girls education in africaJust Be-aWhat If I'm Not a Cat?booksmagazinesabout Kari-Lynn Mooreauthor visits to your schoolteachers' guidescontact Kari WintersEsper Getz at the OlympicsKari Winters
Outside of a dog, a book is a man's best friend. Inside of a dog it's too dark to read.
- Groucho Marx

press and media


People from St. Thomas



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


    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,

  • 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

  • Brock University research urges more support for arts during and after pandemic” by John Law in St. Catharines Standard (May 16, 2021):

    The arts will play an important role as Niagara pulls out of the pandemic, says new research from Brock University.

    “The arts need to be continually supported,” said associate professor of educational studies Kari-Lynn Winters.

    “The arts do more than what we think they’re doing: they bolster self-confidence and mental wellness, they leverage community building and reconciliation and bring about self-actualization, inclusion and embracing diversities.”

    Winters authored the Niagara Community Observatory research brief “What’s Art Got to Do With It? The role of arts and culture in a community’s survival during a global pandemic.” In it, she presents three vignettes to show the arts making a difference in someone’s life.

    One story follows a homeless middle-aged woman who enrolled in an arts program and was soon able to express herself with more confidence and raise awareness in the community about poverty and homelessness.

    Another examines a play Brock scholars and students created to help audiences better understand forced migration, marginalization and reconciliation.

    The third is about a drama workshop for young Niagara students about body image. For role-play afterwards, students were asked to design the perfect mannequin, which enabled one 10-year-old boy with autism to stand up to a hypothetical boss and defend why he designed the mannequin the way he did.

    The NCO brief said these vignettes support findings that show the “central element of any community’s resilience is the critical mass of cultural activities.”

    Winters, the 2020 recipient of the St. Catharines Arts Award for Arts in Education, said the arts “make us human because they enable us to empathize with different perspectives and positions.”

    The research urged three things which would support the arts in Niagara:

    • Set up artful spaces in public places;
    • Create programs that build relationships between artists and community members;
    • Establish grants for businesses to hire local artists.

    The research credited the “resilience” of some Niagara arts groups during the pandemic: Carousel Players created Zoom plays and some musicians performed behind thick plastic at Niagara wineries.

    It added there are about 1,200 creative and performing artists in the region, with performing arts groups supporting more than 750 jobs.

    “We need to appreciate the economic vitality of Niagara’s arts community,” said NCO director Charles Conteh.

    “We’re talking about a sector not only with an economic value of more than $2 billion in direct and associated spending, but also with an incalculable value in the overall quality of life, advancing social awareness, promoting inclusivity and providing portraits of our shared stories.”

    New literary festival makes its debut in St. Catharines” by Melinda Cheevers in Niagara This Week (Oct. 2, 2016):

    Festival of Readers
    Among the many activities as part of Festival of Reading will be a book store set up in the Mill’s Room of the St. Catharines Public Library.

    ST. CATHARINES — From poetry and short fiction to children’s stories and graphic novels and everything in between, the written word and the love of reading will be celebrated at the inaugural Festival of Readers St. Catharines event taking place this weekend.

    Running Thursday through Saturday, the all-ages free festival will bring celebrated Canadian authors to St. Catharines for three days aimed at helping to build a literary culture in the Niagara Region. It’s a culture that desperately needs to be developed, according to the festival’s artistic director, Gregory Betts. A poet, author and professor at Brock University, Betts has been organizing literary events in the region for a decade. All the while, he said, he’s been working toward creating a festival like FOR.

    “It all started with a couple of people brainstorming what to do to make this happen,” he said, noting that artists and authors came together to build the inaugural festival.

    Organizers — which includes Clelia Scala, Natalee Caple, Stephen Remus, Kari-Lynn Winters, Jon Eben Field, and Natasha Pedros on the board of directors — wanted to have a pan-Canadian focus with its invited authors.

    “We wanted to build a national stage in St. Catharines,” said Betts, adding that there will be some local talent on display as well.

    The festival kicks off Thursday evening at the FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre with an event featuring George Bowering, a poet, writer, biographer and historian as well as the first Parliamentary Poet Laureate of Canada. While the 7 p.m. event is free to the public, guests are encouraged to register to secure a seat. Friday evening, the festival moves to the Niagara Artists Centre at 354 St. Paul St., for an opening reception at 7 p.m. for two visual arts exhibitions, followed by poetry readings and slam poetry performances.

    On Saturday there’s a full lineup of events set to take place in the St. Catharines Public Library’s Central branch, starting at 10 a.m. There will be three separate areas, the main stage in the atrium, workshops in the Bankers Room and a book store set up in the Mills Room. Betts said it’s an opportunity to purchase new books in the city’s downtown — something that is unfortunately missing from the core.

    “There is no book store selling new books in the city’s downtown,” he said, adding independent book stores play an important role in contributing to a thriving literary scene. While there are many used book stores who do a great job in their own right, Betts said there’s no place to go discover new works by Canadian or local writers.

    While doing research on the region, Betts came across the statistics surrounding literacy rates, noting that Niagara has a 52 per cent functional illiteracy rate. Functional illiteracy is reading and writing skills that are inadequate to manage daily living and employment tasks that require reading skills beyond a basic level.

    “The burden falls on everyone to address that,” said Betts. “It’s just an incredible number and it hurts the region.”

    It inspired Betts and those involved with the festival to create a space to celebrate the love of reading.

    “There are some people who are curious about literature but don’t know where to start, well this is the place for them,” he said.

    The festival’s schedule is incredibly diverse, with workshops on bookmaking and writing thru “race” to a session on reading cultural reciprocity, truth and reconciliation in Niagara. To see the full schedule, visit


    Shining a light on St. Catharines’s emerging artists: Arts Awards coming June 4” by Melinda Cheevers in Niagara This Week (June 2, 2016):

    Kari-Lynn Winters
    Photo by Brad Moore
    Kari-Lynn Winters is one of five artists nominated in the Emerging Artist Award category of the St. Catharines Arts Awards.

    ST. CATHARINES — If Kari-Lynn Winters wasn’t able to write, she just wouldn’t feel right.

    “I’m so passionate about it. I couldn’t not write,” said the children’s author. “My mind doesn’t feel right if I’m not writing.”

    That’s why every morning, before her kids get up and before she has to head off to work as an

    associate professor teaching drama and education at Brock University, she spends three hours writing. She’s been doing that for 10 years, since before she published her first illustrated book for children. Now, 16 published books later, she keeps up with the habit.

    “It’s all about discipline,” she said.

    It’s not just children’s books she publishes, Winters is also a playwright. She finds joy in creating new worlds and telling unique stories in interesting ways. A teacher at heart, she tries to infuse educational elements in all of her work — like her book of poetry Hungry for Math: Poems to Munch On and the informational interactive activity book Bite Into Bloodsuckers, all about insects.

    Winters is one of five St. Catharines artists nominated in the emerging artist category, recognizing and celebrating their current accomplishments and their future potential. While the artists are all varied in their approach, the one thing they have in common is passion. While Winters is an author and playwright, the other four nominees are all musicians: folk singer songwriter Whitney Pea has been performing across the region and beyond as part of a full band and as a solo artist, Beth Moore’s music makes regular appearances on CBC Radio as she carves out a career for herself on the national stage, Charlotte Knight is making a name for herself in Canada’s opera scene with regular musical theatre performances, and Aaron Berger incorporates his inspiring story of overcoming mental health challenges into his musical performances.

    Berger, Moore and Knight will all be performing during the award ceremony, along with a performance by NSO Music Director and established artist award nominee Bradley Thachuk with members of the Niagara Symphony Orchestra.

    In total, 19 artists are up for awards in five categories. In addition to Emerging Artist, other awards handed out that night will include Established Artist, Arts in Education, Making a Difference, and Patron of the Arts. Past Arts Award recipients Deb Slade and Mike Enns will be the emcees at the event.

    The awards will be handed out Saturday night during a ceremony taking place at Cairns Recital Hall in the FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre. The event kicks off at 8 p.m. Tickets for the evening are still available for purchase.

    They are $12 in advance or $17 on event day, plus applicable fees and taxes. Tickets are available through the FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre Box Office online at or by calling 1-855-515-0722.

    Following the awards event, there will be an after party at Mahtay Cafe and Lounge on St. Paul Street.

    For more information on the St. Catharines Arts Awards, visit

    Melinda Cheevers is a reporter for Niagara this Week covering St. Catharines. She also edits Niagara Life and West Niagara Life magazines.


    Striking a perfect balance between passions,” by Whitney South, in St. Thomas / Elgin Weekly News, October 6 2015:

    Finding literary balance
    Kari-Lynn Winters balances teaching and writing children’s books, including this year’s Bad Pirate, Hungry for Math: Poems to Munch On and A Bite Into Bloodsuckers.

    Growing up in St. Thomas, Kari-Lynn Winters always loved working with kids.

    Whether it was babysitting at 12, teaching gymnastics at 13, taking on numerous roles at summer camps, or her time as a children’s performer, Winters knew she had a passion for educating and entertaining young people.

    “I was one of those kids who never worked at McDonald’s or in a restaurant,” she said with a laugh. “I’ve always been a teacher in a way. It’s the energy and imagination you can have with kids.”

    These days, Winters splits her time between working as an associate professor at Brock University and writing picture books for children, with over a dozen published works currently gracing bookstore and library shelves.

    “I’ve had three books released this year, which is quite an accomplishment actually,” she said. “Not everyone gets to do the thing they love, I’ve been really lucky that way.”

    For Winters, it all started when she attended the National Theatre School of Canada as a student in playwriting.

    “I started writing plays for kids and then from that I went to the University of British Columbia, where I ended up taking a children’s writing course,” she said. “I had always loved picture books, but I didn’t think I could write them.”

    It wasn’t until a friend encouraged her to submit work she had done as an assignment to a publisher, that the budding author realized she could do it.

    “He was published and he said if you submit it, if you research and submit it, I’ll help you write the cover letter,” Winters explained. “So I looked up different publishers and he helped me write the cover letter. That ended up being my first book.”

    Splitting her time between the university, writing and being a mom to a 10-year-old daughter and 15-year-old son, Winters believes she’s found the perfect balance and isn’t ready to give anything up just yet.

    “I do really enjoy what I do,” she said, adding as an associate professor, she gets the chance to instruct teachers not only how to teach drama class for kids, but also language arts, which are both subjects close to her heart. “At some point, I’ll probably retire from my day job and just write because it’s my passion, but I really do love what I do and it blends so nicely.”

    While she loves teaching future educators, the author said the reason she continues to write is for the children.

    “Mine are certainly growing up, and I love teaching adults at the university and I miss being with kids,” she said. “They give you so much energy and they have such interesting insights on the world, I have a lot of fun with them and I love what I do.”

    But no matter how grown up her children may get, Winters knows they will always be proud of their mom the author, even if she did happen to use them as guinea pigs for her work.

    “The thing about picture books is they’re read aloud, so I do this thing called beating it out where I’m patting my leg and reading it,” she said with a laugh. “The kids are always like —- mom stop, I can’t think! They may get tired of it, but I kind of think they’re my biggest fans as well.”

    And whether it’s stories about an outcast pirate, poetry about math, or a non-fiction collection of real-life vampires in the animal kingdom, Winters continues to appreciate every opportunity she’s been given to connect with young readers.

    “Kids have always been a big part of my life,” she said. “So I’m proud to be just living proof that if kids want to be writers, they can just do it.”

    Math, poetry and theatrical fun in Norwood,” by Bill Freeman, in Inside Belleville, September 27, 2015:

    Award winning children’s author and Brock University professor Kari-Lynn Winters is helped out by Jolene Payne, five, at a special kick-off event at the Peterborough Family Resource Centre’s Norwood Family Hub at Norwood District High School Saturday morning.

    Norwood – There was math, poetry and theatrical fun Saturday to kick off another year at the Norwood Family Hub.

    Award winning children’s author and Brock University professor Kari-Lynn Winters was at the Peterborough Family Resource Centre site at Norwood District High to lead children and adults through a workshop inspired by two of her books “Hungry For Math: Poems to Munch On” and “aRHYTHMETIC: A Book and a Half of Poetry About Math” illustrated by Lori Sherritt-Fleming and Scot Ritchie respectively.

    Through poetry, children were introduced to concepts like ordinal numbers, patterns, counting by two, symmetry, measuring time and shapes and with Winters’ skill as a teacher and theatrical background it was an entertaining and enjoyable hour of math and literacy.

    “It takes a long time to make some of the concepts being portrayed in the clearest way and the cadences right,” Winters said in an interview. “It’s kind of like sculpting; you take an idea and sculpt it down.”

    The finished pieces and their illustrations are educational delights that find the right balance between text and image. That balance is something Winters, as a scholar working in Brock’s Teacher Education Department, is very conscious of as children become increasingly accustomed to using mobile devices.

    Book sales indicate that adults are still buying books for children, she happily adds.

    “(But) I see a lot of things happening on devices. I see a lot of parents just giving devices to children to babysit them.”

    Being able to “navigate and to be able to know digital literacy is very important but there has got to be a balance,” says Winters. “Text will always be important; we speak through words. Images are very important which is why it’s important to keep kids reading picture books long after we think they shouldn’t be. People think: ‘they’re in grade four they should be reading novels now.”

    One way to help children develop broad media skills is to have them read picture books, Winters says, noting that there are lots of picture books catering to older children.

    Parents should never stop reading with their children, she says. They should also try to find ways to create their own stories.

    “Being a creator is really important.”

    Winters’ writing background started as a playwright and a love of theatre that took her to the National Theatre School.

    “That led me to picture books and at the same time I had an interest in teaching.”

    Norwood Hub supervisor Leanne Dunn was thrilled to have Winters at their opening.

    “We always want to host a kick-off event to get families aware of our program and literacy and numeracy go hand in hand,” she said.

    This is the Hub’s third year at NDHS and they’ve found a very welcoming home.

    “We just want to keep letting families know we’re here. It’s beautiful to have our own rooms and our own entrance. We try to promote other rural services here too.”

    Along with regular Tuesday and Wednesday programming, Dunn says the Hub will host a number of other special parenting events throughout the year.

  • 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.


    … 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”


    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

    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

Magazine articles

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

  • “Education Associate Professor nominated for local arts award” by Tarryn Landman, in Brock News (March 9, 2020), online at

    Education Associate Professor nominated for local arts award

    Monday, March 09, 2020 | by Tarryn Landman

    Kari-Lynn Winters, Associate Professor in the Faculty of Education, has been nominated for a St. Catharines Arts Award for her arts education activities in the community.

    Kari-Lynn Winters, Associate Professor in the Faculty of Education, is being recognized for her commitment to engaging the St. Catharines community through arts education activities.

    Winters was nominated for the Arts in Education Award by a group of Brock University students and her colleague Shelley Griffin, Associate Professor in the Faculty of Education.

    “I just feel honoured to be nominated,” said Winters. “It’s touching when your students think so highly of you that they’re willing to take the time to write the letters.”

    For Winters, her work at Brock and in the community brings together her passion for education and her love of the arts.

    “I think the arts are what make us human,” she said. “It’s our way to connect with each other.”

    Winters teaches drama, language arts and dance in Brock’s Teacher Education programs and supervises graduate students in the Faculty of Education. As a graduate supervisor and researcher, she works with students and other faculty members to conduct research studies throughout St. Catharines.

    In her classes at Brock, Winters helps teacher candidates learn the elements of an artform, such as dance or drama, and strategies for using these elements to teach other subjects. Teacher candidates might use movement and storytelling to design a math lesson, for example.

    “I just try to create an artful space where students can explore with one another and actually learn together,” said Winters. “By the time they leave, they feel like they’re part of a bigger community. I think they’re just open to exploring new ways to teach.”

    These new ways of teaching will help teacher candidates incorporate different ways of learning into their future classrooms. As well as new teaching strategies, Winters’ classes offer teacher candidates a safe space to take risks and make mistakes, helping them to be more fearless educators.

    Outside of Brock, Winters works with local arts groups, children, parents, librarians and teachers as an artist and children’s book author.

    In collaboration with the Carousel Players, Winters created the early years curriculum for the award-winning professional theatre in Niagara. As a workshop facilitator and educator, she inspires members of the community, including marginalized teens and adults, to create plays. Each year, Winters visits schools across Niagara and around the world to share her enthusiasm for creative writing and literacy education with thousands of K-12 students.

    The St. Catharines Arts Awards ceremony, set to take place May 1 at the FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre, celebrates excellence in all areas of artistic creation in Niagara’s most populous city.

    Two Brock graduates, Katherine Gottli (BA ’10, MEd ’13) and Colleen McTigue (ADEC ’15), have also been nominated for the Emerging Artist Award category, which celebrates the achievements and potential of an emerging artist in St. Catharines working to establish a career and become a recognized professional artist in their field.

  • “Play brings Brock researcher’s work to life” by Tarryn Landman, in Brock News (December 14, 2017), online at

    It took nine years for Snezana Ratkovic to feel fully at home in Canada. Having settled here as a refugee from the former Yugoslavia, she understands the challenge of creating a new life in an unfamiliar country.

    Ratkovic, now a research officer and instructor in the Faculty of Education, heard similar stories from other refugee women while doing her PhD research.

    Wanting to find new ways to share these stories with a larger audience, Ratkovic has worked with colleagues in the Faculty of Education and other performers to create a short play, We Want to Paint on the Walls of the Cave, that was featured in the Festival of Readers in St. Catharines on Nov. 4, 2017. Kari-Lynn Winters, an associate professor in the Faculty, worked with Ratkovic as a collaborative playwright and director.

    Named from a poem Ratkovic wrote, the play’s title reflects how the women she interviewed for her research wanted to express their creativity while trying to learn new languages, rebuild careers, and support their families.

    This multimedia performance aims to encourage discussion about the roles and experiences of immigrants, refugees, and Indigenous people in Canada. Using a collaborative playbuilding approach, the performers weave their personal experiences and ideas into the final product. The music was composed by Spy Denomme-Welch, an assistant professor in the Faculty of Education, and performers created the painting featured in the performance.

    As well as blending dance, music, drama, and visuals, the play also includes interactive elements that allow the audience to participate in the production.

    Since it was first performed at the In the Soil Arts Festival in April 2017, the play has been expanded with new content and performers. The Festival of Reader cast included several Brock University faculty members and students from a range of backgrounds.

    Festival of Reader cast

    Dr. Snežana Ratković (Artistic Director/Producer/Dramaturge/Collaborative Playwright) is a refugee teacher from the former Yugoslavia who immigrated to Canada in 1998. She is the Research Officer in the Faculty of Education at Brock University and a published poet in the former Yugoslavia. Snežana’s research interest lies in migration and indigeneity, transnational and transdisciplinary teacher education, social justice leadership, decolonizing research methodologies, and knowledge mobilization.

    Dr. Kari-Lynn Winters (Drama Director/Dramaturge/Collaborative Playwright) is an award-winning children’s author, scholar, playwright, and performer. Since 2007, she has had more than 17 books published with 9 more in pre-press production. She is also an Associate Professor at Brock University, where she teaches drama-in-education and language arts to teacher candidates.

    Heryka Miranda (Choreographer/Dance Director) is a social change dance artist and activist-scholar. Her dance creations are guided by working with disability arts, Indigenous dance/theatre and expressive arts healing approaches. She has training in Dance/Movement Therapy and Expressive Arts Therapy from the Antioch Graduate School in Keene, New Hampshire, and the International School for Interdisciplinary Studies, ISIS – Canada. Heryka recently graduated at Brock University with an MA in Health and Physical Education from the Faculty of Applied Health Sciences

    Dr. Spy Dénommé-Welch (Composer) is a multidisciplinary scholar and artist (composer/librettist/producer). He completed his PhD in Education at York University, where his research received funding from SSHRC and OGS, and garnered the President Susan Mann Dissertation Award. He has an active research and professional arts practice, working as a composer, writer/librettist, performer and producer.

    Catherine Magowan (Bassoonist/Composer) has been principal bassoonist with the Sudbury Symphony Orchestra since 2002. She was nominated for a Dora Mavor Moore award in 2010 for the opera Giiwedin, which she co-composed with her collaborator, Spy Dénommé-Welch, and in 2012 their chamber piece, Bike Rage, took first prize by audience vote in Baroque Idol (Aradia Ensemble).

    Brianna Spratt (Dramaturge/Stage Manager/Actor) is a multifaceted academic and instructor. She is involved in numerous foundations and committees that focus on health, fitness, and overall well-being. Her background in applied science, education, research, and fitness provides her with a wealth of knowledge in embodiment and in the collaboration of fields and topics.

    Catherine Longboat (Actor/Indigenous Knowledge Holder) is of mixed heritage: Ojibwe and Haudenosaunee;  Consultant, Collaborator, and Artisan;  Mother and Grandmother; Assistant Professor, Tecumseh Centre for Aboriginal Research and Education in the Faculty of Education, Brock University.

    Sajitha Vinod (Actor/Dancer) is an M.Ed. Graduate, Leadership and Administration in Education, Brock University and a science teacher from United Arab Emirates. She writes poems.

    Bharti Rana (Actor/Dancer) is a student in the Leadership and Administration in Education (ISP) program at Brock University and a computer teacher from India. She won second prize in Rangoli competition and participated in cultural group dance.

    Shihui Yang (Actor/Dancer) is a diversely talented and experienced individual in the fields of fine art, music, and sport. Yang achieved a BFA in oil painting from CCNU and she is an experienced sketching and drawing instructor. In addition to being an accomplished pianist, Shihui is a recognized National Second-Level Athlete in China. At present, Yang is a student in the Master of Education program at Brock University.

    Aji Vatghese (Actor/Dancer) is a Master of Education Student of Brock University. He is a member of a Christian Catholic religious group called Bethany. Being a social worker and teacher, he tries his best to make this world a better place for everyone.

    Neelofar Ahmed (Actor) holds an MA, MBA specializing in Human Resources and Marketing and an MS in Computing Sciences from eminent universities in Pakistan. Currently, she works as a researcher at Brock University, Canada. Her interest lies in war and terrorism affected children’s education and physical and mental well-being in schools and communities.

    Shaheer Ahmed (Actor) is a Grade 6 student at Oakridge Public School, St. Catherines, Ontario. Shaheer loves to read books and build lego for hours. He loves to talk, cook, and eat. Walking in the woods is his favorite physical activity, besides ice skating.

    Aimal Ahmed (Actor) is a Grade 1 student at Jeanne Sauvé French Immersion Public School, St. Catherines, Ontario. She loves to make friends, to laugh, and to dance. Her favorite color is pink and Elsa is her favorite character. Aimal loves to help her friends, make her teachers happy, and make her parents proud.

    Shelly Scott-England (Actor/Dancer)

    Vicki Sault (Actor) is Haudenosaunee/Anishnaabi Kwe from Six Nations and Mississauga of the New Credit First Nation. My Anishnaabi name is Waban Nungoos Kwe (Morning Star Woman). She has a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Sociology and a Bachelor of Education in Aboriginal Adult Education who was determined to strive for an education while raising her children in two worlds of Aboriginal culture and non Native society

    Wes Day (Actor)

    Shannon Kitchings’ (Poet) arts-based work in community stems from her outreach experience with youth in Ontario. In addition to arts-based community development animator and playwright, Shannon is a spoken word artist, performing her poems throughout southern Ontario. She is also a trainer, director and singer.

    “Brock prof brings pirate book to life” by Maryanne Firth, in Brock News (September 19, 2017), online at

    Kari-Lynn Winters
    Kari-Lynn Winters, an associate professor in Brock’s Department of Teacher Education, shows her new book, Best Pirate, to Nathan and Danielle from the University’s Rosalind Blauer Centre for Child Care. Winters shared the story with a group of children from the centre during her book launch on Tuesday, Sept. 19 in Brock’s Instructional Resource Centre.

    Screams of ‘arrr matey’ and ‘shiver me timbers’ filled the air in Brock’s Instructional Resource Centre Tuesday, as a group of children seated in a pretend ocean roared with laughter.

    Wearing a captain’s hat, Kari-Lynn Winters, an associate professor in Brock’s Department of Teacher Education, passionately shared her new book, Best Pirate, with the youngsters from the Rosalind Blauer Centre for Child Care, bringing the characters to life as she moved throughout the room.

    Winters, who teaches drama in education, felt it only fitting to introduce the children’s book on Sept. 19 — also known as International Talk Like a Pirate Day.

    Kari-Lynn Winters, an associate professor in Brock’s Department of Teacher Education, reads her new book, Best Pirate, to a group of children from the University’s Rosalind Blauer Centre for Child Care. Winters shared the story during her book launch on Tuesday, Sept. 19 in Brock’s Instructional Resource Centre.

    Best Pirate is the third in a series published by Pajama Press, preceded by Winters’ Bad Pirate and Good Pirate.

    “Who doesn’t love pirates?” Winters said when asked about the inspiration behind the books. “They talk funny and they’re adventurous — all kids love adventure.”

    Many children have responded positively to the series’ main character, a female buccaneer — and dog — named Augusta Garrick.

    “A lot of kids will say, ‘I’m glad you made her a girl.’ There should be more stories about adventurous girls,” Winters said.

    The latest edition, illustrated by Dean Griffiths and edited by Ann Featherstone, offers life lessons about sharing and compromise.

    “We really want to get kids imagining, feeling like they’re engaged in the story, feeling like they can visualize it, make predictions and connections,” Winters said. “I hope they understand the story — the idea that you don’t have to be the same as everyone else, that different friends can work together towards an outcome that’s positive for everyone.”

    Winters, who has published 25 picture and poetry books, hoped the teacher candidates in attendance at Tuesday’s launch found inspiration to bring stories to life when sharing them with children.

    “It doesn’t have to be a dull moment — sitting in a chair, just opening a book and reading it,” she said. “You can really engage children with questions. You can use drama to bring books to life and to liven children’s imaginations.”

    Best Pirate is now available in The Campus Store.

    “Body Positivity Part 2: Interview with Kari-Lynn Winters” by Audrey Lockwood, in Keys to Y.A., November 20 2015, online at

    My last post was an interview with Nicole Winters regarding body positivity in her book THE JOCK AND THE FAT CHICK. Nicole put me in touch with Kari-Lynn Winters (no relation), who has studied body image among youth extensively. Kari-Lynn is here today to do a follow-up interview, answering many of the same questions given to Nicole.

    First, a note from Kari-Lynn:

    I implemented and took part in a SSHRC-funded research project about the arts and body image. It involved producing a play and drama-based workshops for children (grades 4-7) that toured to 8 schools in the Niagara region (780 students). Data were collected with videos, photos, interviews, focus groups, etc. This is what I will base my answers on.

    How do we teach kids that fat shaming is just as terrible as other types of shaming?

    Shaming in any form can have devastating effects–lowering self confidence, destroying friendships, as well as contributing to isolation, depression, anxiety, and (in some cases) suicides.

    I would like to broaden this topic from fat shaming to body shaming.

    Body shaming (e.g., fat shaming, lanky shaming) has been a part of life for a long time. However, from my literacy and arts research and from other research studies, it has become clear to me that body shaming is very prevalent in today’s youth cultures. Even young children (grade 4), were hyper aware of their bodies and how they fit in with their peers. 93% of the children we worked with/interviewed (N=780) had some issue/s with their bodies. Some of the more common concerns children raised included: arm hair, sweating, weight, height, skin colour, scars, wearing glasses or braces, and complexions. Indeed much of their concerns stemmed from peer pressures and their feelings of “otherness”. Additionally, some of their fears came directly from the media. For example, it was surprising to hear 8-year-olds talking about thigh gaps. Regardless of the type of shaming, the children found themselves humiliated, ugly, and unappreciated. Often they spoke about wanting to hide or to get away. Indeed, like any kind of shaming, body shaming has profound negative affects on a person’s physical and psychological health.

    How do we teach kids to love the bodies that they’re in, even if they are fat, in spite of being fat, while striving to be healthy?

    Instead of focusing on the negative affects of an unhealthy weight, it might be helpful to think about possibilities and perseverance. This youtube video constantly reminds me of the strength of humans:

    In some cases people can transform themselves through proper nutrition and exercise. But more importantly, humans have incredible opportunities to re-story their identities. This means that rather than changing their bodies, why not encourage children to change their mindsets and begin to refute media messages. With the children I have worked with, I try to focus on difference and ability rather than “sameness” and shaming. For example, Howard Schatz’s photo of Olympic athletes ( and demonstrates a diversity of bodies. I show this picture to children, and highlight different contexts. I might ask, “If you wanted to be a gymnast, what challenges would you face if you had a basketball player’s body?” “Or oppositely, what opportunities might you be granted because of that body shape?” When you re-story an attitude about the body, you not only see another perspective, but you also re-shape your own identity.

    How can we change the mindset of passively fat shaming (ie doing things like commenting ‘oh you’d be beautiful if you’d lost a few pounds,” “you have such a pretty face,” and those “helpful” people that try to suggest that everything could be easily fixed through proper diet and exercise)?

    Encourage youth to stand up for themselves and for others by refuting comments with different perspectives. For example, if someone says, “You can’t fit into those boots because your calves are too big.” Encourage the victim to respond with a new point of view. “I like my strong legs. I earned these muscles from sprinting up stairs.” Youth can practice acting out scenarios like these with their friends.

    People will always position others, just as they always have. The secret is to be prepared to re-position yourself within a context, changing the point of view and by the challenging stereotypical attitudes.

    Have you ever changed your opinion (from hate to love) on a physical feature of yours? (An example: When I realized my daughter had the same hair as me, it became an object of sentiment, rather than an object of annoyance.)

    Yes. I used to hate my big teeth. I felt like they were too big for my mouth when I was a kid. Now though, I love my wide, grinny smile…it is one of my signature expressions. People comment on it often.

    How do you feel personal mindset affects the average North American teenager? Is this something that should be included in the public school system curriculum and/or taught at home?

    Yes. Personal mindsets can and need to be observed and discussed in schooled settings (because that is where many mindsets are shaped).
    One project that I did was to encourage students to pretend to be expert mannequin designers and to design the perfect body.

    Then these perfect bodies could be critically discussed, including students’ values about bodies, why mannequins are often designed in certain ways and how these designs sell products for corporations, and eventually, how to change mindsets about body image.

    Additional discussions can be encouraged at home.

    If a child displays their guardian’s ideas and judgments on body positivism, how, then, do we educate the adults of America to create a safe place for their kids to be themselves in the midst of social pressure to fit into specific body sizes/shapes?

    This is why we need children’s literature (such as Nicole Winters’ book) on sensitive topics–places where youth can retreat, reform ideas, and build knowledge about different mindsets. I am grateful to these brave authors, creators, and publishers who take on these projects.

    Many thanks to Kari-Lynn for participating and adding so much useful information to the discussion! I really appreciate her perspective, and I’m glad to hear about the great work she’s doing with kids.

    Brock News around Campus, Oct. 28 2015 (read online)

    Sixth annual Arts Matters Conference a success

    Students danced, acted, sang, and drew their way through the sixth annual Arts Matter conference on October 24.

    The annual showcase, which focuses on the four arts – dance, drama, visual arts, and music – is designed for Brock teacher candidates to explore the various subjects before their first teaching block.

    With a focus on the value of the arts and their integration across the curriculum, students engaged in four one hour and 15 minute workshops that were highly interactive and participatory.

    For some, attending the conference is about the pursuit of setting themselves apart. For others, they’re simply looking to gain strength in a subject area of weakness. And for teacher candidate Sara Boersma, it was a little of both.

    “I wanted to attend because I want to try and set myself apart as much as I can,” said Boersma. “It’s also one of the areas that I’m weaker in, so I was hoping to learning something; I’ve learned more than I thought I would coming into today.”

    Drs. Kari-Lynn Winters, Peter Vietgen, and Shelley Griffin, have organized the conference for the past six years and continue to see the benefits of putting the conference on.

    “The Arts Matterconference is an opportunity for our Teacher Education candidates to get additional, hands-on experiences exploring all four of the Arts disciplines – Dance, Drama, Music and Visual Arts,” says Vietgen. “The day was a huge success – thank you to all teacher candidates who attended for their commitment and participation.”

    “Teacher candidates experienced a variety of Arts experiences through engaging with experts in the field,” adds Griffin. “Through witnessing both clinicians who have a quiet presence, with an ability to focus and draw in a group of students, to clinicians that are high energy and exuberant, the tie that binds these clinicians is the passion for Arts education.”

    As students made their way through morning to afternoon workshops a visible shift in comfort, participation, and ease quickly became apparent.

    “The comfort level you have with your fellow teacher candidates is kind of unspoken because we’re all working towards the same goal,” said Boersma. “We’re learning from each other and not just our teachers.”

    Teacher candidate Liam Johnson-Bujold says that his initial apprehensiveness to the arts was short lived, but admits there’s still much to do before feeling completely at ease.

    “I’m not incredibly proficient in the arts but when it comes to the 4 arts in the classroom I panic,” he says. “[The workshops] were very powerful and informative workshops – it’s nice to know how to integrate the arts into the classroom.”

    While this year’s conference was limited to one day rather than the traditional two, students and clinicians tucked lessons, ideas, and knowledge into their pockets to bring back to their own classrooms.

    To view photos from the sixth annual Arts Matter conference click here. To visit the Arts Matters web site click here

    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

    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

  • 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

    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)

Online interviews

  1. “The Picture Book Buzz – Interview with Kari-Lynn Winters,” April 3 2017:—Interview-with-Kari-Lynn-Winters
  2. “Body Positivity Part 2: Interview with Kari-Lynn Winters,” November 20, 2015, at
  3. “What if you had unlimited time and money to market your book?” responses to Urve Tamberg, September 3 2012, at
  4. “Kari-Lynn Winters’ Story,” an interview with Rob Sanders of Picture This! A Guide for Picture Book Writers, August 6 2012:
  5. A literary agent describes how I first got published: see the paragraph in
  6. “O Is for Onomatopoeia,” an interview with Rena J. Traxel, April 17, 2012:
  7. Discussion of my work in Rena J. Traxel’s piece “R Is for Rhyme,” April 20, 2012:
  8. Interview with Claudio Osmond, October 2010:
  9. Interview with Lori Calabrese, April 8, 2010:, also online at Children’s Book
  10. Interview with Simon Rose, June 26, 2009:
  11. Interview with Lori Calabrese, September 2,2008:
  12. Interview with Lori Calabrese, February 14, 2008:
  13. Interview by Cherie Givens for “Pre-censorship of children’s books,” presented at the 31st International Board on Books for Young People Congress (Copenhagen 2008):

    Some forms of pre-censorship appear to be specific to Canada. Canadian children’s picture book author Kari-Lynn Winters was forced to make extensive revisions to a book that she had written which was accepted for publication prior to the introduction of Bill C-47, the Olympic and Paralympic Marks Act (1st sess., 39th Parliament, 2007):

      Bill C-47 “gives the Vancouver Organizing Committee of the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Games . . . considerable powers to prevent the use of Olympic marks by businesses or individuals seeking to profit from an unauthorized association with the 2010 Games. . . . [It] extends protection to a set of images, words, and expressions associated with the Olympic Games in general and the 2010 Vancouver Olympic Games and Paralympic Games in particular.”

    When Winters was interviewed, a month before Bill C-47 came into effect, she said, “I’m being censored by the government.” Her book, originally titled Olympic Chicken, must be renamed and Winters notes that Bill C-47 prohibits her from using the words “Olympic, Olympic games, . . . winter, gold, silver, bronze, sponsor, Vancouver, [or] Whistler . . . in conjunction with . . . the expression of the Olympics or some sort of sporting event” (Kari-Lynn Winters, interview with the author in Vancouver, Canada, on November 12, 2007; see When Chickens Fly).


  • 2020

  • “An Interview with Canadian author Kari-Lynn Winters” by Canadian Children’s Book Centre, 2020/02/19:

  • 2011

  • I am included in the video below from the 40th anniversary of CODE, Council of Ontario Drama and Dance Educators. My interview starts at the 4:40-minute mark. Click on the small embedded video below, or see a larger-resolution version at

    CODE Documentary (full-size video) from CODE Resources.

  • 2010

  • Valedictorian: Convocation speech for UBC graduating class of 2010

    See video of my speech:

    fast-download quality, 5MB, .mov format

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

  • 2009

  • aRHYTHMETIC book launch: The first (of many) book launches for this was held April 2009 at Science World in Vancouver, featuring the Oscar-worthy stage performances of all three authors. Videos are 24 minutes long in QuickTime format. Download small movie (28MB) or large movie (124MB). (Right-click “save as” to download to your computer.)

  • 2008

  • Forest of Reading Forest of Reading Literacy Initiative is an Ontario Library Association’s Literacy Initiative. To learn more about this program see, Orca books, or see the video below (Jeffrey and Sloth is shown in “Segment 4” at 2:46).

  • 2007

  • Jeffrey and Sloth book launch: The book launch for Jeffrey and Sloth was held in April 2007 at the Vancouver Aquarium, home of some of Canada’s only sloths. A 1-minute video presentation can be viewed in these formats: high quality .mov (8 MB), medium quality .avi (17 MB), and low quality .mp4 (2 MB) — (if the sound doesn’t work, try a different browser or download the files to your computer and open them using a different program).

To follow my career and hear about my latest events and publications, click here.

Copyright © 2003-2023 Kari Winters   —   Design and artwork by Ben Hodson and Winters Web Works