I grew up on a large grain farm 20 miles west of Winnipeg, Manitoba. For me, farming had three seasons: work, softball, and ringette. I am the youngest of three kids (“the caboose,” as my mom called me).
After I finished high school and university, I left Canada and worked in Asia for eight years. It turned to be a build-your-own-family adventure. I met my husband in Bahrain, and we had twins in Thailand. We now live in Calgary, Alberta…near the beautiful Rocky Mountains.
I’ve been a teacher for more than 20 years, and it’s a job I absolutely love.
One of the main reasons I write children’s books is because I’m a big kid myself: I love to laugh and to learn new things. My goal is to never completely grow up.
21 (Possibly) Interesting Facts About Me
- My favourite animals are giraffes, camels, and sloths.
- I took organ lessons for five years.
- I like the colour blue so much that I painted my classroom royal blue and my bedroom slate blue.
- Even though my husband and I were both born in Winnipeg, we met each other in Bahrain, a tiny island in the Persian Gulf.
- Our twins were born in Bangkok, Thailand, and they didn’t wear socks for the first year of their life (because it was so hot!)
- My favourite seasons are spring and fall… I actually prefer -15 C to +30C!
- I love tea but dislike coffee.
- My favourite foods are sushi, steak, and peanut butter—just not at the same time.
- When our peanut jar is less than half-full, my husband will say, “We’re nearing DEFCON Peanut Butter!”
- I can sneeze like Donald Duck.
- My sister and I attended Oprah’s last after-Oscar show at the Kodak Theater.
- I once won a caber toss.
- Until I was 3 years old, I lived in a house without plumbing.
- When I was a teen, I wrote hundreds of letters to my cousins and penpals, but I wrote stories only if teachers made me.
- Growing up, I always had a pet dog. I have fond memories (and crazy stories) of Caesar, Rebel, and Roxy.
- I broke my collarbone three times before the age of 15.
- At university, I scored 56% on my first English essay. I was an English major.
- My brother and uncle have published books involving weeds in wild oats and heat-flow meter methodology. I come from science people.
- I love reading, discovering new music, collecting weird words, playing volleyball, and witty banter.
- I love math. Seriously.
- The books in my classroom library are organized by colour.
Leanne Shirtliffe is the author of several picture books, including The Change Your Name Store and Saving Thunder the Great: the true story of a gerbil’s rescue from the Fort McMurray wildfire. She has also written two humour books for adults, Don’t Lick the Minivan and Mommyfesto.
When she’s not writing, she can be found teaching high school in Calgary, Alberta, or trying to convince her husband that they need a pet; their children are on her side. For more information about Leanne, her books, and her presentations, please visit LeanneShirtliffe.com.