Trillium Book Awards Author Reading 2015

Extreme-ly Canada

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Woo hoo! We got our power back late Saturday afternoon and were able to move home shortly after that. Our very chilly house warmed up quickly and I don’t think I’ve ever been so happy to be in our house. I have a new respect for our pioneer ancestors. Thanks again to Dr. McE (and Alix) for all of your help. I’m thinking of you both today.

Ever since I mentioned in my blog post of December 11 that I was writing a third book with Frieda Wishinsky, I bet many people have been unable to sleep at night wondering what that book is about.

Anyone? Anyone? (Bueller?)

We don’t yet have a name for the book but it contains 101 incredible people, places and happenings in Canada and our editor, Anne Shone, has really encouraged us to be creative. The items are arranged in ten chapters with such titles (subject to change) as “High-Flying Canada,” "Extreme-ly Canada,” “Things that Make You Sing ‘O Canada!’” and “Who Put the Can in Canada?”

Frieda and I have worked hard to find fun but important facts to include in the book, so educators will see the value of the book and kids will gobble up the awesome info. Can you guess how many rivers meet at Trois-Rivières? (Only two!) And did you know that Canada has the world’s longest coastline (about twice as long as the next longest) and the world’s highest tides?

I could go on, but instead, why not pick up a copy of the book? I love writing books like this because I hope it helps kids realize what an amazing country we have (weather aside!). I’m obviously a proud Canadian and I appreciate the opportunity to encourage kids to have pride in our incredible and fascinating country, too.

And Another Thing …
I’ve always loved that famous photo that Yousef Karsh snapped of Winston Churchill. You know the one in which Churchill is looking like the epitome of a determined British bulldog. That photo was taken on this date in 1941 in Ottawa.

You probably also know the story of the photo: Churchill was angry about the photo session because no one had told him he was to be photographed. He told Karsh he had just two minutes to take the photo, then belligerently lit one of his signature cigars. Karsh asked him to put it out but Churchill refused. So Karsh casually pulled the cigar out of the old politician’s mouth and quickly snapped the photo. Churchill was furious — and that’s the look Karsh captured.

Churchill then apparently smiled and said, “You may take another one.” Interestingly, that photo, which showed Churchill smiling, is rarely seen because it’s so much less memorable. Churchill later observed to Karsh “You can even make a roaring lion stand still to be photographed.” That first photo by Karsh of Churchill is thought by many to be the most reproduced photographic portrait ever. Go to http://iconicphotos.wordpress.... if you’d like to take a look at both photos.

Thanks for reading.

The views expressed in the Writer-in-Residence blogs are those held by the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of Open Book: Toronto.

Elizabeth MacLeod

Award-winning author Elizabeth MacLeod has written over 50 books for children. Her most recent book, Bones Never Lie: How Forensics Helps Solve History’s Mysteries, was published by Annick Press.

Go to Elizabeth MacLeod’s Author Page