Member Profile

Please note: All profiles are member-generated.

Jill Bryant

Jill Bryant

Photo: Liz Cooper Photography

Jill Bryant is an author who specializes in children's nonfiction. Born in Toronto, Jill grew up in Elora and Eden Mills, Ontario. Children's theatre -- combined with her travel experiences in Asia -- has inspired many of her books.

Jill has presented over 90 book talks and workshops at schools, libraries, and other venues, including TD Canadian Children’s Book Week (2014), The Eden Mills Writers Festival (2012), The Labrador Creative Arts Festival (2010), and Word on the Street (2003). When she isn’t writing books, presenting talks, or blogging, Jill works as a freelance editor for Scholastic, McGraw-Hill Ryerson, Nelson, and others. She is a member of CANSCAIP, The Canadian Children’s Book Centre, and The Writers’ Union of Canada.

After several years of living abroad (in Princeton, NJ; Manchester, UK; Berlin, Germany), Jill now lives in Kingston, Ontario with her husband and their two daughters.



The Wilderness Cookbook: A Guide to Good Food on the Trail. Second Story Press, 1999
Sew Your Own Bean Bag Friends. Somerville House Books, 1998
Make Your Own Bean Bag Bears. Somerville House Books, 1999
Amazing Women Athletes (Women's Hall of Fame series). Second Story Press, 2001
Making Shadow Puppets (Kids Can Do It series). Kids Can, 2002
Backyard Circus. Annick Press, 2006
Technology: Mysteries Revealed. Crabtree Publishing, 2010
Dazzling Women Designers. Second Story Press, 2010
Phenomenal Female Entrepreneurs. Second Story Press, 2013
Medical Inventions: The Best of Health. Crabtree Publishing, 2013


Canadian Toy Testing Council, Two-Star Rating for Sew Your Own Bean Bag Friends, 1998
Parent's Guide to Children's Media Award, Honours for Making Shadow Puppets, 2002
Parent's Choice, Approved Award Winner for Making Shadow Puppets, 2003
Our Choice List for Making Shadow Puppets, 2003
Hackmatack Children's Choice Book Award, Shortlist for Amazing Women Athletes, 2004
Amelia Bloomer Project List for Dazzling Women Designers, 2012
Resource Links Year's Best for Phenomenal Female Entrepreneurs, 2013
Bank Street List of Best Books for Phenomenal Female Entrepreneurs, 2014
Eligible for National Public Readings Program:


Presentation Description

Kindergarten to Grade 3: Backyard Circus [30 – 45 min]

Imagine the fun of creating your very own backyard circus! Let’s bring on the silly hats and the big shoes and try out some circus stunts to captivate the classroom crowd. I read aloud and act out sections from Backyard Circus, encouraging children to take part. Classroom performers walk the “tightrope,” juggle, dress up, and tell jokes. I stress that practice makes perfect when it comes to polishing skills at the circus — and as a writer. A real crowd-pleaser!

Grades 4 – 6: Dig, Dig, Dig! [50 min]

Using my book Phenomenal Female Entrepreneurs, I take students behind the scenes to explore one of the first stages in the writing process: research. Together they compare secondary sources to primary sources and learn the value of conducting interviews to collect factual information about real people. Through a series of interactive exercises, students devise questions and practise interviewing. Looking at advice and tips gathered from successful entrepreneurs, I show how students can use a similar approach in their own goal setting. Persistence and determination pay off.

Grades 4 – 6: Winning Designs [50 min]

Featuring my book Dazzling Women Designers, I explore the ways in which design touches our lives. Students will learn what makes a design sustainable. It can't just look good, it's got to be functional. Together, using PowerPoint slides and excerpts from the book, we'll examine some remarkable designers (Cornelia Hahn Oberlander, Jane Jacobs, and Ritu Kumar) and their inspiring work.

Grades 7 – 8: Get Real [50 – 60 min]

Can nonfiction writers borrow techniques from fiction to draw readers into a story with panache? You, bet! I demonstrate how to fill in the gaps that can arise in nonfiction narratives, despite meticulous research. The goal is a believable, true-to-life portrait of an individual that may just walk off the page. Then, by drawing examples from my Women’s Hall of Fame books, I encourage students to combine sleuth-like observational skills with memories from personal experiences to create catchy openers. This presentation also explores the importance of honesty and integrity in writing about real people’s lives.

High School: Girl Power [50 – 60 min]

Images from the media, messages from peers, parents, and others may make you feel like you have to act in certain ways. This presentation, which is geared for female students, shatters stereotypes and encourages young women to explore their interests, find their passion, and go for it. With an open, inclusive outlook, girls can aspire to holding top executive positions, breaking records in sports, and pursuing diverse fields in math, science, and design. Citing real-life examples from my Women’s Hall of Fame books, I share inspiring quotes and advice from successful women.

Presentation Length:
45 - 60 min
Children's nonfiction, Activity books, Biography
K to 11
Audience Size: