Tag Archives: Canada

Canadian Women: Now + Then

Written by: Elizabeth MacLeod

Illustrated by: Maïa Faddoul

For ages: 8 years and up

Language: English

Topics Covered: History, Biography, Canadian Women, Indigenous Voices, First Nations, Women in STEM, Women in Sports, Feminism, Journalism. 


Happy International Women’s Day! Today is a fantastic day to honor those past and present who have changed the world, and Canadian Women: Now + Then is a sensational book that we want to celebrate on this day.

I absolutely love how this book pairs up women from the past and present day who changed the face of history.  Going alphabetically, the reader learns about activists, astronauts, culture keepers, poets, and SO MANY more badass women that everyone needs to know about, especially outside of Canada.  We live in a very Eurocentric world, and particularly American culture and politics has pervaded  much of the media and education system.  This sounds fake, but I have had Canadian friends have to explain to Americans that they celebrate Black History Month in Canada but not MLK Jr. Day.  These assumptions are caused by elitism and ignorance, and the best way to combat these harmful ways of living is through education.  

Dang, I’m glad this book exists.  The women profiled in Canadian Women are diverse and from all walks of life, with a solid amount of First Nations women included as well such as dancer Santee Smith (Tekaronhiáhkhwa) and Shanawdithit, who preserved her Beothuk culture the best she could under the crushing force of European colonialist invasion. It’s clear that the creators of the book put First Nations and women of color at the forefront, and I am so pleased with that choice!

In the back are smaller profiles of even more inspiring Canadian women, such as one of our favorite artists Kenojuak Ashevak!  Jam-packed with historical information and adorable illustrations, this book will be sitting on our bookshelf for ages to come.

This book was sent to us by Kids Can Press, but all opinions are our own!

About the Author & the Illustrator:

elizabeth_macleodElizabeth MacLeod became a writer at a young age. When she and her older brothers were supposed to be doing homework, instead they were sliding crazy drawings and silly stories under one another’s bedroom doors. Elizabeth couldn’t draw (unfortunately, she still can’t), so she wrote wild tales about mad scientists and creatures from alien planets. Not a lot of homework got done!

While at the University of Toronto, Elizabeth didn’t take a single writing course. Instead, she studied science, graduating with an honors degree in biology and botany. That science training came in handy when she started in children’s publishing as the managing editor at OWL Magazine. Then she became an editor and writer at Kids Can Press, where she’s written on subjects ranging from Albert Einstein and horses to Mount Everest and Lucy Maud Montgomery.

Now Elizabeth is a very nosy freelance writer who loves finding out why people do the things they do, so she especially liked writing the books in the “Snapshots: Images of People and Places in History” series (for kids ages 8 to 12) and the “Inspiring Lives” series (for kids ages 6 to 8).

A proud Canadian, Elizabeth loves writing about people who live in Canada and have changed the country — and sometimes the world. As a female writer, she thinks it’s vital that kids know about the courageous women who have improved our lives, so she’s really pleased to share her book Canadian Women Now + Then with readers. Elizabeth wrote about a different kind of brave Canadian in her book Bunny the Brave War Horse, the incredible true story about a horse from Toronto, Ontario, who served with amazing courage in World War I.

Elizabeth and her husband live in Toronto, where their cat, Cosimo, is usually sprawled across her desk!

ma_a_faddoulMaïa Faddoul was born in Montreal, Quebec, to an Argentine mother and a Lebanese father. Her maternal grandfather was a theme park illustrator, and she’d always been interested in drawings and imagery of any kind. Having studied both illustration and design at Dawson College and UQAM, she now works as a multidisciplinary illustrator and designer, creating empowering, bright and colorful imagery, often with an important message.

Her upbringing, heavily rooted in core intersectional feminist values, has led her to work on many projects centered on women and the LGBTQ+ community, in the hopes of using her talent and creativity to help bring more visibility and power to young and misrepresented groups across the globe. This aspect of her work has allowed her to collaborate on a variety of great projects with clients such as Teen Vogue, Showtime, Time’s Up, the National Film Board of Canada and many more.

Maïa still lives in Montreal and works from her colorful and bright downtown studio which she shares with her partner and fellow illustrator. Visit her website here!

Anguti’s Amulet

Written by: The Central Coast of Labrador Archaeology Partnership

Translated by: Sophie Tuglavina

Illustrated by: Cynthia Colosimo

For ages: 8 years and up

Language: Inuktitut & English

Topics Covered: First Nations People, Indigenous Voices, Culture & Traditions, Family, Community, Love, Historical Events, Historical Fiction.

Summary: This is a two-part book.  The first tells of a young Inuit boy named Anguti and his life, particularly retelling an adventure with his sister. To briefly explain, Anguti and his sister Tukkekina find and kill a seal during a particularly harsh winter, but at the expense of getting stuck on a piece of ice that drifts out to sea.  Anguti wears an amulet that his shaman grandmother gave him, and his courage is renewed because of this.  The entire book is Inuktitut forward, with English translations coming afterwards.  The English version also keeps several words in Inuktitut, emphasizing their importance and teaching the reader over the course of the story.

Although the story is not true, it is based on objects found at an Inuit archaeology site and the story was written by the students and staff that worked at the site.  After the story is over, there is a huge amount of information about the dig site as well as a plethora of photos!  There are photos of the site, some of the objects that were found, and historical photographs.  Drawn maps of the site and the Labrador coast are included in the book, with additional historical context for readers unfamiliar with Inuit life and culture and geographical layout.  There is also a foreword that explains briefly about the book and its contents, as well as explaining the traditional facial tattooing seen on some of the women in the illustrations within the story about Anguti.

Reflection Questions:

  • Do you notice any differences between the Inuktitut and English spelling of words or capitalization?  
  • What do you know about other languages?
  • Do you or a family member speak another language?
  • Has anyone you know ever been up to Canada or the Arctic Circle?
  • What do you think is different in daily life there versus where you live now?

Continuing the Conversation:

  • Find out more about what goes into long-term archaeology projects, like the one whose staff wrote this book.  Where are other projects taking place?  What sort of objects are being found?
  • Look for a video or recording of the story, told in Inuktitut.  What do you notice about the pronunciation versus English pronunciation?  A lot of people regard English as incredibly hard to learn, what do you think?
  • PBS just came out with a show called Molly of Denali, about an Indigenous girl.  See if you can find an episode to watch!

About the Author & the Illustrator:

The Central Coast of Labrador Community Archaeology Partnership is a cooperative research and educational venture with the community of Makkovik, Labrador.

Here is some more information about archaeology programs and how they work with Indigenous communities within Labrador!

ccolosimoOriginally from Thunder Bay, Cynthia Colosimo has lived in Labrador for sixteen years where she has worked on a number of community development and heritage projects. She also illustrated Anguti’s Amulet, a story about an 18th century Inuit boy, based on the archaeology of the Adlavik Islands in Northern Labrador. Cynthia has a BFA in drawing from the University of Manitoba and an MFA in printmaking from Concordia University. She is married to an archaeologist and has one child, another aspiring artist.



unnamedSophie Tuglavina is the translator of the story.  It was extremely difficult to find information about her online, so if you find any let us know!