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Watch the new video on STEM titles

 

 

Preparing kids for the future with science and technology is the focus of today's school curriculum. Annick Press is constantly adding to its rich backlist of titles that make learning about science, technology, engineering and math, not only informative but fun as well! Here are some of our books to enhance the STEM resources in your school library:

To Burp or Not to Burp: A Guide to Your Body in Space

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Go For Liftoff!: How to Train Like an Astronaut
DNA Detective
Faster, Higher, Smarter: Bright Ideas That Transformed Sports

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Eat Up! An Infographic Exploration of Food 
Water Wow! An Infographic Exploration
Power Up! A Visual Exploration of Energy
The Great Motion Mission: A Surprising Story of Physics in Everyday Life

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The Great Number Rumble: A Story of Math in Surprising Places
 

 

Great reviews for I LOVE MY PURSE

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"Perhaps it's the fluidity of the art and the prose, or maybe it's Charlie's "cool cat" attitude.  From the swinging purse to the pliable characters (both in body and disposition), Belle DeMont and Sonja Wimmer have given us a wonderful story about self-expression." writes Helen Kubiw on her blog, CanLit for Little Canadians.

 

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"With his polite determination not to conform to other people’s gender expectations, Charlie is the heart of this delightful story." writes Joanne Findon in her starred review in Quill & Quire.

 

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"Confidently rocking a bright red hand me down pocketbook, Charlie’s quiet courage shines in Belle DeMont’s delightfully inspiring I Love My Purse, a tribute to being unapologetically true to yourself and embracing individuality, be it through wearing an accessory traditionally meant for girls, eating the food you love, or openly pursuing your dreams" says Pallas Gates McCorquodale in her starred review in Foreword Reviews.

 

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Although it won't be released until next month, I Love My Purse is starting to build buzz. Debut author Belle DeMont, of Halifax, Nova Scotia, and German illustrator Sonja Wimmer, team up for one heckuva picture book this Fall. You can read more here.

Against racism: an Annick reading list

A recent article from Today’s Parent points out that it is never too early to start talking with children about race issues. They break down, age by age, strategies for explaining difference and demonstrating role-model behavior. The headline of the National Council of Teachers of English blog this week was just as direct, saying “There Is No Apolitical Classroom: Resources for Teaching in These Times.” Even former US-President Barack Obama, in a tweet that has received the most likes in Twitter’s history, quoted Nelson Mandela this week, saying:

Educating young people toward comfort with and celebration of differences never really goes out of fashion, but recent world events certainly underscore their importance. To that end, it seems important to highlight how Annick approaches anti-racism through literature. Here are titles that help with discussing issues of race, following the same age groups mentioned in Today’s Parent article:

 

 

Infants and toddlers
“To counteract any prejudicial messages kids might receive, create an environment where they can learn about the differences and similarities between people of different races, cultures and religions at an early age, says Karen Mock, an educational psychologist and human rights consultant in Toronto.”

 


Talk-About-Books: This collection of seventeen board books portrays the world of babies and toddlers in natural settings. They are organized around practical themes and relationships, for example Shoes, Hats, My Mom, My Friends, and (my personal favorite) Happy Birthday. The Talk-About-Books are also available in Spanish.

 


Preschoolers
Making decisions about whom to choose as a playmate can reflect unconscious biases, starting from preschool-aged children, according to research noted in the article.

The My Friend… series (preschool to second grade) is made up of My Friend Jamal and My Friend Mei Jing, where childhood friendship between children of differing cultures lets readers sample some of the differences while recognizing the powerful bond that brings the two young people together.


Chicken, Pig, Cow and the Purple Problem Ruth Ohi’s series for ages two to five about the farm-animal friends takes a tender look at alienation and self-acceptance. When cow leaves the group to make herself look like the cows she is used to seeing, Chicken and Pig reassure her that she is their friend – purple spots and all.

 


School-aged kids’ titles offer more direct address of issues that racialized children and children from vulnerable communities face, while keeping the details age-appropriate.


Lila and the Crow by Gabrielle Grimard, shows a young girl of color arriving at a new school and being bullied by her all-white classmates about her dark hair. But Lila turns the words that are used against her into a powerful self-expression. (kindergarten to third grade.)

 

Classic Robert Munsch titles tend to take ethnic diversity in stride, but his collaboration with Saoussan Askar, From Far Away, directly addresses Saoussan’s experience adjusting to life in North America as a refugee of the war in Lebanon. This new edition is beautifully illustrated by Rebecca Green.  (Kindergarten and up)


The idea for The Nutmeg Princess came from a student who asked author Richardo Keens-Douglas whether he knew a story about a Black princess. The resulting book about the princess who lives in the lake on top of the Isle of Spice (based on Granada) is beautifully illustrated Annouchka Gravel Galouchko and has become a modern-day classic.

 

When I Was Eight and Not My Girl are the picture book-editions of Residential School survivor Olemaun’s, or, co-author Margaret Pokiak-Fenton’s, memoir of her life in the school and her difficult return to her home.

 


Young adults, tweens and teens can have more in-depth conversations about race, prejudice, and systemic injustice.

The End of the Line by Sharon McKay is set in Amsterdam in 1942, where two brothers, “Righteous Gentiles” Hans and Lars Gorter, rescue young Beatrix from the Nazis after her mother is abducted. (Grade three to seven.)


Fatty Legs and A Stranger At Home (ages 9-12) tells Olemaun’s story of Residential School survival in chapter book format for an older audience, with illustrations, archival images and further reading.

The Lynching of Louie Sam is based on the historical account of an 1884 lynching that took place on Canadian soil, when a Stó:lo boy named Louie Sam was scapegoated and chased over the Washington Territorial border by a crazed mob. Told from the perspective of a teen boy who lives in the town, knows that Louie is innocent, and discovers the bigotries that the real perpetrators pander to to get away with murder.

People Who Said No: Courage Against Oppression (ages 9-12) and Fight To Learn: The Struggle to Go to School (ages 10-14) are global surveys of resistance to systemic barriers, often along racial lines, over the recent past.

 


#NotYourPrincess (14 and up) is a new anthology of contributed writings and art by Indigenous women of North America, from famous authors to new voices. In the words of co-editor Lisa Charleyboy, the collection seeks to counter myths and show the joyful truth about Indigenous women and girls:
“Too often I’ve seen, we’ve all seen, those headlines that send shivers down spines, spin stereotypes to soaring heights, and ultimately shame Indigenous women. Yet when I look around me, I see so many bright, talented, ambitious Indigenous women and girls, full of light, laughter, and love.”



Give Me Wings: How a Group of Former Slaves Took on the World The story of Ella Sheppard and the Jubilee Singers bringing the African American tradition of gospel music to the world also tells the story of race in America coming out of slavery into the Civil War, Emancipation and Reconstruction.

 



Turtle Island: The Story of North America’s First People human activity in North America has recently been dated to over 130,000 years ago, but during the 20th century, archaeologists often reported a much shorter depth of Indigenous history, and as a result showed a bias favoring colonization. Turtle Island surveys the evidence of human activity going back much further than previous books, in a format that is accessible for sixth graders and up.

 

Browse our titles by theme or the full list to see more.

New video: #NotYourPrincess by Lisa Charleyboy and Mary Beth Leatherdale

 

 

Fresh on the heels of hosting the exciting new season of CBC's New Fire, Lisa Charleyboy has teamed up again with Mary Beth Leatherdale, to edit the anthology #NotYourPrincess: Voices of Native American Women.

Watch the trailer above, and check out the book page for an excerpt. Coming in September!

 

Joshua Bell and Family Read The Dance of The Violin

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Joshua Bell was on Minnesota Public Radio’s Performance Today for a special Father’s Day audiobook reading of The Dance of the Violin.

 

Listen to Hour 2 from the 30:00 minute mark to 1:00:00, to hear Joshua Bell, his son Josef, and his mother Shirley read the whole book with host, Fred Child. Following the reading of the book, you can hear the incredible performance of Édouard Lalo’s Symphonie espagnole in D minor, which Bell performed with the Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal, conducted by Charles Dutoit, in 1988.

 

Listen here

Watch the trailer for Stormy Seas: Stories of Young Boat Refugees by Mary Beth Leatherdale and Eleanor Shakespeare

 

 

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Read the remarkable true stories of five young refugees.

A treacherous voyage on the open seas

was their last hope to reach safety and freedom.

 


read more: annickpress.com/Stormy-Seas

Joshua Bell Brings the Books to the Symphony Stage

“America’s favorite homegrown violinist” was what the Washington Post called Joshua Bell this week, and it’s easy to see why. He will perform and conduct The National Symphony at a residency at The Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. this month, and, for their family concert on Sunday, February 12, they will debut a new work called The Man With the Violin. Academy-award winner Anne Dudley composed the score, adapting the pictures and story Kathy Stinson and Dušan Petričić’s book.

 

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Bell’s residency will also include a performance of Edouard Lalo’s Symphonie Espagnole, a piece he describes in this video as one that he’s played since he was young.




 

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In fact, it is this enchanting piece of music that young Joshua learns for his first recital in The Dance of the Violin, the new collaboration between Kathy Stinson and Dušan Petričić. We’re sure concert-goers are in for the sort of treat that this recital judge gets in the book:

 

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More about Joshua Bell at the Kennedy Center
More about The Man With the Violin
More about The Dance of the Violin

Annick at the Ontario Library Association Superconference

Annick is pleased to be back at this year’s Ontario Library Association Superconference on Thursday, February 2nd, and Friday, February 3rd!

 

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Visit our booth from 11-11:30 on Thursday to meet author Laura Scandiffio and get a signed copy of Fight to Learn: The Struggle to Go to School, along with a classroom discussion guide.

 

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Come back on Friday at 11-11:30 to meet astronaut Dr. Dave Williams and Loredana Cunti, authors of To Burp or Not to Burp: A Guide to Your Body in Space and the forthcoming Go For Liftoff! How To Train Like an Astronaut and get a signed copy to review for your library or classroom.

 

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And visit our booth anytime to ask about our upcoming collaboration with the Toronto Public Library, Let’s Get Ready For Reading, an early literacy guide for new parents and caregivers.

 

But wait! There’s more! Titles galore in five different categories of the Ontario Library Association’s Top Ten Best Bets lists:


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Picture Books:

Joseph’s Big Ride by Terry Farish and illustrated by Ken Daley

Harry and Walter by Kathy Stinson and illustrated by Qin Leng

 

Honorable Mention

Move It Miss Macintosh by Peggy Janousky and illustrated by Meghan Lands

 

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Junior Fiction:

The Biggest Poutine in the World by Andree Poulin

 

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Junior Non-Fiction

Faster, Higher, Smarterby Simon Shapiro

To Burp or not to Burp by David Williams and Loredana Cunti,  and illustrated by Theo Krynauw

 

 

YA Non-Fiction

Fight to Learn by Laura Scandiffio

 

Annick on CBC's the Next Chapter Childrens Book Panel

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Ken Setterington and Michele Landsberg returned to speak with host Shealgh Rogers on CBC's the Next Chapter today for their 2016 installment of the ever-charming children’s book panel. Among the books highlighted (and they all sound great) were two particularly admirable choices, SNAP! by Hazel Hutchins and Dušan Petričić, and Bad Girls of Fashion: Style Rebels From Cleopatra to Lady Gaga, by Jennifer Croll.

 

Of SNAP! they called it "A wonderful book about colour, about drawing, and it is simply just glorious. I would give this as a great present to a kid with a box of crayons. I just can't imagine a better gift."

 

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About another favourite book, Bad Girls of Fashion, they said it is:

 

“An amazing book that is just full of information” on the likes of Frida Kahlo, Andy Warhol and more.

 

Listen to the whole segment here: http://www.cbc.ca/radio/thenextchapter/chris-hadfield-gordon-korman-and-the-children-s-book-panel-1.3898418/15-great-book-recommendations-for-young-readers-1.3898446

 

Read and excerpt from SNAP!

 

Read an excerpt from Bad Girls of Fashion.

From Dr. Dave - Astronaut's day at the Ontario Science Centre

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all images © Ontario Science Centre


Burping, peeing, and farting...

 

No, this is not the transcript of a conversation in a Grade 3 classroom. Rather, it’s how Dr. Dave Williams kept groups of kids and their parents enthralled last Saturday at the Ontario Science Centre. Former NASA astronaut and, with Loredana Cunti, author of To Burp or Not to Burp, Dr. Dave talked  about what happens to the human body in zero gravity.  As a veteran of three space walks, he spoke from first-hand experience.

 

Kids of all ages sat mesmerized as Dr. Dave showed slides taken during several space missions. And, needless to say, they loved hearing about why it’s often necessary to pick your nose in space, how astronauts go to the bathroom, and why burping in space may not be such a good idea. 

 

Kids got a chance to ask Dr. Dave questions at the end of the talk, including ones like “How do you take a shower in space?”

 

More public appearances are in store for Dr. Dave in the spring, when his second book, Go for Liftoff: How to Train Like and Astronaut will be released.              

Having fun with board books!

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Check out these two, living life, and loving board books!

 

Which board books? You may ask.

 

Why, A Button Story and A Pebble Story by Emil Sher, illustrated by Cindy Revell.

 

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These stories introduce the youngest readers to problem-solving and crafting with down-to-earth language and whimsical illustration.

 

 “… a positive purchase for a home or day-care setting, for a read-aloud with an adult or for a child to read and enjoy on his or her own.”
—CM Reviews, 10/17/14

 

“A sweet, unassuming tale for adult and child to share.”
—Kirkus Reviews, 10/06/14

 

More Board Books

Launching Dr. Dave - Astronaut at the Ontario Science Centre

Ontario Science Centre 

 

On Saturday, November 19, 2016, Dr. Dave Williams will be at the Ontario Science Centre to present his new book To Burp or Not to Burp: A Guide To Your Body in Space! This event will take place at different points throughout the day, so mark your calendars, check this schedule, and get ready to blast into a series that is sure to give kids the solid facts to become space travelers!

 

View event page on ontariosciencecentre.ca

 

Read more about To Burp or Not to Burp: A Guide To Your Body in Space

 

Water Wow! at the Vancouver International Writers Festival

It was rainy in Vancouver last Thursday, but that made it a perfect day for us to talk about water. Students from two Vancouver schools, False Creek Elementary and Jules Quesnel Elementary, came down to Granville Island to hear us talk about our infographic, Water Wow! The energy was palpable, with over a hundred 11- and 12-year olds in the room.

 

Co-Authors Paula Ayer and Antonia Banyard

 

We warmed up with some “wows!” and recruited a volunteer “wow” co-ordinator, who enthusiastically cued the audience. We talked about the water in their backyard—the watersheds on Vancouver’s North Shore—and around the world, such as the South-to-North Water Transfer Project in China.

 

 

A group of volunteers created a “human infographic” on stage, to demonstrate how water is distributed globally. We had a lot of fun with that, thanks to Paula’s fully-decorated signs!

 

 

Question period was lively, especially as some of the kids knew far more than we’d expected. And we were lucky to have Belle Wuthrich, Water Wow’s illustrator and designer, in the audience and available to field questions about how the art was created.

 

Water Wow! creators Belle Wuthrich, Antonia Banyard, and Paula Ayer at the Vancouver International Writer's Festival 2016

 

It was a treat to connect with our audience directly. Their enthusiasm was infectious, and we left inspired!

 

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Read more about Water Wow!

Dr. Dave Williams and Loredana Cunti speak to 520 students in Toronto

 

A BIG day at Kew Beach Junior Public School last week needed two presentations to hold all of the space enthusiasts!

 

Dr. Dave Williams brought his uniform to an enthralled group of students and teachers to share his answers to how the body responds to life in zero gravity.

 

Check out the photos from the day:

 

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(note the cool artwork behind Dr. Dave and Loredana, courtesy of the grades twos and threes!)

 

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Read more about To Burp or Not Burp: A Guide to Your Body in Space.

 

Follow @AstroDaveMD.

 

And click here for more posts about Dr. Dave - Astronaut.

Lisa Charleyboy and Urban Tribes celebrated in Vancouver this week

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“I really wanted to showcase the diversity of the native millennial experience within urban settings,” A great piece in The Georgia Straight from last week looks at how Lisa Charleyboy found her audience among those who care about indigenous culture and contemporary fashion and lifestyle.

 

As always the author, publisher and broadcaster is keeping busy, with multiple appearances in Vancouver this week: she'll speak at "City Dwellers: First Nations and the Urban Experience" at the Vancouver Writers Fest on October 18 for a sold-out show; and next Saturday, at the launch of Red Rising Magazine's fourth issue. 

 

Read from Urban Tribes: Native Americans in the City.


Follow Lisa Charleyboy on Twitter.

 

 

Watch Dr. Dave – Astronaut on CTV’s Your Morning with Ben Mulroney

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Watching Ben Mulroney on CTV's Your Morning is a fun way to start any day, but seeing him get to "the tough questions" like 'to burp or not to burp?' is especially cool. On the show this morning he caught up with Dr. Dave to ask that and the many other fascinating questions about space travel that appear in To Burp or Not to Burp: A Guide to Your Body in Space.

 

Check out the clip at CTV Your Morning.

 

Read an excerpt of To Burp Or Not to Burp: A Guide to Your Body in Space.

An interview with Katherine Ashenburg, author of All the Dirt: A History of Getting Clean

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BRIGITTE WAISBERG (ANNICK): What inspired you to write a book about the history of cleanliness?

 

KATHERINE ASHENBURG: Oddly enough, it was a picture in the European furniture galleries at the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto. It showed a 17th-century crowd and the caption read, “The aristocrats in this picture are as dirty as the peasants. Press the button and hear more.” So I did, and I learned that my assumption that everyone was more or less filthy until maybe the beginning of the 20th century was not true. There were sporadic clean periods after the fall of the Roman Empire (when people were very clean), including a period in the Middle Ages when the crusaders brought back steam baths to Europe from the Middle East. But for about 400 years, from the Black Death to the 18th century, people feared water and rarely washed except for their hands. As soon as I read this, the proverbial light bulb went on in my head, and it was a title “Clean: The History of a Notion.” The title changed, but that became a book for adults, “The Dirt on Clean: An Unsanitized History.” While I was writing the adult book, an editor remarked that that was a good idea for a kids’ book. I filed that away in my head, and about five or six years later, I thought, “Yes! That would be a good book for kids.”

 

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ANNICK: What are a couple of the most interesting facts you discovered while doing your research?

 

KATHERINE ASHENBURG: There are so many! A few of the most interesting ones surfaced in the new research I did for “All the Dirt.” For example, brides in many countries take a ceremonial bath before the wedding, but there was a special twist to the traditional bride’s bath in Russia. In the “banya” — like a sauna — the bride’s sweaty body was coated in milk, and then flour. Once that messy combination was scraped off, it was added to the bridal breads and cakes! Sounds to me as if there’s a fertility custom in there somewhere...

   I’ve also been fascinated by some of the experiments scientists have done to investigate the so-called Hygiene Hypothesis— the possibility that too much cleanliness is causing our high rates of allergies and asthma, and that we need to accept that most bacteria are our friends. One study that I found particularly interesting is a Swedish one that divides parents of babies into two groups — those who wash off their babies’ fallen pacifiers under the water faucet, and those who simply suck the dirty pacifier themselves and pop it back into the baby’s mouth. The babies in the latter group have significantly fewer allergies and asthma — presumably because they’re getting a share of their parent’s bacteria.

 

ANNICK: What was the greatest challenge of adapting your book for adults to a book for children?

 

KATHERINE ASHENBURG: My smart, no-nonsense editor, Barbara Pulling, told me that this book was going to be written in “bursts” — which I thought of as packages, only a few paragraphs long, with a focussed piece of information in each. No transitions from one burst to another, no connective tissue — this was a new way of writing for me, and one I found disconcerting for a long time. My job — and my biggest challenge — was to craft bursts that collectively would tell the story of cleanliness in the Middle Ages, the 20th century, or whatever the chapter demanded.

 

ANNICK: Other than the straight facts, what do you hope kids take away from this book?

  

KATHERINE ASHENBURG: I hope they’ll realize that authorities, especially scientific and medical ones in this book, were often very wrong, and yet people obeyed their orders for centuries. And I hope they’ll see that “clean” is a relative concept, very culturally based, often deeply embedded in people’s ideas about themselves, and yet on occasion very malleable.

 

Read more about All the Dirt: A History of Getting Clean

A 40th-Anniversary Feature in Publisher's Weekly

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This illustration by Michael Martchenko hangs in our Toronto office, both as a reminder of the humble beginnings of Annick, and as a fun way to appreciate the very long way the press has come since its founding year. The illustration also adds a nice context for Laura Godfrey's expansive interview with Annick founders, Anne Millyard and Rick Wilks, in a new feature for Publisher's Weekly. Anne and Rick reflect on their drive, the inspiration of children, and the love of the written word that pulled them into publishing in the first place. Among other highlights are insights by Great Number Rumble author, Gillian O'Reilly, who looks back on some of her favorite Annick titles, as well as a look ahead to new developments with Pearson Canada, bringing our books directly to kids in the classroom through our Annick Collections.
 

 

Read the Publisher's Weekly feature here for more of the story behind the story.

 

 

 

Launching 'Dr. Dave – Astronaut'!

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This Fall, Annick ‘launches’ the exciting new series, Dr. Dave – Astronaut. Coauthored by astronaut, aquanaut, and neuroscientist, Dr. Dave Williams, the series will look at the aspects of space travel that matter most to kids. Some of the most pressing questions – what happens to our bodies in zero gravity? – are answered in the first installment, To Burp or Not to Burp: A Guide to Your Body in Space. (info | read an excerpt)

 

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But back in February, when the astronaut Scott Kelly returned to Earth from a whole year on board the International Space Station, it was Dr. Dave that CBC Newsworld called to get a firsthand account on what one can expect to feel back on terra firma. That’s because he isn’t ‘just’ an astronaut, Dr. Dave is also a neuroscientist who specializes in the effects of microgravity on the brain. His answers, though positioned for a slightly older audience, are no less inspiring. The challenges that space travelers have to readjust to life on earth, Dr. Dave said, occur both in body and in mind. Physically he compared the process of readjusting to life on Earth to waking from too much bed rest. There is a similar risk of lost bone density, muscle wasting, weakening, and lightheadedness. (Sounds rough!)

 

 

 

But what about the mental challenge in coming back to earth? The newscaster asked Dr. Dave.

 

Dealing with the misperception of weight, his expectation that his space helmet would be easy to lift, only to be thwarted by Earth’s gravity – was far more difficult than he expected.

 

But, he quickly added, returning to Earth was beautiful. Smelling the air, seeing the sunlight, going out into the woods. And perhaps, most of all, considering how incredibly profound the human exploration of space is.

 

Read more about Dr. Dave

 

Follow him on Twitter @AstroDaveMD