Almost Epic Squad

Bandstand
1:30 p.m.
8 to 12



You will not want to miss this.
Introducing The Almost Epic Squad — a new multi-author, middle-grade series about ordinary kids who develop some very unusual superpowers. If you could have any superpower, what would you choose?  And what if the superpower chose you? And it wasn’t one you wanted at all? In fact, what if the superpower came from the thing you least wanted to draw attention to? Now all they need to do is save the world. That’s The Almost Epic Squad: four amazing characters, four outstanding books, four epic writers. Presenting together are the four (slightly twisted) authors that have brought this unique and hysterical series to life - hold on to your seats you’re in for a wild ride. Kevin Sylvester Ted Staunton Lesley Livingston Richard Scrimger

S.K. Ali

Jerseyville Railway Station
1:45 p.m.
Teen



S.K. Ali is a teacher based in Toronto whose writing on Muslim culture and life has appeared in the Toronto Star. S.K. Ali’s debut YA novel Saints and Misfits is a beautiful and nuanced story about a young woman exploring her identity through friendship, family, and faith. S.K. Ali will be launching her new book, Love from A to Z, a spring break romance that tackles the big issues of Islamophobia, political anger, family, and life with a degenerative disease. S.K. Ali is really hoping to see you at 2019 Telling Tales!

Karen Bass

Jerseyville Railway Station
11:15 a.m.
8 to 12



Award-winning author Karen Bass is an avid reader who found her passion for writing while working at her local library in northwest Alberta. Karen loves being able to meet with the young people she writes for whenever she can. Karen will be presenting her book Two Times a Traitor about a time travelling teenager who somehow gets stuck in the year 1745. Karen and her husband recently decided to go on an adventure of their own and made the 4000 km move from Alberta to Hamilton, Ontario.  

Helaine Becker

Nature Tales - Rose Garden
3:00 p.m.
8 to 12



Helaine Becker is the award-winning children’s author of over 80 books, including Hubots, Monster Science, Zoobots and The Big Green Book of the Big Blue Sea. Helaine always has many projects in the works, including chapter books, graphic novels, poetry collections and more! Helaine loves bright, shiny, and colourful things, especially happy faces and flowers. She is crazy about fluffy dogs, coral reefs, ice cream, and colour-changing nailpolish. Helaine and her husband live in Toronto with their two sons, who were the inspiration for Wallace P. "Wiggy" Wigden and Reese McSkittles. Helaine will be talking about the wonderful creepy crawlies in her new book Megabugs, which launches at Nature Tales. Kids will never look at bugs the same way. She will also be offering tons of great ideas from her recent book, The Canadian Kids’ Guide to Outdoor Fun.  

Chief Lady Bird

Nature Tales - Aquagraphie Stage
1:45 p.m.
4 to 8



Chief Lady Bird is a First Nations (Potawatomi and Chippewa) artist from Rama First Nation. Her Anishinaabe name is Ogimaakwebnes, which means Chief Lady Bird. She uses her spirit name as an acknowledgement of her Anishinaabe culture and the importance of family and community.  Currently based in Toronto, Chief Lady Bird uses street art, community-based workshops, digital illustration and mixed media to challenge the way people view Indigenous people. Chief Lady Bird will co-present at Nature Tales with Sunshine Tenasco. Chief Lady Bird will talk about her role as the illustrator of Nibi’s Water Song, a book that is promises to be a catalyst for change in regards to the right to clean water.

Erin Bow

Lockhart Meadow
2:00 p.m.
8 to 12



Erin Bow is a physicist turned poet turned children’s novelist—and she’s won major awards in all three roles. Erin is the author of the acclaimed middle-grade fantasy Plain Kate, the YA horror Sorrow’s Knot, and the hit Prisoners of Peace duology: The Scorpion Rules and The Swan Riders. Erin loves writing science fiction and fantasy books for young people because she believes this genre helps them fall in love with reading. Erin lives in Kitchener with her husband James Bow—also a novelist—and their two teenage daughters, both of whom want to be scientists. Erin will be presenting her novel Stand on the Sky, a contemporary, middle-grade adventure about family, belonging, and finding your place.

Sharon and Bram

Bandstand
12:30 p.m.
4 to 8



Sharon, Lois, and Bram are some of Canada’s most popular and loved children’s performers, with fans across the world. Every Canadian remembers singing the Skinnamarink song. The trio released twenty-one full-length albums (gold, platinum, double platinum, and triple platinum).  After the passing of the incomparable Lois Lillenstine in 2015, Sharon and Bram have continued to entertain children of all ages. When they participated in the 2017 Toronto Pride parade, the crowd was so moved to see them that all along the parade route you could hear the Skinnamarink song loud and clear. 2019 marks the farewell tour for Sharon and Bram, and we are honoured to have them. At Telling Tales they will be launching Skinnamarink as a new picture book. They will be joined by gifted illustrator Qin Leng.  Get ready to sing!  
Burlington Public Library Storytellers

Burlington Public Library Storytellers

Music Stage
1:00 p.m.
For all ages

Early Settlement Area
2:00 p.m.
For all ages

Come and experience interactive storytelling – join the children’s programming staff from Burlington Public Library for a fun enactment of favourite fables and folk stories.  This will be performed with music, song and other zany talents that all kids will be sure to love.

Charlene Chua

Dragonfly Stage
2:00 p.m.
4 to 8

Mountsberg Church
3:00 p.m.
Children’s Authors and Illustrators session

When Charlene Chua was growing up in Singapore she spent a lot of time reading comics and drawing.  This award-winning illustrator has worked on over 10 children's books, with several more on the way.  Charlene currently lives in Hamilton with her husband. When she is not drawing, she enjoys playing or talking to her cats (they listen politely, most of the time). Her picture book Wind Plays Tricks was released in the spring of this year. Charlene will be launching her latest book, Amy Wu and the Perfect Bao. Meet the funny, fierce, and fearless Amy Wu, who is determined to make a perfect bao bun today. Charlene’s personal invitation to you for Telling Tales 2019!

Mr. Chris and the Gassy Bubbles

Music Stage
10:45 a.m.
For all ages

Music Stage
2:30 p.m.
For all ages

Back by popular demand,  Mr. Chris and the Gassy Bubbles is a rock and roll family band based out of Cambridge. The Bubbles have been travelling the province with their musical vibrations for nearly 15 years. Along with their puppet friends, they deliver a super fun, interactive musical show that will have your whole family bopping along together.

Creative Theatre Company

Bandstand
3:00 p.m.
For all ages



Meet some of the Creative students and alumni playing characters from beloved children’s literature. Join us for interactive theatre game sessions where everyone gets to play.

The Fan Brothers, Terry and Eric

Cathcart School House
11:30 a.m.
4 to 8

Dragonfly Stage
1:15 p.m.
4 to 8

The Fan brothers (Terry and Eric) are a perfect mix of artistic talent and wondrous storytelling. Their illustrations include a blend of traditional and contemporary techniques, using ink or graphite combined with digital. The brothers’ widely acclaimed debut picture book, The Night Gardener, was inspired by a summer their family spent on a farm loading hay bales, stargazing at night, and chasing fireflies. The breathtaking art that Terry and Eric produce brings to life the glorious and unlimited world of a child’s imagination. The Fan brothers will be launching their latest book The Scarecrow, a tender and affectionate tale that reminds us of the comforting power of friendship and the joy of helping others. Terry spends his days (and nights) creating magical paintings, portraits, and prints. Visit him online at  Society6, Caseable, DenyDesigns, and Facebook (Terry Fan Illustration). Eric has a passion for vintage bikes, clockwork contraptions, and impossible dreams. See more of his work at Society6, Redbubble, Caseable, DenyDesigns, and on Facebook (Eric Fan Illustration).

Melanie Florence

Jerseyville Railway Station
1:00 p.m.
Teen

Mountsberg Church
3:00 p.m.
Children’s Authors and Illustrators Session

Melanie Florence is a writer of Cree and Scottish heritage. Her close relationship with her grandfather sparked her interest in writing about Aboriginal themes and characters. She is the author of Missing Nimâmâ, which won the 2016 TD Canadian Children's Literature Award. Join Melanie as she launches her new book Just Lucky, story of a girl who loses her family and must face life in foster care. This book celebrates the strength and resilience of children, and explores the way you can choose the people you call family.  Melanie lives with her family in Toronto. Watch Melanie’s personal invitation to join her at this years’ Telling Tales Festival.  

Shauntay Grant

Cathcart School House
12:00 p.m.
4 to 8



Shauntay Grant is an award-winning Canadian writer and multidisciplinary artist. A former poet laureate for the City of Halifax, she is the author of several poetic picture books for children including Africville, nominated for a 2018 Governor General’s Literary Award. Shauntay is a descendant of Black Loyalists and Black Refugees who came to Nova Scotia during the 18th and 19th centuries. Her homegrown artistic practice embraces African Nova Scotian history and folk culture, as well as contemporary approaches to literature and performance. She is an Assistant Professor at Dalhousie University in the Department of English where she teaches creative writing. Shauntay will bring to life her amazing picture book Africville about the historic community in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

Gumboots Kids Live Show

Nature Tales - Rose Garden
12:00 p.m.
4 to 8



What do you do when a walk through the woods with your kids gives you the inspiration for a TV show?  If you’re Tara Hungerford and Eric Hogan, you go ahead and make that show. As co-creators of the extremely popular CBC Kids TV shows Scout and the Gumboot Kids and Daisy and the Gumboot Kids, Tara and Eric have inspired their fans to get out, get active, and get exploring. Telling Tales is very proud to be launching the new Gumboots Kids’ Nature Mysteries book series at Nature Tales: The Case of the Vanishing Caterpillar, The Case of the Wooden Timekeeper, The Case of the Story Rock and The Case of the Growing Bird Feeder are the first four books in the series. There will be special appearances by singer Jessie Farrell, Daisy and Scout, and more. Kids will love the nature arts and craft activities offered at Cherry Hill Tent throughout the day. Bring your detective caps—we have mysteries to solve!  

Hamilton Children’s Choir

Bandstand
2:15 p.m.
For all ages



Hamilton Children’s Choir (HCC) is a true favorite of Telling Tales—we love the way they bring stories alive through their songs.  HCC is an internationally-renowned and award-winning children’s and youth choir. They are committed to sharing the joys and benefits of singing, and believe that “If you can speak, you can sing.” Boasting 190 choristers ages 5 to 18, HCC offers vocal training and music instruction.  

Hamilton Youth Poets

Early Settlement Area
12:15 p.m.
9 and up

Lockhart Meadow
2:45 p.m.
9 and up

The Hamilton Youth Poets (HYP) have created a youth-focused spoken word community and a growing platform for youth to speak and be heard. Year round, HYP lead friendly poetry competitions that emphasize community and self-expression through hip-hop poetry, oral storytelling, and spoken word. HYP encourage the art of telling authentic stories with the voices of young witnesses, celebrating their identity and finding a common ground through their narratives. These talented poets truly know how to engage their audience.  
Puppeteers

Hamilton Public Library Puppeteers

Large Meadow Puppet Stage
10:45 a.m. 11:45 a.m. 1:00 p.m. 2:00 p.m.
For all ages



The Hamilton Public Library Puppeteers are a talented group of youth services staff who perform classic puppet shows as well as some new ones. Don’t miss the fun—a perfect option for the entire family. They never fail to delight young audiences with their wonderful stories.

Holly Hatam

Dragonfly Stage
11:30 a.m.
4 to 8



Holly Hatam is a girl who sometimes wears something pink and sparkly, and sometimes dons capes and fights dragons. Some days she’s moody, but other days she shakes her booty. Some days her heart may seek wild adventures, but other days she just wants to be a couch potato. Holly is also the #1 New York Times bestselling illustrator of Dear Girl. Holly lives in Whitby, Ontario with her weird husband and even weirder son. But that’s okay because weird is a side effect of awesome. Holly will be talking about illustrating Dear Boy, the wonderful follow-up to Dear Girl, which shows that boys are perfect just the way they are. She will also talk about Jack (Not Jackie), a story of love and acceptance.  

Nadia L. Hohn

Early Settlement Area
1:15 p.m.
4 to 8



Nadia lives in Toronto where she teaches, reads, and crafts stories. She also loves to play piano, cook vegan dishes, travel, and study the arts and cultures of the African diaspora (especially Caribbean folk music). Her award-winning first picture book, Malaika's Costume, was published in 2016 and its sequel Malaika's Winter Carnival the following year. Nadia is presently working on the third Malaika book, as well as a young adult novel and a play. Nadia will be launching A Likkle Miss Lou: How Jamaican Poet Louise Bennet Coverly Found Her Voice just in time to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Louise Bennett's birthday. Watch Nadia’s personal invitation to Telling Tales 2019    

Jude Johnson

Bandstand
10:15 a.m.
For all ages



Jude Johnson is one of Canada’s finest vocalists and has been performing for both adults and children for over 40 years. Jude began performing at the age of three in commercials, and since then has released multiple CDs and sung on albums with other well-known artists. She is the founder and director of the MAD Creative Arts School, which for 33 years has helped over 7,000 children explore their creativity through music, art and drama. Jude even wrote our theme song! Let’s all have some fun clapping and dancing to her upbeat  performance.  

Jess Keating

Lockhart Meadow
10:45 a.m.
8 to 12

Forest of Reading
12:00 p.m.
8 to 12

As an author and zoologist, Jess Keating has tickled a shark, lost a staring contest against an octopus, and been a victim to the dreaded paper cut. She lives in Mississauga where she spends most of her time writing books for adventurous and funny kids. Jess loves books so much that when she was a kid she started a library in her bedroom. She was able to charge her brother late fees, and to this day he owes her $8.00.  Last year she presented her award-winning book Shark Lady. At the Lockhart Stage Jess will be talking about her latest book, Elements of Genius: Nikki Tesla and the Ferret Proof Death Ray, a hilarious story that involves an instrument of global destruction and getting grounded. At the Forest of Reading Stage she will talk about her book What Makes a Monster and more.  

Andrew Larsen

Nature Tales - Rose Garden
2:15 p.m.
4 to 8



Born in Montreal, Andrew Larsen moved to Toronto when he was 12.  He has loved reading and writing his whole life but only became an author after he became a father. Andrew doesn’t have a car; he prefers to walk. He is the author of many award-winning books, including The Imaginary Garden and last year’s The Bagel King. This year Andrew is bringing his new book, Me, Toma and the Concrete Garden, to Nature Tales. Andrew brings a light touch and gentle humor to this story about several kinds of growth: the boys and their friendship, the flowers in the newly-thriving lot, and the community that comes together around it. This book highlights the value of connecting to nature, even in urban areas, and the sense of community that comes from civic engagement.    

Qin Leng

Forest of Reading Stage
10:45 a.m.
4 to 8

Music Stage
1:45 p.m.
4 to 8

Qin Leng is a designer and illustrator. She grew up surrounded by paintings, and it became second nature for her to express herself through art. From very early on, she has loved to portray the innocence of children and has developed a passion for children’s books. Qin will present her latest book Skinnamarink, which was created along with 2019 Telling Tales presenters and internationally-celebrated children’s entertainers Sharon and Bram. Qin will be presenting Skinnamarink at the music stage with a special emphasis on her role as the illustrator. In the morning you can catch Qin at The Forest of Reading stage talking about her book The Better Tree Fort and more.
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Lesley Livingston

Jerseyville Railway Station
2:30 p.m.
Teens

Bandstand
1:30
8 to 12

Lesley Livingston is an award-winning author of teen fiction, including the Wondrous Strange trilogy, which was named one of the “100 young adult books that make you proud to be Canadian” by CBC Books. Her newest series, The Valiant, is being developed for television. For almost three years, Lesley hosted weekly, late-night movie marathons on the nationally-broadcast television show SPACEBAR. Lesley had the role of Waitron-9000, a sparkly holographic waitress with an encyclopedic knowledge of obscure B-movie trivia. Lesley lives in Toronto and is visiting Telling Tales with the rest of the Almost Epic authors, you can also catch her at the train station talking about the princess, captive and gladiator who leads in The Valiant and more.  

Irene Luxbacher

Nature Tales - Rose Garden
11:00 a.m.
4 to 8 French

Nature Tales - Rose Garden
1:30 p.m.
4 to 8 English

Irene Luxbacher is an illustrator, children’s book author, and a graduate of Queen’s University and Emily Carr University of Art and Design. Her many children’s books include favourites such as The Imaginary Garden and The Not-So-Faraway Adventure. Her books have received numerous awards and accolades, including being nominated for a Governor General’s Award for illustration and chosen for USBBY’s Outstanding International Books List. Irene lives in Toronto, Ontario. Irene has illustrated the beautiful Treasure about two siblings who go on a treasure hunt but aren't sure exactly what kind of treasure they are looking for. She will co-present this delightful book at Nature Tales twice, once in English and once in French, alongside author Mireille Messier. Irene also created our beautiful image to celebrate this year’s Telling Tales theme, “Stories Change The World.”  

John Martz

Cathcart School House
2:00 p.m.
4 to 8



John Martz is an illustrator, cartoonist and designer. John is the author and illustrator of Burt's Way Home, A Cat Named Tim and Other Stories, and Destination X. He is the illustrator of Dear Flyary and Who's On First. John’s work can also be seen in the daily cartoons publication The Nib. John is the art director for Penguin Random House Canada Young Readers. He lives in Toronto, but with no cats. John will be co-presenting How To Give Your Cat A Bath In Five Easy Steps with Nicola Winstanley. In this hilarious and clever how-to,” a little girl and a know-it-all narrator are thwarted by a cat who refuses to take a bath.  

Mireille Messier

Nature Tales - Rose Garden
11:00 a.m.
4 to 8 French

Nature Tales - Rose Garden
1:30 p.m.
4 to 8 English

Mireille Messier is a Montreal-born, Ottawa-raised and now Toronto-based award-winning children’s writer and voice over artist. Before becoming an author, Mireille worked as a television and radio host, a scriptwriter, a book reviewer, and a voice actress. Sometimes she still does those things. Since the launch of her first book in 2003, Mireille has published over twenty books, some in French and others in English, for children of all ages. Mireille lives with her husband, two wonderful daughters, three fluffy cats and over a hundred goldfish. Mireille wrote the lyrical book Treasure, the story of two siblings who go on a treasure hunt but aren't sure exactly what kind of treasure they are looking for. She will present this beautiful book at Nature Tales alongside illustrator Irene Luxbacher, once in English and once in French. Mireille wants to see you at our new day Telling Tales Nature Tales!
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Godfrey Nkongolo

Cathcart School House
10:45 a.m.
4 to 8



Godfrey Nkongolo is a doctoral student in political science with extensive experience working in international and community development in Tanzania. He is passionate about showing the world that although the widely-known story of Africa is one of despair, Africa also has a message of hope. His book Light A Candle, written with Eric Walters, is part of his life mission to promote that positive message. He now lives in Toronto, Ontario with his family. Light a Candle is a dual language English and Swahili picture book inspired by the founding of Tanzania. The story weaves nonfiction with fiction to tell the story of a boy coming of age in the shadow of Kilimanjaro. Godfrey Nkongolo and Eric Walters will co-present this book that lights a way for students and  perfectly illustrates how stories can change the world.

Jay Odjick

Bandstand
11:00 a.m.
4 to 8

Dragonfly Stage
12:00
4 to 8

Jay Odjick is an artist and writer from the Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg Algonquin community,  just outside of Maniwaki, Quebec. He has created comic books and produced the animated TV series Kagagi: The Raven, which airs in Canada, the United States and Australia. He previously illustrated Robert Munsch’s picture book Blackflies, as well as The Ocean Goes on Forever, a story that appears in the anthology Munsch Mania. He is thrilled to join forces with Robert Munsch to bring stories about today’s Indigenous kids to a broad audience. Jay will be launching his latest book, Bears for Breakfast, at Telling Tales. Donovan has listened closely to his Grandfather’s stories, and one morning he decides he doesn’t want a normal breakfast. He wants bears for breakfast, just like his Grandfather. Robert Munsch’s tale is brought to life with Jay Odjick’s wonderful illustrations.  

Barbara Reid

Nature Tales - Hearing the Song Stage
11:30 a.m.

Nature Tales - Hearing the Song Stage
1:00 p.m.

Barbara Reid is one of Canada's most renowned and well-known illustrators. Her unique clay modelling technique is known around the world and her illustrations have won many awards.  Barbara’s work includes classics such as The Party, Perfect Snow, Have You Seen Birds? and Gifts. Barbara loves introducing children to both nature and art. At Nature Tales she gets to do both. Come and learn from  Barbara how you can create your own unique visions and stories when she presents her books Picture the Sky and Picture a Tree. Barbara will present twice at Nature Tales, and there will be a craft station with clay modelling throughout the day at the Cherry Hill Tent. Barbara’s invitation to see her at Telling Tales Nature Tales!  

Joanne Robertson

Nature Tales - Aquagraphie Stage
11:30 a.m.



Joanne Robertson Misko Anungo Kwe (Red Star Woman) is an Anishinaabe author, illustrator, and water protection activist. In the spring of 2009, Joanne started an environmental project known as The Empty Glass for Water Campaign as a response to the drinking water crisis facing First Nations communities.  Her book The Water Walker highlights the importance of environmental protection and asks the reader, what can we all do to protect the water?  Joanne is joining us at Nature Tales from Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario. Joanne Robertson invites you to come and learn about the sacred water at Nature Tales!

Kevin Sands

Lockhart Meadow
1:00 p.m.

Forest of Reading Stage
2:00

Since escaping from university with a pair of degrees in theoretical physics, Kevin Sands has worked as a researcher, a business consultant, a teacher, and a professional poker player. He is the author of the bestselling and award-winning Blackthorn Key series and will be presenting the latest book, Call of the Wraith. At the Forest of Reading stage he will talk about The Assassin's Curse and other books in the series. Come prepared for twists and turns, secret codes, and riddles. Kevin Sands’ personal invitation for you to join us at Telling Tales!

Richard Scrimger

Lockhart Meadow
12:00 p.m.
10 to 14

Mountsberg Church
3:00 p.m.
Children’s Authors and Illustrators Session

Main Event:  Westfield Heritage Village Richard has written more than 20 books for children and adults, been translated into a dozen languages, and won more awards than he deserves. He teaches at the Humber College School for Writers and has led workshops on five continents, which means he talks a lot about writing. His more recent titles include Weerdest Day Ever, Lucky Jonah and Ink Me. Richard will join the other Almost Epic Squad creators to present his addition to the series, The Almost Epic Squad: Irresistible.  He will also talk about his other works, including the wacky Downside Up, at the Tween Stage. 
Main Event: Children’s Author and Illustrator Talk
Mountsberg Church
Are you an aspiring children’s author or illustrator? Attend this panel discussion for industry insights. Hear stories and advice from illustrator Charlene Chua and author Richard Scrimger. Moderated by author Melanie Florence.

Ashley Spires

Bandstand
11:45 a.m.
4 to 8

Cathcart School House
1:15 p.m.
4 to 8

Author and illustrator Ashley Spires grew up in Tsawwassen, British Columbia and after stints living in Toronto and Saskatoon, she now lives in Ladner, having made an educated decision to never move from B.C. again. She is the creator of the Binky The Space Cat series of junior graphic novels and the bestselling picture book The Most Magnificent Thing, soon to be an animated short film. When she isn’t drawing, Ashley is often jogging with her dog Gordon or cuddling her growing brood of cats. Ashley will be launching a world-changing new book at Telling Tales, Fairy Science. What happens when you have a fairy like Esther who doesn't believe in magic? Fairy Science, the first in a hilarious new picture book series, introduces a charming, determined heroine as she learns about the world and celebrates the joys of curiosity and exploring science. Here’s your personal invitation from Ashley Spires to join her at Telling Tales 2019!