CCBC October 2016 Newsletter
News from the Canadian Children’s Book Centre & Friends
Links We Love
October Book List: CCBC Award Nominees
Author Corner / Amy’s Travels in YA
Illustrator’s Studio: Dianna Bonder
Now available: Canadian Children’s Book News, Fall 2016
News from the Canadian Children’s Book Centre
Upcoming Seminar: The Business of Writing: Selling Your Books, Selling Yourself
What can authors do to promote themselves and their books? What business skills should authors have? How can you use social media to your advantage? How can you reach schools and libraries? Join us on November 26 and let our panel of experts show you the best ways to be a self-promoter!
Our panel of industry professionals will include:
- Helaine Becker, author
- Debbie Ohi, author-illustrator
- Felicia Quon, Vice President, Marketing and Publicity, Simon & Schuster Canada
- Joel Sutherland, author and children’s librarian
CBC Books is where adventure begins!
TD and the Canadian Children’s Book Centre, in partnership with CBC Books, have launched the Fan Choice contest. Young readers, aged 8 to 13, are invited to choose their favourite book from the five titles shortlisted for this year’s TD Canadian Children’s Literature Award.
The winning contestant, selected by a random draw, will receive $500. Her/his classroom will be visited by a nominated author, with books for all the students, and $2,000 will be donated to the school library. The contest is open until October 30th, 2016 at 12 pm ET, at CBCBooks.ca.
The TD Canadian Children’s Literature Fan Choice Award will be presented to the author of the most popular book at the Toronto gala on Nov. 17, 2016.
Save the date! TD Canadian Children’s Book Week 2017
TD Canadian Children’s Book Week 2017 runs from May 6-13, 2017. Book Week applications open October 15, 2016. Visit www.bookweek.ca to apply for a Book Week visit in your school or library and find out which authors, illustrators and storytellers will be touring your area!
Finalists Announced for the 2016 Canadian Children’s Book Centre Awards
Last month we announced the finalists for our eight major awards for Canadian children’s books, including the $30,000 TD Canadian Children’s Literature Award. Click here for the full list of nominees.
Links We Love
Articles and videos of interest to educators
October Book List: CCBC Book Awards
This month, we are highlighting the nominated books for four of the awards administered by the Canadian Children’s Book Centre: the TD Canadian Children’s Literature Award, the Marilyn Baillie Picture Book Award, the Monica Hughes Award for Science Fiction and Fantasy and the Norma Fleck Award for Canadian Children’s Non-Fiction. The winners will be announced on November 17, 2016. We will be sharing our other three awards next month.
In a Cloud of Dust
Sometimes I Feel Like a Fox
A Year of Borrowed Men
Junior & Intermediate Fiction
Young Adult Fiction
The Scorpion Rules
A Thousand Nights
The Art of the Possible: An Everyday Guide to Politics
A Beginner’s Guide to Immortality: From Alchemy to Avatars
Child Soldier: When Boys and Girls Are Used in War
Foodprints: The Story of What We Eat
Sex Is a Funny Word: A Book About Bodies, Feelings, and You
Author’s Corner / Amy’s Travels in YA
by Amy Mathers
It’s October, which means it’s time for my favourite column of the year, my interviews with the five Amy Mathers Teen Book Award Finalists! I spent five days in a mini Marathon of Books reading 5 To 1 by Holly Bodger, The Scorpion Rules by Erin Bow, The Truth Commission by Susan Juby, Young Man With Camera by Emil Sher and Trouble is a Friend of Mine by Stephanie Tromly to prepare my questions, and each author has enthusiastically responded with thoughtful answers that showcase exactly what I love about Canadian teen fiction. Hope you enjoy their insights as much as I did.
5 To 1 is speculative in nature, but also a thoughtful exploration about how the tables might turn on gender selection in the future. What first inspired you to study gendercide and imagine its ultimate impact?
As a feminist who cut her teeth on Margaret Atwood novels as a teen, I’ve always been interested in the topic of gender equality. The idea for this specific novel however, was inspired by a medical journal article that was published in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal). This article analyzed the effects that ultrasound technology has had on certain countries such as India and China. It was a true eye-opener for me, not because it discussed what was happening to girls (which I was at least partially aware of) but because it also discussed how this gender imbalance will affect boys in the future as well. It was the authors’ prognostications for the future that became the seeds for my setting in 5 To 1.
Your use of both free verse and prose makes for a stark contrast between the two narratives of Sudasa and Kiran. Why did you choose to represent their characters in such distinct ways?
This novel started for me in the voice of Sudasa. I saw her as a well-educated girl who had a lot of time to daydream about the world around her. I’ve often described her as having “her head in the clouds” at least in the beginning of the story, and the verse seemed to work well for this.
Kiran, on the other hand, is not well-educated and is very matter-of-fact. He is entirely focused on his goal, and doesn’t have time to dream or analyze. Because of this, he had to speak in prose to me.
Though your book is set in India, what effect do you think Canada has had on your writing?
People joke that Canadians apologize too much, but I think that is rooted in our willingness to accept—if not embrace—what it means to make mistakes. When I decided to write about the issue of gender selection, I wasn’t looking to blame another country for something they’d done. Instead, I was trying both to understand it, and to search for my own role in the cause and in the solution.
Like the issue with missing Indigenous girls and women in Canada, being unmoved by something or refusing to move in support of change can often be as bad as being part of the problem itself. I wrote this book because I wanted to do something to draw more attention to the issue.
What motivates you to write for a teen audience?
When I was 16, I wrote a poem about being immune to pain because I honestly thought I was at that age. When I look back now, I see that I was not immune to it but hyperaware. Teens notice things. They feel them. They react to them. They get excited or sad or enraged. I write for them because I think they are the group of people who connect as emotionally to my stories — and issues — as I do.
One of the many aspects that makes the epic storytelling of The Scorpion Rules work is your ability to blend established history and recent pop culture references with the future history you’ve created. What inspired you to base your fictional future on the wars and philosophers of the past?
I don’t have the imagination to start from scratch! History is so intricately interwoven. It’s hard to recreate that for a book if you don’t pull a thread forward here and there.
This book, specifically, actually started as a historical fantasy. I tried a book set in Tenochtitlán (the Aztec capital that became Mexico City) in 1521. (It was called The Teleportation of Gilbert Perez, and it was based on a real-ish historical incident: read about it here and then write the book for me?) I got about 30,000 words into my Aztec book when my carry-on bag with my notebook, my computer, and my external backup was stolen. I never could recover either the words or the thread of the novel.
But I wanted to keep one thing I’d come across in my research: the figure of the royal sacrifice, of the child raised to be royal/divine, but doomed to be a human sacrifice. That’s as much Inca as Aztec and as much myth as anything, but in the stories, at least, these children were willing sacrifices. Surely they must have been terrified. But they were willing.
I took one of those kids, and turned her into a future Canadian princess.
As for all the pop culture references, that’s something I’ve wanted to do for a bit, just for my own amusement, and haven’t been able to because my previous books were historical. But it turns out that if you set a book 500 years into the future but make one of your characters 500-plus years old, you can get away with Darth Vader jokes.
While the story of the Precepture containing the Children of Peace is largely about Greta, she is backed by a cast of memorable, authentic and distinct characters, including Talis, the AI overlord. Was it difficult to get into their various perspectives while writing and to leave Talis behind when you were done?
It was so hard to leave Greta and Talis behind that I didn’t — I wrote them a book two! It’s called The Swan Riders. They go on a road trip! With horses!
The character I had the hardest time leaving behind was Xie, Greta’s best friend and roommate and eventual lover. Xie is hereditary ruler of a good chunk of central Asia, and a smart and soft-spoken badass. I loved writing about her, and I loved writing about Xie and Greta together. The geography of The Swan Riders required Greta to be physically apart from almost all the other children in The Scorpion Rules, and Xie is the one I missed the most.
(Because of the sketchy track record media has on this point, I will note that nothing tragic happens to Xie. I have a firm rule against killing the queer girls. I feel it’s been done.)
Canada has a more obvious influence in The Scorpion Rules with its Saskatchewan setting and Greta being a Canadian princess. In what other ways would you say Canada has affected your writing?
Hmmm. I don’t think I know what Canadian-ness is, beyond a certain apologetic self-doubt and self-conscious marginalism, both of which I personally have nailed. Culturally speaking, the American Midwest (where I’m from) and Southwest Ontario (where I’ve lived for many years), are kissing cousins. You could call me a Midwestern writer or a Canadian writer, and the labels would be equally true, and mean about the same thing.
So I feel quite at home in Canada, my adopted country. But I have long been struck by one important difference between the Canadian outlook and the American outlook. Where America as a country exists to ensure “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness,” Canada exists as a country to ensure “peace, order, and good government.” Most YA dystopias lean American, in that they’re about liberty and personal happiness. The Scorpion Rules is profoundly Canadian dystopian: it’s what you get when you take “peace, order, and good government,” and go way too far.
Actually, even calling it a dystopia doesn’t quite do it justice. Like Canada itself, The Scorpion Rules is a utopia with cracks in it. The peaceful, orderly world in The Scorpion Rules is a pretty good deal, for everyone except these six particular kids at the centre of the story. I was interested in telling a story where rebellion is not the obviously right choice.
What motivates you to write for a teen audience?
First, I genuinely love teenagers. I love how they have their hearts on their sleeves; I love the way they charge ahead instead of spending years noodling about in stale jobs or relationships. I love and have huge sympathy for the high-stakes work they do to figure themselves out. I am still working on figuring myself out, and so are my characters, so writing them as teenagers is often a natural fit.
I also use teenagers as a quality control system. Teenagers will not read a book that does not tell a story. Since I love stories above all things, this suits me, and I seek most of my new reads in the YA section. I write YA because I like to read YA. Ultimately I’m writing books that I would love to read.
In The Truth Commission, main character Normandy’s creative non-fiction writing project is carried largely by her strong, genuine and often humorous voice. Since winning the Stephen Leacock Medal this year, do you feel any pressure for your writing to always be funny or (given the humorous nature of the Alice books and the Woefield Farm series) it’s something that comes naturally to you?
Humour comes very naturally to me, particularly in my writing. It’s often how I make sense of things and cope with situations or feelings. That said, I won’t use humour to replace sadness or any other mood if the story doesn’t warrant it. Often a sense of humour is the main thing standing between my characters and the abyss.
The Truth Commission‘s focus on rooting out people’s authentic truths is admirable while also being controversial and potentially damaging as Normandy and her friends soon discover. Did you ever have a truth you wanted to uncover regardless of its impact?
A: Good question! When I was younger I was keen to know everyone’s secrets and truths. Then I slowly realized that I couldn’t un-know the things I learned. As an adult, I find I sometimes appreciate having only a surface understanding of a person or a situation. It’s enough of a challenge to fully be open to the truth about myself. Still, I admire the youthful hunger for understanding.
You’re known for being part of the amazing collective of Canadian teen authors in British Columbia — how do you think your surroundings have influenced your writing?
It’s true that we have wonderful teen writers here. My time living in small- and medium-sized BC towns (Smithers and Nanaimo) has made me appreciate what is excellent and absurd and interesting about smaller communities. There’s a forced integration and a sense of humility or at least an awareness of not being at the centre that makes for intriguing dynamics. I’ve lived in Toronto and Vancouver but have never felt tempted to set my stories in those places. The resource-based town is a key part of the Canadian identity and experience.
What motivates you to write for a teen audience?
I failed myself as a teen. I was so busy trying to fit in with older people and escape from my discomfort that I missed a lot of the teen experience. Writing for teens has allowed to me revisit those times from the point of view of characters who are braver and have more integrity. Thank goodness!
With your book essentially being a literary version of a Diane Arbus photograph, did you struggle in deciding what to focus on and what to leave out?
That choice — what stays, what can go — is one that hovers over my shoulder throughout the writing process…and it often hums incessantly. Initially, it does feel like a struggle when I feel I have to make that kind of choice, because initially I’m attached to my characters and the situations they find themselves in. But my guiding principle whenever I write (and I write in different genres) is a simple question that anchors me: does it serve the story? This is akin to the oft-repeated mantra to ‘kill your darlings’, to cut the phrases, the passages and, yes, the characters you feel are essential, only to discover otherwise. So you may well love a turn of phrase or what you think is the perfect word but you owe it to yourself, to your readers, to the story to take a step back and ask yourself how it all fits into the landscape of the world you’re creating. Very often those beloved passages and chapters are detours that lead us away from a narrative that should be moving forward from page to page. At one point, the manuscript for Young Man with Camera was edging toward 70,000 words. The final tally was closer to 40,000. So it’s as if I wrote two novels but preserved but one.
T—’s photographer perspective grants readers insightful and rare views into people like Lucy and Ruby who are usually overlooked, while his own ability to remain slightly out of focus is both frustrating and captivating. Throughout his story though, he displays an extensive knowledge of his craft as he makes choices as an artist and also learns from other photographers. Does the expertise behind T—’s ability come from your personal experience with photography or thorough research?
I don’t have any real experience as a photographer but I’ve long been drawn to the medium because I do believe every photograph is its own narrative. In other words, every picture tells us a story, and just as there’s subtext in the stories we tell — how what is unsaid can reveal as much as what’s spoken — I was intrigued by the idea of using photographs to explore this theme: for all that we see, what lies beyond the frame? In this way, photographs become a metaphor for someone like T—, who is reduced by many (certainly his peers) to little more than his scars. As we soon discover, T— is a layered individual, and fiction allows us to peel away layers and discover what lies beneath the surface.
What also drew me to integrate a photographer and photography into the narrative was the rich concept of perspective. Given how T— has been marginalized and finds himself standing on the margins, he has a perspective denied to those who are in the thick of it, so to speak. In this way, what might otherwise be considered a liability — life on the margins — can become its own gift, as T— discovers truths he might otherwise never have known.
Having grown up in Quebec and now living in Ontario, how do you think your familiarity with both French and English Canada has influenced your writing?
Although I grew up in an English-speaking neighbourhood in Montreal I was, of course, keenly aware that it was but a patch in the larger fabric of a French-speaking province. And so I was aware of living in a world where there were differences: a different language, a different culture, a different perspective. In the wrong hands, differences can be wielded as threats. In the rights hands, they can be revealed in ways that enrich us. Part of a writer’s responsibility is to see beyond one’s own perch, to see the world through a lens beyond the one you know. In this way, it was invaluable to be raised in a city where the gap between cultures proved to be fertile ground. In some ways, every book is its own bridge as characters strive to connect with others, or themselves.
Young Man With Camera is your first book for a teen audience. What motivated you to try writing for teens?
Writing a novel for young readers felt like a very natural progression from all the writing I had done for young audiences. I have written several plays for children, creating works for kids of all ages. And while I love how theatre invites audiences into a world unlike any other, there is something about the relationship between a single reader and a story that appealed to me, not least because I know what it’s like to curl up with a book and cloak yourself in the images, the moments, the characters that you weave with the words an author gives you. And it’s not just teens I hope to connect with through the written word. I have written two board books and two picture books, and the experience of working with an illustrator to engage young minds is rewarding, well, beyond words.
While a mystery about the abduction of a four-year-old and the disappearance of a teenage girl, Trouble is a Friend of Mine is also a character-led story with wonderfully comical moments and situations. Did putting a humorous angle on serious events come naturally or was it something you needed to work to find?
Sadly, I’m not one of those lucky people to whom writing comes easily so it’s all work and it’s all super hard. I agonize over every word I write. I would say, though, that in my own life, when absurdly bad things happen to me, I often find that the only response I come up with is often itself absurd. I may have a sad clown thing going on…
The friendship between Digby and Zoe is unique in its quick strength and loyalty. Though Digby is hardly someone that can be ignored or put off, he and Zoe both benefit from their companionship, able to ask for what they need and protect each other from their blind spots. What was the inspiration behind this compelling friendship?
I draw heavily on my own relationships when I write about Zoe and Digby. In high school, I used to despair that I wasn’t part of a big squad (we didn’t call it that back then but that’s what they were). As I’ve grown older, though, I’ve realized that really, I’m more of a one-on-one kind of person. Now, I have a few core ride-or-die relationships where I have the kind of intimacy people respond to when they see it depicted on the page. It’s a huge privilege and I’m grateful to have such good people around me.
It’s not all just drawn from real life, though, and I’m very aware that when I’m writing Digby and Zoe’s scenes, I’m participating in a long tradition of buddy comedies. Well, a classic buddy comedy with updates. I have to make a conscious effort not to let Digby’s manic energy overwhelm Zoe and I have to fight the tendency to have her more normal, less naturally risk-taking character slide into the role of the straight man. All that is hard work because I find that when I take my hand off the wheel even for just a little bit, characters get sucked into their pigeonholes.
From your bio it sounds like you’ve lived in many places and experienced many countries. Do you think living in Canada has influenced your writing? If so, how?
Anyone who’s lived in Winnipeg will recognize the geography of the city in the River Heights I depict in the book. I should also mention that I used things like the real cult across the street from me when I was putting together the plot. I mean, I wrote this book while trapped inside the house with my newborn kid during a brutal Winnipeg winter. I stared out my window and fabricated tall tales about my perfectly nice neighbours because I had severe cabin fever.
But, while Canada itself is physically in the book, it’s in the overall mood of the story that you can really tell a Canadian wrote it. Let’s just say: garrison mentality, Zoe equals Canada, Digby’s overwhelming energy equals the United States, and Zoe’s sense of River Heights’ not-New Yorkness is her fear of the vast emptiness of the landscape. I can feel my Can Lit professor sending me all the love right now.
What motivates you to write for a teen audience?
My own teenage years were emotionally tumultuous. I was the new girl in a clique-driven school in a very different culture. I’d never been in school with boys before and I’d never been in an English-only classroom…it was a lot to deal with and I was awkward and miserable. Maybe I’ve set my first few books in my teenage years because I wanted to tell my readers, GOOD NEWS YOU WILL SURVIVE!
The winner of the 2016 Amy Mathers Teen Book Award, sponsored by Sylvan Learning, will be presented on November 17, 2016 in Toronto.
Illustrator’s Studio: Dianna Bonder
Dianna Bonder was born in Kamloops, BC, and worked as a commercial artist before finding her way into children’s books. Her books include The Pacific Alphabet, Accidental Alphabet, Three Royal Tales, Digging Canadian Dinosaurs, and ABSea: A Deepsea Symphony. This month, she will be the 2016 Joanne Fitzgerald Illustrator in Residence at the Stanley A. Milner Library in Edmonton. Dianna lives on Gabriola Island, BC.
How did you get started as an illustrator?
When I was a little girl, I completely immersed myself in children’s books and dreamed of becoming a children’s illustrator or writer. My love of books started with my mother, an elementary school teacher, who wanted to be a writer. She never realized her dream of being an author, however, she instilled a love for books in me at a very early age. As a young adult, I studied Fine Arts and Fashion Design and Illustration in college and eventually found myself working in the advertising industry. After a few years working as an illustrator for commercial work, I grew really tired and unfocused by the work I was doing. So in looking for another avenue for my artwork, I found myself looking towards children’s books again.
The more I immersed myself into children’s literature, the more fascinated I was by it. I found myself really drawn to working in this genre. My first book was a Pacific Alphabet written by Margriet Ruurs, and it went on to be a bestseller selling 60,000 copies in BC alone, partly due to a kickstart to reading program for all kindergarten children in BC. After the success of that first book, I have gone on to write and illustrate 13 more titles. I am now working on my 14th picture book with the Vancouver Public Library. With more ideas than I can possibly ever execute, I often find myself in the position of having too many ideas and just too little time!
This October, you will be the 2016 Joanne Fitzgerald Illustrator in Residence at the Stanley A. Milner Library in Edmonton (Oct. 17 to Nov. 10). Can you tell us about what you have planned for the month?
As the chosen illustrator for this year’s Joanne Fitzgerald Illustrator in Residence Program, I am truly honoured to be given the position at the Edmonton Public Library (EPL). This is the very first year that the EPL has hosted this program so it’s an exciting new adventure for everyone involved!! This residency has been developed by Joanne’s family and IBBY Canada. It provides Canadian children’s illustrators the opportunity to share their work with the communities that they are immersed into but it also provides those communities access to information that they might not otherwise have available.
For my one-month residency, I plan to offer programs to elementary school students, high school students, adults, as well as one-on-one portfolio reviews for anyone interested in pursuing a career in illustration. The children’s programs are specifically aimed at teaching kids about creating pictures with various mediums and various styles. We will also have discussion workshops where we simply talk about creating picture books and the process involved. The adult programs will be more specific with information about pursuing careers as an illustrator or writer and there will be some hands-on workshops. I also have the opportunity to work with disabled adults at the Nina Haggerty Arts Group where we will explore a variety of mediums and tools. The schedule is going to be busy and each day will be packed with a lot of information and a lot of fun!! I think it’s going to be a great month at the EPL.
As an illustrator, my process varies quite a bit. Typically however, when I’m given a story idea, I flush out the story in very, very rough thumbnail sketches. I organize my thoughts and very simple, quick sketches based on the text. From there I will flush out the rough concepts into more detailed concepts which I will then provide to my publisher for editing and approval. Any changes that might need to be made from there will be reworked into final full-blown illustrations in pencil on watercolour paper or illustration board. I then work in watercolours and coloured pencils.
Another method that I use is a medium called polymer clay. This is a sculpting and etching technique that I’ve developed to create very vivid three-dimensional illustrations. These images are then photographed to be printed in the book. I also work in acrylic paints in a similar fashion to watercolour illustrations. Between these various mediums I will choose the medium that I feel best suits the book project that I’m endeavouring to illustrate. A book project can take me anywhere from six months to two years, and alphabet books (which is something I am known for) can take considerably longer. The polymer clay process is particularly time consuming and a book made from that material could take me could take me from three to four years. Much of my newer work is being created in polymer clay!
My newest book is with the Vancouver Public Library (VPL). This is a book project they are endeavouring to do on their own in order to cater to their early literacy clientele. It was written by Els Kushner, an employee at the VPL. The story is written in rhyme and in a way which will teach children how the sounds and actions are all a part of learning and reading. The project is titled the “Reading Tree” which will introduce children to trees, flora and fauna and animals which are indigenous to BC. My role is specifically to bring these rhymes to life through my whimsical and warm illustrations. The tree is the central figure on each page accompanied by the various animals going about their day. I was chosen by the VPL through a long and thorough selection process, so I feel very honoured to be a part of such an amazing and forward thinking book project.
What projects are you working on now?
Currently I’m working on the VPL book and the Joanne Fitzgerald Illustrator in Residence for the month of October and November. Once these two things are completed, I will put my focus back onto a book called Polly Parrot’s Pirate Poems, written by Tiffany Stone. I am hoping to have that completed for fall 2017. From there I plan to continue working on my book called Sunday Morning which is a wordless picture book created entirely with polymer clay. That particular project I anticipate taking me a couple of years to complete as it requires a great deal of my focus and energy. As well, I will continue to do commissions and show my work and participate in school presentations and workshops in the coming year.
Images courtesy of Dianna Bonder. Visit diannabonder.com for more information about her work.
Canada’s independent booksellers share their recommendations for kids and teens. To find a local independent bookstore, visit findabookstore.ca.
• Kaleidoscope Kids’ Books in Ottawa, ON: The Darkest Dark by Chris Hadfield (Tundra Books, 2016), Ages 3-7
Chris loves rockets and planets and pretending he’s a brave astronaut, exploring the universe. Only one problem — at night, Chris doesn’t feel so brave. He’s afraid of the dark.
But when he watches the groundbreaking moon landing on TV, he realizes that space is the darkest dark there is — and the dark is beautiful and exciting, especially when you have big dreams to keep you company.
Recommended by Kim Ferguson, Co-owner
Kaleidoscope Kids’ Books: 1018 Bank St., Ottawa, ON K1S 3W8 www.kaleidoscopekidsbooks.ca
• Mabel’s Fables Bookstore in Toronto, ON: MiNRS 2 by Kevin Sylvester (McElderry Books, 2016), Ages 8-12
This amazing sequel to MiNRS is action packed from the first page and will engage readers right away. After the cliffhanger ending from the first book, readers will get the answers they have been waiting for as we journey with Christopher and the other surviving kids as they try to finally take down the Landers. I’m already wanting MiNRS 3 — Sylvester better get writing! —Erin Grittani, Kids Bookseller
Mabel’s Fables Bookstore: 662 Mt Pleasant Rd, Toronto, ON M4S 2N3 www.mabelsfables.com
• McNally Robinson at Grant Park in Winnipeg, MB: King Baby written and illustrated by Kate Beaton (Levine/Scholastic, 2016), Ages 3-8
King Baby rules his kingdom with a demanding, pudgy hand. Though he bestows giggles and smiles upon his subjects, this benevolent monarch knows his adoring public would be lost without his guidance, leadership, and gurgles. It is good to be the king. This humorous follow-up to Kate Beaton’s Princess and the Pony introduces the adorable tyrant in all his swaddled-and-crowned glory. Great for kids, but their parents may get more out of this one. —Shanleigh Klassen, Kids Bookseller
McNally Robinson at Grant Park: 1120 Grant Ave., Winnipeg, MB R3M 2A6 www.mcnallyrobinson.com
• Type Books in Toronto, ON: The Liszts written by Kyo Maclear, illustrated by Júlia Sardà (Tundra Books, 2016), Ages 5 to 9
The Liszts make lists. They make lists most usual and lists most unusual. They make lists in winter, spring, summer and fall. They make lists every day except Sundays, which are listless. Mama Liszt, Papa Liszt, Winifred, Edward, Frederick and Grandpa make lists all day long. So does their cat. Then one day a visitor arrives. He’s not on anyone’s list. Will the Liszts be able to make room on their lists for this new visitor? How will they handle something unexpected arising?
Recommended by Serah-Marie McMahon, Children’s Buyer for Type Books
Type Books: 427 Spadina Rd. & 883 Queen St. W., Toronto, ON www.typebooks.ca
• Woozles Children’s Bookstore in Halifax, NS: Pandas on the Eastside, written by Gabrielle Prendergast (Orca Book Publishers, 2016), Ages 9-12
An earnest, tender story of young Journey Song who lives on Vancouver’s Eastside. Journey is well aware that she lives in a neighbourhood that many consider a slum, but she sees the beauty in her home and its inhabitants that others don’t always see. She also sees the misery that exists in the world, especially as the Vietnam War rages overseas. But when she becomes aware of the plight of a pair of Pandas that are being housed in an Eastside warehouse, she seizes the opportunity to involve her friends and family in her efforts to save them. A beautiful, timeless and deeply touching tale for young readers, or anyone at all. —Lisa Doucet, Co-manager
Woozles Children’s Bookstore: 1533 Birmingham St., Halifax, NS B3J 2J1 www.woozles.com
If your independent bookstore would like to participate in this feature, please contact us.
Now available: Canadian Children’s Book News, Fall 2016
The importance of non-fiction books for young readers and much more in the Fall 2016 issue of Canadian Children’s Book News!
Jan Thornhill talks about her years of work in the field as an author and illustrator while industry experts discuss the creation of Canadian non-fiction books for young readers. Joel Sutherland profiles the witty and prolific Helaine Becker, and we chat with Kira Vermond about breaking into the kidlit scene. Our library coordinator has created a list of high-quality non-fiction titles for students from Kindergarten to Grade 12; you’ll find books about kids who have had to fight for the right to an education in “The Classroom Bookshelf”; and you can read over 30 reviews of great new Canadian titles.