Readings and Performances

  • Vancouver Writer's Festival
  • Tucson Book Festival
  • Orange County (Calif) Children's Book Festival
  • SCBWI Canada East Keynote
  • Frye Fest
  • Harbourfront Aloud 
Children's Festival
  • 3X Canada Council National 
  • Author Tour
  • Word on the Street Festival
  • Owl Magazine Anniversary Celebration
  • Kids Can Press Anniversary Celebration
  • Hundreds of school and library appearances across Canada

To arrange for a reading or event at your location, please contact 
Authors Booking Service  at

I have a POLICE CHECK saying I'm good to go for schools. :) Documentation provided on request.

I am a member of the Writer's Union of Canada. As such, my public performance at your location my be funded by a Canada Council grant. For more information, contact the Writer's Union.

Helaine Becker is an award-winning writer of books for children. She has written over 90 books, including the best-selling picture books, A Porcupine in a Pine Tree, Deck the Halls, and Dashing Through the SnowYou Can Readand Sloth at the Zoompopular non-fiction, including Counting on Katherine: How Katherine Johnson Saved Apollo 13, Megabugs,Worms for BreakfastHubotsZoobotsMonster Science and Don't Stress!; and novels including GottikaDirk Daring, Secret Agent, and How to Survive Absolutely Anything.

She also writes for children's magazines and for kids television. She has written four seasons of Dr. Greenie's Mad Lab, a segment on Planet Echo, an environmental science show, and is hard at work on several other projects.

Helaine is a popular presenter and performer at schools internationally. She was selected  to tour four times for Canadian Children’s Book Week (Yukon in 2006, Nunavut in 2008, and Manitoba in 2014 and Montreal in 2019). She has presented at Vancouver Writers Fest, Tucson Festival of Book, IFOA, the Orange County (California) Children's Festival, the Festival of Women Writers, Frye Fest, Weaving Words, and other major venues. She has also been the keynote speaker at SCBWI Canada East's regional conference in 2016. She presents to kids AND to writers, teaching writing skills re: fiction, non-fiction, verse and the business side of writing. 

Both an American and Canadian citizen, Ms. Becker attended high school in New York and graduated cum laude from Duke University in another century. She is married, with two sons, and is an active swimmer, runner, cyclist, and compulsive read-aholic.  She has an orange belt in karate and is contemplating going for her grapefruit belt. 

Helaine loves bright shiny colorful things, especially happy faces and flowers. She is crazy about fluffy dogs, coral reefs,  ice cream and color-changing nailpolish.


> Helaine once won an owner-dog look alike contest.

> Her book Ode to Underwear was set to music by the popular Canadian band, the Irish Descendants, and played nationally on CBC radio. More people ask her to read this book than all her other funny books combined.  

> Her dog Ella is the cutest dog in the world. She is a puli - a Hungarian sheepdog. Ella's predecessor, Marley, also a puli, appeared in Boredom Blasters in her own comic strip. Sharp-eyed readers will find Marley making cameo appearances in several other of Helaine's books too!

> Helaine is a certified pyrotechnics practitioner!. That means she knows how to set up and explode fireworks. 

> Helaine thinks variety is the spice of life so she is always trying new things. She has a zillion projects in the works including chapter books, graphic novels, poetry collections and more!

> Helaine recently spent 6 weeks in Ethiopia, teaching creative writing and talking to students and teachers in schools and libraries in various parts of the country.

> Helaine frequently volunteers her brain for research - as a study 'control.' That means her brain is the normal brain they are using for comparison in scientific studies. Now THAT's funny.

Photo Gallery
With fabulous children's author Sherri Fitch (and Wallace P. "Wiggy" Wigden) at the 
Aloud Children's Festival
Word on the Street Book Festival
On the Main Stage at the Aloud Children's Festival
With physicist Neil Turok, accepting 
our matching Lane Anderson awards for Science Writing 

Photo credits: Heather Rivlin, Karl Szasz, Michael Szasz
Accepting the award at the
  2006 Silver Birch Award Ceremony
At Colegio de Roosevelt in Lima, Peru, where I spent a week teaching student workshops in April '06
With the fabulous students of Blessed Kateri School.
I should have my head examined - volunteering for a brain research study at the Rotman Institute.
Our adorable Puli, named Ella, is an avid reader. Of course.
Secret Agent Y.O.U. 
Japanese Edition
With fellow children's authors Helene Boudreau, Marina Cohen and Debra Kerbel.
Me, at age 9.
Reading about Wiggling.
With author Rebecca Upjohn at the Waterdown School Literacy Festival.
With some great kids at their
 school in California!
Loving life!
Test Day at Fireworks school.
I went to Vulcan, Alberta and came back as a...Vulcan.
With Bookworm, a puppet we used in the TV Show Planet Echo.
With my boyfriend!!!
With Robert Munsch at a Family Literacy Day event.

Partial List of Publications by Helaine Becker

Groundwood Books
Pirate Queen: A Storyt of Zheng Yi Sao (2020)

Henry Holt and Co.
Counting on Katherine (2018)
  2019 Cook Prize Shortlist – Bank Street
  2019 ALA Amelia Bloomer Project Selection
  2019 Clover Award (VT) Shortlist
  2019 NCSS-CBC Notable Social Studies Trade Books 
  2018 Junior Library Guild Selection
  2018 CCBC Best Books 2018 Starred Review 
  2018 Chicago Pub. Library Best Books of the Year
  2019 NSTA Outstanding Science Trade Books
  2018 Children’s Book Review Best Nonfiction Picture Books 
  2018 OLA Best Bets for 2018

An Equal Shot: The Story of Title IX, The Law That Changed America Forever  (upcoming, 2020)
Eleanor Finds a Home (upcoming, 2021)

National Geographic Kids
Everything: Space (2015)
   2016 Silver Birch Award shortlist

Scholastic Canada
We Wish You A Merry Christmas! (upcoming, 2021)
The Canadian Kids’ Guide to Outdoor Fun (2019)
Merry Quizmas! (2018)
Stress Less! (2018)
You’ve Got This! (2019)
Do Beavers Eat Poutine? Quiz Book (2017)
Deck the Halls (2016)
Don’t Stress! (2016)
Top Secret Quiz Book (2016)
Would You Survive? Quiz Book (2015)
Quiz Book About Me…and You! (2015)
Dashing Through the Snow (2014)
   2014 National Bestseller
  2018 CCBC Best Books for Kids/Teens 
Quiz Book for BFFs 2 (2014)
Do You Dare? (2014)
Ode to Underwear (2013)
Little Jack Horner, Live from the Corner (2013)
   2013 OLA Best Bet – Hon. Mention
   Resource Links, Year’s Best Books
A Porcupine in a Pine Tree (2010)
   2011 #1 National Bestseller
   2012,2013, 2014 National Bestseller  
   2015 100 Best Canadian Books of All Time – Today’s Parent
   Globe and Mail Bestseller 
   CBC Bestseller 
   Quill & Quire Bestseller 
   CBA Bestseller 
   Winner, CBA Libris Awards - Picture Book of the Year, 2011 
   Best Books for Kids and Teens, 2011 
   CBC Children's Book Pick, 2011 
   OLA Best Bets Top Ten Picture Book
   Resource Links, Year's Best 2010 
The Haunted House that Jack Built (2010)
The Hilarious History of Hockey (2010)
   2011 Hackmatack Award Shortlist
Quiz Book for Boys (2010)
Quiz Book for Girls (2011)
Quiz Book for Spies (2012)
Quiz Books for BFFs (2012)
Looney Bay All-Stars Fiction Series:
Vol. 1 Pirate Power Play (2006)  
   2007 ‘Our Choice’ Selection 
Vol. 2 Attack by Knight (2006)  
   2007 ‘Our Choice’ Selection 
Vol. 3 Vikings Have a Field Day (2007) 
Vol. 4 Explorers out of Bounds (2007)
Vol. 5 The Emperor Strikes Out (2007)
Vol. 6 Egyptian Slam Dunk (2008)
Vol. 7 Final Faceoff (2008) 

DK Books
Our Great Prime Ministers (2017)
   2018 CCBC BEST BOOKS for Kids/Teens  

Dancing Cat Books
Gottika (2014)
   2014 CCBC Best Books for Kids/Teens
   2015 Sydney Taylor YA Notable Book

Orca Books 
You Can Read (2017)
  2017 Resource Links The Year's Best  
  2018 CLEL Bell Award Shortlist
  2018 Alcuin Society Awards for Excellence in Book Design in Canada  
Dirk Daring, Secret Agent (2014)
  2015 CCBC Best Books for Kids and Teens Dirk Daring 2:Let Sleeping Dogs Lie (2016)

Owlkids Books
Gert and Alice (2020)
Sloth Goes to the Zoom (2018)
   2018 First and Best 2018 – Toronto Public Library
Worms for Breakfast (2016)
   2017 Willow Award Shortlist
  2016 Junior Library Guild Selection
  2016 Silver Birch Award shortlist
  2016 CCBC Best Books for Kids and 
  Teens – Starred Selection
  2017 Hackmatack Award Shortlist

Kids Can Press  
Emmy Noether: The Most Important Mathematician You Never Heard of 2020)
That’s No Dino - Or Is It? What Makes a Dinosaur a Dinosaur (upcoming, 2021)
Megabugs! (2019)
HuBots (2018)
  2018 Calif.Reading Assoc Eureka Silver Award
  2019 Yellow Cedar Award Shortlist
Lines, Bars and Circles (2017)
  2018 Bank Street Best Books of 2018
  2017 CCBC Best books for Kids Starred Selection
  2017 Calif.Reading Assoc Eureka 
  Silver Award 
Monster Science (2016)
  2018 NYC Reads 365 List
  2017 Silver Birch Award Honour Book 
  2016 Lane Anderson Award Shortlist
  2017 Hackmatack Award Shortlist
  2017 Rocky Mountain Award Shortlist
  2016 Calif.Reading Assoc Eureka 
  Silver Award 
  2016 OLA Best Bet
Zoobots (2014)
  2015 Diamond Willow Award Shortlist
  2015 CSWA Science In Society Youth Book Shortlist
  2014 Junior Library Guild Selection
  2014 Capital Choices Best Books Nominee
  2014 Silver Birch Honour Book
  2014 CCBC Best Books for Kids and Teens
  – Starred Selection
Alphabest (2012)
   2013 Shortlist – National Cartoonists’ Society Best Book Illustration
The Big Green Book of the Big Blue Sea (2012)
  2013 Lane Anderson Award for Science Writing for Children
  2013 CSWA Outstanding Youth Book Award
  2013 Shortlist Red Cedar Award
  2013 Longlist – Information Book Award
  2014 Shortlist – Rocky Mountain Award

Tundra Books 
Juba This, Juba That (2011)

Fitzhenry and Whiteside 
Trouble in the Hills (2011) (YA)
How to Survive (2012) (YA)

Mapletree Press/Owl (Non-fiction)
Magic up Your Sleeve (2010)
   2010 OLA Best Bet – Top 10 Nonfiction
What’s the Big Idea? (2009)
   2011 Best of the Year –Resourcelinks
  2011 Silver Birch Honour Award
  2010 Cdn Toy Testing Council Best Books
  2010 CCBC Best Books for Kids &Teens
  2010 Longlist – Information Book Award
  2009 OLA Best Bet – Top 10 Nonfiction
The Insecto-files (2009)
   2010 Winner – Lane Anderson Science  
  Writing Award  
  2012 Shortlist – Red Cedar Award
  2011 Shortlist – Hackmatack Award  
  2010 CCBC Best Books for Kids &Teens
  2009 Shortlist – Silver Birch Award
Science on the Loose (2008) 64 pp. 
  2011 Shortlist – Red Cedar Award
  2009 OLA Best Bet
  2008 NAPPA Gold Award
  2008 Recommended – Canadian
  Children’s Book News
  2008 Great Books for Kids – Canadian
  Toy Testing Council  
  2008 CYBIL Nominee – YA/Middle
  Grade Non-fiction
Mother Goose Unplucked (2007)  
   2009 Shortlisted – Hackmatack Award
  2007 Best of 2007 – Resource Links
Secret Agent Y.O.U. (2006)  
   2008 Winner - Silver Birch Award 
  2009 Red Cedar Award
  2007 ‘Our Choice’ Selection
  2006 Best of the Year – Resource Links;
  Top Ten Canadian Non-fiction Books for Children – Ontario Library Association
Like A Pro (2006)  
   2007 Recommended – Canadian Toy
  Testing Council
  2007 Silver Medal Independent Publisher
  (IPPY) Juvenile/YA Non-fiction 
   2006 Nominee-Foreword Magazine Book of the Year
Funny Business (2005)  
   2007 Recommended – Canadian Toy
  Testing Council
  Shortlisted - Red Cedar Award
Are You Psychic? (2005)  
  2007 Shortlisted - Red Cedar Award
  2006 Canadian Children's Book Centre, Our Choice Selection 
  2005 Ontario Library Association, Best Bets List 
  Top Ten Canadian Children's Books; Children’s Literature Roundtables, 
  Shortlist - Best Information Book of the Year
Boredom Blasters (2004)  
  2006 Winner - Silver Birch Award 
  2005 Canadian Children's Book Centre, Our Choice Selection;
  Alberta Children's Choice, Shortlist—2006 Rocky Mountain Book Award 
  2004 Chapters/Indigo, Best of 2004; 
  Book Sense, Children's Picks List for Winter 2004-2005