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Then the year is over, and her job is done. But the plants will keep growing, uncurling their stems, stretching their leaves outward and showing their faces to the sun.
- Edith Pattou

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Press releases


    click for larger image

    Kari-Lynn Winters is the 2010 winner of the Surrey Board of Trade Special Achievement Award. Unable to attend this morning, her agent, Sally Harding, accepted the award, on her behalf, from SBOT President, Nigel Watkinson.
  • Surrey Board of Trade Special Achievement Award for Writers winner 2010; see Surrey International Writers’ Conference page and press release:

    Special Achievement Award at SIWC
    Friday Oct. 22, 2010

    Dr. Kari-Lynn Winters won the Surrey Board of Trade Special Achievement Award at this year’s Surrey International Writers’ Conference. The purpose of the award is to honor writers who have made a significant achievement in their writing careers during the past year.

    Dr. Winters has achieved significant literary and academic achievement. She is a gifted writer, teacher and performer, and not only did she publish three books, but one of them, ‘On My Walk’ was short listed for the 2010 Christie Harris Illustrated Children’s Book B.C. Book Prize award. In addition to a year of publishing triumphs she was hired as an assistant professor at Brock University. In fact she was hired for the position even before she defended her doctoral dissertation in Language and Literacy Education from UBC. At her graduation in June 2010, she delivered the convocation speech on behalf of her fellow graduate students. In addition, she has presented at various academic conferences and has made presentations as a children’ book author at literary and literacy events across North America.


  • Government of PEI Children’s Book Week press release (PDF) — also hear CBC interview from this tour:

    November 13, 2009
    Children’s Book Week
    Communities, Cultural Affairs and Labour

    The Hon. Carolyn Bertram, Minister of Communities Cultural Affairs and Labour, is inviting Islanders to visit a provincial library and take part in the many activities planned as part of TD Canadian Children’s Book Week, November 14-21. This year’s theme is Gold Medal Reading! Des lectures en or!

    TD Canadian Children’s Book Week is the largest national celebration of Canadian children’s books. Since 1977 this touring program sends authors, illustrators and storytellers to communities throughout Canada to share with their audiences the delights of Canadian children’s books. The program is organized by the Canadian Children’s Book Centre, a national not-for-profit organization that promotes the reading, writing and illustrating of Canadian children’s books for young readers.

    “This is a wonderful opportunity to encourage young Islanders to be active readers. I commend the staff in our provincial libraries who work throughout the year to deliver programs and services in Island communities,” said Minister Bertram. “I encourage Islanders to visit a provincial library this week and participate in TD Canadian Children’s Book Week activities.”

    Visiting author Kari-Lynn Winters from Vancouver, BC, will be hand at the Confederation Centre Public Library on Monday, November 16 from 3:15 to 4:15 to officially launch TD Canadian Children’s Book Week. Throughout the week Ms. Winter will be visiting four public libraries – The Confederation Centre Public Library, Summerside Rotary Library, Alberton Public Library and Montague Public Library – and 12 elementary schools to meet and share stories with students. All library events are free of charge and open to the public.

    The Canadian Children’s Book Centre is again giving a free Canadian children’s book to every Grade 1 child in the country. This is made possible through sponsorship of the TD Bank Financial Group. This year’s book is Let’s Go! The Story of Getting From There to Here by Lizann Flatt, illustrated by Scot Richie and published by Maple Tree Press. Students in Grade 1 French and Grade 1 French Immersion receive the French translation, On y va! A pied, a cheval et en voiture…

    The Fall Programming Guide of the Provincial Library Service is available at your local public library or online at www.gov.pe.ca/go/library.

    BACKGROUNDER

    Kari-Lynn Winters is an award-winning picture book author, playwright, and performer who enjoys being in the classroom in any of these capacities. She recently accepted a position at Brock University as a professor of drama-in-education and literacy. Her graduate work, which was completed at the University of British Columbia, focused on combining the arts with reading and writing.

    When Kari-Lynn began to write children’s picture book manuscripts and submit them to publishers about eight years ago, people often shook their heads, advising her to write novels instead.

    “It is so difficult to get picture books published in these times,” they said.

    But Kari-Lynn persisted, continuing to collect, read, research, and write picture books. Her persistence paid off. Today, nine picture books that Kari-Lynn wrote—including Jeffrey and Sloth, aRHYTHMetic: a book and a half of poetry about math, Runaway Alphabet, On My Walk, When Chickens Fly, PunctuACTION, Mathical Creatures, Stinky Skunk Mel, and Just Be-a—have been accepted for publication by Orca Book Publishers, Simply Read Books, Tradewind Books, and Gumboot Books. In addition, she has had poetry and non-fiction pieces accepted for publication in KNOW Magazine for Curious Kids, Fandangle, and ChickaDEE and academic chapters and articles about student literacy published by Heinemann and in The Reading Teacher.

    Kari-Lynn says the best thing about writing for children is that she can share silly ideas in funny and interactive ways and that she can talk to children about their own experiences as young authors. She currently lives in Vancouver with her husband, two kids, and two cats. To learn more about Kari-Lynn please see her website, www.kariwinters.com.


  • National Council of Teachers of English 2006 press release (PDF) for Kari’s panel session “Engaging Readers through Performance and Folklore,” November 19 2006

  • Graduate Teaching Assistant Awards

    Date: Wed, 30 May 2007 From: Office of the Dean at UBC [edited for brevity] We are delighted to announce this year’s winners of the Graduate Teaching Assistant Teaching Awards. All three students are to be commended for their excellent contributions to teaching and to our Faculty. Recipients of the UBC Graduate Teaching Assistant Teaching Awards: Kari-Lynn Winters, Department of Language and Literacy Education Kari-Lynn is a very passionate educator who draws on her extensive background in theatre and literacy to inform her instruction. She is knowledgeable in her subject areas and continually finds creative ways of fostering student learning. She comes to classes well prepared, yet at the same time readjusts her plan if necessary to follow the energy and flow of the students. She builds from her experience as a classroom teacher to bring her subject matter to life, which authenticates her work with pre-service teachers. She establishes strong rapport with her students and has inspired future teachers. Kari-Lynn’s accomplishments were highly praised by both faculty members and students. She is a highly deserving recipient of a UBC Graduate Teaching Assistant Teaching Award.


  • 2005 LLRC Master’s Research Award

    Congratulations to the 2005 Winners of the LLRC Master’s Research Award The recipient of the 2005 Language and Literacy Researchers of Canada Masters Research Award is Kari-Lynn Winters of UBC. Kari’s thesis, Developing an Arts-Integrated Reading Comprehension Program for Less Proficient Grade Three and Four Students, was selected from a pool of 17 submissions representing all the regions of Canada. She was unable to attend the award presentation, but UBC’s Dr. Rob Tierney accepted the award on her behalf at the LLRC Annual General Meeting held on May 28th at the University of Western Ontario. Dr. Tierney spoke warmly about the richness of research and about Kari’s commitment to the field both as a researcher and as a literacy educator. Congratulations to Kari and to Marlene McKay of Brandon University and Tara-Lynn Scheffel of the University of Western Ontario whose names were also shortlisted for the award. [see pdf]



Bio for media use

    A short bio is available for media use and may be copied without formal request. Click here.



Newspaper articles

  • 2013

  • St. Thomas author Kari-Lynn Winters turning kids on to environmental issues with her new book,” by Ben Forrest, St. Thomas Times-Journal, October 9, 2013.

    Kari-Lynn Winters, a St. Thomas native and Brock University professor, holds a copy of her book Buzz About Bees in a garden at Clovermead Adventure Farm near Aylmer. Winters wrote the book to educate children about declining bee populations.

    Kari-Lynn Winters, a St. Thomas native and Brock University professor, holds a copy of her book Buzz About Bees in a garden at Clovermead Adventure Farm near Aylmer. Winters wrote the book to educate children about declining bee populations.

    When Kari-Lynn Winters heard populations of bees were declining around the world, it twigged her interest.

    The St. Thomas native, who is an award-winning children’s author and an assistant professor in teacher education at Brock University, wondered if children knew how important bees are to global ecosystems.

    She looked for books that adequately addressed the issue but couldn’t find any, so she decided to write her own.

    The result is Buzz About Bees, a book of facts and interactive exercises aimed at teaching kids about bees and their role in food production.

    “When you start looking at the amount of work that bees are doing and how we’re not supporting them, this book really needed to be written,” Winters said.

    It’s estimated that one-third of food consumed across the globe depends on pollinators like bees to grow, including crops like tomatoes, cucumbers, nuts and hay.

    Winters wanted to highlight the significance of bees to children aged six to 12, partly by including interactive games in the book and activities like how to build an orchard mason bee house.

    “There’s a lot of different interactive things that kids can do that typical nonfiction books don’t offer,” she said. “I think that’s what sets it apart.”

    The book was a departure for Winters, who has published seven other books, most of them story-based.

    But she’s been asked to write two more nonfiction books: One titled Bite into Bloodsuckers and another called Zoom in on Zombies, she noted.

    Bite into Bloodsuckers is about mosquitoes, leeches and fleas – “all those critters that suck blood and why they’re needed in the ecosystem as well and what they’re doing to benefit the world,” she said.

    Zoom in on Zombies will focus on animals like spiders that eat members of the same species.

    These are some of the 12 books Winters has coming out in the next four years, including at least two story books.

    This fall she’s set to release Stinky Skunk Now, which follows a skunk whose uncontrollable spraying upsets his friends.

    “It’s about anxiety and a little bit about bullying,” Winters said.

    Writing was something Winters started 13 years ago at age 30, after struggling in school as a child. She has won or been a finalist for many awards, including the Blue Spruce Award (Honour Book winner, 2008) and the B.C. Book Prize (finalist in 2008, 2010 and 2013).

    “I was not a good reader,” she said. “I was not a good writer. I would have rather been doing sports or been out for recess, and what I think these awards also do for me is they also show me that if you choose a path you can do whatever you want to do in your life.”

    As for Buzz About Bees, Winters hopes readers gain awareness by reading it and that children become advocates.

    “They’re going to be the next generation,” she said. “They’re going to be the ones that are going to have to live in this world.

    “So if I was a kid, I would want to know about that kind of thing and I would want to know, what could I do to make a difference? And there’s lots of things kids can do to make a difference.”


  • New ideas fuel anxiety as parents expect more from their children and educators,” by Sarah Boesveld. National Post, June 2, 2013.

    Excerpt:

    … This growing disconnect between what parents and teachers expect children will learn in their first year of school is highlighted in research to be presented this week at the Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences, a massive gathering of more than 7,000 academics at the University of Victoria.

    Play-based learning has a role in this. It’s part of the new curricular movement toward “21st-century learning” that considers “early literacy” to be anything from which the child draws meaning in the world and learns to communicate it with others. “When kids are playing with blocks and they’re talking with each other and working out their problems, that is actually literacy,” said Kari-Lynn Winters, assistant professor of teacher education at Brock University.

    Their small-scale study, titled “Won’t She Learn that in Kindergarten?” gathered perspectives from 24 teachers and 11 university-educated parents (all female) from three school boards in southwestern Ontario, asking them how they defined literacy, what specific literacy practices kids are exposed to at home and what they expected children to learn in kindergarten.

    Their answers revealed very different perspectives.

    “Parents wanted their children to succeed in a holistic way,” said Prof. Winters, who conducted the research with colleague Debra Harwood. “They wanted their children to have access to every kind of advantage, whether that means access to French speaking opportunities, technology, whether that means access to print literacies and books — all of it, that’s what parents wanted. They want their kids to be critical thinkers, to be humane people and to be successful in their lives.” …


  • St. Catharines Standard, May 15, 2013 (read online)

    “Buzz on Bees at Ball’s Falls”

    by Cheryl Clock

    Brock assistant professor Kari-Lynn Winters, author of Buzz on Bees, will be at Ball’s Falls Conservation area on Victoria Day to get kids excited about bees. The Community Day event runs all day, and Winters will be there at 1 p.m.

    The small grassy knoll is scattered with brilliant yellow dandelions. It’s tucked into a courtyard at Brock University.

    And for the most part, it’s remarkably unexceptional. Except for the woman dressed like a bumblebee, flapping wings, weaving in zig-zag formation among the trees.

    That would be Kari-Lynn Winters, 43. Brock assistant prof, Faculty of Education. Children’s book author. Theatrical buff. Mother. And bee admirer.

    For the past couple years, she’s been working on her latest book, Buzz About Bees (Fitzhenry & Whiteside, $19.95, hardcover). And with a PhD in children’s literacy from the University of British Columbia, she’s a strong advocate for bringing books to life.

    This Victoria Day, Monday, May 20, she will be at Ball’s Falls Conservation Area to get kids excited about bees, and support the Ball’s Falls exhibit, It’s Better with Bees.

    Her book is the third in a series. The first two — Lowdown on Worms and Focus on Flies — were written by other authors. Buzz on Bees takes kids through 48 colourful pages of bee facts. There’s Bee-lieve it or Not, true and false bee questions. A job posting for a honey hunter. Remedies for a sore throat. History, social structure and bee science. And even an explanation of the Waggle Dance, performed by female worker bees to signal that nectar is near.

    While she’s not a bee expert, she enlisted the help of Miriam Richards and her Brock Bee Lab research group.

    Winter’s first book, Jeffrey and Sloth, was published by Orca Book Publishers in 2007. It tells the story of a boy named Jeffrey, who tries to write a book and suffers from writer’s block until he doodles a picture of Sloth. Jeffrey discovers that whatever he writes, Sloth does, because after all, Sloth is his character. It’s not long before his writer’s block disappears.

    The book is based on a play she wrote at the National Theatre School in Montreal. When she won a contest with a friend, she started children’s theatre company, The Tickle Trunk Players, and brought the play to the west coast. She came to Brock in 2010.

    Books should be fun and interactive.

    “Books are to use, and not just read,” she says.

    “Books need to be accessible and engaging.

    “I want to write books so kids can’t not read it.”


  • Niagara This Week, May 18, 2013 (read online)

    “The buzz about bees: Book helps children understand critical insects”

    by Pieter Van Hiel

    Not long ago, scientists working in Iran and Turkey discovered something marvelous about a rare species of solitary bee, the Osmia Avosetta. The bee cuts petals from delicate flowers of certain shades, and uses them to construct tiny nests for their young. The nests resemble miniature works of art, yet this fact about the bee was unknown until recently.

    It’s facts like these that Brock professor and children’s author Kari-Lynn Winters hopes will change public perceptions about the bees. Adults and children alike recognize the role of bees in pollination and agricultural, but are often instinctively leery and fearful of the tiny insects. Her book Buzz about Bees also contains advice to help preserve bees. Across the world, beekeepers have reported significant losses in bee colonies.

    “It’s pretty comprehensive. It covers social bees and solitary bees, and it takes a look at their history, their body parts and the types of families of bees,” she said. “Near the end it starts to talk about the decline of bees, and what kids can do to make a difference.”

    Winters said she was inspired to write the book after seeing the confusion many people, of all ages, have between bees and wasps. Wasps are far more aggressive, though still harmless to humans when given their own space.

    “Wasps are more aggressive. They’re meat eaters, they’re the ones who are going to try and eat your chicken sandwich,” she said. “A lot of kids will say ‘That’s a bee! That’s a bee!’ Bees have a bad reputation, because wasps are aggressive.”

    Winters has written a number of educational and entertaining books for younger readers, including Gift Days, which won silver medal in the 2012 B.C. Book Prize. Buzz about Bees is her first non-fiction book for children, and she hopes it will teach children to both respect bees, and help them out.

    “Bees need water, so you can set out little bowls of water with stones in it so they can land and get water. Kids can talk to their parents about getting seeds that don’t have pesticides on them,” she said. “They also talk to their parents about buying local honey, which supports beekeepers and bees. They can plant a garden.”

    Buzz about Bees will be launched on Victoria Day at Ball’s Falls Conservation Area, as part of their celebrations. Other events include the swearing-in of new Canadian citizens, storytelling, games, and a demonstration by a beekeeper. Admission to the event is free. For more information, call 905-562-5235.


  • 2011

  • Write: The Magazine of the Writers’ Union of Canada, 38:4 (June 8, 2011), p 32.

    “Air Lift to L.A.”

    by Helaine Becker


    click for larger image


  • St Thomas Times Journal, August 2011 (read online)

    “All abuzz at area Bee Olympics”

    By Nick Lypaczewski

    AYLMER — There was a familiar buzz north of Aylmer last weekend at Clovermead Bees and Honey, site of the seventh annual Bee Olympics.

    The bee-themed events included differentiating honeys, bee hive guessing games and fastest person to get a beekeeper suit on.

    “I don’t know why we did it originally. It was just to build awareness of bees,” explained Chris Hiemstra, Clovermead’s co-owner.

    “It was a crazy thing we did seven years ago and we . People kind of expect it out of us now.”

    The main event, however, was the annual bee beard competition, where brave volunteers attract hundreds of bees to their faces while the queen dangles from necks.

    “(Judges) are looking for shape and form and also how you’re playing up to the audience, how you act on the catwalk . . . so its kind of a combined score.”

    Participants are also weighed before and after donning the beard to see how heavy their quasi-facial hair is.

    The volunteers are members of Ontario’s beekeeping industry.

    Hiemstra himself puts on a bee beard every Saturday in September in another Clovermead attraction. He says the feeling is much like a regular beard except that it moves around.

    “It’s very warm. It’s very tickly. If you think about six legs all holding on and then there’s some more bees on top of those bees holding on and they’re crawling around. They walk by your nose and up by your eyes.”

    Added to this year’s event was a beekeeper fashion show, where models put on an element of the beekeeper suit and couple it with their best evening, winter, casual or summer wear.

    Children were also making use of an extensive playground that featured miniature farm vehicles to ride on. The attractions remain open until October.

    Every year, Clovermead donates 100% of proceeds to a different charity. This year, the money is earmarked for the YWCA.

    “We put (the event) on out of pocket. Like today, we will spend more money than we make, but our sales in store will be a little higher . . . but it’s a charitable thing,” Hiemstra said.

    Children’s book author Kari-Lynn Winters was at the Bee Olympics, taking photos and doing research for a book she’s working on.

    “My publisher asked me if I could write a book about bees and so the more I’ve looked into it, the more interesting it has become for me . . .

    “I know quite a bit about bees but I’ve never been to a bee beard competition. I’m doing research today (for) a book called The Buzz About Bees. It’s a non-fiction book about bees and it’s about the disappearance of bees mostly,” she said.

    Winters said she hoped she could come back to Clovermead once the book is ready to hit shelves.

    “Hopefully we’ll do the launch here. I always do book launches in (the area) because I’m from here.”

    For Brian Cahill, not only was it his first time at Clovermead, it was his first time in Aylmer.

    Visiting with his grandson from London, Cahill said he was impressed with the fun he was having.

    “I think it’s great. There’s enough for (the kids) to be self-entertained. I’m sure I’m going to see a lot more of this area.”

    Clovermead is home to about 1,000 bee hives, with roughly 40,000 bees per hive. Most of the honey is sold at their store on site, but some is distributed to a variety of markets and retail outlets.


  • “Cobblestone students, guests celebrate their love for reading”

    The Paris Star, May 2011 By Sylvie Berry

    There were cheers and applause for reading last Thursday at Cobblestone Elementary School.

    Nearly 200 students from Grades 1 and 2 at Cobblestone, Agnes Hodge and Burford elementary schools gathered to engage in a series of activities and presentations all focused on literacy and reading.

    All the students were celebrating the Blue Spruce awards — part of the Forest of Reading program — which represent a series of books nominated by the Ontario Library Association which then get voted by the students.

    “All the students voted on their favourite book from 10 different ones and the book with the most votes receives the Blue Spruce Award,” said Tim Best from Cobblestone Elementary.

    Special guests for the day were author Kari-Lynn Winters and author-illustrator Christina Leist.

    Winters is an award-winning children’s author, playwright, performer, and scholar. She talked to students about many of her books, including Jeffrey and Sloth, On My Walk (illustrated by Leist) and aRHYTHMetic: A book and a half of poetry about math.

    “Reading gives you power and opportunity. Every job and career requires literacy. And Blue Spruce provides children with a voice,” said Winters.

    Leist started her career as a graphic designer in her birth country of Germany. She later moved to Vancouver; there, she illustrated many children’s books and wrote Jack the Bear. During her presentation, she spoke to students about her creative process when writing the book and showed them how to do drawings.

    “Blue Spruce gets young children aware about reading and writing. I think giving them a chance to meet the creators of these stories shows them that we’re human,” Leist said.


  • 2010

  • “Access Books and Airlift to L.A. to deliver books to inner-city school”

    From papertigers.org/wordpress/access-books-and-airlift-to-l-a-to-deliver-books-to-inner-city-school-on-october-2nd/:

    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 impoverished families gain access to books. The event will take place at Ralph Bunche Elementary, a Los Angeles, CA, USA school that 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, cataloging brand new books, and providing 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: Rob Weston, Kari-Lynn Winters, Jill Murray, Wendy Kitts, and Helaine Becker.

    California’s Department of Education recommends 28 library books per student however Bunche 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.

    Access Books’ partner for this endeavor, Air Lift to L.A., grew wings after Canadian children’s author Helaine Becker visited a school in the area and saw the empty shelves. Shocked and saddened, she rallied her Canadian colleagues and started a book drive. “The conditions [in Los Angeles] are on par with the worst of the Third World countries,” she writes on the Air Lift to L.A.” Facebook page. “Actually, they are worse, because in much of the Third World, people are doing their best to raise their standards, while in Los Angeles, conditions have deteriorated abysmally in the last ten years.”


    “Enthusiasm stacks up in Carson school’s book drive”

    By Ann M. Simmons, Los Angeles Times
    From www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-compton-books-20101003,0,4232247.story

    A nonprofit group teams with students, parents and Canadian children’s authors to bring thousands of desperately needed books to the two small libraries at Ralph Bunche Elementary School.

    The enthusiasm speaks volumes
    Calleigh Tanner, 4, of Compton stamps books at Access Books’ “Air
    Lift to L.A.” book drive at Ralph Bunche Elementary School in Carson.

    Excited chatter filled the auditorium of Carson’s Ralph Bunche Elementary School on Saturday as dozens of children flipped excitedly through piles of books before stamping and stacking them for catalog in the school’s two small libraries.

    “I came to help the school, and other people … and they said I can take a book I like home,” said 8-year-old fourth-grader Carlyn Tanner of Compton, beaming as he and his brother Cayden, 7, sorted through a mountain of books in assembly-line fashion.

    The Ralph Bunche students were accompanied by their parents and 4-year-old sister Calleigh. They had volunteered for the day-long effort to bring desperately needed books to the school’s libraries.

    The drive was organized by Access Books, a nonprofit group that works to improve Southern California’s most impoverished school libraries. Access joined with a team of Canadian children’s authors [Helaine Becker, Wendy Kitts, Jill Murray, Rob Weston, and Kari-Lynn Winters] to collect around 5,000 books — some purchased new, others used and donated.

    “The best predictor of how you read is access to books,” said Rebecca Constantino, founder and executive director of Access Books. “For children who live in poor communities, the best predictor is access to a good school library.”

    Students at Ralph Bunche have lacked such access, according to Principal Synee Pearson Gourdine. The school, one of 25 elementary institutions in the Compton Unified School District, can provide only about three books per child, Pearson Gourdine said. California’s Department of Education recommends 28 library books per student, according to a recent draft of its proposed school library standards.

    So when Pearson Gourdine learned that her school had been selected to receive a bounty of books, and would receive help renovating its libraries, she was elated.

    “If our students don’t learn to read and don’t experience the joy of reading, I feel their growth is stunted for the future,” Pearson Gourdine said. “We want to enhance the library to where it’s a place they want to visit at school and in public.”

    The campaign to bombard Bunche with books got a boost from far-flung literary specialists after Canadian children’s author Helaine Becker visited schools in Long Beach and was dismayed by the dearth of books.

    “I was really appalled by the state of the libraries,” Becker said. “I thought, it’s shocking; it’s terrible.”

    She rallied colleagues to organize several book drives, which eventually led to the campaign “Air Lift to L.A.”

    The books include illustrated large-print texts, activity-oriented manuals and popular fiction.

    Fourth-grade teacher Emma Den Hartog stressed the importance of having culturally sensitive books that “open up the world for children who may not have the opportunity to travel, or travel only within a small radius of their home.”

    While some children stamped and catalogued books Saturday, others helped beautify the Bunche campus by painting murals. Fifth-grader Kennedye Davis, 10, slathered red paint into the outline of a train on an outside wall, while 10-year-old Angel Benitez and Ryan Smith stood shoulder-to-shoulder painting a huge green caterpillar in the library room designated for kindergarten-through-second-grade pupils.

    Sibling third-graders Ajalee and Lee Harris were among the army of youngsters encouraged by their parents to spend part of their weekend helping their school. Sorting out the libraries was a priority for their mother, Demetra Harris.

    “Unorganized library, unorganized education,” she said.

    Some of the young volunteers were experienced book-drive helpers and were eager to share their views on reading as they stamped, stacked and racked.

    “Books are a good education for all ages,” said Madeline Miller, 10, a fifth-grader at Valley Alternative Magnet School in Van Nuys, who came to help at Ralph Bunche with her sister, Susannah, 8, and mother, Sandra Tsing Loh. “Just imagine a world without books. It would be pretty boring.”


  • The Sudbury Star (Ontario), February 2010 (read online)

    “Winters on roll with new books”

    Putting pen to paper was like pulling teeth for Kari-Lynn Winters when she grew up in St. Thomas.

    Now, pearly whites of children’s literature just flow.

    Winters launched her fourth and fifth children’s books on Saturday in St. Thomas.

    She’s on a holiday visit home. And she’s on the way — with husband, two children, two cats — from Vancouver and completing her PhD in arts as a way to bolster reading, to St. Catharines and an assistant professorship in teacher education at Brock University.

    Winters stopped Saturday at the Talbot Teen Centre with a tickle trunk of props betraying her earlier post-secondary education in technical theatre, for a presentation to a young audience.

    “I’m passionate about youth and literature,” she said.

    But her audience also included her Grade 3 teacher at Southwold Public School, Eleanor Lyle, now retired, who was anticipating her first taste of Winters’ work.

    “It’s wonderful,” Lyle said as Winters autographed a copy of her first book, Jeffrey and Sloth, about a boy facing a blank sheet of paper who has writer’s block until he draws an imaginary creature to help him.

    Published in 2007, the book is an award-winner which also suggests Winters’ own struggle writing words until she discovered that authorship actually is in storytelling — and writing is just the process of putting a story down.

    “I was good at telling stories on the playground,” Winters says.

    “It took me a long time to figure out what I was doing, playacting and telling stories, was actually authorship!”

    And with that approach in mind, writing actually becomes the easy part, Winters says.

    This redefinition of authorship is a point Winters makes in her doctoral dissertation.

    Her new books are On My Walk, for babies, toddlers and preschoolers, about a walk around Vancouver, and When Chickens Fly, an Olympics-inspired reader — although Winters is reported having been prohibited from mentioning the Olympics by federal legislation protecting the 2010 Vancouver Winter Games.

    A sixth book, Runaway Alphabet, an unconventional speller, is on the way.


  • “Online retailing seen as book industry’s future,” in The Expositor (Brantford, ON), August 14, 2010, by Richard Beales. Includes report of Summer Writers Workshop and quotes from Winters. Read PDF [2.4MB].


  • Kari Winters in Terrace, B.C.
    Author Kari-Lynn Winters wowed the crowd at Cassie Hall yesterday morning during a meet and greet with the students as part of a BC Book Prize tour. Winters shared some of her early childhood writing experiences with the youngsters, and encouraged them to write even if they don’t think they can. (Terrace Standard, 4/13/10)

    Terrace Standard (BC), April 13, 2010 (read online)

    An Author’s Tip, by Kat Lee

    BC Book Prize finalists hit the road this year as part of a free tour throughout the province, giving public readings at libraries, book stores and schools.

    Author Kari-Lynn Winters, whose On My Walk is shortlisted for the Christi Harris Illustrated Fiction Prize, visited Cassie Hall students yesterday morning as part of the tour. She shared some of her early childhood writing experiences with the youngsters, and encouraged them to write even if they don’t think they can.

    Visits were also made to the Terrace Public library on Sunday afternoon and Caledonia Secondary School yesterday morning.

    Other finalists on tour are Kristin Butcher for Return to Bone Tree Hill which is shortlisted for the Shelia A. Egoff Children’s literature Prize, Michael Turner for 8 x 10 which is shortlisted for the Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize, and Cathleen With for Having Faith in the Polar Girls’ Prison, shortlisted for the Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize.


    “Shortlisted authors en route to Kitimat,” in Kitimat Northern Sentinal, April 7, 2010, by Marcel Vander Wier (brief mention). Read online.


  • 2009

  • St Thomas Times Journal, December 15 2009 (read online)

    Winters on roll with new books

    Putting pen to paper was like pulling teeth for Kari-Lynn Winters when she grew up in St. Thomas.

    Now, pearly whites of children’s literature just flow.

    Winters launched her fourth and fifth children’s books on Saturday in St. Thomas.

    She’s on a holiday visit home. And she’s on the way — with husband, two children, two cats — from Vancouver and completing her PhD in arts as a way to bolster reading, to St. Catharines and an assistant professorship in teacher education at Brock University.

    Winters stopped Saturday at the Talbot Teen Centre with a tickle trunk of props betraying her earlier post-secondary education in technical theatre, for a presentation to a young audience.

    “I’m passionate about youth and literature,” she said.

    But her audience also included her Grade 3 teacher at Southwold Public School, Eleanor Lyle, now retired, who was anticipating her first taste of Winters’ work.

    “It’s wonderful,” Lyle said as Winters autographed a copy of her first book, Jeffrey and Sloth, about a boy facing a blank sheet of paper who has writer’s block until he draws an imaginary creature to help him.

    Published in 2007, the book is an award-winner which also suggests Winters’ own struggle writing words until she discovered that authorship actually is in storytelling — and writing is just the process of putting a story down.

    “I was good at telling stories on the playground,” Winters says.

    “It took me a long time to figure out what I was doing, playacting and telling stories, was actually authorship!”

    And with that approach in mind, writing actually becomes the easy part, Winters says.

    This redefinition of authorship is a point Winters makes in her doctoral dissertation.

    Her new books are On My Walk, for babies, toddlers and preschoolers, about a walk around Vancouver, and When Chickens Fly, an Olympics-inspired reader — although Winters is reported having been prohibited from mentioning the Olympics by federal legislation protecting the 2010 Vancouver Winter Games.

    A sixth book, Runaway Alphabet, an unconventional speller, is on the way.


  • Brief mention in Vancouver Sun, March 24, 2009 (read online)

    There are many fabulous books out there that connect early numeracy concepts with early literacy. Vancouver-based publisher Gumboot Books has a number of books that combine poetry and mathematics, including the new title “aRHYTHMetic”.


  • St. Thomas Times Journal (Ontario), April 28, 2009 (read online)

    Hometown girl returns for triple book debut
    By Kyle Rea, Times-Journal Staff

    Fans of children’s literature received a triple treat earlier this month.

    Hometown girl Kari-Lynn Winters returned from her current home in Vancouver, B.C., where together with fellow authors Lori Sherrit-Fleming and Crystal Stranaghan, they launched three new children’s books at the Talbot Teen Centre.

    The trio held an interactive live show, complete with pirates, song and music, before a crowd of more than 100 children and parents. Afterward the authors were available to autograph their books — A World of Stories (Winters and Stranaghan), aRhythmetic (Winters and Sherritt-Fleming) and The Pirate Who Lost his Aarr (Stranaghan).

    Winters explained that when she launched her first book, Jeffrey and Sloth, in March 2007, about 20 people attended the B.C. book launch.

    “A lot of them said they wished I could do something similar for St. Thomas,” she said. “We thought this (Talbot Teen Centre) would be the perfect place. We’re actually raising money to give back to the (TTC).”

    Roughly $300 in ticket sales for the show went to the centre to support its programs.

    Winters, nee Moore, grew up in Elgin-St. Thomas and went to Southwold Public School and Parkside Collegiate Institute. When she was 17, Winters went to Brock University to take theatre arts and drama.

    “(We met) in clown class,” Sherritt-Fleming, a fellow Brock student, said of their meeting.

    Since then, both have become authors and educators, but they haven’t abandoned the theatre side of their careers. Sherritt-Fleming owns a Vancouver-based performance troupe called the Tickle Trunk Players.

    “We travel to elementary schools to celebrate literacy,” Sherritt-Fleming said.

    Stranaghan, an author and poet, published their books through her company, Gumboot Books.

    The event was the official launch for all three books.


  • 2008

  • St. Thomas Times Journal, 2008 (date unknown)


    click for larger image


  • St. Thomas Times Journal, May 27, 2008


    click for larger image


  • Prince George Citizen (British Columbia), April 18, 2008 (read online)


    click for larger image


  • 2007

  • St. Thomas Times-Journal (Ontario), June 30, 2007


    click for larger image



Website articles (see also interviews and Jeffrey and Sloth articles)

  • The Brock News, May 30, 2014 (read online)

    Brock recognizes profs for outstanding teaching at Convocation

    First-rate teaching and mentoring that goes above and beyond the norm is the cornerstone of Brock’s reputation for excellence in undergraduate and graduate education. At this year’s Spring Convocation taking place from June 3 to 7, the University will pay tribute to six faculty members for their exceptional contributions to teaching.

    The Faculty Award for Excellence in Teaching is awarded to individuals chosen by selection committees of Faculty members, staff and students from the Faculties of Applied Health Sciences, Education, Humanities, Mathematics and Science, Social Sciences, and the Goodman School of Business. Nominees must have a reputation for superior teaching and be recognized for this quality by students and colleagues.

    This year’s recipients include …

    Professor Kari-Lynn Winters, Department of Teacher Education

    A graduate of Brock University, Professor Kari-Lynn Winters didn’t always excel in education. As a child she struggled in school and couldn’t read or write with fluency until Grade 3.

    “I stand here today because of the creative, hardworking teachers who stood by me, expected excellence, and offered differentiated approaches to learning,” states Professor Winters. For her, arts-based teaching practices made and continue to make all the difference.

    Throughout her four years as an assistant professor in Brock’s Faculty of Education, Professor Winters has worked to bring differentiated, arts-based approaches to her students-in similar ways to how she was supported as a child. She is passionate about teaching and believes in the strengths of her students.

    While she holds high expectations, she supports the students in their educational leadership journeys just as she was supported. Using dramatic strategies such as puppets, tableaux and role-play, Professor Winters introduces innovative, collaborative, and interactive ways of learning the curriculum-whether it be in math, science, social studies or language arts.

    Her students rave about her dedication to teaching, her commitment to issues of social justice, her enthusiasm for learning, and her innate ability to create a safe space where every person has opportunities to express themselves and inspire others. The hands-on approaches to learning that she uses and has developed have been integrated into the courses she has designed and taught, including Arts Education, Language Arts, and cohort.

    In addition to her teaching at Brock, Professor Winters shows an unparalleled commitment to education and learning through her research, service and creative works. The author of nine children’s books (poetry, picture books, non-fiction), she has been invited to present internationally. With almost 200 school visits under her belt, Professor Winters has reached more than 37,800 students worldwide. …


  • Brock News Around Campus, March 25, 2013 (read online)

    Assistant Professor’s illustrated book shortlisted for BC Book Prize

    Kari-Lynn Winters, Assistant Professor in the Department of Teacher Education, has seen great success in her most recent illustrated children’s book Gift Days.

    Stemming from a successful book launch last November, Winters’ latest work has received high praise, most recently being shortlisted for the Christie Harris Illustrated Children’s Literature Prize at this year’s BC Book Prizes.

    “It is a distinct honour to be nominated for the Christie Harris Illustrated Children’s Literature Prize,” said Winters. “Especially because British Columbians write and illustrate many incredible books.”

    Having lived in and travelled extensively through British Columbia for 10 years, Winters says the province will always have a special place in her heart.

    “There is a vibrant and active book community there and I know that the judges must have had a tough decision narrowing it down to five nominees,” she said.

    Held on May 4 in Victoria, BC, the BC Book Prizes have been awarded in since 1985 and have seven different categories: fiction, non-fiction, poetry, regional, children’s literature, illustrated children’s literature and bookseller’s choice award.

    Presented annually at the Lieutenant Governor’s BC Book Prizes Gala, this was the last year that Winters was eligible.


  • Brock News Around Campus, November 22, 2012 (read online)

    Assistant professor launches new children’s book

    Kari-Lynn Winters latest children’s book, Gift Days, could not have been more appropriately titled.

    Launched in early November at Brock University’s Hamilton campus, the book is about a young African girl, Nassali, who dreams of an education, but due to the circumstances of having to take care of the household and raise her younger siblings, it simply was not an option – until she received a gift from her brother.

    And much like the gift Nassali received in the book, 10 Ugandan girls will be receiving a similar gift.

    “It was beyond my expectations,” said Winters of the book launch. “We raised enough money to send 10 Ugandan children to school for a full year.”

    Winters said the idea for the book came to her while she was completing her PhD; with a course in multimodal literacies, and more specifically African literacies, acting as the launching pad for what is now a 32-page picture book.

    “The one thing that kept coming up was that at the end of a long day, the males in Uganda were able to sit under the jackfruit tree and talk to each other and the females never got this opportunity,” she said of how the story’s shape began. “The girls do so much work they aren’t often able to go to school—and that’s where the story stemmed from.”

    Fitzhenry and Whiteside Publishers’ Christie Harkin was one of the supervising editors for the book and was immediately impressed upon reading the story for the first time.

    “It was really moving,” said Harkin. “It wasn’t preachy; it’s the story of a girl and even though she’s a universal character, she’s still just one girl.”

    Harkin says that they are trying to take their picture book line in a direction toward global citizenship awareness and Winters’ book fell into that category.

    “When she came with her book it was really good – she did a lot of research and made sure she knew her topic.”

    With almost a year of research put into the book, Winters ensured that there would be a noticeable accuracy in all aspects; from the language to the images to the smallest of details.

    “But, I am not the only author on this project,” says Winters. “It takes a team to put it together.”

    When Kari-Lynn spoke about authorship she conceived it broadly, including all the staff at Fitzhenry & Whiteside Publishers as well as the illustrator, Stephen Taylor — a Toronto artist, whose beautiful, realistic pictures capture the essence of the book perfectly. Winters also gave credit to the Ugandan scholars who helped her vet the book for accuracy, including three people from Uganda — Samuel Andema, Elizabeth Namazzi, and Jalia Kangave.

    “Their input was not only helpful, it was crucial for cultural accuracy,” says Winters.

    Although defined as a children’s picture book, the universal story reaches much further than a young child.

    “You can use for this book for a grade 2-3 classroom but if you want to delve into more sophisticated issues such as children’s rights, critical literacies, equity, or health education it can be used in high school or adult education classes as well,” said Winters. “I knew I wanted to have it access a wide range: a lot of people don’t know about sophisticated picture books.”


  • “The Gift of Education,” by Julian Kitchen. Brock Education Journal 22:1 (November 2012), online at brock.scholarsportal.info:

    Abstract: One of the greatest gifts is the opportunity to learn. Many, blessed with rich learning opportunities at home and in school, take this for granted. Many here and around the world are not so fortunate. Gift Days, a picture book by children’s author Kari-Lynn Winters (2012), is a powerful reminder of the limits to educational opportunity and a testament to how caring individuals can give the gift of learning in even the most adverse circumstances. Each of the articles in this volume offers a gift of education to learners and educators.

    Read this editorial, and article about Gift Days, at brock.scholarsportal.info/journals/brocked/home/article/view/303.


  • The Brock News November 23, 2012 (read online)

    Education prof launches new children’s book, helps a cause, by T. Mayer

    Because I Am A Girl education in Uganda.
    click for larger image

    The title of Kari-Lynn Winters’ latest children’s book, Gift Days, is a poignant one.

    Launched in early November at Brock’s Hamilton campus, Gift Days is about a young African girl, Nassali, who dreams of an education. But after the death of her mother, Nassali must take care of the household and raise her younger siblings. That rules out school until her brother gives her the gift of time — days off housework duty — to pursue her dream. Thanks to money raised at the Gift Days launch through book sales and donations, 10 Ugandan girls will be receive a gift similar to Nassali’s. They’ll be able to attend school for a full year. In total, $260 was raised for the charity Because I am a Girl, which aims to better the opportunities of girls and women throughout the world.

    “It was beyond my expectations,” Winters said about money raised. “We are all super excited to be giving gift days to these girls.”

    It was a course in multimodal literacies, specifically African literacies, while Winters was completing her PhD that inspired the 32-page picture book.

    “The one thing that kept coming up was that at the end of a long day, the males in Uganda were able to sit under the jackfruit tree and talk to each other and the females never got this opportunity,” she said about how the story began to take shape. “The girls do so much work they aren’t often able to go to school and that’s where the story stemmed from.”

    Supervising editor Christie Harkin of Fitzhenry and Whiteside Publishers was struck by the story the first time she read Winters’ manuscript.

    “It was really moving,” Harkin said. “It wasn’t preachy. It’s the story of a girl and even though she’s a universal character, she’s still just one girl.”

    Harkin says the publishing company hopes to make its picture book line about global citizenship awareness and Winters’ book helps achieve that.

    “When she came with her book, it was really good. She did a lot of research and made sure she knew her topic,” Harkin said.

    Winters spent nearly a year doing research for the book, ensuring she was accurate in her storytelling right down to the smallest of details. Ugandan scholars also vetted it for accuracy.

    “Their input was not only helpful, it was crucial for cultural accuracy,” Winters said.

    She was also grateful to her team of editors and Toronto illustrator Stephen Taylor for helping put the book together.

    Although it’s children’s picture book, Winters said the universal story knows no age.

    “You can use for this book for a Grade 2-3 classroom, but if you want to delve into more sophisticated issues, such as children’s rights, critical literacies, equity or health education, it can be used in high school or adult education classes as well,” she explained. “I knew I wanted to have it access a wide range. A lot of people don’t know about sophisticated picture books.”


  • The Brock News November 9, 2010 (read online)

    Teacher candidates participate in a workshop at the Arts Matter conference.
    Teacher candidates participate in a workshop at the Arts Matter conference. Click for larger image.

    Brock’s future teachers have gained some new ideas about using art in the classroom thanks to the first ever Arts Matter conference held by the Faculty of Education. More than 125 teacher candidates attended Arts Matter: Integrating the Arts Across the Curriculum on Oct. 28 and 29 at Brock’s Hamilton campus. Highlights included:

    • a keynote speech from arts advocate David Booth
    • a performance by Roseneath Theatre
    • 10 integrated arts workshops with skilled clinicians in drama, music, dance and visual arts
    • closing remarks by Fiona Blaikie, Dean of the Faculty of Education

    The conference was organized by Shelley Griffin, Peter Vietgen and Kari-Lynn Winters, all faculty in the Department of Teacher Education. “We look forward to the continuation of this event in future years,” Winters said.


  • Kari-Lynn Winters
    click for larger image

    The Brock News, April 19, 2010 (read online)

    A book by a Brock professor has been nominated for the prestigious B.C. Book Prize.

    Kari-Lynn Winters, assistant professor in the Faculty of Education, has been nominated in the Christie Harris Illustrated Book category for On My Walk. The story follows a mother and toddler on a walk through Vancouver. It is illustrated by Christina Leist and published by Tradewind Books.

    This is Winters’ sixth book for young children, and the second to be nominated for the B.C. Book Prize. There are a lot of great Canadian picture books for children aged four to seven, Winters said. But there are few for children aged zero to five.

    “When I read to my two-year daughter, McKenna,” Winters said, “she struggled to pay attention to the length of a regular picture book, so I wanted to write a whole story to her that was at her level.”

    Toddlers prefer short text, concrete ideas and one linear theme, she said.

    Writing for small children, she said, can be tougher than writing for adults. It requires taking an idea and scaling it back until it is at a children’s reading level.

    “I know it’s ready when there’s not another word I can cut out of it,” she said.

    Winters spent about two years working on On My Walk.

    She now performs the book in classrooms using props and lots of action. She teaches drama in education at Brock.

    The B.C. Book Prize will be awarded at an April 24 gala in Victoria, B.C.


  • Kari-Lynn Winters at a book-signing for Jeffrey and Sloth
  • Interviewed by Cherie Givens for “Pre-censorship of children’s books: Curtailing the freedom of speech and expression of Canadian authors and illustrators”

  • From writingcentre.ubc.ca:

    In the spring of 2007, Orca Books published Kari-Lynn Winters’ Jeffrey and Sloth, a picture book about the daunting task of overcoming writer’s block. Her next book, Runaway Alphabet, will be published by Simply Read Books. And another story that she developed in our Children’s Book Workshop – with the working title Chicken on Skis - has been accepted for publication by Raincoast Books. Kari says she didn’t always consider herself a writer – that, in fact, she was a reluctant writer in elementary school who found composition a struggle. It was her love of storytelling and children’s literature that led Kari to eventually to try her own hand at writing. She affirms that her love of children’s literature continues to grow as she “practices writing as a reader and reading as a writer.” In her “spare time” Kari is also a PhD candidate, graduate teaching assistant, children’s theatre performer and mother of two. You can read more by and about Kari on her web site.


  • Virtual Walk Famous Residents of St Thomas (see end of page)



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