An accident takes Luna, a young cougar cub,
far away from all she knows.
Alone in a dangerous world, she must
find her way back to her den.

Loraine welcomes the opportunity to speak to children about her new book LUNA and about her writing and illustrating. She talks about how environments play an integral part in her stories. With the use of “what if” scenarios, Loraine shows how her stories take shape, using all the inherent dangers and advantages of settings.

Loraine talks about her early attempts at being an artist by showing her drawings (good and bad!) from grades 1-5. She discusses through fun drawings, how she began to use her powers of observation to enable her to draw. Loraine explains her steps in creating an illustration for a book, from researching, to how she physically composes a scene to illustrate. Her highly interactive style, that includes many drawings, lures kids into her world of details.

After she reads an excerpt from LUNA , there will be a short Q & A, followed by prizes of books and illustrations!

Presentation Details:

Length and Grade levels:

45 – 55 minutes depending on the depth required for each age group. Loraine requests groups no larger than 3 classrooms and the following age ranges: Grades 2-4, 3-5, 4-6.

Equipment required:

  •  1 medium-sized table to hold presenting materials
  •  laptop/computer and projector for displaying a PowerPoint presentation brought on a USB drive.

For more information, contact Loraine directly at

I look forward to hearing from you!

School presentation joined with Karen Autio


Exploring Two Hundred Years of Okanagan History

For Grades 3 – 6

In Wild Horse Canyon, a ponderosa pine seed sprouts and begins to grow. Seasons pass and the tree’s growth becomes a measure of human history, from First Nations’ quests and trapping wild horses, to fur brigades, railway construction, secret wartime commando training, and more

In this engaging and informative presentation, Karen Autio shares the inspiration behind her picture book Growing Up in Wild Horse Canyon. She draws from her collaborative journey with illustrator Loraine Kemp exploring the canyon and other historical sites and consulting Indigenous and non-Indigenous experts. Based on their discoveries of how First Nations history is interwoven with European settlement, Karen shows how they authentically portrayed this fascinating research through narrative nonfiction, maps, and illustrations. Making effective use of props and images, Karen reveals how the writing, illustrating, and publishing process works from story draft to art manuscript, illustrations, and final proofs.

Loraine Kemp describes her process of bringing the historical events to life with her illustrations. Illustrators rarely work closely with writers, but Karen and Loraine were encouraged to work together. Loraine tells the story of how the research began with their hikes into the canyon multiple times in order to capture the remarkable setting for much of the book. Loraine’s detailed approach to illustrating which matched Karen’s attention to historical details, prompted her to seek out models for the children and horses in her story. Scenes were illustrated using photos of the Canyon, photos from the internet and photos of her models. She ends her presentation showing the steps she took for one illustration from the drawing to the finished product.

Presentations always end with a draw for a book and prizes for answering questions correctly based on their presentations.

Presentation Details

Length: 45-60 minutes

The depth of information and length of presentation are determined by the age range of children attending the presentations.

Loraine and Karen love to interact with students so they prefer to meet with smaller groups (maximum four classes) with no more than a three-grade spread (ie. Grades 3-5 or 4-6).

Equipment Required:

  • two medium sized tables to hold presentation materials
  • computer and projector for displaying PowerPoint presentation from a USB drive

Contact information:

Teacher & Librarian Comments

Feedback on Presentation Of Growing Up in Wild Horse Canyon

“The PowerPoint with lots of visuals worked well! Really neat how you explained the process! (i.e. meeting First Nations people, going to the canyon)… how thorough you were with research!”

Alison Noort,
Grade 3 teacher
Rose Valley Elementary, West Kelowna, BC

“Our students were engaged from start to finish … well-paced for Grade 3 and 4 … good summary of writing and publishing process … historical Indigenous connections to the curriculum were excellent … great to have perspectives of author and illustrator together … very special and privileged to have giveaways from the author and illustrator”

Stacey Manoin,
Mar Jok Elementary, West Kelowna, BC

“Very engaging … historical connections to Social Studies curriculum … loved the reading and seeing illustrations about the Indigenous peoples in the Okanagan … great way to learn about Canadian history … enjoyed how you had a PowerPoint to show visuals … I am so happy you took students through the writing process and talked about revision … enjoyed hearing both perspectives – author and illustrator”

Maddie Hellyer,
Mar Jok Elementary, West Kelowna, BC

“Great job! You thought of every way to reach all the learners! Worked well having large visuals to engage students, photos to support the background story, and sharing point-of-view examples (European vs. First Nations) and importance of [Indigenous] advising editor. You both really brought the process of writing and illustrating a book to life! Thank you”

Michelle Newman
Mar Jok Elementary, West Kelowna, BC

“Love the visuals! Very important for engaging students. Beautiful horse pictures. Enjoyed hearing the first page [of the book] and seeing the illustrations. Very impressed with the process of consultation with Indigenous people and careful detail to history—well done!”

Samia Umeris
Anne McClymont Elementary, Kelowna, BC

“The amazing photographs and book illustrations you used to help tell your experiences and story allowed the kids to clearly see what you were explaining. Very interesting that you illustrated the book from actual poses of people you staged. So interesting for the kids to hear about the interesting places around the Okanagan. It was great how you described how you went about creating the book and getting pictures.”

B. Greenberg,
Anne McClymont Elementary, Kelowna, BC

“Excellent! Students and staff were attentive and interested throughout.The interactiveness worked well, and sending the map around so all students could see.”

Sue Noble
Helen Gorman Elementary, West Kelowna, BC

“Glenmore Elementary was fortunate to have local author and illustrator of the book Growing up in Wild Horse Canyon visit our school. The author, Karen Autio, gave the children an insight into the research, collaboration and experiences needed to write her book. She gave real life accounts through an interesting slide show of the years of work involved to create such a wonderfully informative book. The illustrator, Loraine Kemp, talked about how working with Karen, she created the delightful illustrations that are featured in the book. Also with the aid of a slideshow Loraine walked the children through the process of how she creates her illustrations. The 45 minute presentation grabbed the students attention and gave them an amazing insight into the creation of a story. Karen finished the day with a 45 minute writing workshop where the students went through a couple of interesting and fun writing exercises. Loraine did the same with another group working with illustrations. It was a pleasure to host Loraine and Karen for the day. The students and teachers are still talking about all they learned.”

Doug Obst
Glenmore Elementary, Kelowna, BC

“Great connection to process of book and story creation—important to see photos of exploration. Audience participation worked well as it is so important, especially for young students. Nice visuals from book, to exploration, to illustration. Very authentic inclusion of Indigenous perspective. Thank you.”

Heather Noakes
Indigenous Education
Naramata Elementary, Naramata, BC