Bri Reads Alis the Aviator!

The talented Bri Reads has created a video about Alis the Aviator! First she does an animated reading, followed by a mini tour of the Palm Springs Air Museum (California), and finally a segment on making paper airplanes and testing them out!

This 25-minute video is a great virtual activity for teachers, parents, homeschoolers, librarians, and day camp counsellors. Enjoy!

Editing, writing, and publishing help is here!

I’ve always loved working with other writers and book professionals, but I had to step back a bit the past couple of years. Now my schedule has opened up again, and I’m excited to reboot my business!

This time I’m teaming up with friend and writing pal, Connie B. Dowell, over at

Need some support around the following areas? Drop me a line – I’d love to see if we’re the right fit to work together (or if Connie is your person!):

  • Copy editing and substantive editing
  • Grant writing
  • Coaching around writing and publishing
  • Query letters, synopses, and book proposals
  • Indexes and footnotes/endnotes for your nonfiction books

A little bit more about Connie:

Connie B. Dowell is an author of historical and cozy mysteries and nonfiction for writers. She is the host of the Book Echoes podcast for authors. After having two kids in less than two years, Connie developed a passion for time management and loves to chat author productivity and work-life balance. A former university writing center coordinator, she loves teaching other writers and guiding them toward success.

And me:

Danielle Metcalfe-Chenail specializes in telling hidden, inclusive histories for audiences of all ages. She is the traditionally-published author of four books, including adult narrative nonfiction, essays, and a bestselling nonfiction picture book. Danielle is also writing both contemporary and historical fiction for adult and middle grade readers. She brings empathy and encouragement to her coaching and editing clients – along with a very sharp eye.

Let’s make your writing the best it can be – then get it out into the world!

“You were of great help to me when I was just at the planning stage.   Thanks very much for your wisdom and friendly advice.” Tim Cole, author of Tight Floats and Tailwinds.

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


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!

© 2011 Danielle Metcalfe-Chenail. All Rights Reserved.