Hazel profile pic


With over fifty picture books and children’s novels to her credit, Hazel Hutchins is an experienced presenter who delights in sharing her stories and creative writing tips with elementary students across Canada.

A daydreamer and a writer for as long as she can remember, Hazel grew up roaming the prairie fields and rolling foothills of southern Alberta. She later moved to the mountain town of Canmore where she and her husband raised their family and where she continues to live and write.

Her fiction includes family stories told with humour and warmth, mysteries with unexpected twists, characters who love quirky science facts, creative explorations in the art world and the deceptively small—but often very telling—choices of childhood.

Hazel’s stories are part of reading programs and short lists across Canada and the U. S., have won  the National Marilyn Baillie Picture Book Award, the Saskatchewan Young Readers’ Choice, the Alberta R. Ross Annett Award for Children’s Literature and can be found—in translation—in many interesting corners of the world.

Hazel is an active member of YABS but is no longer touring. She is open to private requests for virtual presentations.

Virtual Presentations

Kindergarten – Grade 2:  30 minutes via Zoom, Google Meets or Skype.

     Description: This session is presented in two short sections with a break between for questions and/or finger plays or a short movement exercise.

 Part I: Where do books come from? – I briefly show my notebooks with scattered ideas, several crossed-out rough drafts, final good draft and examples of rough and finished art, by various illustrators. I then show photographs of my own family and the “mirroring” illustrations that were done for the picture book Ben’s Snow Song. Young students especially love to see these as it helps them relate to book creation on a personal level.

Part II:  Story Time! – Using an object or personal incident to draw my young audience into the moment, we enjoy one of my books with student participation and on-screen illustrations. When reading my most recent picture book, The Truth About Wind, (for example) my worn and beloved cloth rabbit becomes part of the event as do the students’ own feelings about toys and stuffies—lost, found and still missing.

     Curriculum tie-ins using the following picture book titles by Hazel Hutchins:

– Colour, art, creativity, friendship:   Snap!, Anna at the Art Museum and Mattland.

– Emotions, honesty, community and making difficult choices:  The True Story of Wind.

– The concept of time, often used as a Math supplement:  A Second is a Hiccup.

Grade 3 to Grade 6: 45 minutes via Zoom, Google Meets or Skype.

     Description: This session is presented in two sections, each followed by a short period during which students are invited to ask questions.

Part I:   Idea to Finished Story –  Using examples from my own books and showing images of written notebooks, corrected rough drafts, finished copy and pictures by various illustrators (which help me further explain the story process) I reinforce the idea that we all have creative ideas that can be turned into stories.  I briefly talk about how I became a writer. I outline my three favourite ways to find a story idea.

 Part II:   Writing Tips  –    Topics include getting off to a strong start, identifying the problem, different ways of planning, keeping your reader–and you as the writer!–engaged in the story by adding tension or doing a bit of unusual research, writing strong characters and finding an ending. For grades 3/4 I keep the process fairly simple.  For grades 5/6  we explore more deeply.

If there is time, I then provide a fun, short sentence and ask students to suggest a single descriptive word that will make it more interesting.  I always enjoy their wide-ranging answers!

     Curriculum tie-ins using the following chapter books by Hazel Hutchins:

-Science, research, family life, friendship, responsibility: TJ and the Cats, TJ and the Haunted House, TJ and the Rockets, TJ and the Sports Fanatic, TJ and the Quiz Kids

-Animal Welfare, community, friendship, family: The Great Bike Rescue.

Cost for online sessions:

If booking more than one session per day (maximum of 5 presentation times per day):

  • $ 100 per session for K to Gr 2 (30 minutes)
  • $ 110 per session for Gr 3 to Gr 6 (45 minutes)

If booking only one session per day:

  • $125 for K to Gr 2 (30 minutes)
  • $140 for Gr 3 to Gr 6 (45 minutes)

(g.s.t. is charged in addition to the above rates)

Other:  A maximum of 3 classes at a time for online presentations please.

If at all possible, Hazel enjoys being able to see the classes on camera as well as being able to talk back and forth with students during question and discussion times.  Thanks!

Selected Bibliography

(full list of publications can be found on Hazel’s Home Page www.hazelhutchins.net)

Picture Books

The Truth About Wind,  (co-author Gail Herbert. Illustrator Dušan Petričić )  Annick Press 2020, “Highly Recommended”- CM Reviews   “Hutchins and Herbert have created a complex, memorable character…This galloping story will engage young readers and prompt meaningful conversation.”

—Canadian Children’s Book News, Spring 2020

Anna at the Art Museum,  (co-author Gail Herbert, illustrator Lil Crump)  Annick Press 2018, Kirkus *starred review.  Joint Winner Purple Dragonfly Book, Arts/Music. “Art truly is for everybody in this charming book . . . The attention to detail is sublime as Crump’s gorgeous characters and scenery work to mirror the featured pieces on the wall that span centuries and cross oceans”CM *starred review.

Snap,  (illustrator Dušan Petričić, Annick) Annick Press 2015, Selected for Ontario Library Association Blue Spruce and CCBC Choice Lists

Mattland  (co-author Gail Herbert. Illustrator Dušan Petričić)  Annick Press 2008, Winner of  Marilyn Baillie National Picture Book Award and Alberta’s R. Ross Annett Award for Children’s Literature. Selected for OLA Blue Spuce and CCBC Choice Lists.

A Second is a Hiccup (Picture Book – illustrator Kady MacDonald Denton) Short listed for Norma Fleck Canadian Children’s Non-Fiction Award, Selected for OLA Blue Spruce and CCBC Choice Lists

Chapter books

The Great Bike Rescue, Orca Book Publishers, 2013 Ages 8-11  Selected for Ontario Library Assoc. Silver Birch Express, Hackmatack and R. Ross Annett Lists.

“TJ” Series :  TJ and the Cats,  TJ and the Haunted House, TJ and the Sports Fanatic, TJ and the Quiz Kids, Orca Book Publishers. 2002-2006, Ages 8-11  Winner of Saskatchewan Silver Willow Young Readers Choice Award. Selected for OLA Silver Birch Express and Hackmatack Lists.

 “Robyn” First Novel Series from Formac Publishing   Think Again, Robyn. Robyn’s Monster Play. Robyn’s Art Attack and 6 other Robyn titles.  Ages 6 – 8


“…she had us captivated, engaged, interested, and involved. …For one hour, 80 seven and eight year olds sat listening and participating in her author presentation.  …Her creative process was magical to witness”

Grade 2 teacher, Elementary

“… the students enjoyed her upbeat, energetic style while learning about the writing process. The  rapport that she developed with them during her presentations has translated into an enthusiasm for reading and writing stories.”

Near North District School Board

…. we all learned something – children and adults alike!”

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