Myrna Guymer at a school reading

Myrna Guymer loves to do school readings with her book The Canadian Shield Alphabet. Here she is at a reading in Melville in spring 2011.

Myrna says “The costume is my voyageur shirt and Metis sash. I also wear beaded moccasins. I take samples from nature: birch bark and items made from bark; roots, spruce gum, deer moss, and many different rock samples, core samples, and I often give each child a chunk of rock with sparkles – pyrite – that they think might be gold (they love it).

Full Steam to Canada launches at May 14 Victorian Tea

Poster for Book Launch fundraiser for Full Steam to Canada!
Poster for Book Launch fundraiser for Full Steam to Canada!

Anne Patton’s hot-off-the-press novel Full Steam to Canada will be launched on May 14 at a Victorian tea in Briercrest, Saskatchewan.

The event is a fundraiser for the Brier Rose Cultural Centre, and will help preserve the smallest farmhouse ever.

This house is notable because it is the very house that the real-life Dorothy Bolton, (Dorothy Boan) the protagonist in Anne’s novel, lived in when she first got married.

Full Steam to Canada is based on memoirs and diaries of people who immigrated to Canada from England as part of the Barr Colony settlement in 1903. A large part of the story comes from an interview that Anne did with Dorothy Boan, who was a young girl when she came to Canada with the Barr Colonists.

Anne will read and autograph copies of her book at the Briercrest Community Centre on Saturday, May 14, 2011, starting at 2 pm. Admission to the Victorian Tea is $15 for adults and $10 for children. Call 306-799-2147 or 306-631-7966 for more information.

Briercrest is about 100 km southwest of Regina. From Regina, follow highway 1 west toward Moose Jaw and take the right exit ramp at highway 301. Turn left toward Weyburn. After 13 km, you will see a sign for Briercrest/Avonlea. Turn right onto highway 339 and drive 19 more km to Briercrest.

Family Literacy Day 2011 a huge success!

Family Literacy Day on January 27 was the occasion for a lot of reading in Saskatchewan! The Saskatchewan chapter of CANSCAIP held a series of author readings, both in-person and online, over three days.

In-person readings took place in Regina, Moose Jaw, and Prince Albert. Robin Alison Lohans was one of the authors who read in Regina.

Six authors, including Robins Linda Aksomitis and Sharon Plumb, took turns giving virtual presentations to as many as 55 schools at once in Saskatchewan’s largest-ever virtual event. The schools connected to the authors’ home computers via E-Live, an online classroom donated for the event by Credenda Virtual High School and College. Credenda also set up a website to publicize the event (no longer available).

School classrooms (and sometimes several classes together) could see and hear the authors during the presentations. The authors couldn’t see or hear the students, but schools could type comments and questions into a chat box for everyone to see. The authors took time to answer questions during their one-hour presentations.

Some of the questions posed by students:

  • Is it hard to write a book?
  • How old were you when you started to write?
  • Is the appaloosa horse your favourite animal?
  • If you could live in one of your books, which one would it be?
  • Where do you get the ideas for your stories?

Funding for the event was provided by the Saskatchewan Arts Board.

In all, over 7000 students from 435 classrooms in 120 schools took part in the Family Literacy Day celebrations. Keep reading, everyone!

Bookworm’s Corner Debuts on January 24, 2011!

Bookworm’s Corner , Access 7s new community television series showcasing Saskatchewan picture book authors, is set to debut on January 24, 2011. Robins Alison Lohans, Anne Patton, Linda Aksomitis, and Sharon Plumb will be among the first authors to appear.

The shows are hosted by actress and author Jean Freeman. Each episode features two picture books being read to a live audience of Saskatchewan children. Most books are read by their authors, but some are read by other well-known prairie people.

Each show premieres on Access TV on Mondays at 3:30 pm, with reruns on the following Wednesdays and Fridays at 3:30 pm.

Showtimes for January and February are:

January 24, 2011
Baba’s Babushka: A Magical Ukrainian Christmas, Marion Mutala
Bill Bruin Shovels His Roof, Sharon Plumb Hamilton

January 31, 2011
L is for Land of Living Sky, Linda Aksomitis
The Lake in the Middle of Town, Neil Sawatzky

February 7, 2011
The Bone Talker, Shelley Leedahl, Read by Dr. Shauneen Pete
Dancing in My Bones, Anne Patton & Wilfred Burton

February 14, 2011
He Who Flies by Night: The Story of Grey Owl, by Lori Punshon, Read by Lieutenant Governor of Saskatchewan Dr. Gordon L. Barnhart
Sundog Rescue, Alison Lohans

February 21, 2011
The Always Team, Holly Preston
Waiting for the Sun, Alison Lohans

February 28, 2011
Fiddle Dancer, Anne Patton & Wilfred Burton
Nathaniel’s Violin, Alison Lohans

Bookworms Corner coming soon on Access TV

Anne Patton and friends after reading for Bookworm's Corner at George Bothwell Library in Regina
Anne Patton and friends after reading for Bookworm’s Corner at George Bothwell Library in Regina

Anne Patton and Wilfred Burton read their award-winning books Fiddle Dancer and Dancing in My Bones to an appreciative audience of eleven children at the George Bothwell Library on November 2, 2010.

A crew from Access7, Access TV‘s community channel, was there to record the event. It will be broadcast around the province later this year and next year as one of several shows in their new literacy program, The Bookworm’s Corner.

Launch of Dancing in My Bones

Anne Patton reading Dancing in My Bones at Batoche
Anne Patton reading Dancing in My Bones at Batoche
Anne with husband Waldo and granddaughter Ada
Anne with husband Waldo and granddaughter Ada

Anne Patton launched Dancing in My Bones with co-author Wilfred Burton at the Back to Batoche Days in Batoche in June 2010. This picture shows Anne reading to a group of young people.

Here is Anne with her husband Waldo and her granddaughter Ada, standing in front of a display of all the recent books published by the Gabriel Dumont Institute, publisher of Dancing in My Bones and its prequel, Fiddle Dancer.

Germs invade the Book and Brier Patch!

Germs with Germy Johnson's book
Germs with Germy Johnson’s book

Germy Johnson’s Secret Plan was published by Scholastic in 1992 and was widely used in Grade 3 classrooms across Canada. When it went out of print and Alison Lohans kept getting requests for it, she decided to re-issue it. The new edition was released by aamWORKS Publishing in 2008, with new artwork by A.E. Matheson of Saskatoon. At the book launch at Regina’s Book and Brier Patch, Alison and A.E. gave door prizes. Each lucky winner received a copy of the new Germy Johnson’s Secret Plan and a germ! The one with the tentacles is an e.coli and the round white one is a chicken pock.

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