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The Word On The Street has been renowned for the quality and diversity of its event programming and our next festival promises to offer the best so far. Check out our 2021 schedule! All events will be presented on Zoom. In-person activities for Saturday, September 18th have been cancelled, and the festival will be online only.

Fri, Sept 17: Wild About Nature with Jill Heinerth and Kathy Stinson

9:00 AM - 9:45 AM

This session will be presented on Zoom with a sign language interpreter. Register free on Eventbrite for tickets: https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/169186983823

The Aquanaut

When I was young, the world seemed too dangerous. Everything was too hard. I was too young. Places were too far away. But that was okay because I had a big imagination . . .

Through beautiful, spare text, Jill Heinerth tells her story about a girl who feels too young, too little and too far away from her dreams. But you don’t need to wait to grow up. It doesn’t take much to imagine all the things you can do and be. What if your bedroom were a space station? What would it be like to have flippers or tusks? In your own home you can explore new worlds and meet new friends.

Jaime Kim’s luminous art transports readers back and forth through time to see how Jill’s imagination as a young girl laid the pathway to her accomplishments and experiences as an underwater explorer.

  • Children's
  • Fiction

Jill Heinerth

Jill Heinerth is a cave diver, underwater explorer, writer, photographer and filmmaker. More people have walked on the moon than have been to some of the places Jill has explored on earth. She has made TV series for the CBC, the National Geographic channel, and the BBC, consulted on movies, including for director James Cameron, and produced documentaries, including We Are Water and Ben’s Vortex. Jill’s accolades include induction into The Explorers Club and the inaugural class of the Women Divers Hall of Fame. She is also the inaugural Explorer-in-Residence for The Royal Canadian Geographic Society, and the recipient of Canada’s prestigious Polar Medal and the diving world’s highest award from the Academy of Underwater Arts and Sciences. The Aquanaut is her first book for children.

The Girl Who Loved Giraffes: And Became the World’s First Giraffologist

When Anne Innis saw her first giraffe in a zoo, she was entranced. So much so that a love for giraffes shaped her whole life. She decided at a young age that she would one day travel from her home in Canada to study giraffes in their natural environment in Africa.

After overcoming obstacles to doing so based on her gender, Anne succeeded in fulfilling her dream in 1956 and became the world’s leading scientific expert on giraffes.

Gender discrimination then interfered with her ability to share her passionate interest and her knowledge with students. The disheartening injustice of it led her into work championing equal rights for women.

Anne eventually gained the recognition she deserved for her remarkable achievements in the field of animal behaviour. By then giraffe numbers in the wild were dwindling and she became devoted to helping save them.

In The Girl Who Loved Giraffes and became the world’s first giraffologist, Kathy Stinson and François Thisdale have created a gem of a book that captures the dramatic story of Anne’s life, the majestic beauty of giraffes, and fascinating facts about this most intriguing and magnificent creature.

Anne Innis Dagg herself is thrilled that the book will cause young readers to fall in love with giraffes as she did, and bring their attention to the cause dearest to her heart, that of giraffe conservation. Readers are bound to fall in love with Anne, too.

  • Biography & Memoir
  • Children's
  • Nonfiction

Kathy Stinson

Kathy has loved reading all her life but was almost thirty before she discovered she loves writing too. She has become the author of over 30 books for young people including the classic Red Is Best and the award-winning The Man with the Violin based on the imagined experience of a child hearing Joshua Bell play in a Washington metro station.

Mother, stepmother, and grandmother, Kathy is still an avid reader. When not reading or writing, she enjoys photography, jigsaw puzzles, crossword puzzles, and walking her dog in the woods and fields near her home in Rockwood, Ontario.