Storybooks Canada

Our team

Bonny Norton

Bonny Norton

Dr. Bonny Norton, FRSC, is a University Killam Professor and Distinguished University Scholar in the Department of Language and Literacy Education, UBC. She is the research lead for Storybooks Canada and research advisor for the African Storybook. Her research focuses on identity and language learning, critical literacy, and international development. Website:

Espen Stranger-Johannessen

Espen Stranger-Johannessen

Dr. Espen Stranger-Johannessen is an Associate Professor at Inland Norway University of Applied Sciences and UBC alumnus. He is the international advisor for Storybooks Canada. His research interests include teacher identity, open educational resources, and the African Storybook.

Sara Davidson

Sara Florence Davidson

Dr. Sara Florence Davidson is a Haida/Settler educator and Assistant Professor in Indigenous education in the Faculty of Education at Simon Fraser University. She is also the project lead for Indigenous Storybooks, a sister project to Storybooks Canada. Sara’s research interests include Indigenous pedagogies (including storytelling) and research methodologies; adolescent literacies; narrative writing and research; and Indigenous education. She is the co-author of Potlatch as pedagogy: Learning through ceremony, which she wrote with her father. Website:

Asma Afreen

Asma Afreen

Dr. Asma Afreen is a Senior Research Analyst in Literacy Development in the Surrey School District's Research and Evaluation Department. She is a graduate of the Department of Language and Literacy Education at UBC, and has served as the audio recording coordinator for Storybooks Canada. She has translated English stories from the African Storybook initiative into Bengali for Storybooks Canada. Her research interests include translator identity, teacher education, and digital literacy.

Monica Shank Lauwo

Monica Shank Lauwo

Monica Shank Lauwo is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Language and Literacy Education at UBC. She has contributed to the coordination of the Swahili translations and the development of Storybooks Tanzania. Her research focuses on multilingual education, critical literacy, equity, and teacher education, in Tanzania and Canada. Her work also addresses the use of Storybooks Canada in teacher education in equity-supportive ways.

Liam Doherty

Dr. Liam Doherty is a Sessional Lecturer in the Department of Asian Studies and a Research Associate in the Department of Language and Literacy Education at UBC. He is the technical advisor for Storybooks Canada and a strong advocate for open educational resources. His research has examined digital learning, multilingualism, agency, and language socialization among learners of Chinese as an additional language.


Ingrid Schechter

Dr. Ingrid Schechter, a former instructor at the English Language Institute, UBC, has been an active contributor to both the African Storybook and Storybooks Canada. She co-authored the Storybooks Canada Teaching Guide and is committed to community outreach.

Darshan Soni

Darshan Soni is a BASc graduate from the Department of Engineering, UBC. He helped develop the modular website template for Storybooks Canada that has now been adapted for other Global Storybooks sites, and has recorded the English audio for the stories on the Storybooks Canada website.

Michelle Gilman

Dr. Michelle Gilman is a graduate of the UBC’s Department of Language and Literacy Education. She is interested in curriculum development and has done research with teachers who use Storybooks Canada.

Rahat Zaidi

Dr. Rahat Zaidi is Professor and Chair of Language and Literacy at the Werklund School of Education, University of Calgary. She has conducted research on the use of Storybooks Canada for learners and speakers of French in Canadian schools.