04 Morning Train, Evening Boat

British Columbia
British Columbia
Dan Bar-el British Columbia

Dan Bar-el is a children’s author, educator and storyteller. He leads storytelling programs, visits schools and libraries, and lives and thrives in Vancouver. His new books are Dream Boats and Not Your Typical Dragon. @danbar-el.com Read more

Julie Flett British Columbia

Julie Flett is the recipient of the Christie Harris Illustrated Children’s Literature Prize and a nominee for the Governor General’s Award for Children’s Literature for her book Owls See Clearly at Night (Lii Yiiboo Nayaapiwak lii Swer): A Michif Alphabet (L’alfabet di Michif). Her new book is Wild Berries. Flett is Cree- Métis and lives in Vancouver. Read more

Kathy Stinson Ontario

Kathy Stinson has published more than 30 titles—picture books, young adult novels, historical fiction, short stories, biography and other non- fiction. Her first book, Red is Best, won the Toronto Chapter IODE Award in 1982. Becoming Ruby and 101 Ways to Dance were CLA YA Book of the Year nominees. Her new book is The Man with the Violin. Read more

Tuesday, October 22, 2013 - 10:00am - 11:30am
Improv Centre
$17 / $8.50 for school groups

Take a trip to places you might have only dreamt about, thanks to new picture books from three successful authors. Young readers will travel onto a subway platform in Washington, DC, to imagine being swept away by music from one of the world’s finest violinists. They will float away on the dream boats that sail the seas of sleep from the Andes to St. Petersburg. Or pick wild blueberries among foxes while chatting in Cree. No passports needed for this morning’s adventures.

Suitable for grades K–3

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View the study guide for this event.

Morning Train, Evening Boat


Dan Bar-el, Dream Boats
Julie Flett, Wild Berries
Kathy Stinson, The Man with the Violin

Curriculum Connections:

  • Language Arts: literacy foundations
  • Visual Arts
  • Social Studies: geography
  • Diversity, identity and self-esteem


In all three books, the authors have created journeys shaped by vivid imagery, descriptions, and sounds. Each activity will focus on how Bar-el, Flett, and Stinson achieve this in their writing.

  1. Using the instructions on the front and back page of Bar-el’s book, lead students in creating origami boats out of rectangular paper. Then, ask the students to decorate their paper boats with pencil-crayon drawings of a place that they dream of visiting, using the images that come to their mind when they imagine this place. For instance, if a student would like to decorate his boat with images of Hawaii, he or she might draw hula dancers, palm trees, and volcanoes. A great way to display the finished paper boats would be to hang them from the ceiling of the classroom to create a fleet of floating dream boats.
  2. Ask the students to share any memorable dreams they might have had in a short piece of writing, using descriptive words to create imagery. Have the students share their writing with the class at the end of this activity.
  3. Gathering the students together in a circle on the floor, play this game of storytelling where each student says one word in a clockwise order, creating a fun (and sometimes very odd) narrative shaped by not one but many minds.