Amazing women fliers of WW2

This Remembrance Day, as I keep learning and writing about Canadian women veterans from the Second World War, I thought I’d share just a few links with you. I hope you find them as fascinating as I do!

For too long, women’s stories were ignored or overlooked, but luckily this is changing.

In the case of the WASP in the U.S., this was an intentional forgetting at the highest levels of the government and military. It took decades for former WASP to get the recognition they deserved, and the military honours they had earned. The history is coming to light more and more, in such fascinating documentaries as Fly Girls and one in progress called Coming Home: Fight for a Legacy. And, of course, at the National WASP museum in Sweetwater, Texas, which I visited in 2019!

From the WASP Museum in Sweetwater, Texas

We’re seeing more details on the “Night Witches” of the Soviet Union as well. Thanks to Dick Pickering for sending me this link to a recent article about these pilots!

And here in Canada (and across the pond in Great Britain), we had the ferry pilots with the Air Transport Auxiliary (ATA). It’s mostly this history that I’ve been digging into – off and on – the past decade, most recently for the Canadian Aviation Historical Society with a small grant from the Canadian 99s.

If you’re looking to toast this history, what better way methinks than with an adult beverage from B52 Winery or Lucky Girl Brewing in Michigan! 

Also, if there are young people in your life, you might consider passing along these books to get them hooked on this history!

Alis the Aviator: More Reader Reviews!

A book on aviation to delight big and small

This ABC book is all about aviation. The cut paper art is part of the charm of this unique book, but for young readers who love airplanes they will learn the A to Z of different kinds of aircraft. A must have for future pilots.

Barbra Hesson

An Alphabet book that will grow with your reader

Oh the alphabet book…so, so many on the market so how does an author, illustrator or publisher set theirs apart from the crowd? Well first you tap the incomparable Kalpna Patel (aka @ghostfaceknitter) as your illustrator and then you choose a somewhat uncommon subject, throw in a little history lesson and you have a unique alphabet book sure to inspire the next generation of aviators. Danielle Metcalfe-Chenail chose real life pilot Dr. Alis Kennedy as her inspiration for Alis the Aviator an alphabet book full of flying machines, 26 to be exact. While this book is very interesting and will certainly appeal to those young fans of flying machines and adventure but it’s the illustrations that take it to the next level.

The incredibly talented Kalpna Patel creates the most gorgeous vignettes all made from cut paper. The detail in this book is out of this world. Each and every detail in the illustrations is intentional and precise. It’s vivid and playful and so engaging. If you want to see more of her work, you may already be familiar if you ever peak in the windows at Type Books and Type Book Junction in Toronto. Her cut paper designs grace the windows of these lovely independent bookstores and she also organizes the craftapalooza City of Craft.

Now back to the story itself, Danielle Metcalfe-Chenail gives us a lovely flowing rhyming adventure featuring different historical means of flying. This book is lovely for a read aloud or to curl up and learn more about flight. It’s the historical information and photographs of Dr. Alis Kennedy at the back that will extend the life of this book beyond the early years. Danielle Metcalfe-Chenail and designer Kelly Hill’s inspiration to include not only information about Alis, who not only a pilot but a veteran of the Canadian Navy Reserve and a humanitarian, but also information about all the modes of flight found in the book. Such an important choice to ensure this book weaves its way into readers’ hearts for years

Stephanie

Habitat Halloween Spooktacular

Didn’t get enough creepy stories, songs and poetry this Halloween season? Support Jasper Habitat for the Arts and get grownup story time with creators from BC to Newfoundland!


I read my debut ghost story, “Ship in a Bottle” along with Marty Chan and many other talented and best-selling Canadian creatives!


Eventbrite tickets are $5 for this spooky virtual variety show. Tickets on sale until November 8th 2020. All proceeds go to this arts space in the beautiful Rocky Mountains!

Ship in a Bottle

I have loved ghost stories since I was a little kid, and have often gone on haunted walks of cities in the different places I’ve lived and visited. From New Orleans to Vancouver to Edinburgh, every city has its tales of heartbreak, injustice, and unfinished business – and spirits that have never quite been put to rest.

Recently I was inspired to write my very own ghost story – a fictional one, mind you. But like any fiction, there are kernels of truth and the edges of true stories and people that still haunt us.

If you follow this link, you can download a free PDF of the story (it’s about a ten-minute read). If you like it, please share the link and consider leaving a small donation so that I can keep writing ghost stories of the true and made up variety.

I peeked through the woods to make sure it was still there. That it hadn’t been a figment of my imagination, a trick of the eyes in the half light. But there among the grey-brown tree trunks and rocks in the woods next to our new yard was the unmistakable shape of a building.

FREE online reading of Alis the Aviator + printable craft

Like so many of you, my family and I are practicing physical distancing here in Houston, Texas, and it can be challenging to come up with activities to fill the hours that are fun but also maybe a teensy bit educational.

Until the libraries and bookstores and schools are open again, a lot of us children’s authors are trying to find ways to connect kids to stories (and keep them occupied for parents and guardians!).

Luckily we’ve got great online ways to do that now!

In that spirit, I offer you my short FREE VIDEO READING of Alis the Aviator through Fort Bend ISD here in Texas. (Along with lots of other books, including some Spanish ones!)

The publisher has also created this FREE CRAFT you can download and print off its website: https://tundrabooks.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/07/alis-the-aviator_activity-sheets.pdf

E-book copies of Alis the Aviator are still available if you and your kids want to see the glossary and bio of Dr. Alis Kennedy. And if you’d like to have the real, hard-copy book in your hands lots of retailers are still shipping books. The first 10 people in the US and 10 people internationally who email me at info@daniellemc.com for a FREE signed bookplate/sticker will get one in the mail along with a note for your kid(s)! [If you see this message, there are still some available!]

Stay safe and well!

Sincerely,

Danielle

© 2011 Danielle Metcalfe-Chenail. All Rights Reserved.