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I just got out of the hospital. I was in a speed-reading accident. I hit a bookmark.
Steven Wright

Air Lift to LA: Canadian authors deliver books to Los Angeles

September 16, 2010

Access Books and “Air Lift to L.A.” deliver books to Compton School on October 2. See

Los Angeles – As part of their ongoing commitment to strengthen inner-city school libraries throughout Los Angeles and beyond, Access Books has joined forces with a team of Canadian authors to help Ralph Bunche Elementary (16223 Haskins Lane, Carson, CA 90746-1092) on October 2, 2010 at 9 a.m. One of 25 elementary schools in the Compton Unified School District, Bunche is in desperate need of books for its 450 students.

Access Books, “Air Lift to L.A.” and a team of volunteers from Bunche will spend October 2nd revitalizing the library by painting murals and cataloging brand new books. In addition to the books, Access Books will provide a reading rug, rocking chair and sofa to create a warm and inviting environment for students. Five authors from Canada will be on hand for the event and to give fun and exciting presentations to the students.

The participating authors are

  • Rob Weston, author of Silver Birch award winner Zorgamazoo
  • Kari-Lynn Winters, author Jeffrey and the Sloth, On My Walk, and other award-winning books
  • Jill Murray, YA author of Rhythm and Blues and Break on Through
  • Wendy Kitts, Freelance Writer, Book Reviewer, and author of a soon-to-be published picture book from Nimbus Press
  • Helaine Becker, author of more than 40 books for children including Silver Birch award winners Boredom Blasters and Secret Agent Y.O.U.

Sadly, only 48 percent of Bunche’s students are scoring “proficient” or “advanced” in English & Language Arts on the California Standards Test. Research has shown that the best predictor of how well a child will learn to read is the number of books to which he or she has access, but 61 percent of economically disadvantaged children don’t have age-appropriate books at home. The students of Bunche Elementary fit this profile: 90 percent live at or below the poverty line. According to a 2009 report from the Jumpstart Foundation, communities ranking high in achievement tests share a common denominator: an abundance of books in their libraries.

California’s Department of Education recommends 28 library books per student, according to the February 2010 draft of its School Library Standards. Bunche, however, has a mere three books per student. Therefore, Access Books has set a goal: Collect at least 5,000 books for Bunche’s library and classrooms. Many of these will be brand new, popular fiction titles – books that have been carefully selected to get students excited about reading.

My trip was covered in a number of newspaper articles, including:

  1. Enthusiasm stacks up in Carson school’s book drive,” in LA Times
  2. Canadian Group Plans “Air-Lift” to Help Compton School,” in NBC Los Angeles
  3. Access Books and Airlift to L.A. to deliver books to inner-city school on October 2nd,” in

Performances in September

September 13, 2010

Saturday Sept 25, Elgin County, Ontario

Kari-Lynn will be presenting her books at the International Plowing Match ( on Saturday, Sept. 25th at 9:30am and at 11am on the City of St. Thomas stage.


Sunday Sept 26, Toronto

Kari-Lynn will be MCing at the 2010 Word on the Street Festival in Toronto on Sunday, Sept. 26th ( Look for her in the children’s activity tent between 2:00-5:30pm or at the book signing table at 5:30pm.

Authors like Us interview

August 24, 2010

Interview with Authors Like Us on, August 24 2010:

Performance at the Whistler Public Library

July 22, 2010

When: Friday, July 23, 2010, 3pm
Where: Whistler Public Library
Who: Come one and all! Everyone is welcome.

Kari-Lynn will be sharing her stories, puppets, and songs at the Whistler Public Library.
Come on out and be a part of this interactive book celebration!

Performance at Blackberry Books, Vancouver

July 15, 2010

When: Thursday, July 15th, 2010, 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm
Where: Blackberry Books, Net Loft Building, Granville Island, Vancouver
What: Author visit and show

Kari-Lynn Winters, author of aRHYTHMetic, When Chickens Fly and On My Walk with Tiffany Stone, author of aRHYTHMetic, Floyd the Flamingo and Baaaad Animals.

Ideal for home or classroom use, these rollicking rhymes explore basic concepts of arithmetic in new and engaging ways. Catch the mathematical beat with the title poem, “aRHYTHMetic.” Learn about ordinal numbers from a bison that loves being “Third in the Herd.” Discover “The Shape of Things” all around us. Roundup “Rot-TEN Dragons” into groups from ten to one hundred. And help “Princess Estimation” guess the number of spots on her new Dalmatian. These seven math poems by Tiffany Stone, Kari-Lynn Winters and Lori Sherritt-Fleming, illustrated playfully in full colour by Scot Ritchie, are guaranteed to equal fun that will bounce you right out of your seat!

On my Walk nominated for Chocolate Lilly!

June 9, 2010

On My Walk

I am excited to share that my book On My Walk has been nominated for a Chocolate Lilly Award!

Readers from all over British Columbia will vote to choose the winning books. Winners will be announced at a gala in 2011, time and place to be announced. See a list of nominees at the Chocolate Lilly website and a write-up at

Hope to see some of you at the gala next year! – Kari

UBC Valedictorian

May 27, 2010

I’m thrilled to announce that, after a lengthy selection and nomination process including an intensive interview, I was selected to be the convocation speaker at the University of British Columbia 2010 graduation! Thank you so very much to the students and faculty who became my supportive net over the years, especially to the Best Mentor in the World, Dr. Theresa Rogers. I couldn’t have gotten half as far without all your help (not to mention your wonderful friendship). I’ll close by saying, “Isn’t my hat hilarious?” That hat represents years of blood, sweat, and tears. I adore it!

See video of my speech

fast-download quality, 5MB, .mov format

High quality, 42MB, .mov format (6 minutes)

Simply Read Books 2010 Launch

May 5, 2010

When: Wednesday, May 5, 7 to 9 pm
Where: Kidsbooks, 3083 West Broadway, Vancouver,
Who: Kari-Lynn Winters, Ben Frey, Sleepless Kao, Paola Opal, Eliyana Biklou, Julie Flett, Robin Mitchell-Cranfield, Judith Steedman, authors and illustrators for Simply Read Books.

A Tour that Widens Worlds: Saying Goodbye

April 19, 2010

Copied from the BC Book Prize Tour blog:

Kari-Lynn & Kristin with students at Riverview Elementary, Quesnel
(click for larger image)
. See more pics on Flickr.

The hardest part of any tour is when it’s time to say goodbye.

But then, change is inevitable, isn’t it? The universe widens when you meet new people and travel to new places.

Experiences such as these offer opportunities to observe and be a part of something bigger than yourself. Here are some of the tour highlights that widened my world:

  • Chats with Cathleen With on the flight to Terrace: As some of you know, Cathleen and I went to school together in the creative writing department at UBC (in Alison Acheson’s class). It was wonderful to re-connect. And Hawk Air is the best airline—they still feed you lunch!
  • Being taken care of in Terrace and then later in Prince George: Special thanks to the Coast Hotels.
  • Returning to the Terrace Art Gallery: Cheers to the knowledgeable librarians (including Jess), to local zinester, Erika and to Anne from Misty River Books. I wrote about this gallery space in my dissertation, Authorship as Assemblage (available online), so it was intriguing to return.
  • An afternoon with Sammy Robinson: Hearing about his creative process and seeing his incredible and secret work space are memories that I hope I never forget.
  • Eating at Sea Masters while watching the sea lions play.
  • Van rides: Cathleen, Michael, Kristin, Bryan, you guys ARE a rowdy group. I laughed until my stomach ached. I loved our joyrides. Thanks to National Car rental for making this possible. While traveling, we saw wildlife too (though we never stopped)—eagles, a coyote, and even a spirit bear!
  • The Skeena Bakery and Rob’s Restaurant in Hazelton. Yummy!
  • Discovering that many schools are being closed in BC—incredible, well run schools: I had heard about these closures, but thought that they were old schools that needed a lot of work (e.g., new roofs, more modern interiors, etc.), boy was I wrong! Modern and well-run schools like South Hazelton are being closed all over the province.
  • Chats with Melanie and the others at the Learning Shop: I love how you are working to better the community, working with the youth of Hazelton and helping them to make a difference.
  • Reading our books in special (and sometimes even magical spaces) like the Kitimat Library, The Museum of Northern BC, Books and Company, and in many of the northern schools and libraries.
  • Meeting Susan Juby’s mom in Smithers: Susan Juby was one of my writing teachers. It was great to meet her mom.
  • Walking around Quesnel: What a quaint and incredible community you have!
  • Discovering that people all over the province just want to have fun: Thanks to all of you who wore a hat and joined the performance.
  • Meeting life-long pals: It is wonderful to know that, all the mountains and rivers in the world cannot separate my new friends—whose hearts, for a moment in time, beat together as one.

Thanks to everyone involved, who helped make this tour happen. My world is newly widened.

A Tour to Remember, by Kristin Butcher

April 18, 2010

Posted at visitschool visitschool visit

Post by Kristin Butcher:

Fifteen author presentations in seven days. Our little troupe visited Terrace, Kitimat, Hazelton, Prince Rupert, Prince George, Smithers, and Quesnel. Most days found us climbing into the van (our second home) at 8 o’clock in the morning and crawling back to our hotel rooms at 10 o’clock at night. It was hectic and exhausting, but soooooooo rewarding and so much fun.

My partners in crime were three other BC Book Prize nominees: Kari-Lynn (not Carolyn, not Kari-Ann, and most definitely not Kerry!) Winters, who is a finalist for the Christie Harris Illustrated Children’s Book Award; Cathleen With, who is vying for the Ethel Wilson Award for adult fiction (this is her first novel and already she’s among BC’s literary elite!); and Michael Turner, who is up for the same prize as Cathleen (Michael has been nominated for the BC Book Prizes FOUR times and he even won once!) Our driver, organizer, and general go-to guy was Bryan Pike, the Executive Director of the BC Book Prizes. So, as you can see, I was in some pretty good company.

We visited schools during the day, fitting library, museum, and bookstore readings in between and in the evening. We heard each other’s readings so many times that when Michael lost his place one time, Kari was behind him whispering the next sentence. Kari’s presentation was interactive and involved silly hats, noises, and actions. Her intention was to get the audience involved, but sometimes they were shy, which meant we other authors had to step up. I personally played the part of a bug, a fish, and a raindrop. Michael had a soft spot for the part of the horse, and by the time the tour was ending, he had the role down pat.

The school visits were fantastic! Whether I had an audience of 25 (that only happened once) or 80 (that was pretty much the norm), the kids were great — attentive, enthusiastic, and amazingly insightful. I was asked many questions I’d never been asked before, which was both refreshing and impressive.

When we weren’t presenting or driving, we were sightseeing. While in Kitimat, we drove out to the Haisla Village and visited world-renowned carver, Sammy Robinson, in his workshop. We just sort of popped in uninvited, but he graciously showed us around and answered the kazillion questions we had. Jewellery and wood pieces alike were all beautifully crafted, and I was totally envious of his private upstairs studio with it’s ocean and mountain view.

In Hazelton we visited K’san, a heritage village museum. The longhouses weren’t open for us to view (wrong season), but the paintings on the exteriors and the many and varied totem poles were impressive just the same. In Houston, I snapped a photo of the world’s largest fishing rod, and in Prince Rupert we visited two now-defunct canneries, one of which has been restored as a museum.

Perhaps the most fun though was riding in the van. Being in close quarters with four witty people was a riot. My stomach ached from laughing. I learned a lot too. Mostly what I learned was how much I don’t know. And there was always music. Bryan had an endless playlist. Whatever songs we asked for, he had them. The Flight of the Conchord song/skits were hilarious too. Kari and Bryan saw a spirit bear, there was an eagle lunching on a dead deer, and a fox. We all had a great time, and the miles just slid away.

Many thanks to the West Coast Book Prize Society and all the wonderful sponsors that made the tour possible.

And now, on to Government House and the Awards Dinner. Wish me luck.

Smithers and Prince George, you are both gorgeous and so welcoming!

April 16, 2010

Copied from the BC Book Prize Tour blog:

Museum of Northern BC (click for larger image)

See more pics of Northern Tour on Flickr.

Smithers and Prince George

You are gorgeous and so welcoming.
I hear your children playing at Lake Kathlyn and Harwin.
I see how you connect with the nature around you.
You make me want to be a Northerner.
You are gorgeous and so welcoming.

I wish that my current city had a bookstore as great as Books & Company.
I feel so at home there.
I touch the pages of these gorgeous picture books and
I worry that I won’t see you again for some time.
You make me smile—you and your supporters (e.g., Mary, Barb, Michelle).
I grin from ear to ear.
You are gorgeous and so welcoming.

I heard that Java’s is the yummiest place to eat in the Northwest.
I say, “yum” as I think of my avocado salad with pine nuts and feta.
I try to save room for dessert—for some homemade pie, but
you fill me up.
I feel I am the luckiest person in the world. I love this tour!

Smithers and Prince George, you are both gorgeous and so welcoming. Thank-you.

My Resounding, Endless Gratitude

April 15, 2010

Copied from the BC Book Prize Tour blog:

Kitimaat Haisla Village (click for larger image)

See more pics of Northern Tour on Flickr.

Being nominated is the gift,
For which I share my gratitude.

Thanks to the BC Book Prizes—their staff and judges, to Mike and Carol and everyone at Tradewind Books, to the generous sponsors, and to Christina Leist…without you I would not have had the opportunity to:

Play with puppets in Hazelton…explore Ksan Heritage Park…share giggles and stories with cherished new friends—Kristin Butcher, Michael Turner, Cathleen With, and Bryan Pike…travel though brilliant and breathtaking landscapes…dine on fine food… be recognized by students as the “author who came before”…frolic and merry-make in Prince Rupert…acknowledge and answer well prepared and thoughtful questions from young people at Westview…tread the pier of the Prince Edward cannery…and delight with book lovers at the Museum of Northern BC.

For all these moments, I thank you—with resounding and endless gratitude.

An extraordinary day in Terrace and Kitimat in 40 words or less

April 14, 2010

Copied from the BC Book Prize Tour blog (see also the newspaper article from April 13):

Terrace, BC (click for larger image)

Coast hotel:
This place is swell.

Cassie Hall:
Had a ball.

Majestic drive:
(In Kitimat) We arrive.

Kildala school:
What a jewel!

Fish spawn:
Right on.

Sammy’s lair:
Rustic flair.

Seaside eats:
Delish repeats.

Kitimat athenaeum:
A magical odeum.

Back to Terrace…zzz.

A Second Chance in Terrace, BC

April 11, 2010

This post is copied from the BC Book Prizes Tour Blog. It’s a “second chance” because I was fortunate to have been invited to Terrace for the 2008 tour. I was also featured in a local newspaper article on April 13, 2010.

Terrace, do you know how much I’ve missed you?

I look at you and see your gorgeous mountains—snow covered mountains in every direction and my heart aches for you.

Terrace, how can you be so exquisitely perfect?

I listen to you and hear your people—imaginative people who enjoy the BC culture, including its nominated books.

Terrace, do you steal everyone’s breath away in the ways that you’ve taken mine?

I feel your majesty—awe-filled majesty, including your traditions, painted spirit bears, and gorgeous walking paths.

Terrace, would it be fair to say that you are second to none?

I’ve received a second chance—an extraordinary second chance to be with you again!

BC Book Prize Sponsored Tour

March 26, 2010

I’m so happy to share that I was just selected to be one of the 8 authors (out of many more who applied) to join the sponsored tours for the BC Book Prize! I will be joining Kristin Butcher (author of Return to Bone Tree Hill), Michael Turner (author of 8 x 10), and Cathleen With (author of Having Faith in the Polar Girls’ Prison) for the Northern Tour.

See the announcement and watch this page for our upcoming blog of the tour (like the 2008 blog which has my husband’s favourite poem Twas the Night Before the Tour).

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