CCBC December 2018 Newsletter
News from the Canadian Children’s Book Centre & Friends
Links We Love
December Reading: Our Favourite Books of 2018
Author Corner: Joanne Schwartz
Illustrator’s Studio: Geneviève Godbout
News from the Canadian Children’s Book Centre & Friends
The winners of the French CCBC Book Awards were announced at a event in Montreal on November 19th, sponsored by TD Bank Group. Now a two-time winner of the Prix TD, Marianne Dubuc stole the show, taking home the grand prize for all three awards: the Prix TD ($50,000), the Prix Harry Black ($5,000) and the Choix du public pour la littérature de jeunesse ($5,000) for her picture book Le chemin de la montagne (Comme des géants).
Find more details and the full list of winners here. Congratulations to all!
Today only, enter to win a Canadian Children’s Book Centre Book Award prize pack as a part of the 49th Shelf’s 12 Days of Bookmas. The winner will receive Town Is by the Sea (winner of the TD Canadian Children’s Literature Award), When the Moon Comes (winner of the Marilyn Baillie Picture Book Award), #NotYourPrincess (winner of the Norma Fleck Award for Canadian Children’s Non-Fiction), The Assassin’s Curse (winner of the Geoffrey Bilson Award for Historical Fiction for Young People), The Hanging Girl (winner of the John Spray Mystery Award) and The Marrow Thieves (winner of the Amy Mathers Teen Book Award). Enter to win here. Good luck everyone!
Holiday shopping can be overwhelming but the CCBC is here to make it a little more holly and jolly. Our #ShelfElf knows what everyone is looking for this December: a new book on their shelves! Tweet #ShelfElf, tag the @KidsBookCentre and be sure to include a little bit about whoever you’re shopping for (an iPad addicted third grader, a sports loving teenager or a reluctant reader) for the perfect book recommendation! Follow us on Twitter for more!
Don’t forget to check out our holiday gift guide for more great gift ideas!
Join us in celebrating TD Canadian Children’s Book Week and bring the magic of books and reading to children all across Canada! Apply today to have an author, illustrator or storyteller visit your community. Find out who’s touring here.
The Marrow Thieves by Cherie Dimaline wins the CODE Burt Award for First Nations, Inuit, and Métis Young Adult Literature
Cherie Dimaline’s The Marrow Thieves has won the 2018 CODE Burt Award for First Nations, Inuit, and Métis Young Adult Literature! The CODE Burt Award is a global literacy initiative that recognizes excellence in locally authored young adult literature. Supported by the Canada’s Literary Prizes Foundation and the legacy of William “Bill” Burt, the CODE Burt Awards is dedicated to supporting literacy and ensuring that youth have access to culturally relevant, high-quality literature. The award recognizes excellence in Indigenous-authored literature for young adults (ages 12-18). Congratulations to Cherie!
Click here to learn more.
Awards Submissions are Now Open!
The Canadian Children’s Book Centre is now accepting submissions for its children’s book awards. The submission deadline for all awards is January 15, 2019. Learn more about eligibility and how to apply here.
Since 2000, in cooperation with ministries of education, school boards and library organizations across Canada, the CCBC has given every Grade One child a free Canadian children’s book, thanks to the generous sponsorship of TD Bank Group. This year’s book is Giraffe and Bird (La girafe et l’oiseau) by Rebecca Bender. We love seeing kind messages from happy young readers all across Canada. We’re glad you love Giraffe and Bird as much as we do! Want to share photos of your students enjoying Giraffe and Bird? Tag us on twitter @kidsbookcentre!
Find out more about the program here.
Rose Vespa appointed Executive Director of the Canadian Children’s Book Centre
Rose Vespa has been appointed the new Executive Director of the Canadian Children’s Book Centre and will begin the position in the new year. Rose began her career as a children’s librarian and most recently was the Director of Library Services for the Mississauga Library System. Welcome Rose!
Find out more here.
Get your copy of The Landing by John Ibbitson
Set in Depression-era Muskoka, this evocative and powerful Governor General’s Literary Award–winning novel follows a young musician’s awakening to the possibilities of a world beyond his borders.
“The Landing is geared toward young adults, but just as easily belongs to the Canadian coming-of-age genre occupied by the likes of Alice Munro and Margaret Laurence.” — The Globe and Mail
Proceeds from this 10th Anniversary edition support the Canadian Children’s Book Centre.
On sale now! Available in bookstores or through the CCBC’s online shop. Order through the CCBC and receive a FREE subscription to Canadian Children’s Book News and Best Books for Kids & Teens. Enter coupon code landing to take advantage of this limited time offer.
The winners of the 2018 Lane Anderson Award Winners were announced earlier this month. This year’s winner in the young readers category was Biometrics: Your Body and the Science of Security by Maria Birmingham and illustrated by Ian Turner, published by Owlkids Books! The finalists were Big Blue Forever: The Story of Canada’s Largest Blue Whale Skeleton by Anita Miettunen (Red Deer Press) and Rewilding: Giving Nature a Second Chance by Jane Drake and Ann Love (Annick Press). Learn more here.
Congratulations to all!
Best Books for Kids & Teen‘s Fall Issue Available Online!
You might know that the CCBC has a magazine called Best Books for Kids & Teens but did you know that we have an online version as well? The fall 2018 Best Books selections are available online today! Chosen by experts, these books are the best of Canadian kid lit and YA. Click here for the full list!
Links We Love
Articles and videos of interest to educators
December Reading List: Our Favourite Books of the Year!
It’s been a big year filled with amazing books! For our last newsletter of 2018, we’re looking at some of our favourite books from the year.
Author’s Corner: Joanne Schwartz
Joanne Schwartz was born in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia. Her first picture book, Our Corner Grocery Store, illustrated by Laura Beingessner, was nominated for the Marilyn Baillie Picture Book Award. Her other books include City Alphabet and City Numbers, with photos by Matt Beam, and two Inuit folktales with Cape Dorset elder Qaunaq Mikkigak — The Legend of the Fog, illustrated by Danny Christopher, and Grandmother Ptarmigan, illustrated by Qin Leng. Her most recent book Town Is by the Sea, illustrated by Sydney Smith, is about a boy growing up in a mining town in Cape Breton. Joanne has been a children’s librarian for more than 30 years. She lives in Toronto.
First, tell us a little bit about yourself. How did you get your start as an author? What is your writing process like?
I spent many years reading picture books before I started writing. It was a great education. My first book, Our Corner Grocery Store, was based on the corner store near my house. The comings and goings of that little store inspired me to try my hand at writing. It was the perfect subject and the picture book was the perfect vehicle. Picture books excite me. The possibilities that emerge with the marriage of words and illustrations seem boundless. The idea and the text come first though. It’s a challenge to find the right words, and not too many of them, to tell the story. I work away at it until the story has texture and the words have a rhythmic flow.
Many of your books, such as Pinny in Fall, Our Corner Grocery Store and Town Is by the Sea, perfectly capture a place by looking at it through the eyes of a child during one day. How did your own childhood impact this approach to storytelling?
Growing up in Cape Breton has definitely influenced my approach to telling a story. It has to do with scale — coming from a small town on a small island. I could feel the edges of things, where things began and ended. The cycle of a day has that same feeling. It delineates both the perimeters and parameters of a story. For kids, the unfolding of a day is one of the first ways in which they come to understand time. The quotidian rituals give form and meaning to their daily life.
In a small town like the one in Town Is by the Sea, this sense of time, the recurring pattern of daily life, is acutely felt and very much a part of the background of the story. This pattern is what frames the boy’s existence — he tells us about one day in his life but it is filled with all the feelings and thoughts that he experiences each day.
In Our Corner Grocery Store Ana Maria spends her Saturdays with her grandparents and she narrates the events of that special time with them. Through her eyes we get to be at the store all day long and witness the whole hustle and bustle of daily events at this little store. The focus on the day captures the rhythms of a neighbourhood hub in a large urban city.
In the Pinny books the arc of the day is just the perfect amount of time to have a small adventure.
It’s a framework I feel drawn to over and over again — the small details of a day that shape a child’s reality. A day can be equally ordinary and extraordinary, and holds within it the possibility of revealing something meaningful about life.
Town Is by the Sea won the 2018 TD Canadian Children’s Literature Award, which is a huge honour. What does winning an award of this caliber mean to you?
Winning an award of this stature is a tremendous honour. It’s a great recognition of my work and a real encouragement to continue on. It’s also very gratifying that this book, which has such personal significance to me, has received such accolades. The exposure, excitement and dialogue around the award mean my Cape Breton story reaches a much bigger audience, and will continue to be read as the years go by. That is the greatest gift.
Do you have a favourite children’s book of the last year that you could recommend?
I would recommend The Funeral by Matt James. James takes a difficult subject and infuses it with a child’s perspective that is original and authentic. The quirky, sideways view of a kid at a serious adult event, trying to find the right emotional tenor, is exceptionally insightful. And, as a consummate illustrator, the gorgeous, energetic, expressionistic illustrations deepen the perspective even further. It’s a wonderful book, bursting with life.
My second Pinny book, Pinny in Fall, has just come out in August. Once again Isabelle Malenfant’s illustrations grace the pages and beautifully capture the moody season. I’m so pleased to have two books out now about Pinny and her little adventures. The format for the Pinny books is a little bit unusual — they have four tiny chapters, each a little episode that moves the day along. I have another picture book coming out with Groundwood in 2020 but it’s much too early to talk about that one yet.
Find out more about Joanne at www.joanneschwartz.ca
Geneviève was born and raised in Quebec. She studied traditional animation at the Cégep du Vieux-Montréal followed by another degree at the prestigious school of Gobelins in Paris. She then fell in love with London where she worked and lived for seven years. In 2013 she moved back to Montreal to become a full-time illustrator. Her clients include The Walt Disney Company, Chronicle Books, Tundra Books, Random House, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Les Éditions Milan, Comme des géants and La Pastèque. Her latest children book, Johnny Appleseed, was selected at the Society of Illustrators Original Art 2017 Exhibit. She currently works on a series of books based on the famous andbeloved Anne of Green Gables.
Tell us a little about yourself. How did you get started as an illustrator?
I didn’t plan to become a children’s book illustrator. I studied traditional animation in Montreal (Cégep du Vieux-Montréal) and then in Paris (Gobelins) and my dream was to work in a big studio like Pixar. In 2007, I became a character artist at Disney Consumer Products in London. I was responsible for the Winnie the Pooh franchise in the whole of Europe. Though it was an amazing experience, the lack of creative growth tired me very quickly. In my spare time, I did illustration work that I posted on my blog. One thing led to another and a first publisher contacted me: La Pastèque. In 2012 I found a literary agent: Emily Van Beek. I got my dream job without even planning for it!
Can you walk us through the artistic process for your illustrative work? What artists and illustrators have inspired you?
I do all my illustrations traditionally with soft pastels (Sennelier) and colour pencils (Faber Castell Polychromos). I love the softness and delicate texture of these mediums. As a child, I grew up with Richard Scarry’s illustrations and when I studied animation, I discovered the work of Mary Blair. Both those artists continue to inspire me greatly.
How has your background in animation affected your personal style?
I think it influenced my style a lot. Animation taught good draftsmanship, posing, movement. Though these are great qualities, I then had to find my own graphic style as animation tends to polish everything. Unlearn to learn more… that’s what they say!
Do you have a favourite children’s book of last year that you could recommend?
I have many! There is Captain Rosalie by Timothée de Fombelle and illustrated by Isabelle Arsenault. Isabelle’s work is phenomenal and full of poetry. We share the same work studio and she’s a great inspiration as well as a friend.
I also recommend The Wolf, the Duck and the Mouse by Mac Barnett and Jon Klassen. Of course this duo needs no introduction. I love Mary Who Wrote Frankenstein by Linda Bailey (whom I worked with on When Santa Was a Baby) and Júlia Sardà and also Bloom by Kyo Maclear and Julie Morstad. Finally I would like to add Through a Life by Tom Haugomat which is simply stunning and deeply moving.
I’m currently finishing a book called Apple Cake with Quarto in London. Dawn Casey’s story is like a beautiful poem, a thank you to nature. I can’t wait to share my illustrations!
I’m also working on a second book based on Anne of Green Gables with Tundra Books. After Goodnight, Anne, Kallie George explores another part of Anne’s imagination. It’s called If I Couldn’t Be Anne.
Finally, my first book as an author was just published in French by La Pastèque. It’s called Malou and it’s the story of a little kangaroo who doesn’t want to jump anymore. Tundra Books will release it in English around 2020.
Find out more about Geneviève Godbout and her work at www.genevievegodboutillustration.com
Canada’s independent booksellers share their recommendations for kids and teens. To find a local independent bookstore, visit findabookstore.ca.
When Grace’s older sister Dotty dies, life at the Belgian convent that is her home changes dramatically for her. Now she is moved to the dormitory with the other girls, and where she is now under the watchful eye of cruel Sister Francis. If only her mother would come back for her. But when she finds an old diary hidden in the library she becomes transfixed by the sad story of the young woman who wrote it, and who endured such terrible suffering during the Nazi invasion of Belgium. This compelling historical saga features nuanced and fully-realized characters and complex relationships. It is a thoughtful, poignant and engaging read. —Lisa Doucet, Co-manager
Woozles Children’s Bookstore: 1533 Birmingham St., Halifax, NS B3J 2J1 www.woozles.com
I loved this debut novel! Past Tense is a wonderful teen read exploring family relationships, depression, self discovery, sexuality and friendship all with a completely original approach. I found the plot like no other — which as an avid reader is so refreshing. Sensitively written, both heavy and light, it brought me back to the days of navigating high school life. The struggle is real — especially when your mother believes that she is dead. — Erin Grittani, Assistant General Manager
Glad Day Bookshop: 499 Church St., Toronto, ON M4Y 2C6 www.gladdaybookshop.com
If your independent bookstore would like to participate in this feature, please contact us.
I love this graphic novel about life in middle school, following tough looking Jorge who has a big heart and his very first crush. The third in the series, Crush combines timeless pre-teen issues (friendship, crushes) with modern issues like cyber bullying. You’ll fall in love with the characters and find that this book deals with serious issues while also being a cute story about friendship. All of the books in this series are amazing and are definitely must-reads for pre-teens. — Emma Hunter, CCBC Marketing and Website Coordinator
We’ll see you in the new year! Look for our January newsletter early next month: we’re starting the year right with a newsletter all about kindness. Look forward to interviews with Polly Horvath and Mike Boldt.