Savage, Candace (M.) 1949-

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SAVAGE, Candace (M.) 1949-

PERSONAL: Born December 2, 1949, in Grande Prairie, Alberta, Canada; daughter of Harry G. (an educator) and Edna Elizabeth (a teacher; maiden name, Humphrey) Sherk; married Arthur D. Savage, August 22, 1970 (died, 1981); partner of Keith Bell (a historian), since 1992; children: (from marriage) Diana C. Education: University of Alberta, B.A. (with first class honors), 1971; attended University of Saskatchewan, 1975-77. Hobbies and other interests: Riding, pets, gardening, hiking, photography, singing.

ADDRESSES: Agent—c/o Author Mail, Greystone Books, Suite 201, 2323 Quebec Ave., Vancouver, British Columbia V5T 4S7, Canada. E-mail—[email protected]

CAREER: News editor of Sun Color Press; editorial assistant for Co-Operative Consumer; curriculum development officer and audio-visual producer at Saskatchewan Indian Cultural College, 1975; freelance writer, editor, and consultant, 1975-84; Government of the Northwest Territories, Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, Canada, public affairs officer for culture and communications, 1984-86; Science Institute of the Northwest Territories, Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, Canada, coordinator of information and education, 1986-89. Saskatoon Public Library, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada, writer-in-residence, 1990-91; conductor of workshops and speaker at schools and libraries. Saskatoon Partnership for the Arts, steering committee member, 1997-99.

MEMBER: Writers Union of Canada, Saskatoon Writers Co-op (president, 2001—), Saskatchewan Writers Guild, Native Plant Society of Saskatchewan, Saskatchewan Environment Society, Saskatoon Nature Society.

AWARDS, HONORS: Recipient of Rutherford Gold Medal in English and Governor-General's Medal for Scholarship; Honour Book Award, Children's Literature Roundtables of Canada, 1991, for Trash Attack!: Garbage and What We Can Do about It; Our Choice designation, Canadian Children's Book Centre (CCBC), 1991, for Trash Attack!, and 1992, for Get Growing!: How the Earth Feeds Us; Honour Roll inductee, Rachel Carson Institute, 1994; Science in Society Book Award finalist, Canadian Science Writers Association (CSWA), 1994, for Bird Brains: The Intelligence of Crows, Ravens, Magpies, and Jays, and 1995, for Aurora: The Mysterious Northern Lights; Bull Duthie Award finalist, British Columbia Booksellers' Association, 1995, for Bird Brains; Book of the Year Award finalist and Nonfiction Award, Saskatchewan Book Awards, 1996, and Notable Book for Young Adults, American Library Association, 1997, all for Cowgirls; Nonfiction Award finalist, Saskatchewan Book Awards, 1997, for Mother Nature: Animal Parents and Their Young, 1998, for Beauty Queens: A Playful History, and 2000, for Witch: The Wild Ride from Wicked to Wicca; Association of Booksellers for Children Awards commendation, Book of the Year Award finalist and Saskatoon Book Award, Saskatchewan Book Awards, Norma Fleck Award finalist, CCBC, all 2001, and Our Choice selection, CCBC, 2002, all for Born to Be a Cowgirl: A Spirited Ride through the Old West; Science in Society Award finalist, CSWA, and Children's Literature Award, Saskatchewan Book Awards, both 2003, both for Wizards: An Amazing Journey through the Last Great Age of Magic.

WRITINGS:

(With Linda Rasmussen, Lorna Rasmussen, and Anne Wheeler) A Harvest Yet to Reap: A History of Prairie Women, Women's Press (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 1976.

Our Nell: A Scrapbook Biography of Nellie L. McClung, Western Producer Prairie Books (Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada), 1979.

Cowgirls (also see below), Greystone Books (Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada), Ten Speed Press (Berkeley, CA), 1996.

Beauty Queens: A Playful History, Greystone Books (Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada), Abbeville Press (New York, NY), 1998.

Witch: The Wild Ride from Wicked to Wicca, Greystone Books (Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada), 2000.

NATURAL HISTORY

(With husband, Arthur Savage) Wild Mammals of Western Canada, Western Producer Prairie Books (Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada), 1981, published as Wild Mammals of Northwest America, Johns Hopkins University Press (Baltimore, MD), 1981.

Pelicans, Grolier (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 1985.

The Wonder of Canadian Birds, Western Producer Prairie Books (Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada), 1985, published as Wings of the North: A Gallery of Favorite Birds, University of Minnesota Press (Minneapolis, MN), 1985.

Eagles of North America, Western Producer Prairie Books (Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada), 1987.

Wolves, Douglas and Mclntyre (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), Sierra Club Books (San Francisco, CA), 1988, revised and updated as The Nature of Wolves: An Intimate Portrait, Greystone Books (Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada), 1996, published as The World of the Wolf, Sierra Club Books (San Francisco, CA), 1996.

Grizzly Bears, Douglas and Mclntyre (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), Sierra Club Books (San Francisco, CA), 1990.

Peregrine Falcons, Douglas and Mclntyre (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), Sierra Club Books (San Francisco, CA), 1992.

Wild Cats: Lynx, Bobcats, Mountain Lions, Douglas and Mclntyre (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), Sierra Club Books (San Francisco, CA), 1993.

Aurora: The Mysterious Northern Lights, Greystone Books (Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada), Sierra Club Books (San Francisco, CA), 1994.

Bird Brains: The Intelligence of Crows, Ravens, Magpies, and Jays, Greystone Books (Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada), Sierra Club Books (San Francisco, CA), 1995.

Mother Nature: Animal Parents and Their Young, Greystone Books (Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada), Sierra Club Books (San Francisco, CA), 1997.

CHILDREN'S BOOKS

Trash Attack!: Garbage and What We Can Do about It ("Earthcare" series), Groundwood Books (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 1990.

Get Growing!: How the Earth Feeds Us ("Earthcare" series), Douglas and Mclntyre (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 1991.

Eat Up!: Healthy Food for a Healthy Earth ("Earthcare" series), Groundwood Books (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 1992.

Born to Be a Cowgirl: A Spirited Ride through the Old West (adapted from adult title Cowgirls), Greystone Books (Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada), Tricycle Press (Berkeley, CA), 2001.

Wizards: An Amazing Journey through the Last Great Age of Magic, Greystone Books (Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada), 2002.

Columnist and contributor to Canadian Geographic, 1999-2003. Wizards has been published in Germany and France.

WORK IN PROGRESS: Prairies: A Natural History, a book about the ecology of the central plains grasslands.

SIDELIGHTS: Candace Savage is a Canadian author of nature books, books about the environment, and women's and cultural history. While her many popular natural science titles—including Wolves, Grizzly Bears, Peregrine Falcons; Wild Cats, Aurora: The Mysterious Northern Lights; and Bird Brains: The Intelligence of Crows, Ravens, Magpies, and Jays—attract readers both young and adult, Savage has also written a clutch of books targeted toward the juvenile audience. These include "Earthcare" series titles such as Trash Attack!: Garbage and What We Can Do About It, Get Growing!: How the Earth Feeds Us, and Eat Up!: Health Food for a Healthy Earth, as well as books of a more pop-history nature, including Born to be a Cowgirl: A Spirited Ride through the Old West, adapted from her adult title, Cowgirls, and Wizards: An Amazing Journey trough the Last Great Age of Magic. Books dealing with cultural and women's history for adults, but which also appeal to a younger audience include Beauty Queens: A Playful History and Witch: The Wild Ride from Wicked to Wicca.

Savage is "a true Albertan," according to a contributor for Kaleidoscope6 online. Born in the Peace River country of the northwestern part of Alberta in 1949, she was brought up in small towns of the area as well as in Edmonton, Vermilion, and Pincher Creek. As a youth, she developed a love for reading and writing, as well as for nature and the outdoors. Such a duo of passions led her naturally into writing about nature and the environment. She attended the University of Alberta, graduating with honors in 1971, and began her literary career in the mid-1970s as an editor and publishing consultant. Her first publication, A Harvest Yet to Reap: A History of Prairie Women, appeared in 1976 and was written in collaboration with three other writers. Another contribution to Canadian women's history, Our Nell: A Scrapbook Biography of Nellie L. McClung, came out in 1979. With Wild Mammals of Western Canada, published in the United States as Wild Mammals of Northwest America, coauthored with her husband and published in 1981, Savage began a long string of nature books. Thereafter, she spent many years in the Northwest Territories of Canada as a public affairs officer and a coordinator of information and education. A second publication, Pelicans, appeared in 1985.

With another 1985 title, The Wonder of Canadian Birds,, published in the United States as Wings of the North, Savage began her solo efforts as nature writer and sometimes photographer. Concentrating on fifty-five of the best-known Canadian avian species, Savage targeted the book at the lay reader and filled the pages full of "some surprising information about even well-known species," according to John Oughton, reviewing The Wonder of Canadian Birds for Books in Canada. Richard Perry, writing in Quill and Quire, found the same title to be an "entertaining and informative book," and one "studded with marvellous colour photographs culled from various sources." Laurie Bartolini, writing in Library Journal, also expressed praise for Wings of the North, pointing out that Savage "has an outstanding ability to dramatize avian environment . . ., physiology . . ., and behavior." And Syd Schoenwetter, reviewing the same title in American Reference Books Annual, claimed it "is certainly one of the best and most attractive books to introduce a favorite person to birds."

More avian subjects are presented in Eagles of North America, Peregrine Falcons, and Bird Brains: The Intelligence of Crows, Ravens, Magpies, and Jays. In the first title, Savage presents an overview of eagles. David M. Graber, reviewing Eagles of North America in the Los Angeles Times Book Review, termed the work "an attractive little book" that combines text and photography to detail the lives and precarious survival of golden eagles and bald eagles. Peregrine Falcons presents another bird whose survival is threatened. Savage combines color photos along with a text that gives a history of falcons, as well as their fight for survival in the light of insecticide and pesticide use, and also traces attempts to reintroduce the birds into the wild. Booklist's Ray Olson observed that Savage discusses the pesticide "tragedy in detail." Avian, and more specifically, corvid, intelligence is examined in Bird Brains, "a book written with humor, style, and love for her subjects," according to Edna M. Boardman in Kliatt. Well-researched and illustrated, the book examines indicators of intelligence in jays, crows, ravens, and magpies, noting that such corvids live in social groups and are able to communicate with each other about food sources. Bonnie Smothers concluded in Booklist that Savage presents so many examples of the birds' "extraordinary feats of memory, calculation, foraging, and so forth" that readers must reexamine their use of the disparaging term "bird brain." Adding to the praise, Louis Lefebvre, writing in Quarterly Review of Biology, found the volume as "beautifully written and researched as it is illustrated."

Four-legged creatures take center stage in other nature books from Savage. Her Wolves, updated and revised as The Nature of Wolves in Canada and The World of the Wolf in the U.S., blends "stunningly beautiful photographs and a laudatory text," as Gladys Hardcastle commented in her Voice of Youth Advocates review of Wolves. However, Hardcastle also felt that Savage's text, illuminating the lives of these often misunderstood animals, "is not as well focused as it could be." Writing in Booklist, Mary Carroll commented on the "new research and photographs" in The World of the Wolf, considering the work a good choice for "student research." Janet Arnett, reviewing The Nature of Wolves in Canadian Book Review Annual, lauded the "informative, well-researched, and conceptually strong nature" of Savage's text.

Grizzly Bears continues these animal studies in a book that "assembles[s] some of the best photographs ever taken of the great bear," according to John Murray in Bloomsbury Review. Murray went on to note that the "ultimate value of Grizzly Bears is that it contributes to the larger effort to educate people . . . and to dispel some of the myths and misconceptions that have accreted around the species." Booklist's Olson also felt that Savage contributed "efficient, accessible chapters about the bear." Her 1994 title, Wild Cats: Lynx, Bobcats, Mountain Lions, does the same educating service for those animals, combining photographs with "engaging natural history writing," according to a reviewer for Petersen's Photographic. Booklist's Mary Carroll, noting that Savage's books on the peregrine falcon, the grizzly, and wolves were all best-sellers, further observed that Wild Cats "has a narrower but no less interesting focus," and offers an "intimate glimpse of the lives of these felines." Kliatt's Celeste F. Klein had further praise for the title, noting that "these photos along with the excellent text, make this a worthwhile purchase."

Savage also deals with the amazing phenomenon of the aurora borealis in Aurora: The Mysterious Northern Lights, "a respectable explanation of northern (and southern) lights, along with the apocrypha and lore thereof," according to J. Baldwin in Whole Earth Review. Jeff Rennicke, writing in Backpacker, expressed relief that Savage did not try to describe the lights with any verbal pyrotechnics or by calling up "gushing, sappy prose." Instead, she presents "a clear, concise treatment" both of the science and of the many stories dealing with the northern lights, according to Rennicke. A reviewer for Canadian Geographic similarly found the book to be an "appreciative and thorough exploration into the aurora."

Savage turns to the softer aspects of nature in her Mother Nature: Animal Parents and Their Young, a blend of photos featuring mothers with their young and a discussion of recent research on parenting and reproductive patterns. Arnett, writing in Canadian Book Review Annual, warned that a "surfeit of cuteness threatens to take over this book."

Turning her hand to books more specifically geared to young readers, Savage deals with environmental concerns in three titles published in Canada. With Trash Attack!, she "tackle[s] the garbage crisis" in "a straightforward look," according to Pamela Hickman, writing in Quill and Quire. Savage presents an overview of the problem and then, importantly, provides many activities young readers can do themselves to help become part of the solution. Complete any six of her suggested projects, and the reader becomes an official Trash Attacker. Savage also introduces young readers to the basics of recycling and composting, and alerts them to the dangers of overly packaged products. Joan McGrath, writing in Emergency Librarian, thought this book offered "an amazing treasure trove of tips" on reducing trash. Much the same approach is used in Eat Up!, a book about healthy as opposed to unhealthy nutrition. "Throughout the book [Savage] continues to send a clear message that junk food is 'out' and natural food is 'in,'" wrote Quill and Quire's Hickman, who concluded that "readers will come away with plenty of healthy food for thought." Adele Ashby, writing in Emergency Librarian, felt that Savage's book "aims to turn readers into good-food experts." Part of this task is done through her five Ns, guidelines for determining which foods are good. These include nutritional need, naturalness as determined by lack of processing and growing methods, the now-ness or freshness and seasonality of a food, how near the food is (which determines how much added shipping costs apply), and by a lack of packaging, what Savage refers to as "naked." Janet McNaughton, reviewing the title in Books in Canada, predicted that "parents . . . will welcome this book's approach to sensible nutrition." Get Growing! expands on the topic of food, working as an introduction to farming. Ashby, writing in Emergency Librarian, did not think this was as successful as other texts in the same series because it "is not well integrated." However, David C. Allison, writing in Science Books and Films, thought the book was "structured well" and also noted that Savage's "effort to inform children at an early age that planet earth has been and is being abused is laudable."

Perhaps her most popular book for young readers is Born to Be a Cowgirl: A Spirited Ride through the Old West, a book that "highlights the vigorous horsewomen who helped shape the West," as a contributor for Publishers Weekly reported. The same reviewer felt that the "historical context is unfortunately over-simplified," but also commented that it was a "browser's delight," full of tales and old photographs of women who rode the range. Employing diaries, interviews, and other original sources, Savage tells the stories of some of the lesser-known women of the West, from managers of vast ranches to rodeo stars. Booklist's Linda Perkins deemed this an "enticing slice of western and women's history," while Nancy Collins-Warner, writing in School Library Journal, hailed the same book as "outstanding" and "an exemplary work." Similarly, Joan Marshall, writing in Resource Links, dubbed this an "amazing book about the exciting life of cowgirls on the western plains of North America," and a Horn Book contributor praised the "lively text" of this "handsome, well-rendered portrait of . . . impressive women and the frontier period."

Savage told CA that if she could turn herself into any animal, it would be the black-billed magpie. "More than anything, I am drawn to magpies by the glint of mischief in their round, black eyes. Magpies are always on the lookout for something, be it food, risk, novelty, or fun—anything that could possibly be of interest. I like to think that, in some small measure, I share this ability, as I scan my surroundings for curious new ideas and discarded titbits of information. For me, the fun and risk come from assembling these discoveries into books that, with luck, will bring some unexpected aspect of reality to the notice of other like-minded (magpie-minded?) people."

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

American Reference Books Annual, Volume 17, 1986, Syd Schoenwetter, review of Wings of the North: A Gallery of Favorite Birds, pp. 597-598.

Backpacker, April, 1995, Jeff Rennicke, review of Aurora: The Mysterious Northern Lights, p. 143.

Bloomsbury Review, March, 1991, John Murray, review of Grizzly Bears, p. 24.

Booklist, December 1, 1990, Ray Olson, review of Grizzly Bears, p. 701; November 1, 1992, Ray Olson, review of Peregrine Falcons, p. 475; November 1, 1993, Mary Carroll, review of Wild Cats:Lynx, Bobcats, Mountain Lions, p. 491; February 1, 1996, Bonnie Smothers, review of Bird Brains: The Intelligence of Crows, Ravens, Magpies, and Jays, p. 905; September 1, 1996, Donna Seaman, review of Cowgirls, p. 59; December 1, 1996, Mary Carroll, review of The World of the Wolf, p. 632A; September 15, 1997, Mary Carroll, review of Mother Nature: Animal Parents and Their Young, p. 189; May 15, 2001, Linda Perkins, review of Born to Be a Cowgirl: A Spirited Ride through the Old West, p. 1742.

Books in Canada, December, 1985, John Oughton, review of The Wonder of Canadian Birds, p. 19; December, 1987, Paul Stuewe, review of Eagles of North America, pp. 15-16; March, 1993, Janet McNaughton, review of Eat Up!: Healthy Food for a Healthy Earth, p. 39; December, 1993, Lawrence Scanlan, review of Wild Cats, pp. 15-16.

Canadian Book Review Annual, 1997, Janet Arnett, review of The Nature of Wolves: An Intimate Portrait, pp. 425-426; 1998, Janet Arnett, review of Mother Nature, p. 431.

Canadian Geographic, February, 1986, Monty Brigham, review of The Wonder of Canadian Birds, p. 77; March-April, 1995, review of Aurora, pp. 82, 84.

Emergency Librarian, May, 1991, Joan McGrath, review of Trash Attack!: Garbage and What We Can Do about It, p. 57; March, 1993, Adele Ashby, review of Eat Up!, p. 60; May, 1993, Adele Ashby, review of Get Growing!: How the Earth Feeds Us, p. 61.

Horn Book, July-August, 2001, review of Born to Be a Cowgirl, p. 476.

Kliatt, September, 1997, Edna M. Boardman, review of Bird Brains, p. 43.

Library Journal, January, 1986, Laurie Bartolini, review of Wings of the North, p. 93; October 15, 1994, Gary Williams, review of Aurora, p. 85; July, 1996, Daniel D. Liestman, review of Cowgirls, p. 134.

Los Angeles Times Book Review, November 29, 1987, David M. Graber, review of Eagles of North America, p. 10.

Petersen's Photographic, March, 1994, review of Wild Cats, pp. 12-13.

Publishers Weekly, November 20, 2000, review of Witch: The Wild Ride from Wicked to Wicca, p. 61; May 7, 2001, review of Born to Be a Cowgirl, p. 248.

Quarterly Review of Biology, September, 1997, Louis Lefebvre, review of Bird Brains, pp. 354-355.

Quill and Quire, December, 1985, Richard Perry, review of The Wonder of Canadian Birds, p. 33; November, 1990, Pamela Hickman, review of Trash Attack!, p. 11; October, 1992, Ted Mumford, review of Peregrine Falcons, pp. 29-30; November, 1992, Pamela Hickman, review of Eat Up!, p. 34; April, 2001, review of Born to Be a Cowgirl, p. 35.

Resource Links, October, 1996, review of Trash Attack!, p. 38; June, 2001, Joan Marshall, review of Born to Be a Cowgirl, p. 30.

School Library Journal, July, 1993, review of Peregrine Falcons, p. 114; March, 1997, review of The World of the Wolf, p. 218; June, 2001, Nancy Collins-Warner, review of Born to Be a Cowgirl, p. 180.

Science Books and Films, April, 1992, David C. Allison, review of Get Growing!, p. 85.

Tribune Books (Chicago, IL), December 6, 1987, Peter Gorner, review of Eagles of North America, p. 8.

Voice of Youth Advocates, April, 1991, Gladys Hardcastle, review of Wolves, p. 63.

West Coast Review of Books, Volume 16, no. 1, 1991, review of Grizzly Bears, p. 68.

Whole Earth Review, summer, 1995, J. Baldwin, review of Aurora, pp. 28-29.

Wild West, August, 1997, review of Cowgirls, pp. 94-95.

ONLINE

Kaleidoscope6,http://www.ucalgary.ca/ (October, 1996), "K6 Biographies—Candace Savage."