It’s the story of my life: no matter what I’m doing, I feel like I should be doing something else. Sounds familiar? I think we’re not alone.
I made this poster because I think we don’t hear enough about the positive contributions refugees make to their host countries. Many of them have even changed the world!
Parents and educators, you can download a higher resolution of this mini-poster for free here (personal and classroom use only; no commercial use allowed).
For more information about famous refugees, visit this website.
For more free printable posters, visit my boutique in the “free printable stuff” section.
The Globe and Mail liked my book!
Here’s what Anna Fitzpatrick had to say about it:
Elise Gravel makes learning about fungi fun in The Mushroom Fan Club
“If you see any image of the woods in any children’s book, you’ll probably see mushrooms,” author and illustrator Elise Gravel tells me over the phone from her home in Montreal. “We just love drawing them.” She’s specifically talking about the fly agaric, a toxic red-cap mushroom with white spots, perhaps most famous for providing Mario with growth spurts in the classic video game and which has been a staple in picture-book illustration since then for its cartoonish appearance.
The fly agaric is just one of many mushrooms that Gravel brings to life in The Mushroom Fan Club (Drawn and Quarterly, $20, 56 pages). She also features chanterelles and morels alongside more alien-like species with names such as the Dog Stinkhorn or the Destroying Angel. Although the fungi are anthropomorphized with cartoon eyes and goofy grins, the research behind the book is real. Gravel has created a scientific intro book for budding mycologists, combining picture-book artwork with facts about boletes (some turn blue when touched) and the Lactarius indigo (which produce a milk-like substance when cut open).
Gravel’s cuddly little mushrooms first made their appearance in If Found … Please Return to Elise Gravel, a sketchbook of the prolific author and illustrator’s many obsessions published last year with Drawn & Quarterly, although she’s had an interest in them for years. Around seven years ago, she and a friend took an introductory class given at a botanical garden in Montreal centred on identifying local species of mushroom. “We were hooked after that,” she said. “We wanted to know what everything was.” She continues to regularly forage for mushrooms with her daughters and friends.
The Disgusting Critters series turned out to be wildly popular with young readers and educators alike. Gravel is frequently contacted by teachers with requests to write more of them. The Mushroom Fan Club shows early signs of a similar response. Parents send Gravel pictures of their kids drawing mushrooms, or off on their own mushroom-hunting adventures. The ardour with which Gravel approaches her subject matter is on the surface of every page (“fan club” is right there in the title, after all), and as if the spores of a puffball mushroom, it spreads easily. The Mushroom Fan Club, like The Disgusting Crittersbefore it, gives its young readership permission to indulge in their innate curiosities and to approach the natural world around them with a fascination reserved for storybook creations.
“I first thought, maybe we’re tricking kids into learning stuff,” Gravel said, “but the thing is, they’re not tricked. They write me letters saying, ‘You learn stuff, but at the same time you laugh.’ They know they’re learning and they love it.”
To see the whole article, click here.
To see my other books, click here.
Here’s a little book I made to teach your young ones that their gender does not define who they are, how they are required to behave, what they are required to like, and how they are required to feel (or not feel). Let kids be kids; let kids be themselves!
The book was published by Innovation Press and will be in stores as of October 9th. You can preorder it at your favorite online bookstore.
For more fun stuff for kids about gender (and other things!), visit my boutique in the Free Printable Stuff section.
I made this short comic to explain to kids what a refugee is.
Parents and teachers, feel free to print this for personal / classroom use only.
You’ll find a higher-res version HERE.
Here’s my new book, The mushroom fan club, and it will be in stores this Friday! You can already buy it in some lucky bookstores or pre-order it here.
From The picture book blogger: “Another winning formula from Elise Gravel. Factual and informative blended with ‘off the wall’ wackiness. You’re bound to learn something new about mushrooms with the Mushroom fan club!”
From Children’s Book Council: “Elise Gravel is back with a whimsical look at one of her family’s most beloved pastimes: mushroom hunting! Combining her love of exploring nature with her talent for anthropomorphizing everything, she takes us on a magical tour of the forest floor and examines a handful of her favorite alien specimens up close. While the beautiful coral mushroom looks like it belongs under the sea, the peculiar Lactarius indigo may be better suited for outer space. From the fun-to-stomp puffballs to the prince of the stinkers—the stinkhorn mushroom—and the musically inclined chanterelles, Gravel shares her knowledge of this fascinating kingdom by bringing each species to life in full felt-tip-marker glory.
The Governor General Award–winning author Gravel’s first book with Drawn & Quarterly, If Found . . . Please Return to Elise Gravel, was a Junior Library Guild selection and an instant hit among librarians, parents, and kids alike. Fostering the same spirit of creativity and curiosity, The Mushroom Fan Club promises to inspire kids to look more closely at the world around them and to seek out all of life’s little treasures, stinky or not!”
From The Guardian: “The strange and wonderful illustrator Elise Gravel has a new book out, The Mushroom Fan Club about mushrooms. That’s all I’m giving you. You’ll read it and like it.”
Next Friday, I’m launching my new book The mushroom fan club at the beautiful bookstore
La petite librairie Drawn & Quarterly! Will you come say hi?
Vendredi prochain, je lancerai mon livre Le fan club des champignons dans les deux langues officielles! Venez initier votre enfant à la mycologie et découvrir une magnifique librairie jeunesse bilingue:
La petite librairie Drawn + Quarterly. J’ai hâte de vous voir!
I made this poster to teach kids that scientists are normal, regular people, and that everybody can become a scientist. Not just math geniuses!
Scientists make mistakes, often need help from others, don’t know everything, and don’t always have the best grades at school.
Teachers, parents, you can download and print this cartoon for home or classroom uses (no commercial use allowed). You can also print Olga’s explanation on the scientific method here and buy the Olga books here.
For all my free printable posters, click here.
I made some free coloring pages for those of you who are tired of Disney princesses all over your fridge. Visit my BOUTIQUE and then click on COLORING PAGES. While you’re there, take a look at my books, too! I give away lots of free stuff, but books are how I earn a living (plus, they are pretty good, objectively 😉 )