Dan Bar-el

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Dan Bar-el

Author, Storyteller
Vancouver, BC
Awards

Chocolate Lily Award (Winner, 2015)

Silver Birch Express Award (Winner, 2008)

BC Book Prize - Christie Harris Illustrated Book Award (Short-listed, 2014)

Blue Spruce Award Honour Book (Commended, 2009)

Marilyn Baillie CCBC Award (Short-listed, 2012)

Shining Willow Award (Short-listed, 2008)

Hackamatack Award (Short-listed, 2014)

Chocolate Lily Award (Short-listed, 2015)

Canadian Library Assoc. Book of the Year Award (Short-listed, 2006)

Forest of Reading Award (Short-listed, 2014)

BC Book Prize - Christie Harris Illustrated Book Award (Short-listed, 2012)

Junior Library Guild Selection (Commended, 2012)

BC Government - Ready, Set, Learn literacy program (Commended, 2008)

Red Cedar Award (Short-listed, 2016)

Rocky Mountain Book Award (Short-listed, 2016)

Ruth & Sylvia Schwartz Award (Short-listed, 2015)

Genres

Graphic Novels, Junior fiction (Ages 8-12), Intermediate Fiction (Ages 10-14), Picture books

Biography

Dan Bar-el is an award-winning children’s author, educator and storyteller. His writing includes chapter books, picture books, and graphic novels. For the past twenty-three years, Dan has been working with children ages 3 to 13. He’s been a school age childcare provider, a preschool teacher, a creative drama teacher and creative writing teacher. These days, when not writing, travelling around the country presenting his book, storytelling or leading various workshops at schools and libraries, he teaches creative writing courses to children in Vancouver, BC where he lives.

Presentations
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AN AUTHOR PRESENTATION

This year I am introducing my new middle grade novel, Audrey (cow). This is a book full of heart and humor; a very human story about life and death, and friendship, and holding on to one’s dreams. But what adds to this book’s uniqueness is that the story is narrated by a cast of over two dozen voices, most of them belonging to animals. Think Charlotte’s Web meets Chicken Run meets 60 Minutes.

With my “children’s writer” hat firmly on my head, this is a presentation that talks about me and my writing, how my ideas for Audrey (cow) came about, and my thoughts on humour and character voice which play a big part in this book.

I will be reading from the novel and perhaps from other works, and if I know my audience, I will likely be answering embarrassing questions at the end, too.

If your goal is to connect the person behind the books, then this is the presentation for you.

“The humour in your style suited the humour in your book."   C.M., teacher/librarian   Kimberley Junior Public School, Toronto, ON

“The presentation was so well done; a great reading from your book. All the students listened intently and laughed heartily!”   J. E., grade 5 teacher   Vincent Massey School, Ottawa, ON

Please email me to request an information brochure that lists all my presentations, recommendations and fees danbarel@telus.net

Presentation type: Reading

Recommended levels: Junior (4-6), Intermediate (7-8)

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Writing a Graphic Novel

WRITING A GRAPHIC NOVELThe words behind the pictures

The growing interest in graphic novels may reflect a shift towards a visually mediated society, but we’re not done with words yet.

This is a graphic novel workshopthat puts an emphasis on the writing.

Using That One Spooky Night, as well as other source material, I will guide students through the elements of writing a script that can then be translated visually by an illustrator.

We will look at:- the words vs. pictures storytelling relationship- framing- describing the integral information in the pictures we imagine- how are the other senses conveyed graphically- the actual form that a script takes

We will look at the strengths and limitations of words and images, and consider what makes the combined language of graphic novels unique.

There will be some fast and basic drawing exercises to support concepts, as well as an opportunity for students to transpose and translate each other’s scripts into graphic novel form.

“Both teachers and students were thrilled with Dan's visit.  He engaged them in hands-on experiences so they felt part of the presentation.  We plan to invite him back!”   M. C., Teacher-Librarian/IT/RCA   Deer Park Jr. & Sr. Public School, Toronto, ON

Please email me to request an information brochure that includes all my presentations, recommendations and fees   danbarel@telus.net  

Presentation type: Workshop

Recommended levels: Junior (4-6), Intermediate (7-8)

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Fun & Silly Storytelling for Children

Not Your Typical Dragon  involves a poor little dragon named Crispin. When he tries to breathe fire on his seventh birthday, fire doesn't come out—only whipped cream! Each time Crispin tries to breathe fire, he ends up with Band-Aids, marshmallows, even teddy bears. Crispin wonders if he’ll ever find his inner fire. But when a family emergency breaks out, it takes a little dragon with not-so-typical abilities to save the day.

Along with Not Your Typical Dragon, this storytelling presentation offers a line-up of only humorous tales, which include my funny picture books, Nine Words Max, A Fish Named Glub, and Such a Prince. These stories may be silly, but students will discover a few thoughts to chew on among all the laughter.

Story sessions are age appropriate in material and length. A 30 minute session with K-1, and a 40 minute session with 2-4 are offered together for the price of a one hour session.

Sessions are availabel for preschool children too.

“Our school is in a low socio-economic area. Our children were fortunate to experience a storytelling presentation that was delivered by someone who was able to connect with the audience on such a personal level.”  S. C., teacher-librarian, Hilldale Public School, Brampton, ON

“The children and staff enjoyed the fun way you told stories – your changing voices, facial and body expressions and body movements.” H.P., Literacy Improvement Teacher, Millgrove School, Hamilton, ON

Please email me to request an information brochure that includes all my presentations, recommendations and fees   danbarel@telus.net

 

Presentation type: Other

Recommended levels: Junior kindergarten, Senior kindergarten, Primary (1-3), Junior (4-6)

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COMEDY WRITING

Fun and fast-paced, students will begin to understandthe nuts and bolts of creating humour and test their new skills in a safe environment.  Good for grade7-8 or keen grade 5/6ers

The one hour intro session includes:- The basic rules of comedy- How to brainstorm ideas and formulate a joke- Understanding the importance of lateral thinking- Ways to change your perspective- Short oral and written exercises

This workshop can be expanded into multi sessions with topics such as:- Creating comic realities- The elements of comic character- Types of comic stories- Character, conflict and comedy- Parody- Satire- Irony

“Dan came and did a workshop with grade 8s on comedy writing. It was fantastic. We laughed for most of an hour.”  S. O., Teacher-Librarian, Lindale Elementary, Moose Jaw, SK

“… with the grade 7’s, it was wonderful to see the students who might be known as class clowns have a platform for their quick-witted talents. You provided a safe environment so students who wouldn’t normally participate felt comfortable sharing their answers.” L. B., Teacher, Lena Shaw Elementary, Surrey, BC

Please email me to request an information brochure that includes all my presentations, recommendations and fees   danbarel@telus.net

Presentation type: Workshop

Recommended levels: Intermediate (7-8)

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Pussycat, Pussycat, Let's Explore More

small group sessions to enhance the book experience and extend the learning for K-2

Using my picture book, Pussycat, Pussycat, Where Have You Been?, in these 30 minute sessions:

- we’ll explore rhythm and rhyme through storytelling- we’ll connect with Mother Goose- students will learn the story behind the pussycat story- and then listen to a reading of the book using enlarged illustrations- we’ll get up and physicalize a storyWith Grades 1 and 2:- we’ll create our own verse, extending the text in new directions, proving we can make poetry too.

 

"Bar-el's rhymes scan beautifully, and the language is never silly or simplistic. Each new verse challenges young readers to explore - linguistically, geographically, even emotionally. ... The result is a tour de force that is sure to become a classic."    Quill & Quire, May, 2011

"The rich language is embellished with the beautiful and equally rich illustrations by Rae Mate. … Dan Bar-el’s gift as a storyteller is evident throughout. The rhythm and rhyme of this story will make it a wonderful read aloud or pleasurable for a child to read on their own. This wonderful book, likely to be become a classic, is highly recommended. Excellent Rating. Thematic Links: Stories in Verse; Adapted Nursery Rhymes; Circular Journeys; Friendship"  Resource LinksPlease email me to request an information brochure that includes all my presentations, recommendations and fees   danbarel@telus.net

Presentation type: Reading

Recommended levels: Junior kindergarten, Senior kindergarten, Primary (1-3)

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Character Voice & Dialogue

challenging concepts  for older students taught in a fun way

A puppet may be a character but a character is never a puppet. Boom! Did I just blow your mind? In this workshop, we learn how to find the unique voice hidden in each character we create. We let them speak how they want to speak, but only if they have a good reason to speak. Boom! I just blew your mind again.

This new 90 minute workshop is in conjunction with my new middle grade novel, Audrey (cow). Good for grades 7-9

Using visuals, audios, marathon blabbing challenges, vampire impersonations and bribery with candy, we will be exploring:

- our own unique voice and body language

- the assumptions we make based on how a character speaks

- character tags – three types and what they’re good for

- ways to define a character from their point of view

- the equation: Dialogue = want + action

- how to keep a scene interesting

- how character defines choice

- putting it all together

Please email me to request an information brochure that includes all my presentations, recommendations and fees   danbarel@telus.net

Presentation type: Workshop

Recommended levels: Intermediate (7-8), High school (9-12)