Our books

Books are available through the Earth Sciences Museum - Please email earthmuseum@uwaterloo.ca to request a copy

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Wally and Deanna Series (3 Books)     

Book 1 of 3

Cover of Wally and Deannas Groundwater Adventure

Wally and Deanna's Groundwater Adventure to the Saturated Zone

Written by Leanne Gelsthorpe and Peter Russell. Illustrated by Fortunato Restagno. 

Follow Wally the Worm and Deanna Waterdroplet as they travel to the saturated zone and further. Wally and Deanna use accurate terminology to describe their journey and explain how water droplets, like Deanna, travel from the sky to the ground, to an aquifer, to rivers and back up to the sky. This book and our new video are the perfect introduction for younger children to the water cycle! 

You can now watch and listen to Wally and Deanna's water cycle adventure online or download a copy - available in over 15 different languages!


Wally and Deanna's Groundwater Adventure to the Saturated Zone is now available in over 15 different languages, for free! Translations were done in collaboration with the Groundwater Project.

Book 2 of 3

Blackflies to Blueberries - Wally and Deanna's Second Adventure

Written by Leanne Gelsthorpe and Peter Russell. Illustrated by Roger Fernandes. 

Wally and Deanna's second adventure takes them to one of the most biodiverse types of habitats on Earth, a wetland! Together, they explore the numerous inhabitants and the vital systems that rely on wetlands. This instalment was inspired by Barry Warner, an Earth Sciences professor at the University of Waterloo, who focused on wetlands during his time at the University. 

Blackflies to Blueberries explores one of the least understood and poorly researched ecosystems on our planet - Wetlands

Barry Warner, Director, Wetlands Research Centre, University of Waterloo

You can now watch and listen to Wally and Deanna's Blackflies to Blueberries online!

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Book 3 of 3

Written by Peter Russell, John Hoganson, Paul Karrow and John Motz

What would you do if you found fossils, including teeth and a tusk, in your attic? A Mastodon in a Biscuit Box explores what happened when this exact situation occurred to Shirley Fenton from Highgate, Ontario. Follow along as the book explores the story of the famous travelling Highgate Mastodon which lived 13,000 years ago and was discovered in Southern Ontario in the 1800's. Could Shirley's attic finds be related to the Highgate Mastodon?

Wally and Deanna's Quartz Crystal Adventure 

Written by Leanne Gelsthorpe and Peter Russell. Illustrated by Roger Fernandes.

In Wally and Deanna's most recent adventure, they learn about quartz! Windows, computers, clocks, and dishes all contain the important mineral that seems to show up everywhere in our lives. Wally and Deanna explore everything from where we can find it and how it naturally grows, to how we take advantage of its unique properties to make specific items.  

A Mastodon in a Biscuit Box 

Manitoulin Rocks! Rocks, Fossils and Landforms of Manitoulin Island

Written by Dr. Mario Coniglio, Dr. Paul Karrow and Peter Russell

Manitoulin Island located in Lake Huron, Ontario has a fascinating geological history. But like many areas, you might drive right by or simply not understand what you're looking at without a guide. This book provides the perfect step-by-step resource to help you explore notable landforms and fossils!

The Highgate Mastodon's story was one of luck, greed, misfortune and science

A Bit About Our Authors

  • Peter Russell has devoted his life to educating children and adults about geology and the environment of planet Earth. Peter is also the former curator of the Earth Sciences Museum. His other interests include 3D photography, travel, computers and sketching. 
  • Leanne Gelsthorpe has always been surrounded by books and been interested in the environment around her. She enjoys helping children of all ages develop an appreciation of where they live: planet Earth. Leanne was the Network Manager for the Centre for Earth and Space Technology. 
  • John Motz worked at the Cambridge Times newspaper, first as a reporter and photographer, then as news editor. He also has a PhD in Earth Sciences from the University of Waterloo. John has been able to combine his two areas of expertise to deliver interesting and accurate reads. 
  • Paul Karrow is a professor emeritus with the University of Waterloo. His research focuses on Quaternary history. Applications of his research includes mineral resources, engineering and urban geology as well as authoring related books.
  • John Hoga Johnson was a paleontologist with the North Dakota Geological Survey. John is a well-established researcher and public speaker, inspiring the public and fellow paleontologists to discover the geological history around them. 
  • Dr. Mario Coniglio is a notable figure in Carbonate Petrology, whose research has taken him around the world. He also served as the Associate Vice-President, Academic for the University of Waterloo for a 6-year period.