Awards, Announcements, and News

On the September 19th, 2013 edition of CBC radio’s “Q”,  the opening essay by guest host Kevin Sylvester (himself a “kid’s book” writer) focused on why  “kiddy litter” gets such short shrift in Canada compared to other countries. He notes that Winnipeg-born, Toronto-trained Jon Klassen won 2 Caldecott medals this year for “This is not my hat” and “Extra yarn.” Kevin asks, “where is our ‘Canada Reads’ for kids?” and suggests we go to and click on “kids.”  Hear Kevin’s 2-minute essay (

or read it here and find out what kid’s books he writes to boot: (

Speaking of children’s book awards, you might have heard of the Silver Birch awards from the Ontario Library Association that have been around for 20 years. But did you know there was a whole “forest of reading” intended to recognize Canadian authors and books, “contribute to the financial stability of the Canadian publish industry, and provide a literacy enhancement tool? Other tree awards include the Blue Spruce, Red Maple, White Pine, Evergreen, Golden Oak, Tamarac, and Peuplier. This would be a great time to find out more because the 2014 nominees are out with an award presentation planned for May 14, 2014. or

Another group working to increase the culture of reading in Canada is the National Reading Campaign. They have a new website and media package here: They gather lots of interesting information including their National Reading Plan which starts, “Reading is essential to the quality of our lives and to our ability to take our place as citizens in a democracy.” There is “research” section devoted to studies about the benefits of reading. Among the various “facts” highlighted for the website: “Reading is 68% better at reducing stress than listening to music, 100% more effective than drinking a cup of tea, and 700% better than playing video games”

If you also create children’s literature, you might be interested in CANSCAIP’s Packaging Your Imagination Conference on November 16, 2013 in Toronto. From their website the “Canadian Society of Children’s Authors, Illustrators & Performers (CANSCAIP) presents a day of workshops focused on writing, illustrating & performing for children. Whether you are a beginner, a seasoned professional or somewhere in-between, PYI gives you the opportunity to improve your craft, expand your network of industry professionals, and meet and learn from some of the biggest names in the industry.”

Finally, the CCBC (Canadian Children’s Book Centre) is another good way to keep up with what’s going on in the ever-expanding (and hard to keep track of) world of Children’s literature especially in Canada.

Here’s to the autumn trees (and squirrels) reminding us to stock up on great books to curl up with when we’re not out enjoying all that winter has to offer.

David Sulz, Communications Editor