Prof. Lawrence Hill

Lawrence Hill, a University of Guelph creative writing professor, is making headlines for his new children’s book, Beatrice and Croc Harry.

Hill spoke to the Toronto Star about the new book and explained how children’s writing differs from other forms of writing he’s done as well as why he incorporated a larger message in the story.

Hill also appeared on CBC Radio’s The Current to discuss the joy and challenge of writing the book as well as how he tackled big social issues for young readers.

In a column for The Globe and Mail, Hill described the inspiration for the book came from his youngest stepdaughter, Beatrice, through telling her bedtime stories featuring her and a fast-talking crocodile named Harry. He promised Beatrice those stories would become a novel dedicated to her; many of Hill’s earlier novels are dedicated to his children or have a character with their name.

Hill joined U of G’s School of English and Theatre Studies in 2016. His areas of expertise include global and Canadian Black history, slavery and freedom, human rights, migration, the search for home, mixed-race identity, blood as a marker of individual and collective identity, and the experiences of refugees. Among his award-winning novels are The Book of Negroes and The Illegal.