Kendra comes to life

Last week I mentioned a wonderful photo I had received of a young fan who had decided to go as Kendra Kandlestar for Halloween. I am biased, of course, but I think Kendra and all seven of her crazy braids makes for a superb costume. So, here’s Amika in full Kendra gear. It’s pretty amazing!

Kendra Kandlestar Costume

In other holiday-style news, I’ve been working on my annual Kendra Kandlestar Christmas card. Even though it hardly feels like the right season, I have to get it done and printed in time. I’ll post my design when I’m done, and perhaps show examples from past years too!

This is why you shouldn’t drink your magic potion

Magic Potions Class.Even though my magic potions class is all about using the five senses, I always warn my students not to drink their concoctions. Sure, they can smell, see, hear, and even touch their elixirs with a spoon—but drinking potions is never a good idea. After all, who knows what effect will result from brewing Elf bones, Pixie juice, dragon urine, Gnome poop, mummy dust, burning acid, and eyes of newt?

Just witness my ever-cheerful student, Matthew—before and after.

Matthew BEFORE.

Matthew After.

Sadly, it’s not a staged photo.  But don’t be alarmed. He only writhed on the floor for five minutes, before his nausea ebbed. In other good magic-potion-related new, there were only THREE explosions this time. (If you’re going to over do it on the mummy dust, explosions are, sadly, just a fact of life.)

Magic Potion Explosion.

Magic Potion Class

A Mischief of Mice

Costume a character

It was such a busy week last week that I didn’t have time to blink. See, I spent the entire week at Morgan Elementary in Surrey, BC, working as a writer-in-residence.

What a week! Working with the teachers, I taught workshops to every student from Kindergarten to Grade 7! For the older kids I taught a variety of classes on crafting characters and building kingdoms through designing maps and writing proclamations.


Heroic character

For the younger kids I delivered my tried-and-true “Costume a Character” workshop. In this class the kids get to “costume” three little mice, after which they write a story explaining what happened in their characters’ lives to cause them to have to change into the three different costumes.

This mouse workshop never ceases to delight me. I am always treated to some new and delightful costumes. My favourite this week? By far, it was poet mouse, crafted by an imaginative student in Grade 3. She even had a delightful poem (all about cheese, of course) that was sang out by her poetic and whiskery little fellow.

Poet Mouse.

In addition to this busy week, I also met Suzanne Collins (author of The Hunger Games) this week. She came to Vancouver and, despite being exhausted from ten hours of workshopping, my friend Kallie George and I rushed to meet her. We sneaked in just at the tail-end of the event! Notice the brace on her hand; the sign of a busy author!

Suzanne Collins.