Flatt, Lizann 1966- (Elizabeth Ann Flatt Brunskill)

views updated

Flatt, Lizann 1966- (Elizabeth Ann Flatt Brunskill)

PERSONAL:

Born October 23, 1966, in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada; married Paul Flatt, 1995; children: three. Education: Wilfrid Laurier University, B.A.

ADDRESSES:

Home—Baysville, Ontario, Canada. E-mail—[email protected]

CAREER:

Writer.

MEMBER:

Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators, Canadian Society of Children's Authors, Illustrators, and Performers.

WRITINGS:

My First Nature Treasury, illustrated by Allan Cormack and Deborah Drew-Brook, Greey de Pencier Books (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 1994, Sierra Club Books for Children (San Francisco, CA), 1995.

(With Gordon Penrose) Science Fun: Hands-On Science with Dr. Zed, Maple Leaf Press (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 1998.

(With Kevin F.R. Smith) Backgammon for Kids: Everything You Need to Learn to Play, Somerville House (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 1999.

India, Smart Apple Media (North Mankato, MN), 2002.

The Nature Treasury: A First Look at the Natural World, illustrated by Allan Cormack and Deborah Drew-Brook, Maple Leaf Press (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 2005.

(Illustrator) Scott Ritchie, Let's Go! The Story of Getting from There to Here, Maple Leaf Press (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 2007.

Contributor to anthologies.

SIDELIGHTS:

Lizann Flatt is a Canadian writer. Her books are aimed at children and are written to be both fun and informative. Flatt published her first book, My First Nature Treasury, in 1994. The large-format book is aimed at teaching children about the natural world, giving up-close views of water, soil, grass, trees, and the air. Basic descriptions of the life cycles of animals and plants, as well as colorful pictures showing different animals, are included. Booklist contributor Chris Sherman commented that "the text is brief and easy to understand," but noted that the pictures do not contain any sort of scale to judge the different sizes of the animals.

Writing with Kevin F.R. Smith, Flatt published Backgammon for Kids: Everything You Need to Learn to Play in 1999. The book comes with a backgammon board and pieces and instructs beginners, particularly children, how to play the game that dates back to Medieval Welsh origins. Diagrams indicate the possible movements of the game pieces and the book includes strategic instructions for more comfortable players. Tips inserted throughout give additional factoids about certain moves and rolls of the dice.

A contributor to Resource Links described the book as "beautifully designed with effective borders, short, to-the-point boxes of fascinating historical information, and appealing medieval nobles and elves" that highlight the information from the background of the text. The same contributor worried that the packaging would not make it easy to keep track of all the pieces but that "older students will find in the book a wealth of information clearly presented."

Flatt published The Nature Treasury: A First Look at the Natural World in 2005. The book covers a wide range of plants and animal life, providing interesting facts geared towards children to teach them about the natural environment around the world. The book also covers different animal habitats. Allan Cormack and Deborah Drew-Brook provide colorful illustrations.

Hilary Williamson, writing on the BookLoons Web site, found the book to be both "colorful" and "interactive," making it an attractive tool for children to learn about the natural environment. Williamson concluded by calling the book "a treasure," in and of itself, adding that parents and teachers can "use it to introduce children to the wonders of the outdoors all over the world." Gillian Richardson, reviewing the book in CM Magazine, thought that "the oval shape in which the diagrams showing life cycles are shown is a bit problematic." Richardson, however, "highly recommended" the book, adding that it "will be a great starting point for discussion about basic concepts in nature for the elementary grades." A contributor to the Midwest Book Review noted that the glossary included in the book could assist "parents and teachers answer questions that children may have as they read this outstanding book." Writing in Resource Links, Elaine Rospad noted that the "illustrations are large, clear, realistic, and vibrant." Rospad commented that the book's large size "makes it easy to handle and to find pictures."

In 2007 Flatt published Let's Go! The Story of Getting from There to Here, illustrated by Scott Ritchie. The book recounts the history of transportation in Canada, ranging from the Asian hunter and gatherers who first crossed the Bering Strait into Canada to the canoes that traversed the rivers before arriving at modern age transportation. She also includes sections on how steam engines are powered and other odd stories about road travel.

Robert Groberman, reviewing the book in CM Magazine, noted that the illustrations are "tremendously detailed and colourful." He worried, however, that many of the new words for kids are not defined in the glossary. Groberman concluded by saying that "children will enjoy this book for the pictures. On rereading, they may pick up some of the vocabulary."

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

Booklist, June 1, 1995, Chris Sherman, review of My First Nature Treasury, p. 1777.

Books in Canada, December, 1994, review of My First Nature Treasury, p. 56.

CM Magazine, November 10, 2005, Gillian Richardson, review of The Nature Treasury: A First Look at the Natural World; November 9, 2007, Robert Groberman, review of Let's Go! The Story of Getting from There to Here.

Emergency Librarian, March, 1995, review of My First Nature Treasury, p. 18; May, 1995, review of My First Nature Treasury, p. 45.

Midwest Book Review, July, 2006, review of The Nature Treasury.

Quill & Quire, October, 1994, review of My First Nature Treasury, p. 45.

Resource Links, April, 2000, review of Backgammon for Kids: Everything You Need to Learn to Play, p. 16; February, 2006, Elaine Rospad, review of The Nature Treasury, p. 34.

ONLINE

BookLoons,http://www.bookloons.com/ (January 29, 2008), Hilary Williamson, review of The Nature Treasury.