Writing a children’s book got me my Master’s in Education

Writing a children’s book got me my Master’s in Education

For my Master’s in Special Education I wrote a northern children’s picture book called, The Fox and My Boot. 

My University of Northern British Columbia graduate program allowed me to use the development of a children’s book as my final project. While the book itself was the product, months of research and writing went into producing the report to make my project ‘Master’s worthy’.

Some of the research and reports I used came out of the NWT Literacy Council’s work around multiple and Indigenous literacies. Media coverage such as this article, Literacy in Canada’s North, also guided the development of my book. In my report, I argued that northern children should be able to use their multiple forms of literacy.

The purpose of my project was to develop a relevant children’s book geared toward preschool and primary school-age children in the NWT. The guiding ideology of the project was that northern children would be able to understand the content in a picture book better if the content was based on familiar and relatable characters in a local environment.

In turn, by learning more about their physical environment, children can strengthen their connection to the place in which they live. In the case of my project, the readers (northern children) bring their existing ideas of life in the north to the story. They better understand the story because they know the geography, culture, and the animals of the region. 

I’d like to challenge other authors and prospective students out there. Pursuing further education does not have to be dull. If I was able to write a children’s book and report to get my Master’s then what's stopping you?

— Lana de Bastiani, M.Ed. based The Fox and My Boot on a personal experience. She is launching her book this Sunday at 2 pm at the Yellowknife Book Cellar. You can find out more on Instagram & Facebook: @TheFoxandMyBoot

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