Friday, 16 June 2017

Around The World: Celebrating With Dad

My dad says he’s my biggest blog fan, which may be true since he always brings up the topics of my writing at the dinner table on Friday nights. So, I won’t tell you how *I* am celebrating Father’s Day this year, because I don’t want to spoil the surprise.

But because I’m learning all about different cultures in honour of Canada’s 150th birthday, I took a look at how Father’s Day is celebrated around the world. And I learned that it isn’t the same across the globe—in some cases, it’s not even on the same day! In Australia, for instance, the day for honouring Dad occurs on the first Sunday in September. Same with New Zealand. 

In Thailand, Father’s Day is celebrated on the birthday of King Bhumibol Adulyadej (that’s a mouthful) on Dec 5. The King gives a speech and many people in the country wear pink to honour him. Canna Lilies are a popular gift. 

Men—not just fathers—are celebrated in Russia. The Feb. 23 holiday started as a military commemoration, and soldiers are still honoured in parades throughout the country. 

Mexico honours Father’s day with a 21K Father’s Day race (hey, Dad, let’s go there next year!) and people in Brazil celebrate St. Joachim on Aug. 2. St. Joachim is the patron saint of fathers and grandfathers.

Interesting, right?

I’m always fascinated by how different cultures celebrate the various holidays, especially since Canada is such a culturally diverse country. Speaking of Canada…the 16th (and *gulp* final) book in the Superman Duffy series of graphic novels is AT THE PRESS! I can’t wait to share it with all of you. Contact the Alberta Canola Producers’ Commission to see about getting YOUR copy.

Gotta jet! Happy Father’s Day everyone—I hope it’s a special one!

~ Chase Superman Duffy

Friday, 9 June 2017

The Annual Summer Reading Challenge—Are YOU Up For It? 

As much as I love school, I’m starting to get excited for summer break. Not only do I get to sleep in, spend more time writing, and practicing for track and field by running laps around my grandparents’ canola farm, I have more time to READ, READ, READ!
I haven’t been as good at this as I should be. (Which is horrible since I want to be a writer!) This is my wake-up call. <cough cough>
Last summer, I pledged to read 12 books, which was probably a bit ambitious. Six books per month isn’t as easy as it sounds, especially when there are so many fun things to do in the summer. Like go swimming and hiking, or ride my bike and do crafts with my sister. Plus, this year being Canada’s 150th birthday, there will be many celebrations happening across the province. I plan to take in as many as I can.
So, this year, I’ve set a more realistic goal.
TEN BOOKS. 
That’s still five books a month, but if I carve out a few minutes every day, I should be able to get through a book and a bit every week. And that’s if I start July 1…I might actually start THIS weekend. How many books will YOU read this summer? (P-s-s-t ~ comics and graphic novels count!) 
I hereby challenge you to a Summer of Reading. What 10 books are on your list? (Share in the comments so others can get ideas!) 
Gotta jet! Have a great weekend… reading, right? 
— Chase Superman Duffy

Friday, 2 June 2017

That’s A Wrap AND…A Cover Reveal!

The Superman Duffy book tour team wrapped up six weeks of school visits across Alberta on Wednesday, with character creating Play-Doh workshops for Grade 4 and 5 students at Isabella Campbell school in Grande Prairie. 

What an amazing spring tour!

Thanks to support from the Alberta Canola Producers’ Commission, author Dawn Ius, illustrator James Grasdal, and educator Brent Andressen, visited 17 elementary schools across the province. More than 2,000 students received signed copies of the Superman Duffy graphic novels.

The team also took part in the Lethbridge and Calgary Aggie Days events, autographing another 1500 books. (I bet Dawn and James have very sore hands today.)

The tour was a great chance for students to learn more about Alberta’s canola industry, PLUS, take part in story brainstorming and character creation workshops with Dawn and James. (If your local Wal-Mart is out of Play-Doh, we MAY be to blame. Sorry! <grin>) 

Check out some of these great pictures from the tour.

Illustrator James Grasdal signing at Calgary Aggie Days.

Grade 4 students reading to their Grade 1 reading buddies.

Creating characters with Play-Doh

Students at the Viking Colony showing off their work.

James's interpretation of the students' story.

A collection of Play-Doh characters created by students in Grande Prairie.

The tour team may be packing it in for the summer, but that doesn’t mean the excitement stops. Today, I’m thrilled to reveal the FINAL book in the Superman Duffy graphic novel series, “O.”

Here’s the blurb first:

Tasked with writing an article about a Canadian invention, Chase Duffy embarks on a research adventure that takes him from the school gym to his grandfather’s canola field. Along the way, Chase learns some surprising facts about Canadian inventions and inventors—and reunites with some familiar faces from the previous 15 books. 
The final instalment in the Superman Duffy series of graphic novels, “O” celebrates Canada’s 150th birthday and the 50th anniversary of canola. 
Now scroll down to see the awesome cover!


Told you it was awesome. Stay tuned for details on where we’ll be launching “Oh”—you won’t want to miss it.

Gotta Jet! Have a great weekend.

~ Chase Superman Duffy

Friday, 26 May 2017

Kicking Off My Summer Reading Challenge

I was going to reveal the amazing new cover of the final book in the Superman Duffy graphic novel collection today—but it looks like the illustrator has some last-minute tweaks to do, so you’ll have to wait a week or so to see the awesome cover of “O.”

So instead, I’m keeping on the reading theme, and kicking off my Summer Reading Challenge with a promise to myself that I will finish five books this summer. It’s always hard to read in the Spring—nicer weather means spending time outdoors, and with end of the school year approaching, I try to study more. I vow to do better this year!

Here are the five books I hope to tackle this summer:

Wonder by R.J. Palacio: I know, I know, I’m probably the last kid in the world to read this book. It’s the inspiring story of a young boy who was born with a facial deformity that prevented him from going to school—until now. My friend Sophie tells me I should get out my Kleenex box for this read… I don’t know about THAT, but I’m excited to dive in.

The Bad Beginning (A Series of Unfortunate Events) by Lemony Snicker: Another series that’s been off my radar up until now! But with the new Netflix show airing, I’m even more curious to read the “unpleasant” first book in a very popular series about three unlucky children. 

Doll Bones by Holly Black: It’s not Halloween, but I always love a creepy book. Don’t let the “doll title” fool you, either—this is not a story about Barbies! The girl in the book is being haunted by a china doll. *shudder* Makes me think twice about my sister’s doll collection!

A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness: I’ve seen the movie—and it was amazing. (and it’s not a horror!) The librarian at our school says I HAVE to read the book. This one is definitely on my list. I can’t talk about it too much without spoiling it, but let’s just say, the monster referred to on the title is not at all what you’re probably expecting!

Furthermore by Tahereh Mafi: If you know me at all, you know I love stories with magical worlds—like Charlie and the Chocolate Factory or Alice in Wonderland. This book sounds like it has a very interesting new world to explore. I’m ready to go through a new rabbit hole. 

There are probably a hundred more books I could list that I would love to read this summer, but I can sometimes get distracted by summer fun activities, and with this being Canada’s 150th birthday, I bet there are a lot of events I’ll want to attend. So, I’ll start with five books and go from there. Wish me luck!

What’s on your summer reading list?

Gotta Jet! 

~ Chase Superman Duffy