For more information about Jill or to book an author visit, please see Jill’s website.
Jill Bryant is an author who specializes in children’s nonfiction. Born in Toronto, Jill grew up in Elora and Eden Mills, Ontario. Children’s theatre—combined with her travel experiences in Asia—have inspired many of her books. Jill lives in Kingston, Ontario, with her husband and their two daughters.
Jill has presented over 90 book talks and workshops at schools, libraries, and other venues, including TD Canadian Children’s Book Week (2014), The Eden Mills Writers Festival (2012), The Labrador Creative Arts Festival (2010), and Word on the Street (2003). When she isn’t writing books or visiting schools, Jill works as a freelance editor. She is a member of CANSCAIP, The Canadian Children’s Book Centre, and The Writers’ Union of Canada.
“Jill has an ability to promote such positive and exciting energy while presenting … Her presentation encouraged the students to use their imaginations in their own writing. We absolutely would invite Jill back in the near future.”
—Mrs. Powell, Holland Rd. Elementary School, Lake Fletcher, NS
“Everyone commented on how much they enjoyed the presentation and the children were keen take part in the circus experience. Students were excited to be the first to sign out Jill’s book.”
—Sandra Bartlett, Halifax, NS
SELECT CHILDREN’S PUBLICATIONS:
- Phenomenal Female Entrepreneurs (The Women’s Hall of Fame). Second Story Press, 2013
- Dazzling Women Designers (The Women’s Hall of Fame). Second Story Press, 2010
- Amazing Women Athletes (Women’s Hall of Fame). Second Story Press, 2001
- Backyard Circus. Annick Press, 2006
- Making Shadow Puppets (Kids Can Do It). Kids Can, 2002
- Make Your Own Bean Bag Bears. Somerville House Books, 1999
- Sew Your Own Bean Bag Friends. Somerville House Books, 1998
- Bank Street List of Best Books for Phenomenal Female Entrepreneurs, 2014
- Resource Links Year’s Best for Phenomenal Female Entrepreneurs, 2013
- Amelia Bloomer Project’s 2012 List (American Library Association) for Dazzling Women Designers, 2010
- Hackmatack Children’s Choice Book Award, Shortlist for Amazing Women Athletes, 2004
- Our Choice List for Making Shadow Puppets, 2003
- Parent’s Choice, Approved Award Winner for Making Shadow Puppets, 2003
- Parent’s Guide to Children’s Media Award, Honours for Making Shadow Puppets, 2002
- Canadian Toy Testing Council, Two-Star Rating for Sew Your Own Bean Bag Friends, 1998
Backyard Circus [K – 3]
Imagine the fun of creating your very own backyard circus! Let’s bring on the silly hats and the big shoes and try out some circus stunts to captivate the classroom crowd. Jill reads aloud and acts out sections from Backyard Circus, encouraging children to take part. Classroom performers walk the “tightrope,” juggle, dress up, and tell jokes. Jill stresses that practice makes perfect when it comes to polishing skills at the circus — and as a writer. A real crowd-pleaser!
Dig, Dig, Dig! [4 – 6]
Using her book Phenomenal Female Entrepreneurs, Jill takes students behind the scenes to explore one of the first stages in the writing process: research. Together they compare secondary sources to primary sources and learn the value of conducting interviews to collect factual information about real people. Through a series of interactive exercises, students devise questions and practise interviewing. Looking at advice and tips gathered from successful entrepreneurs, Jill shows how students can use a similar approach in their own goal setting. Persistence and determination pay off.
Winning Designs [4 – 6]
Using her book Dazzling Women Designers, Jill explores the ways in which design touches our lives. Students will learn what makes a design sustainable. Together, using PowerPoint slides and excerpts from the book, Jill and the students will examine some remarkable designers and their work. For example, Cornelia Hahn Oberlander is a renowned landscape architect from Vancouver who designed a rooftop garden long before they were popular. Canadian urban planner Jane Jacobs designed cities that put people first. Indian fashion designer Ritu Kumar supports a once forgotten livelihood by buying traditional fabric from village artisans.
Get Real [7 – 8]
Can nonfiction writers borrow techniques from fiction to draw readers into a story with panache? You, bet! Jill demonstrates how to fill in the gaps that can arise in nonfiction narratives, despite meticulous research. The goal is a believable, true-to-life portrait of an individual that may just walk off the page. Then, by drawing examples from her Women’s Hall of Fame books, Jill encourages students to combine sleuth-like observational skills with memories from personal experiences to create catchy openers. This presentation also explores the importance of honesty and integrity in writing about real people’s lives.
Girl Power [9 – 11]
Images from the media, messages from peers, parents, and others may make you feel like you have to act in certain ways. This presentation, which is geared for female students, shatters stereotypes and encourages young women to explore their interests, find their passion, and go for it. With an open, inclusive outlook, girls can aspire to holding top executive positions, breaking records in sports, and pursuing diverse fields in math, science, and design. Citing real-life examples from her Women’s Hall of Fame Series books, Jill shares inspiring quotes and advice from successful women.