College of Education


After spending many years as an elementary classroom teacher, special education teacher, and special education consultant, Bev began her work at the University of Saskatchewan’s College of Education in 2010, in Curriculum Studies, where she taught graduate and undergraduate courses in literacy education and Canadian children’s literature. She retired in 2022.

Her B.Ed., M.Ed., and B.A. English degrees are from the U of S, along with a Special Education Certificate. She also has a PhD from the University of Alberta.

Bev has published two academic books as well as over a dozen titles for children and young adults, earning a Printz Honor Book Award, a Dolly Gray Award, a Stuchner Award, shortlisted for a Governor General’s Literary Award, and listed on CBC’s Young Adult Books That Make You Proud to Be Canadian. In 2022, The Girl with the Cat won the G. Murray & Edna Forbes Foundation Children’s Literature Award, Saskatchewan Book Awards. For more information about Bev’s work, please see

As a result of one of Dr. Brenna’s SSHRC studies, a reference collection, housed in the College of Education and Music Library, U of S, is available for use. The Canadiana Picture Book Collection, containing approximately 1000 picture books, published in Canada between the copyright years of 2017 – 2020 (inclusive), and earmarked as a Non-circulating Special Collection for the University of Saskatchewan, was developed with the support of the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) of Canada, in conjunction with a SSHRC Insight Grant associated with Dr. Beverley Brenna’s work at the U of S.


  • PhD, 2010, University of Alberta, Elementary Education, Language and Literacy
  • B.A. (with Great Distinction), 2001, University of Saskatchewan, English
  • M.Ed., 1991, University of Saskatchewan, Curriculum Studies, Literacy Education
  • B.Ed. (with Distinction), 1984, University of Saskatchewan, Language Arts and Drama



  • ECUR 309.3 Introduction to Elementary English Language Arts
  • ECUR 310.3 Literacy Across the Elementary Curriculum
  • ECUR 378.3 Creative Activities in the English Language Arts
  • ECUR 302.3 Situated Learners


  • ECUR 877 Early Literacy Development
  • ECUR 879.3 Canadian Children’s Literature


  • Literacy Education with a focus on the Reading and Writing processes
  • Children’s Literature
  • Special Education
  • Process Drama
  • Teacher Education

Service and Outreach

  • Children's Editor, Red Deer Press, July 1, 2021 - present
  • College Review Committee (2017 – 2020; 2013 – 2014)
  • Acting Associate Dean of Undergraduate Studies, Partnership and Research, July 1 2014 – June 30, 2015
  • Radical Change and Children’s Literature: Books and Young Readers in the Digital Age (2016), President’s Lecture Series “A World Without Books: Education in a Digital Age” (November 2)
  • Member, Canadian Children’s Book Centre (CCBC), 2014 – present
  • Member, Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI), 2012- present
  • Member, Canadian Society of Children’s Authors, Illustrators and Performers (CANSCAIP), 2006 – present
  • Member, Saskatchewan Writers’ Guild
  • Member, Alliance of Canadian Cinema, Television and Radio Artists (ACTRA)

Graduate Supervision

  • Andrea Dunk, Doctoral Thesis: Supervisor, 2017 - 2022 (completed)
  • Hope Houston, Master’s in Creative Writing (MFA) Thesis: Supervisor (2019 – 2020) (completed)
  • Gale Stack, Masters’ Project: Supervisor (2019 – 2020) (completed)
  • Maeghan Robertson, Masters’ Project: Supervisor (2018 – 2020) (completed)
  • Yina Liu, Master’s Thesis: Supervisor, 2016 to 2017 (Completed)
  • Pattie Tastad, Master’s Non-Thesis (Project): Supervisor, 2015 to 2016 (Completed)
  • Shuwen Sun, Master’s Non-Thesis (Project): Supervisor, 2015 to 2016 (Completed)
  • Jing Jin, Master’s Thesis: Supervisor, 2013 to 2016 (Completed)
  • Jennifer Hingley, Master’s Non-Thesis (Project): Supervisor, 2012-2014 (Completed)
  • Hilary Elmgren, Master’s Non-Thesis (Project): Supervisor, 2013-2014 (Completed)
  • Sheila Janzen, Master’s Thesis: Supervisor, 2013 to 2014 (Completed)
  • Nga Tu, PhD: Co-Supervisor, 2013 to 2015 (Completed)
  • Shanhua Chen, Master’s Non-Thesis (Project): Supervisor, 2010-12 (Completed)

Selected Publications

  • Brenna B, Dionne R, & Tavares T, (2021). Contemporary Canadian Picture Books: A Critical Review for Educators, Librarians, Families, Researchers & Writers. The Netherlands: Brill (free Open Access at )
  • Brenna B, (2020). Because of that Crow. Markham, ON: Red Deer/ Fitzhenry & Whiteside.
  • Brenna B, (2020). The Girl with the Cat. Markham, ON: Red Deer/Fitzhenry & Whiteside.
  • Brenna B, (2019). Sapphire the Great and the Meaning of Life. Toronto, ON: Pajama Press.
  • Brenna B, (2017). Fox Magic. Markham, ON: Red Deer/Fitzhenry & Whiteside.
  • Brenna B, (2015). Stories for Every Classroom: Canadian Fiction Portraying Characters with Disabilities. Toronto: Canadian Scholars’ Press.

Selected Presentations

  • Brenna B, (2019). TD Canadian Children’s Book Tour (Quebec) May 4 – May 11.
  • Brenna B, (2017). Author Readings at the Saskatchewan Festival of Words, Moose Jaw, SK, July 14.
  • Brenna B, (2014). TD Canadian Children’s Book Tour Readings. TD Canadian Children’s Book Tour (Prince Edward Island), April 26-May 5, 2014.
  • Brenna B, (2013). Author Presentations. Yukon Writers’ Festival, Whitehorse, April 23.
  • Brenna B, (2011). Beyond words: A qualitative case study of children's comprehension strategies related to graphic novels. Canadian Society for the Study of Education (CSSE), Fredericton, New Brunswick: May.

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