Member Profile

Helaine Becker

Photo: Karl Szasz 2013

Helaine Becker is the bestselling author of more than 70 books for children and young adults. A Porcupine in a Pine Tree was the #1 Canadian National Bestseller and received the Libris Picture Book of the Year Award from the C.B.A; the sequel, Dashing through the Snow,  was also a National Bestseller. She’s  a four-time winner of Silver Birch Awards: for Boredom Blasters in 2006, and Secret Agent Y.O.U. in 2008; What's the Big Idea? and Zoobots both received Silver Birch Honour Awards (2011,2014). The Insecto-Files andThe Big Green Book of the Big Blue Sea won the Lane Anderson Award for Science Writing. The Big Green Book also won the Outstanding Youth Book Award from the Canadian Science Writers Association. Her most recent nonfiction titles, Zoobots and Worms for Breakfast: How to Feed a Zoo were both Junior Library Guild Selections. 

Helaine also writes for children’s television and is in high demand as a performer at schools across North America. She has been selected three times for the Canadian Children’s Book Week Cross Country tour, travelling to Yukon, Nunavut and Manitoba to present to school children. She has been a featured speaker at the Tucson Book Festival, Vancouver Writers Festival, Blue Met Festival (Montreal), Frye Festival in New Brunswick (twice), Aloud International Children’s Festival in Ontario, Weaving Words Conference in Alberta, Literacy for Life Conference in Saskatchewan, the Red Cedar Awards in British Columbia, the Orange County Children’s Book Festival in Costa Mesa, California and the 2010 Women’s Writers’ Festival in Irvine, California.  She also speaks to other writers about the business of writing and was the Keynote Speaker for SCBWI's Canada East conference in 2016.

A New York native, she has lived  happily in Toronto for more than 20 years. She has served on the executive board of CANSCAIP (the Canadian Society of Children’s Authors and Illustrators), and is also a member of the Canadian Children’s Book Centre, the Canadian Science Writers Association and SCBWI. She is married with two sons and has the cutest dog in the world, Ella. She is also a runner, a loud laugher, and a certified KABOOM!!!! pyrotechnician. 

Helaine volunteers regulary for literacy causes and is actively involved in presentations and projects in association with the CNIB, ABC Literacy Canada, First Book Canada, and Librarians without Borders. You can follow her on Twitter at www.twitter.com/helainebecker.

Phone number:
c/o Writers' Union of Canada

Publications

Deck the Halls: A Canadian Christmas Carol. Scholastic, 2017
Our Great Prime Ministers. DK Canada, 2017
Do Beavers Eat Poutine?. Scholastic, 2017
Lines Bars and Circles: How William Playfair Invented Graphs. KCP, 2017
You Can Read. Orca, 2017
Don't Stress!. Scholastic Canada, 2016
Would You Survive?. Scholastic Canada, 2015
The Quiz Book about Me...and You. Scholastic Canada, 2015
Top Secret: Uncover Your Inner Spy. Scholastic Canada, 2016
Monster Science. Kids Can Press, 2016
Worms for Breakfast: How to Feed a Zoo. Owlkids, 2016
Let Sleeping Dogs Lie. Orca Books, 2016
Everything: Space. National Geographic Kids, 2015
Dashing Through the Snow. Scholastic Canada, 2014
A Porcupine in a Pine Tree. Scholastic Canada, 2010
Gottika. Dancing Cat Books, 2014
Zoobots. Kids Can Press, 2014
Dirk Daring, Secret Agent. Orca Books, 2014
Alphabest. Kids Can Press, 2013
The Quiz Book for Spies. Scholastic Canada, 2013
The Big Green Book of the Big Blue Sea. Kids Can Press, 2012
Do You Dare?. Scholastic Canada, 2014
The Quiz Book for BFFs. Scholastic Canada, 2013
The Quiz Book for BFFs 2. Scholastic Canada, 2014
Pirate Power Play. Scholastic Canada, 2006
Attack by Knight. Scholastic Canada, 2006
Vikings Have a Field Day. Scholastic Canada, 2007
Explorers out of Bounds. Scholastic Canada, 2007
The Emperor Strikes Out. Scholastic Canada, 2007
Secret Agent Y.O.U.. Mapletree Press, 2006
Egyptian Slam Dunk. Scholastic Canada, 2008
Final Faceoff!. Scholastic Canada, 2008
Like a Pro!. Mapletree Press, 2006
Juba This, Juba That (picture book). Tundra, 2011
Science on the Loose. Mapletree Press, 2008
Boredom Blasters!. illus. Claudia Davila. Toronto: Mapletree Press, 2004.
Trouble in the Hills (YA Fiction). Fitzhenry and Whiteside, 2011
How to Survive Absolutely Anything (YA Fiction). Fitzhenry and Whiteside, 2012
Mother Goose Unplucked. Mapletree Press, 2007
Insecto-Files. Mapletree Press, 2009
What's the Big Idea?. Owlkids, 2010
Magic Up Your Sleeve. Owlkids, 2010
The Quiz Book for Boys. Scholastic Canada, 2010
The Quiz Book for Girls. Scholastic Canada, 2011
The Hilarious History of Hockey. Scholastic Canada, 2010
The Haunted House That Jack Built. Scholastic Canada, 2010
Funny Business. illus. Claudia Davila. Toronto: Mapletree Press, 2005.
Are You Psychic?. illus. Claudia Davila. Toronto: Mapletree Press, 2005.
Read with Chirp. Owlkids, 2006
Mama Likes to Mambo. illus. John Beder. Toronto: Stoddart Kids, 2001.

Awards

Gottika for Sydney Taylor Notable Book Award, 2014
Zoobots for Junior Library Guild Selection, 2014
Worms for Breakfast for Junior Library Guild Selection, 2016
BookSense Pick of the Lists - Children's Nonfiction for Boredom Blasters!, 2004/2005.
Indigo Books Top Ten Children's Titles of 2004 for Boredom Blasters!
Shortlisted, Rocky Mountain Award for Boredom Blasters!
Our Choice for Boredom Blasters!, 2005.
Our Choice for Mama Likes to Mambo, 2001.
Silver Birch Award for Boredom Blasters, 2006
Top 10 Canadian Non-fiction Books for Children – OLA Best Bets for Secret Agent Y.O.U., 2007
Best of the Year -Resource Links for Secret Agent Y.O.U., 2006
Recommended - Canadian Toy Testing Council for Like a Pro, 2007
Recommended - Canadian Toy Testing Council for Funny Business, 2007
Information Book of the Year Shortlist for Are You Psychic?, 2006
Our Choice Selection for Are You Psychic?, 2006
Top Ten Canadian Books for Children - OLA Best Bets for Are You Psychic?, 2006
Children's Nonfiction Book of the Year Shortlist - ForeWord for Like a Pro, 2007
Red Cedar Award Shortlist for Funny Business, 2008
Red Cedar Award Shortlist for Are You Psychic, 2007
Hackmatack Award Shortlist for Mother Goose Unplucked, 2009
Silver Birch Award for Secret Agent Y.O.U., 2008
GOLD Award - National Association of Parenting Publications for Science on the Loose, 2009
Canadian Toy Testing Council "Great Books' for Science on the Loose, 2008
Red Cedar Award Shortlist for Secret Agent Y.O.U., 2009
Rocky Mountain Award Shortlist for Mother Goose Unplucked, 2009
Resource Links Best Books of the Year for Mother Goose Unplucked, 2007
Lane Anderson Award for Science Writing for The Insecto-Files, 2010
Libris Picture Book of the Year for A Porcupine in a Pine Tree, 2010
Silver Birch Honour Award for What's the Big Idea?, 2011
Lane Anderson Award for Big Green Book of the Big Blue Sea, 2013
Outstanding Youth Book Award - Canadian Science Writers Assoc for Big Green Book of the Big Blue Sea, 2013
Eligible for National Public Readings Program :
Yes

WITS

Presentation Description

The ‘She’s a Nut in a Good Way’ Classic –  All Grades

Always fun, always educational, always different! The ‘Classic’ includes hilarious poetry (such as the notorious giggle inducer “Ode to Underwear’) dramatic interactive readings from Looney Bay, done right on the spot science experiments, and impromptu story development, mixed with student Q&A and a hearty dose of curriculum linking. Presentations will be customized to your needs in terms of student age range (Kindergarten through High School), group size, and curriculum content. 50 minutes.

Presentation Length:
1 hr, flexible
Genre:
Children's fiction and non-fiction, YA
Grades:
K-9 + Teacher Workshops
Audience size:
any
Workshop Description:

Stimulating Creativity in Your Students – For Junior Grade, Middle School and High School Students 

Get ready to laugh out loud in this fun and funny hands-on workshop on boosting lateral thinking. Using proven techniques used by writers, comedians and cartoonists, Ms. Becker will unleash your students’ creative thinking skills and show you how to loosen up those uptight tweens and teens you call your students. Association lists, the magic grid, defeating the blank page, doodling, the world’s worst first sentence and more!  50 minutes; with lots of hands-on activities.

The Power of Poetry For Primary and Junior Students

Get the most out of your literature units when your students apply some of the techniques presented in this workshop. Drawing on her knowledge as a writer of literacy materials for English Language Learners, Ms. Becker presents a variety of ways to use poetry to build vocabulary, comprehension, fluency, grammar and imagination. Participants will enjoy a variety of humorous poems, used as examples to illustrate rhyme, rhythm, synonyms, homonyms, context clues, and more. Takeaways include black line masters. 50 minute workshop.

Essay Writing  - The Clown’s Way For Junior and Middle Grade Students

Who says writing an essay isn’t fun? In this squirting flower of a workshop, students will learn the art of essay writing through humour. Essays are structured exactly like jokes, comic strips or comedian’s monologues, so we use examples of each to teach the fine art of explication. You’ll begin the workshop by learning how to write your own stand up comedy routine or to create a slapstick clown act. Then we’ll use the same principles to illustrate the steps of creating an effective essay that includes an introduction, body paragraphs with a topic sentence and three examples, and a wrap it up conclusion. 50 minute workshop. 

How to Write and Sell Nonfiction for Children For Everyone

A dynamic and detailed presentation – full of practical information and insider know-how! Many teachers have considered taking their curriculum knowledge and teaching skill and turning it into a book. This 50 minute session was initially presented at the Packaging Your Imagination Writers Conference. It covers organizing your material, doing the research, developing a proposal, laying out your text, doing market research and more.

Northern OAC WITS:
Yes
One session:
$350
Two sessions:
$650
Three sessions:
$850
Four sessions:
$1000
One session:
$250
Two sessions:
$550
Three sessions:
$700
Four sessions:
$850
GST:
GST applicable