Awards, Announcements, and News


  • Gail De Vos



New Year. In this edition of the news I am highlighting several online resources as well as conferences, tours, and exhibits of possible interest.

First of all, I highly suggest you sign up at the Alberta School Library Council's new LitPicks site ( It is free, filled with promise, and includes only books recommended by the reviewers. The reviews are searchable by grade level and genre (e.g., animal, biographical fable, fantasy, humour, historical, horror, verse, realistic, mystery, myth) and include all formats. The reviews include curriculum connections and links to relevant resources. Library staff review titles based on engagement of story, readability, descriptive language, illustration excellence and integrity of data, and source for non-fiction titles. The target users are teachers, teacher-librarians, library techs, and others working in libraries. School library cataloguers can provide a link to the review from within the catalogue record.

Another recommended resource is CanLit for Little Canadians, a blog that focuses on promoting children's and YA books by Canadian authors and illustrators. The blog postings can also be found on Facebook. (

First Nation Communities READ is another resource for your tool box. It is an annual reading program launched in 2003 by the First Nations public library community in Ontario and includes titles that are written and/or illustrated by (or otherwise involve the participation of) a First Nation, Métis, or Inuit creator and contain First Nation, Métis, or Inuit content produced with the support of First Nation, Métis, or Inuit advisers/consultants or First Nation, Métis, or Inuit endorsement. Julie Flett's Wild Berries - Pakwa Che Menisu, available in both English and Cree, was the First Nation Communities Read Selection for 2014-2015 and the inaugural recipient of the Periodical Marketers of Canada Aboriginal Literature Award.  (

This resource should also be of great value for those schools and libraries participating in TD Canadian Children’s Book Week in 2015. Each May, authors, illustrators and storytellers visit communities throughout the country to share the delights of Canadian children’s books. Book Week reaches over 25,000 children and teens in schools and libraries across Canada every year. The theme for this year is Hear Our Stories: Celebrating First Nations, Métis and Inuit Literature, celebrating the remarkable variety of topics, genres and voices being published by and about members of our First Nations, Métis and Inuit (FNMI) communities in Canada. On a personal note, I will be touring as a storyteller in Quebec as part of this year’s Book Week tour.

Freedom to Read Week: February 22-28, 2015. This annual event encourages Canadians to think about and reaffirm their commitment to intellectual freedom, which is guaranteed them under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. This year’s Freedom to Read review marks the thirtieth anniversary of its publication and of Freedom to Read Week in Canada. It was first published in 1984 to explore the freedom to read in Canada and elsewhere and to inform and assist booksellers, publishers, librarians, students, educators, writers and the public. To commemorate Freedom to Read’s thirtieth anniversary, some of our writers have cast a look back over the past three decades. As usual, the review provides exercises and resources for teachers, librarians and students. This and previous issues of Freedom to Read, as well as appendices and other resources, are available at

Half for you and Half for Me: Nursery Rhymes and Poems we Love. An exhibit on best-loved rhymes and poems and a celebration of the 40th anniversary of Alligator Pie held at the Osborne Collection in the Lillian H. Smith Library in Toronto until March 7, 2015.

Serendipity 2015 (March 7, 2015). An exciting day exploring the fabulous world of young adult literature with Holly Black, Andrew Smith, Mariko Tamaki, Molly Idle, and Kelli Chipponeri. Costumes recommended!  Swing Space Building, 2175 West Mall on the UBC campus. (

For educators: Call for entries for the Martyn Godfrey Young Writers Award (YABS). An annual, juried contest open to all students in Alberta in grades 4 through 9. Students are invited to submit their short stories (500-1500 words) or comic book by March 31, 2015 to the YABS office, 11759 Groat Road, Edmonton, AB, T5M 3K6. Entries may also be emailed to

Breaking News: The Canada Council for the Arts has revised the Governor General’s Literary Awards Children’s Literature categories (in consultation with the literary community) in the wake of controversy regarding graphic novels. The revised category titles and definitions:

  • The new Children’s Literature – Illustrated Books category will recognize the best illustrated book for children or young adults, honouring the text and the illustrations as forming one creative work.  It includes picture books and graphic novels, as well as works of fiction, literary non-fiction, and poetry where original illustrations occupy at least 30% of the book’s space.
  • The Children’s Literature – Text category will recognize the best book for children or young adults with few (less than 30%) or no illustrations.
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.



How to Cite

De Vos, G. (2015). Awards, Announcements, and News. The Deakin Review of Children’s Literature, 4(3).



News and Announcements