Simon Shapiro was born and raised in South Africa where the climate is perfect. (Not surprising, really—because we humans first evolved there, we’re adapted for the climate). But the important thing is that in South Africa, kids play sports outdoors all year round. When Simon wasn’t reading, he was playing sports. He loved lots of different sports, though he was never very good at any of them.
At school Simon also loved and excelled at math science, and English. At university he majored in math and science and discovered an aptitude for computer programming. He started programming in South Africa on computers as big as a brontosaurus (but more primitive). The next forty years involved computers continually shrinking in size and expanding in power.
Early in his career Simon moved to Canada, where he’s lived for the last four decades. He loves Canada, even though the climate is not so perfect and sports mostly move indoors for half the year. Simon found that learning to skate and ski provided some compensation for the Canadian climate.
His latest book, Faster, Higher, Smarter: Bright Ideas That Transformed Sports (Spring 2016), combines sports and science. It tells the stories of amazing people who totally transformed different sports through their bright ideas. And it explains the science that makes these ideas work.
Simon is married to Sheryl Shapiro, a graphic designer. They have teamed up to write five books of poems for kids, all published by Annick Press. Although those books are all for a younger audience than Faster, Higher, Smarter, several of them have an element of science or math. Better Together (2011) is about the concept of mixtures, and Ladybugs Have Lots of Spots and Zebra Stripes Go Head to Toe (2013) combine vibrant photos and bouncy rhymes to introduce young children to the concept of shapes.
Writing books for Annick Press is something of a family tradition. Simon and Sheryl have one son, Stephen, who has written five books on history, published by Annick Press. His first book, Ultra Hush-Hush (2015), was published while Stephen was still a teenager.
Simon’s hobbies include photography, folk-dancing, and making ice-cream. He loves travelling, reading, and theatre. He lives in Toronto.