Afua Cooper

Dr. Afua Cooper is a celebrated poet, author, scholar, and historian. Her many books range across such genres as poetry, history, fiction, and children’s literature. She served as the Poet Laureate of the Halifax Regional Municipality for the 2018-2020 term and is the recipient of numerous prizes and awards. A full professor at Dalhousie University, Dr. Cooper is the foremost expert on Black Canadian history. She is the principal investigator for A Black People’s History of Canada, a project that engages in research on Black history and is accompanied by a new Black history curriculum. In 2022, for her work on Black Canadian history, Dr. Cooper was awarded the Royal Society of Canada’s J.B. Tyrell Historical Medal for Outstanding Contributions to Canadian history.

Author-illustrator Rebecca Bender is best known for her award-winning Giraffe and Bird books. her illustrations also grace the chapter books Slug Days, Penguin Days, and Duck Days. Rebecca’s awards and honors include the OLA Blue Spruce Award A Cooperative Children’s Book Centre best-of-the-year choice, and a Toronto Public Library best-of-the-year selection. Rebecca graduated from the Ontario College of Art and Design at the top of her class, earning the Medal for Illustration. She lives in Burlington, Ontario, with her husband and three children.