Saturday, 21 April 2018

A to Z Challenge: S is for Soil

The Blogging From A to Z Challenge takes a break on Sunday, but today, we round off the week with the letter "S."  Not sure what the challenge is about? Click here for the deets, or here for my theme reveal. And of course, you're welcome to read my past posts—starting with the letter "A" here.

Also, if you haven't read my "C is for canola" post, you should—you could WIN a set of all 15 of the Superman Duffy graphic novels, signed by the author. If you have some time tomorrow, go through ALL of the posts so far for more chances to win. It's like a belated Easter egg hunt!

S is for Soil


You might be itching to get your hands dirty in your garden now that Spring has finally arrived. But before you do, check out Beneath the SOIL, by far the spookiest book in the Superman Duffy collection of graphic novels.

In it, cartoon me is charged with babysitting a little boy by the name of Jack...and things don't quite go as planned. Jack runs through the canola field to a wetlands area...where he sinks beneath the soil. Yup, you guessed it, there are some creepy critters nosing around in that dirt.

This is clearly where the author gets things wrong, because the real me is an excellent babysitter. Well, except that one time I took my sister to Sustainaval and... never mind! The point is, if you've ever been curious about what lives in soil, this is the book for you.

There's a lot more under there besides earthworms! *shudder* Do you want a copy? You know what to do. <grin>

Gotta jet! See you Monday for the homestretch of the 2018 Blogging From A to Z Challenge.

~ Chase Superman Duffy

Friday, 20 April 2018

A to Z Challenge: R is for Reading

This month is FLYING by! We're almost at the end of week three in the Blogging From A to Z Challenge. Not sure what the challenge is about? Click here for the deets, or here for my theme reveal. And of course, you're welcome to read my past posts—starting with the letter "A" here.

Also, if you haven't read my "C is for canola" post, you should—you could WIN a set of all 15 of the Superman Duffy graphic novels, signed by the author.

R is for Reading


If you read my blog regularly, you know that I don't have any trouble reading—it's one of my most favourite things to do. I have a bunch of go-to authors—like Roald Dahl—and can spend an entire day curled up on the couch exploring new worlds and adventures.

But I get that not everyone likes to read. Enter graphic novels. These are stories told through a mix of both illustration and text, and they're the format of the Superman Duffy books.

Not that there's anything wrong with comics (I have an impressive Superman collection), but graphic novels are not just glorified comics. And here are five reasons you may want to include them in your personal or classroom library.

1. The illustrations—especially when they're great—provide an immediate overview of the story, which encourages you to read the whole thing. By looking at the pictures, you get a sense immediately of what is happening...and that is a fun way to dive into the story.

2. They are fast paced! For those of us with high energy, slowing down can be an issue, but with most graphic novels—and especially the Superman Duffy books—the plots are exciting, and there's plenty of action to keep you focussed on the story.

3. The pictures reenforce, not replace the story. A good graphic novel only works when the text and images go together.

4. The language is high quality! A great graphic novel pairs awesome images with clear dialogue. With so little space for words, the author has to choose the ones she uses very carefully. Plus, graphic novels often deal with a theme—in the case of the Superman Duffy books, that theme is about the importance of agriculture and knowing where your food comes from. Educational and entertaining!

5. They can be read over and over again. Just last week, a Grade 4 student attending Aggie Days in Calgary said he'd read Cut! To The Chase... more than a dozen times! Because they're a quick read, graphic novels are an easy choice when you want to revisit a favourite tale.

Convinced? Perfect! Contact the Alberta Canola Producers Commission to see how to get the full set of books for your classroom—or of course, you can read my past posts for a chance to WIN all 16 books.

Gotta jet! Happy Friday—and see you tomorrow!

~ Chase Superman Duffy 

Thursday, 19 April 2018

A to Z Challenge: Q is for Questions

Can you believe we're already at the letter "Q" for the Blogging From A to Z Challenge?  Not sure what the challenge is about? Click here for the deets, or here for my theme reveal. And of course, you're welcome to read my past posts—starting with the letter "A" here.

Also, if you haven't read my "C is for canola" post, you should—you could WIN a set of all 15 of the Superman Duffy graphic novels, signed by the author. (We've already given away three sets! Don't miss out on yours....scroll down for another chance to WIN!)

Q is for Questions


Did you know that the very first book in the Superman Duffy graphic novel—Fields of Homewas inspired by the letter "Q?" Well, sort of...

Actually, it was written to answer some of the QUESTIONS people were asking about canola. Like, when and where was it first planted? What is rapeseed and how did it become canola? What can you make from canola besides oil? How does canola grow? What are farmers in Alberta doing to manage soil, water, and pests?

If you've read any of the graphic novels, you'll find the answers to these questions woven into the story—and believe me, "cartoon me" has been on some exciting adventures. Like that one time, I went back in time to meet the first Canadian canola farmer.

If you haven't read the books (or even if you have!), you may have some questions—and today is your day to ask them. In fact, I encourage you to ask away. Because every person who asks a question from today until Monday—either in the comments of this post or via email—will be entered into a draw to WIN a full set of the Superman Duffy graphic novels. That's right, this is your THIRD chance to WIN.

What are you waiting for? Go ahead and ASK.

Gotta jet! But I'll be back later for your questions—and tomorrow for the letter "R!"

~ Chase Superman Duffy

Wednesday, 18 April 2018

A to Z Challenge: P is for Pirate

Argh! I've dug up a mighty fine treasure for today's post for the Blogging From A to Z Challenge. Not sure what the challenge is about? Click here for the deets, or here for my theme reveal. And of course, you're welcome to read my past posts—starting with the letter "A" here.

Also, if you haven't read my "C is for canola" post, you should—you could WIN a set of all 15 of the Superman Duffy graphic novels, signed by the author.

P is for Pirate


Red sky at morning...

I love pirates. Well, reading about them at least. I'm not sure how I'd feel about running into a real-life Blackbeard—one of the most famous pirates in the world.

But the pirates in SHIVER ME TIMBERS, one of the graphic novels in the Superman Duffy series, are all pretty cool—well, except the obvious nefarious one trying to steal *my* treasure—canola gold.

Yup, that's right, Captain Chase Superman Duffy (that's me!) and his crew on The Yellow Mist have set sail on the high seas to deliver a ship's worth of canola treasure to the American and Chinese export markets. But as a terrifying storm brews in the distance, Chase must face off against the dreaded pirate Captain Flood <gulp> and risk losing his ship or worse—be forced to walk the plank.

Aye, it's one of the most thrilling books in the series and you could WIN it, just be writing a review of one of the other Superman Duffy graphic novels, or by writing a quick thank you note to the Alberta Canola Producers' Commission for making the books available for schools. Easy, right?

Gotta jet! See you tomorrow!

~ Chase Superman Duffy

Tuesday, 17 April 2018

A to Z Challenge: O is for...O

Hello! *waves* Thanks for joining me today for my Blogging From A to Z Challenge post. Not sure what the challenge is about? Click here for the deets, or here for my theme reveal. And of course, you're welcome to read my past posts—starting with the letter "A" here.

Also, if you haven't read my "C is for canola" post, you should—you could WIN a set of all 15 of the Superman Duffy graphic novels, signed by the author. And that's no myth—for real!

O is for "O"


You probably know that hockey and lacrosse are Canada's national winter and summer sports, but did you know that the basketball was created by a Canadian? Or that insulin—the medicine used to help people with diabetes—was invented by a Canadian scientist? How about Superman? Did you know the artist who came up with that character is from Canada?

If any of these facts surprise you, you're going to be blown away by what you learn in the Superman Duffy graphic novel, "O." The 16th—and last—book in the series was written to commemorate Canada's 150th birthday last year, and in it, cartoon me is a junior reporter on the hunt for cool trivia about our nation. And wow, do *I* ever come up with some amazing statistics.

Canadians are responsible for some amazing inventions—from canola crops, to Jet Engine Funny Cars that run on canola biodiesel—and everything in-between. When you finish this book, you'll be sure to hum "O Canada" all day long.

Gotta jet! By now you know the drill—see you tomorrow for "P" and be sure to order your copy of "O' from the Alberta Canola Producers Commission website, or of course, flip through my past posts to see how you can WIN the full set of 16 books.

~ Chase Superman Duffy

Monday, 16 April 2018

A to Z Challenge: N is for Nicolai

AND...I'm back on track with the Blogging From A to Z Challenge—week 3 begins today! Not sure what the challenge is about? Click here for the deets, or here for my theme reveal. And of course, you're welcome to read my past posts—starting with the letter "A" here.

Also, if you haven't read my "C is for canola" post, you should—you could WIN a set of all 15 of the Superman Duffy graphic novels, signed by the author. And that's no myth—for real!

N is for Nicolai


Who is Nicolai? Good question. Nicolai Driscoll is the new kid that shows up in book four of the Superman Duffy graphic novels, Tasting My Story. He's a chef...or at least he wants to be when he grows up.

Cartoon me is pretty competitive, so when the school announces a baking contest, Nicolai becomes "my" biggest competition (off the track...on the track, that's Lightning!) To beat Nicolai, I have to help Grandma find the recipe for the delicious monster cookies that have been in the family for decades.

It's a bit of a mystery. Not just where the recipe is, but the book itself. And the author takes "me" on a pretty wild journey back in time...

But there's also recipes in the book, including the one for the cookies—which really ARE delicious. It's the perfect book for kids who love to read mysteries AND like to bake.

And, do you want to know a secret? Nicolai was based on the author's nephew, Nick, who at the time this book was written wanted to be a chef. To read more about me...er, him...check out Tasting My Story. You know the drill—order it via the Alberta Canola Producers Commission or try to WIN all 16 books here and here.

Gotta jet! Hope you have a most excellent Monday. See you tomorrow for "O"—literally!

~ Chase Superman Duffy 

Sunday, 15 April 2018

A to Z Challenge: M is for Mythconceptions

Whoops! For some reason yesterday's post for the Blogging From A to Z Challenge didn't go live—I'm a day late...

Not sure what the challenge is about? Click here for the deets, or here for my theme reveal. And of course, you're welcome to read my past posts—starting with the letter "A" here.

Also, if you haven't read my "C is for canola" post, you should—you could WIN a set of all 15 of the Superman Duffy graphic novels, signed by the author. And that's no myth—for real!

M is for Mythconceptions


For some reason, I forget to talk about this book in the Superman Duffy series, which is silly, because it's actually one of my favourites.

Mythconceptions takes place at Sustainaval, a carnival that takes place in Alberta every year where the rides run on canola biodiesel, like the Jet Engine Funny car featured in Gotta Jet! It kicks off with my (cartoon) sister going rogue...leaving (cartoon) me on a desperate hunt to find her, before anyone else realizes she's gone.

That feels pretty real to life, to be honest.

Anyway, throughout the book, cartoon me is doing something the real me LOVES—busting myths. All kinds of myths about agriculture and canola, but also about carnival rides, food, spiders...so much great trivia!

It's one of the more fun books in the series, and you can WIN it simply by doing this or this. OR, you can order a copy via the Alberta Canola Producers Commission website. If you're an Alberta teacher, it's free!

Gotta jet! I'll be back on schedule tomorrow, with a great letter "N" post. See you then!

~ Chase Superman Duffy