Teachers Are Saying
The Internet is a marvellous thing. I went looking for a copy of your book, “An Ape Came Out of My Hatbox” tonight and saw a signed copy for sale online. I had the idea to Google you and saw you were on Facebook, in the province right next to me?? and with 19 more books! That is amazing! Let me tell you why I don’t have my copy of Gypsy’s story any more, and I hope you will take it as a compliment. I was a voracious reader as a child. I have no idea how I found your book but I read it cover to cover, and wept from the bottom of my heart at Gypsy’s death. I decided I loved animals, and got into a huge fight with my best friend because she wouldn’t help me “rescue” earthworms from the sidewalk after the rainstorms… I hated touching worms, but I hated the idea of their dying more, so I poked new holes that I imagined to be worm apartments in the grass and lay them gently with their edges at the hole… I was well-intentioned at least! Back to Gypsy. I would no more read a book only once, than I would listen to a song only once. So I read the book again, figuring it would be easier this time. No, it was not. I sobbed again. And the third, and fourth, and fifth times. I was just heartbroken over Gypsy every time. And after, I don’t know, the twelfth time or so, I thought I had to get rid of your book for my own good, because I couldn’t not read it, it was too good, and I couldn’t not cry, I loved Gypsy too much, so it was just this painful grieving over and over that I was too young to know how to cope with any other way.
Now, as an adult, I recalled the title instantly and I stopped my online purchase process yo write you this letter. I have read a LOT of books in my time but I hope you are grasping the power you have as a writer to have made that much of an impression on me. I hope to find some happy endings in your other books, or the maturity to deal with the facts of life and death 🙂 Many best wishes for your time in warm Belize and thank you for your work!
Bill Porter, The Board of Education for the City of North York, Ontario.
Without doubt, Ms. Hancock is one of the most fascinating and dynamic authors we have had the privilege of meeting. Being a former teacher, she very early established a rapport with the children and sustained interest at a high peak throughout her presentation… She is an extraordinary person.
Lynda Scott, Bridlewood School, Ottawa, Ontario
I have taught for 30 years and by far this is the most stimulating presentation I have attended. The combination of the slide presentation, your reading of excerpts from your book Tabasco the Saucy Raccoon, as well as your many personal anecdotes made this book come alive. By talking about the steps you follow to write a book, plus the details about your illustrator, the students gained a greater understanding of the tremendous amount of work involved. Wonderful. I felt I HAD to read your books.
Shirley Coffin, St. Joseph’s/A.McKay School, Halifax, Nova Scotia.
The presentation you gave to our students was most enchanting and dynamic. It kept our ordinary short-attention-span-students spellbound for the entire hour. That is quite an accomplishment, believe me. You are an inspiration.
Steven Van Diest, Pipestone School, Millet, Alberta.
Mrs. Hancock held the attention of one hundred and ten students age six to twelve for a full ninety minutes…an incredible feat in itself. She explained her personal philosophy of writing novels and vividly recounted the memories and details that went into creating many of her books… a unique experience that will motivate students AND teachers alike for many years to come.
Sacred Heart School, Sioux Lookout, Ontario
Thank you for sharing your enthusiasm and your wisdom. Just what our students needed.
Alex de Medeiros, Gordon Head Middle School, Victoria, BC
Thank you for your wonderful presentation… Your remarkable life experiences captivated our student population and inspired them both as global citizens, learners and writers…My students immensely enjoyed their time with you. Tabasco the Saucy Raccoon has become a classroom favourite. Many children have purchased it and are sharing it with their friends.
Marisa Radcliffe, Pleasant Valley Elementary School, Nanaimo, BC
The story of Tabasco the Saucy Raccoon ignited a passion for writing amongst our students. I enjoyed seeing the students’ excitement for writing build as you told your story of living and travelling with a raccoon. Lyn, the passion you have for writing was infectious. Your animated personality and love for wildlife captured the students’ interests and got them thinking of stories they could share. Your background as a teacher is evident as you helped them build on their ideas to create amazing ‘hooks’ for their stories. Providing different writing opportunities to the teachers will help them lead their students to many different writing experiences…Absolutely amazing!
Nancy Korman, French Creek Community School, BC
Absolutely wonderful presentation. If anyone could inspire children to write their stories Lyn could. Just her adventures alone kept our attention and wanted us to hear more. Can’t wait to read her books.
Karen Wason, Woburn Collegiate Institute, Ontario.
Thoroughly delightful. Many people dream of having adventures but few have so many of them in a lifetime. Lyn shared with us her intense caring about our Canadian past and her enthusiasm for writing from personal experience and from the heart. The students observed the connection between experience and writing and were enthralled with her presentation. Her visit was a tremendous success and enhanced greatly our creative writing program.
Lisa Blair, Glenrosa Elementary School, Kelowna, BC
You really got my students excited about writing. I can’t wait to get them started on their own adventure stories. They were so engaged and interested in everything you had to say! Thank you also for all the great ideas you gave me for writing lessons. My class just loved having you speak to them. You are a wonderful writer, speaker and teacher.
Melissa Robertson, Mount Benson Elementary School, Nanaimo, BC
Your presentation was wonderful. It captured my students’ imagination, they were taken with all of Lyn’s stories. They have never been so into writing or written so much at one time.
Cheryl Donnell, Mount Benson Elementary School, Nanaimo, BC
Your stories are so funny and inspiring that I want to start my own book about my crazy cat or the wacky family I have or whatever. Entertaining and inspirational.
Teresa Rogers, Mount Benson Elementary School, Nanaimo, BC
Your presentation was awesome. I didn’t want it to end.
Darylene Godkin, Davidson Road Elementary, Okanagan, BC
Lyn kept the students on the edge of their seats with tales of baby cougars, eagles and, of course, Tabasco. Her stories also include an important message about conservation and stewardship. The grade seven students enjoyed learning writing skills. Highly recommended.
Dianne Penner, Quadra Elementary School, Victoria, BC
The children were spellbound. Your timely visit fits in well with the changing curriculum… knowledge of the ‘systems’ of a local animal, in particular. Thanks for all the information you presented.
Roy Sorenson, Mount Benson Elementary School, Nanaimo, BC
I was particularly pleased when you reinforced many of the concepts and ideas I had been trying to instill in my students. Reading one’s work aloud is so very important an editing skill, I’m not sure my young writers fully believed me until you talked about it. It was wonderful to see the looks I received from them – they were listening. They were also impressed by the significance of writing from passion, true life experience, and the hard work and dedication that goes into your writing.
K. Miller, McGirr Elementary School, Nanaimo, BC
Excellent power point presentation with great images; a lively, enthusiastic style.
Paul Grey, Ladysmith Elementary School, Ladysmith, BC
Lyn was very well received by both students and staff. She captivated her audiences with a slide show and northern artifacts. Her content was extremely relevant to the Social Studies curriculum.
D. Arnold, Errington Elementary School, Errington, BC
High energy, excellent artifacts that students could touch, terrific slides, great storytelling skills, and she quickly related her experiences to the curriculum the class has studied.
Greg Burke, Convent Glen Elementary School, Ottawa, Ontario
Your dynamic and engaging presentation captivated my students. Your real life experiences will inspire them to write of their own. You gave them practical knowledge that will help us all become better writers.
Teacher, Campus View Elementary School, Victoria, BC
A special ed student went back to class and using voice activated software (Dragon) wrote a story!!! Thanks for the inspiration.
Laurie Thompson, teacher-librarian, Cumberland Junior Secondary School, Cumberland, BC
I tell everyone that your book There’s a Seal in my Sleeping Bag was the one that got me hooked on to reading as a teen.
James Gillett, Glenmore School, Kelowna, BC
Wonderful experience. Lyn’s enthusiasm was contagious and the appeal of her topic (animals) obvious. She had an ability to share her joy of reading and writing that left students anxious to read more of what she has written…Our students came away from the sessions enthused about reading, excited about writing, and anxious to try their hand at drawing.
Margaret Jensen, Teacher Librarian, Ladner Elementary School, BC
What a wonderful experience! Lyn started out the day with an assembly presentation to all our students between grades 1 and 7 (400 in the gym). She talked about her experiences with animals and showed slides of her encounters with animals – the children loved it! Despite the length of the session (1-hour) the children were fascinated throughout the entire presentation.
Afterwards, she worked with two Intermediate (grades 4-7) at a time, running a writing workshop and focusing on descriptive words. Once again, the children were captivated! They had an opportunity to write their own ideas about “Tabasco making a mess” and were so motivated that they didn’t want to leave when their turn was over! I was particularly thrilled to see certain students, who usually are not particularly interested in writing, experiencing the thrill of putting words to paper. I think of a student who was very proud of her work but was too shy to share it herself (so Lyn red it out for her), of another who usually will print one or two words but wrote a whole paragraph, of a third who contributed a phrase that showed she has creative and inventive ideas about language despite having written output disorder. In all cases, Lyn was terrifically energetic, encouraging, and fun!
I would love to have her visit my school again, and encourage anyone who is considering an author visit with Lyn Hancock to book the visit and be ready for a fun-filled, energetic, and marvelously creative day.
Librarians Are Saying
Maria Vavarikos, Lower Canada College, Montreal, Quebec.
I have had so many favourable comments from the children. One little boy told me “Mrs. Hancock was the BEST speaker I’ve ever heard,” EVERY child in the class bought your Tabasco the Saucy Raccoon.
Joanne Stanbridge, Westmount Public Library, Montreal, Quebec
I understand why Maria Vavarikos said it was the best presentation she had ever seen – the class from Westmount Park School was bowled over and the group from The Study went back to school and hounded their librarian for your books. It was a real letdown after you left.
Molly Walsh, Montreal Children’s Library, Montreal, Quebec
I especially appreciated your emphasis on how young people could become writers, and your reading of poetry which students had written about animals in the classroom.
Wendy McDonald, Sioux Lookout Public Library, Sioux Lookout, Ontario
Your enthusiasm and verve for life are contagious and I will never look at a seal the same way again (nor a cougar, an ape, an eagle, a walrus). Having the opportunity to look at your displays was, I know, appreciated by all.
Julia Cox, Youth Services Librarian, Penticton Public Library, Penticton, BC
It was a real pleasure to have guests with local connections – it made the point with kids that authors and illustrators are real people who live in their own country, right here in the Okanagan, and that some of the wildlife that so inspired them can be found on our very doorstep.
Lyn encouraged kids to challenge themselves by reading beyond the Children’s Library and enticing them to do so with great anecdotes from her books – and episodes that didn’t make it into print (raising the issue of editing!). It was wonderful to see someone respect the young audience sufficiently to have high expectations for their reading interests and abilities and urge them to take the experience of this visit into further reading.
An excellent Powerpoint presentation and a wealth of display material (articles, pictures, original type-written manuscript extracts, and cramped diaries from long vigils in eagles’ nests!) accompanied her talk. Not only did the beautiful images keep the program lively and visual, they also reinforced the reality of Lyn’s stories. Although they read well as narrative, they are non-fiction; it was great to emphasize the importance of real experience in writing. We appreciated her insight into the publishing world along with all the fascinating observations about wildlife.
Joye Hardman, Calgary Public Library, Calgary, Alberta
The fact that the grade five and six students were reluctant to leave your talk at the end of 1-1/4 hours is a sure indication of how engrossed they were. Your rapport with the children, the pacing of your presentation, the ‘good story’ you shared, and the ‘show and tell’ pieces all contributed to an afternoon which each of the students will long remember with pleasure. Thanks for the care you took in making family members in the audience so special.
Jennie Castleton, Fleetwood Public Library, Surrey, BC
It was our pleasure to have you here – you gave us a wonderful presentation that the kids really enjoyed. They were obviously really motivated by what you said and inspired to read your books. We put them out on display after school and Tabasco was checked out right away!
Students Are Saying
Mikayla Demay, age 11, Salmon Arm, BC
I enjoyed your visit to Shuswap Middle School tremendously and I can’t wait to seek out some of your books any place I can get my hands on them!! The first page you read of Love Affair with a Cougar got me so full of suspense! And now I have my mind set on finding that book for myself. Thank you for giving me the inspiration you gave me today.
Derek St. Onge, M.B.Beattie School, Enderby, BC
Wonderful speech! Mind Blowing!
Michael, Lady Evelyn Alternative School, Ottawa, Ontario
Lyn Hancock is a great role-model for any wanna-be-writer.
Zoe, Bella Coola, BC
I am a ten year old girl who read Tabasco the Saucy Raccoon. She made me laugh, she made me cry, and now is definitely living in my heart. Thank you for making such a wonderful book. I would love to have you at our school.
Fiona Macdonald, former student
The two years I spent in your class at Maple Grove Elementary School in Vancouver were very special and gave me a real love for learning.
Jane Blannin-Bruleigh, former student, Ontario
I will always remember the passion you spoke with when you talked about animals, nature and respect for natural habitat. You seemed to have packed so much into your life, with adventures and research and writing. I remember the tremendous energy you had when you were teaching!! If all teachers had that much energy and enthusiasm, school would be so much better.
Barbara Dickson McColl, former student, BC
Oh, what fun we had in your classroom and we actually learned things also. I think about how you taught us and always considered you as a teacher before your time. In the days of desks in rows, quiet classrooms, strict routines, and so many rules, your teaching methods were so ‘out of the box’. Yet, today that ‘hands on’ approach is the way our children are now educated. This proves how progressive your methods were in that era. Thank you for being a very important part of my life.
Martha Gerow, former student now teacher, Journey Middle School, Sooke, BC.
When asked by people which teachers in my past inspired me your name is always at the top of the list. Your science class in grade 4 at Lord Kitchener Elementary was what got me through the year. You made us all feel competent and excited to be learning about science.
Others Are Saying
Clare Leporati – Professional Writers Association of Canada
Lyn Hancock is a passionate, inspiring, entertaining, educative speaker who has lived an incredible life. She writes, talks, and teaches from personal experience – travelling the world, raising and studying wild animals, finding adventure even while waiting at a bus stop. She motivates audiences of all ages to find their own connections with life, their own adventures, their own passions and write about them. She will make you laugh, she will make you cry, but you will not forget her presentation. Says the New York Times, ‘She has enough energy to light up the streets of New York.’ Lyn will light up your life.
Lorain Lounsberry – Senior Curator, Cultural History, Glenbow Museum, Calgary.(Tell Me Grandmother/ The Ring: Memories of a Metis Grandmother)
A delightful read
Carol Vulliamy – Metis Elder.(Tell Me Grandmother/ The Ring: Memories of a Metis Grandmother)
written in the same tone of peace and quiet that I remember enjoying so much when I was a small child on the prairies.. a tone that we all cherish so much and want to preserve for our future generations…a tone that most of our contemporaries will know nothing about.
Frank A Crowther – Associate Director of Curriculum, Social Studies, Alberta Education
Well written, interesting, informative…We enjoyed the book immensely.
John B. Foster – Associate Professor, University of Alberta (Tell Me Grandmother/ The Ring: Memories of a Metis Grandmother)
In Tell Me, Grandmother the memories and reflections of a woman whose life spanned the era of the ‘great transformation’ in Western Canada serves well the elder’s role in this folk history. It is a heritage that belongs to every child
Helen Vernon – Teacher, Victoria, B.C. (Tell Me Grandmother/ The Ring: Memories of a Metis Grandmother)
A wonderful story of our own Canadian history… adventure…. suspense….relevant now to Indian and Métis land claims.
Ken McGoogan – Author and former book editor of the Calgary Harold(Tell Me Grandmother/ The Ring: Memories of a Metis Grandmother)
tells it like it really was…a real contribution to the history of the West.
Hugh A. Dempsey – Curator Emeritus, Glenbow Museum, Calgary (Tell Me Grandmother/ The Ring: Memories of a Metis Grandmother)
It is exciting to have a family history like that of the Livingstons which tells of the deeds and exploits of pioneer members of the family. And this usually comes from the memories of the elders, which is still one of our most fertile sources of history. Tell Me, Grandmother is that kind of story.
Ruth Linka – Brindle and Glass Publishers (Tell Me Grandmother/ The Ring: Memories of a Metis Grandmother)
A gem of a book!
Janet Gagne – Aboriginal Support Worker, Vernon, BC (Tell Me Grandmother/ The Ring: Memories of a Metis Grandmother)
Alli Vail – The News, Parksville Qualicum, BC (Tabasco the Saucy Raccoon)
Lyn Hancock’s Tabasco the Saucy Raccoon is a wonderful tale about her relationship with an abandoned baby raccoon. It’s a sweet story that sometimes seems too sweet to be true. She writes with sweetness and humour. Children who love animal stories will love this book.
Danielle Vanags – Teacher and parent. Halls Creek, WA (Tabasco the Saucy Raccoon)
Your book is fantastic. I couldn’t put it down and I’m usually a bit of a dough head these days when it comes to reading. What a crack up! Made me laugh, made me cry and everything in between! Oh Tabasco! What a groovy creature! What a character, I just loved him. Then when I found that he was a she I loved her too. I went through the book with my son Dylan last night relaying the story via the illustrations. Being just 5, he’s still at that very pictorial stage when it comes to books. He kept holding out his little hands saying I just want to hold Tabasco. Wouldn’t it make a great movie. Like a cross between ‘Home Alone’ and ‘Beethoven
Suzanne Boles – President, Professional Writers Association of Canada(Tabasco the Saucy Raccoon)
Wonderful, well written, heartwarming, a bit sad too. I learned a lot about raccoons and also about life in BC.
Amazon Customer Review (Tabasco the Saucy Raccoon)
This story is adorable. It is the story of how the author was given a raccoon and how she ending up living with it and teaching it to survive. The author clearly has a great love for animals and a great respect for raccoons in particular. This would be an excellent book for a preteen to read. It is a little too boring/bland for young children. If you are looking for a chapter book to read to a young child, you might read elsewhere. Otherwise this is an enchanting book.
Robert Overing – The State Columbia (There is a Seal in my Sleeping Bag)
Lyn Hancock, as one who is completely dedicated to living with wildlife, succeeds in writing with exuberant enthusiasm as well as with careful authenticity.
Leon De March, Calgary Herald (There is a Seal in my Sleeping Bag)
Lyn Hancock’s experiences, many of them of a personal nature, are passed on to the reader with unreserved and touching frankness.
William French – Globe and Mail, Canada (There is a Seal in my Sleeping Bag)
She writes about her unconventional life in the chummy, chatty style of the gifted amateur, making the most of the comic muments. In the process she reveals the admirable dedication of the professional naturalist and makes an impressive contribution to the study of human resilience and adaptability.
Carol McNaughton – US newspaper chain (There is a Seal in my Sleeping Bag)
If you want to read about love, a constructive prescription for living, a respect and understanding for all living creatures and true concern for what threatens them, read this fine book.
Publishers Weekly, USA (There is a Seal in my Sleeping Bag)
A timely and wholly delightful personal narrative describing the adventures in the life of a wildlife biologist’s bride. An unusual woman’s coming to grips with the everyday realities of her husband’s work with which she had a passionate identity from the beginning…wonderfully readable details, all enriching Mrs. Hancock’s eloquent plea for wildlife and her defense of the Pacific Northwest Indians whom she profoundly admires.
Pat Bunny – The West Australian (There is a Seal in my Sleeping Bag)
Lyn Hancock’s easy, amusing style makes a vivid story of her unusual and exacting life. She has the gift of imparting considerable information on bird and marine life as part of her story – not in slab like lectures – and of stressing but not straining, her theme of conservation.
Alec Merriman – The Daily Colonist, Victoria BC (There is a Seal in my Sleeping Bag)
The Hancocks are adventurous, hair-brained, hilariously funny but deadly serious about their conservation messages. Lyn writes a book that has laughs on every page.
Lucille Palmer – Pacific Search (There is a Seal in my Sleeping Bag)
Laughter, tears, joy, despair, success and failure run in spirited sequence through the pages, to entertain, inform and warm the heart.
Pat Bunny – The West Australian (There is a Seal in my Sleeping Bag)
Lyn Hancock’s easy, amusing style makes a vivid story of her unusual and exacting life. She has the gift of imparting considerable information on bird and marine life as part of her story – not in slablike lectures – and of stressing but not straining, her theme of conservation.