Herstory 2015
Coteau Books / 16 December 2014

Herstory 2015: The Canadian Women’s Calendar by The Saskatoon Women’s Calendar Collective Published by Coteau Books Review by Keith Foster $15.95 ISBN 13:9781550505863 Herstory 2015 serves a dual purpose – combining a brief history of dozens of Canadian women with a daily calendar for 2015. The book follows a basic format – a photo and thumbnail sketch of a woman or activity on one page, and on the facing page, a seven-day calendar with an inspirational quote at the bottom. It is a book is chock full of stories of remarkable women and their accomplishments. Look at race car driver Kelly Williams, who “competed professionally for 15 years – 10 of these at the top level of Canadian motorsports.” Negativity didn’t daunt her. She simply turned it into a positive force and used it to fuel a win. Or look at the lumberjills, women who, like lumberjacks, rolled logs downriver. The Second World War required Canada to enlist women into jobs that were formerly primarily, if not exclusively, the domain of men. A 1943 National Film Board documentary lauded the lumberjills as handling timber like experienced lumberjacks. What about the Canadian Ninety-Nines? An association of female aviators with such notable…

Jamie and the Monster Bookroom
DriverWorks Ink / 16 December 2014

Jamie and the Monster Bookroom by Kerry Simpson (with Jamie Simpson) Published by DriverWorks Ink Review by Shelley A. Leedahl $13.95 ISBN 978-1-927570-15-9 Saskatchewan boasts a wealth of writers and artists, and, increasingly, companies that help new writers get their books into print. Deana and Al Driver are the experienced team behind DriverWorks Ink, a Regina-based company established in 2008 to publish “true stories of fascinating Prairie people and unsung Canadian heroes, books for children, fiction and humour.” Deana Driver is a journalist, writer, and editor, while Al comes from a long history as an editor in the Canadian newspaper industry. Their evolution into publishing seems a natural one. I opened my first DriverWorks Ink book, Jamie and the Monster Bookroom, ready to embrace a fresh Saskatchewan voice. The story features a little girl, Jamie, who loves books, her local library, and, as the back cover copy states, “all the smells and textures that come with the books she’s read on her weekly visits there.” Kerry Simpson, a teacher by profession, wrote the book with the help of her own young daughter, Jamie, and from the bio notes I assume this is a story that reflects the “real” Jamie’s life….