News, Awards, and Announcements

Have you been following Amy’s Marathon of books? Inspired by by Terry Fox’s and Rick Hansen’s Canadian journeys, Amy Mathers is honouring her passion for reading and Canadian teen literature while working around her physical limitations through a Marathon of Books. Amy will be reading teen fiction books from every province and territory, exploring Canada and promoting Canadian teen authors and books by finishing a book a day for each day of 2014, writing a review for each book she reads. The goal is to raise money for the Canadian Children’s Book Centre (CCBC) in order to endow a Canadian teen book award to be presented at the yearly Canadian Children’s Literature Awards gala. Amy will collect fundraising pledges (which are eligible for a charitable tax receipt).

The National Reading Campaign (NRC) is thrilled to announce the inaugural week-long event READING TOWN CANADA. For one week, May 3-10th, 2014, the National Reading Campaign will turn Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan into an exemplary model of what a reading Canada would look like. Reading will be woven into every feature of life through a series of exciting events: Imagine having a poem delivered with your pizza, wandering into a fully-stocked ‘reading glen’ in Crescent Park, discovering a book by a local author in your Welcome Wagon package, or finding a tiny lending library at the end of your street.

IBBY Canada (the Canadian national section of the International Board on Books for Young People) named Bonnie Tulloch as the Frances E. Russell Grant recipient. Bonnie is a graduate student in the children’s literature program of the School of Library, Archival and Information Studies at the University of British Columbia. She is doing an analysis of contemporary Canadian children’s and young adult novels that focus on island adventures; the resulting work will be titled “No ‘Man’ is an Island: Examining Island Imagery and its Relation to Female Identity in a Selection of Canadian Children’s and Young Adult Fiction.”

CANSCAIP is presenting two upcoming workshops: Imagine a Story, a day of workshops for those interested in writing, illustrating and performing for children, will be held May 31 at Dawson College in Montreal; Packaging Your Imagination, Canada's oldest and largest conference on the craft and business of writing, illustrating and performing for children, will be held October 18 at Humber College Lakeshore Campus in Toronto. Registration for the latter conference will commence in late May.

Award Season is soon to be blossoming along with spring and summer. Recent announcements for shortlists include the 2014 Atlantic Book Awards and The Canadian Science Writers’ Association (CSWA).

The shortlists for the Atlantic Book Awards are:

Ann Connor Brimer Award for Children’s Literature

  • Nix Minus One, by Jill MacLean (Pajama Press)
  • The Power of Harmony, by Jan L. Coates (Red Deer Press)
  • The Stowaways, by Meghan Marentette, Illustrated by Dean Griffiths (Pajama Press)

Lillian Shepherd Award for Excellence in Illustration

  • Lasso the Wind: Aurélia’s Verses and Other Poems Illustrated by Susan Tooke and written by George Elliott Clarke (Nimbus Publishing)
  • Pisim Finds her Miskanow Illustrated by Leonard Paul and written by William Dumas (Portage & Main Press)
  • Singily Skipping Along, Illustrated by Deanne Fitzpatrick and written by Sheree Fitch (Nimbus Publishing)

In addition two other children’s titles were also shortlisted:

  • Ghost Boy of MacKenzie House by Patti Larsen (Acorn Press) for the Prince Edward Island Book Award (fiction category)
  • Formac Publishing was nominated for the APMA Best Atlantic-Published Book Award (sponsored by Friesens Corporation), for Bluenose Adventure by Jacqueline Halsey with illustrations by Eric Orchard.

The shortlist for the Canadian Science Writers’ Association for outstanding youth book:

  • Au labo, les Debrouillards! written by Yannick Bergeron (Bayard jeunesse)
  • Before the World Was Ready written by Claire Eamer and illustrated by Sa Boothroyd (Annick Press)
  • Buzz About Bees written by Kari-Lynn Winters (Fitzhenry & Whiteside)
  • Dirty Science: 25 Experiments with Soil written by Shar Levine and Leslie Johnstone, illustrated by Lorzeno Del Bianco (Scholastic Canada)
  • A History of Just About Everything: 180 Events, People and Inventions That Changed the World written by Elizabeth MacLeod and Frieda Wishinsky, illustrated by Qin Leng (Kids Can Press)
  • Pandemic Survival: It's Why You're Alive written by Ann Love and Jane Drake, illustrated by Bill Slavin (Tundra Books).

Gail de Vos

Gail de Vos, an adjunct instructor, teaches courses on Canadian children's literature, Young Adult Literature and Comic Books and Graphic Novels at the School of Library and Information Studies for the University of Alberta and is the author of nine books on storytelling and folklore. She is a professional storyteller and has taught the storytelling course at SLIS for over two decades.