About MeHi,

I am a children's author, educator and storyteller. I currently have twelve books published (including picture books, early readers, middle grade + read more novels and graphic novels), with another picture book in the spring of 2017, and another graphic novel in the fall of 2017.

For the past twenty-two years, I have been working with children ages 3 to 13. I've been a school age childcare provider, a preschool teacher, a creative drama and a creative writing teacher. I've developed a multitude of creative activities for children including movie making and a radio show involving school-age childcare centres across Vancouver. As a preschool teacher, I created Stories in Our Own Words, a program for 3 & 4 year olds based on the ideas of famed educator and author, Vivian Gussin Paley that fostered the development of the children's own stories by recording them and then acting them as a group.

Since first getting published in 2004, I began visiting schools and libraries across Canada as an author, an educator and a storyteller. Since2010, I've shared my touring time with long term commitments teaching creative writing to Korean-Canadian children in and around Vancouver through an organization called CWC.

In the past, I wrote, performed and published poetry as well as contributed to the organization and promotion of many reading events in the Vancouver area. I wrote and performed sketch comedy in Toronto during the early '90s, having co-founded a troupe that toured across Canada. Prior to that, I trained for three years at the Ryerson Theatre School and worked professionally as an actor in Ontario while writing for theatre. Show Less

My Work Speaker Info Contact Me
You May Know Me For:
    Literature Types
  • Picture Books
  • Middle Grade Fiction

Published WorksAudrey (cow), Tundra Books, Middle-grade novel, 2014

Nine Words Max, Tundra Books, Picture book, 2014

A Fish Named Glub, Kids Can Press, Picture book, 2014

Not Your Typical Dragon, Viking Books, Picture book, 2013

Dream Boats, Simply Read Books, Picture book, 2013

That One Spooky Night, Kids Can Press, Graphic Novel, 2012

Pussycat, Pussycat, Where Have You Been? Simply Read Books,
Picture Book, 2012

It's All Greek to Me, Jack, Gumboot Books, Early reader, 2009

Such a Prince, Clarion Books, Picture book, 2007

Alphabetter, Orca Book Publishers, Picture book, 2006

Things Are Looking Grimm, Jill, Orca Book Publishers, Early reader, 2006

Things Are Looking Up, Jack, Orca Book Publishers, Early reader, 2003

Speaking InformationThese are the current presentation/workshops I am offering. An information brochure with more detail, including fees, requirements and recommendations can be + read more emailed to you upon request.

Storytelling for Preschoolers

Ages 3-5. Active storytelling and finger rhymes perfect for this age group, incorporating some of my picture books, including It's Great Being a Dad, Not Your Typical Dragon, Pussycat, Pussycat, Where Have You Been

The Author Presentation

Grades 4-6. Built around introducing my recent middle grade novel, Audrey (cow), this session talks about humor, character voice, and how I became an author. It's goal is to link the stories and ideas that students read to the writer behind them.

Fun & Silly Storytelling

Grades K-1, 2-4. Age appropriate in length and content. Among other stories, the picture books presented and told will include It's Great Being a Dad, Not Your Typical Dragon, Nine Words Max, A Fish Named Glub, & Such a Prince.

Writing a Graphic Novel (the words behind the pictures)

Grades 5-8. This one-hour session looks at the word vs. picture relationship, framing, describing integral information, conveying all the senses, the strengths and weaknesses of the form and what makes graphic novel's unique.

Comedy Writing Workshop

Grades: 6-9, Also for select grade 5 student writing conferences and for Teacher Pro-D days. In a fun and fast-paced hour, students will begin to understand the nuts and bolts of creating humour and test their new skills in a safe environment. This workshop can be expanded into multi sessions.

Character Voice & Dialogue Workshop

Grades: 7-9. In 80 minutes, this workshop is about learning how to find the unique voice hidden in each character we create. We let them speak how they want to speak, but only if they have a good reason to speak.


Presentations and workshops for adults are also available. Please contact me with any requests or queries. Show Less

    I will visit:
  • Vancouver
  • Coast
  • Lower Mainland
  • Gulf and Vancouver Islands
  • Thompson Okanagan
  • Northern British Columbia
  • Cariboo Chilcotin Coast
  • Kootenay Rockies
  • The Territories
  • Canada - beyond BC
  • International

    I Present to Age Groups:
  • Primary School
  • Grades K-3
  • Grades 4-6
  • Grades 7-8
  • High School

Request Booking Info

Testimonials“Dan Bar-el was a huge hit with kids and adults alike at our libraries. His books are excellent and + read more his comedic acting background serves him extremely well as a presenter. We heard from many library staff and teachers that Dan's visit was the best author program they'd ever seen!”

Fraser Valley Regional Library Show Less
“Dan visited our school, doing a session with primary, junior and a special workshop with Gr. 6-7. + read more He was funny, entertaining and flexible. ALL groups thoroughly enjoyed the presentations. Each was different and tailored to the age group.”

St. George Public School
London Ontario Show Less
“We thought we would learn something but we didn't expect to have
so much fun while doing + read more it.”

Stanley Jones Elementary,
Calgary, AB

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Awards and Recognition:Audrey (cow)
2015 Governor General's Award nominee
2015 Rocky Mountain Book Award + show more nominee
2015 Red Cedar Award nominee
2015 Ruth & Sylvia Schwartz Award nominee
2017 Chocolate Lily Award nominee
2015 Maine Student Book Award

Not Your Typical Dragon
Winner of the 2014/15 Chocolate Lily Award
Selected for the Imagination Library for two years running.
2014 BC Book Prize nominee
Pussycat, Pussycat, Where Have You Been?
2012 Marilyn Baillie CCBC Award nominee
2012 BC Book Prize nominee
2012-2013 Chocolate Lily Award nominee
2013-2014 Forest of Reading Award nominee

Things Are Look Grimm, Jill
Winner of 2008 Silver Birch Express Award,
Shortlisted for 2006 Canadian Library Assoc.
Book of the Year award

2008 Shining Willow Award nominee
Chosen by BC gov't to be distributed to 50,000 three-year-olds in the province as part of
""Ready, Set, Learn"" literacy program
2007 Canadian Library Assoc. Amelia Frances Howard-Gibbon Award nominee

Such a Prince
Blue Spruce Award Honour Book 2009

That One Spooky Night
Junior Library Guild Selection
2013/14 Hackamatack Award nominee

Dream Boats
2014/15 Chocolate Lily nominee
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