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Alex Van Tol

Alex Van Tol grew up reading a wide range of books, from Enid Blyton to Stephen King. Previously, she taught middle school for eight years. Alex lives in Victoria, British Columbia, with her family. 

Aliens Among Us
Format: Paperback
Grade Levels: 4; 5; 6; 7; 8;

Would you be surprised if you came face to face with a Drumming Katydid, Red-eared Slider or Brown Bullhead? Would you know what to do if Dalmatian Toadflax or Giant Hogweed landed in your neighbourhood? Alex Van Tol can help. In Aliens Among Us, she identifies more than 50 species of animals and plants that have invaded British Columbia. With the help of colour photographs and illustrations, she exposes the invaders, explains how they got here and what they’re doing to the environment.

In this first-ever children’s book published by the Royal BC Museum, Van Tol has harvested the knowledge of museum biologists to alert the next generation of responsible environmentalists. Her list of serious invaders includes the colourfully named Purple Loosestrife, Violet Tunicate, Eastern Grey Squirrel and Yellow Perch, species that tend to take over an area and crowd out or destroy native species. She names the creatures that can eat their way through an ecosystem, like Smallmouth Bass, Gypsy Moths and American Bullfrogs, as well as vandals like Norway Rats and European Starlings that cause damage to property. And she points out the species that might do serious harm to humans and other animals, such Rockpool Mosquitoes, Giant Hogweed and Poison Hemlock. Some aliens, like European Wall Lizards and Giant Garden Slugs, haven’t yet posed problems in BC, at least not that we’re aware of – but they still need to be watched. And finally, Van Tol raises the alert on species that haven’t yet arrived but may be coming soon, like Northern Snakeheads, Fence Lizards and Zebra Mussels. This readable and alarmingly informative book will help young people prepare for the invasion, and arm them with the tools to stop the spread of unwanted aliens in British Columbia.

"Chapters include examples within every class of animal and a selection of herbaceous and woody plants found in BC. One chapter discusses three animals (e.g. zebra mussel) not yet in the province, but likely to appear soon. Another chapter looks at native species (e.g. northern raccoon) that can dominate enough to upset ecology. Finally, the author offers a few examples of aliens that have become so familiar (e.g. cattle) that we forget they are not native here. An important feature is the section “You Can Help” which outlines ways to stop the spread of aliens and urges the reporting of sightings. There’s a Glossary of terms, several pages of scientific names and a useful list of sources, both print and web. The book is packed with concise, intriguing details gathered by the BC author, a former teacher who loves to research. It is published by the Royal BC Museum which attests to its relevancy and accuracy." - CM Magazine, 2016

Additional Information
128 pages | 7.50" x 9.00"


Authentic Canadian Content

Great Bear Rainforest: A Giant-Screen Adventure in the Land of the Spirit Bear
Format: Hardcover
Text Content Territories: Indigenous;
Grade Levels: 4; 5; 6; 7;

In the northwest corner of British Columbia, between the Alaska–BC border and the northern tip of Vancouver Island, lies a land of forest green and sparkling blue. From massive whales to tiny herring, spirit bears to sea wolves, an incredibly diverse array of wildlife calls this land home. Part of the largest coastal temperate rainforest in the world, the Great Bear Rainforest is one the last untouched places on Earth.

Experience this magical place through the power of IMAX® and the giant screen. Learn about the people who make their home in the Great Bear Rainforest and are committed to preserving and protecting it. Hear how Indigenous youth are coming together and taking responsibility for this place they call home. Go behind the scenes of the production of the film to learn about the incredible challenges of filming in such difficult conditions and feel the wonder that comes from experiencing this wild place.

"The authors' passion for the Great Bear Rainforest, its inhabitants and for shaping attitudes toward protecting its special nature are evident throughout this appealing book…Will make a fascinating addition to your coffee table collection, great for browsing before and after viewing the IMAX film. Highly Recommended." — CM: Canadian Review of Materials, March 2019

"This beautifully photographed book…provides a sense of immediacy, conveying the authors' impassioned respect for the pristine region." — Publishers Weekly, March 2019

Educator Information
Ages 9 -12.

There is some Indigenous content in this work, but it is not the sole focus.

Additional Information
96 pages | 10.75" x 10.00"

Authentic Canadian Content