Welcome to IBBY Canada

hadleyWe are celebrating 30 years of helping children around the world through access to books and literacy programs and supporting the Canadian authors, artists, storytellers, organizations, and scholars who have all contributed to producing quality children’s books.

IBBY Canada is one of more than 70 National Sections of the International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY), a non-profit organization that was founded in the wake of World War II by Jella Lepman. This remarkable woman believed in the power of children’s books to bridge cultures and, ultimately, to promote peace.

Please join us in our efforts to help children in Canada and around the world connect with quality children’s books. Click here to learn more about IBBY Canada.


Depuis 30 ans, IBBY vient en aide aux enfants du monde grâce à des programmes d’accès aux livres et d’alphabétisation, et en soutenant les auteurs, artistes, conteurs, organisations et érudits canadiens qui contribuent à la réalisation de livres pour enfants de haute qualité.

IBBY Canada est l’une des plus de 70 sections nationales de l’Union Internationale pour les Livres de Jeunesse (IBBY), une organisation à but non lucratif fondée au lendemain de la Deuxième Guerre mondiale par Jella Lepman. Cette femme remarquable croyait au pouvoir des livres de jeunesse à rapprocher les cultures et, par conséquence, à promouvoir la paix.

Joignez-vous à nous pour soutenir l’accès à des livres de qualité pour les enfants du Canada et du monde entier.

INVITATION: Launch of IBBY exhibit Silent Books: Final Destination Lampedusa

invitation-launch-Silent-Books-TorontoPlease join us for the Toronto launch of Silent Books: Final Destination Lampedusa, an international touring exhibit of wordless picture books.

Monday, November 2, 2015
Reception 6:30, Launch 7:00
North York Central Library, Toronto Public Library, Auditorium
5120 Yonge Street (north of Sheppard)

Hosted by Shannon Babcock, President, IBBY Canada; Vickery Bowles, City Librarian, Toronto Public Library; Alessandro Ruggera, Director,  Istituto Italiano di Cultura, Toronto; Deborah Soria, Silent Books Project Director, IBBY Italia

In honour of the exhibit, original art by Sydney Smith from the Canadian wordless picture book Sidewalk Flowers will be on display.


In response to the waves of refugees from Africa and the Middle East arriving on the small Italian island of Lampedusa, the International Board on Books for Young People (through IBBY Italia) is working to establish the island’s first children’s library, to be used by young migrants and local children. To build the library’s collection, IBBY Italia gathered outstanding wordless picture books from 23 countries.

To showcase the library, Silent Books: Final Destination Lampedusa, an exhibit of more than 100 renowned wordless picture books, has been touring around the world. Following stops in Italy, Mexico and Austria, in Canada the Silent Books exhibit has travelled to Edmonton (August 28 to September 18), Vancouver (October 1 to 22) and Toronto (November 2 to December 11).

These wordless picture books have a universal language of images and art, bypassing age, culture and language barriers, to offer readers a unique but shared reading experience.

Children’s book creator John Martz is Illustrator in Residence at Toronto Public Library

JFIR logoIBBY Canada program honours illustrator Joanne Fitzgerald

September 29, 2015 – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: IBBY Canada and the Toronto Public Library are pleased to announce that children’s book creator John Martz is the 2015 Joanne Fitzgerald Illustrator in Residence. John Martz’s residency will be at the Northern District Branch (Yonge & Eglinton) for the month of October.

John Martz has illustrated children’s picture books including A Cat Named Tim and Other Stories (Koyama Press), Black and Bittern Was Night (Kids Can Press), and Dear Flyary (Kids Can Press). He has also illustrated comic books, web comics and iPad picture books, and was the founding editor of the illustration blog Drawn.ca.

John Martz’s Illustrator in Residence schedule includes a series of workshops, art activities for children’s class trips to the library, visits to high schools and colleges, and portfolio reviews with individual artists. The Northern District Branch art gallery will feature John Martz’s and Joanne Fitzgerald’s artwork.

“The Joanne Fitzgerald Illustrator in Residence Program launched at the Toronto Public Library in 2013, and has become a key event in the children’s book community,” said Shannon Babcock, president of IBBY Canada.

“Toronto Public Library is pleased to once again host the program at our Northern District Branch,” said Vickery Bowles, City Librarian. “This is a wonderful opportunity that provides people of all ages and stages with meaningful experiences, connects artists and supports the city’s creative and cultural communities.”

The Illustrator in Residence Program is a collaboration between IBBY Canada and the family of Joanne Fitzgerald (1956–2011), honouring the award-winning illustrator whose books include Plain Noodles, Emily’s House, and Doctor Kiss Says Yes.

The Joanne Fitzgerald Illustrator in Residence Program offers a published children’s book illustrator a month-long residency in a public library. The Program honours the memory of Joanne Fitzgerald (1956–2011), whose booksinclude Plain Noodles, Emily’s House, and Doctor Kiss Says Yes, winner of the Governor General’s Literary Award.  The Program is a joint project of IBBY Canada, Toronto Public Library and the Canadian Urban Libraries Council, with financial support from Joanne’s family.

Toronto Public Library is one of the world’s busiest urban public library systems. Every year, 19 million people visit our branches in neighbourhoods across the city and borrow 32 million items. To learn more about Toronto Public Library, visit our website at torontopubliclibrary.ca or call Answerline at 416-393-7131. To get the most current updates on what’s happening at the library, follow us on Twitter @torontolibrary.

IBBY, the International Board on Books for Young People (www.ibby.org), founded in 1953, is an network of organizations in over 70 countries, committed to bringing books and children together. IBBY Canada (www.ibby-canada.org) promotes quality French and English Canadian children’s literature nationally and internationally.

For more information, please contact:

Helena Aalto
Promotion Officer
IBBY Canada

INVITATION: IBBY Canada Illustrator in Residence launch and silent auction

JFIR logo

IBBY Canada and Toronto Public Library
invite you to celebrate the
Joanne Fitzgerald Illustrator in Residence program 
and the 2015 illustrator

Thursday, October 1, 2015
6:00 to 7:30 pm
Toronto Public Library, Northern District Branch
40 Orchard View Blvd., 2nd floor art gallery


The event will include a SILENT AUCTION of artwork by
Joanne Fitzgerald, John Martz, Martha Newbigging and Patricia Storms
with proceeds in support of IBBY Canada.

Call for Submissions for the 2015 Elizabeth Mrazik-Cleaver Canadian Picture Book Award / Le Prix Elizabeth Mrazik-Cleaver pour le meilleur livre d’images Canadien

Publishers across Canada are invited to submit picture books for the annual Elizabeth Mrazik-Cleaver Canadian Picture Book Award / Le Prix Elizabeth Mrazik-Cleaver pour le meilleur livre d’images Canadien (the Cleaver Award).

Every year since 1986, IBBY-Canada has given the Cleaver Award to a Canadian illustrator in recognition of outstanding artistic talent in a Canadian picture book. The winner receives a cheque for $1,000.00 and a certificate at an annual award ceremony.

Three members of IBBY-Canada form the Cleaver committee and administer the award. The committee members for the 2015 award are: Theo Heras, Chair; Allison Taylor-McBryde; and Lyne Rajotte.

Please keep in mind these terms when submitting your book(s):

  1. The recipient is a Canadian illustrator of a picture book published in Canada in English or French during the 2015 calendar year.
  2. To be eligible, the book must be a first edition and contain original illustrations by a Canadian illustrator (either a citizen or permanent resident).
  3. Picture books include: original stories, poetry, and folk and fairy tales.
  4. There is a $20.00 fee for each title submitted to the Cleaver Award. The fee is non-refundable, even if your submission is determined to be ineligible, so please read the submission guidelines carefully. This fee will be used to offset administration costs as well as costs associated with the presentation of the award.
  5. Please send a cheque made out to “IBBY Canada” with “Cleaver Award fee” on the memo line to:

IBBY Canada
c/o The Canadian Children’s Book Centre
217-40 Orchard View Blvd.
Toronto, ON M4R 1B9

Please submit one copy of any eligible book to each committee member (total of 3). For their addresses, please contact Theo Heras at cleaver@ibby-canada.org.

Deadline for entries is December 11, 2015.

International exhibit of wordless children’s picture books tours Canada

IbbyPoster-(3)Edmonton (Aug 28 to Sept 18), Vancouver (Oct 1 to 22), Toronto (Nov 2 to Dec 11)

People around the world are deeply touched by the desperately dangerous circumstances for boatloads of refugees from Africa and the Middle East, with many arriving on the small island of Lampedusa, Italy. In response to the waves of refugees, IBBY Italia is working to establish the first children’s library in Lampedusa for the young migrants that arrive there every year, as well as for the local children and teens.

With such a diversity of cultures, it made sense to begin the Lampedusa library’s collection with wordless picture books—“silent books” that tell a story with pictures but no text. IBBY Italia gathered a selection of outstanding books from 23 countries, including Spain, the Netherlands, Korea, the UK, the US, and Canada. These wordless picture books begin at the beginning, with the universal language of images and art, bypassing age, culture and language barriers, to offer readers a unique but shared reading experience.

In the true spirit of Jella Lepman who founded IBBY (the International Board on Books for Young People), the library in Lampedusa is conceived to provide a place of peace, reflection, pause and hours of reading enjoyment. It is like a seed library that has been planted and that will grow into a complete collection of books for the use and pleasure of the children who live or pass by there.

To showcase the library, “Silent Books: Final Destination Lampedusa,” a travelling exhibit of more than 100 renowned wordless picture books, has been touring around the world. Following stops in cities in Italy, Mexico City and Graz, Austria, the exhibit is now in Canada, travelling to Edmonton, Vancouver and Toronto.

Canadian children and adults will delight in reading these books, experiencing our uniqueness while celebrating our differences. Activities and events to promote and highlight the Silent Books exhibit will include a postcard that Canadian children can fill with a drawing or a message to send back to the children of Lampedusa. Sharing these books may bring us closer to the children who live in Lampedusa and to other children who travel until they find a safe place to call home.

Canadian tour dates for Silent Books: Final Destination Lampedusa travelling exhibit

Aug. 28 to Sept. 18
Stanley A. Milner Library, 7 Winston Churchill Square

Oct. 1 to 23
Irving Barber Learning Centre, University of British Columbia, 1961 East Mall

Oct. 8 to 18
Vancouver Public Library, Central Branch, 350 West Georgia St.

Oct. 10 to 22
Italian Cultural Centre, 3075 Slocan St.

Nov. 2 to Dec. 11
Toronto Public Library, North York Central Library, 5120 Yonge St.

IBBY Italia and IBBY Canada thank the Italian Cultural Institute in Toronto for its generous support, as well as IBBY Italia, IBBY International, the Consulate General of Italy in Vancouver, Palazzo delle Esposizioni, Edmonton Public Library, the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver Public Library, and Toronto Public Library. Special thanks to Merle Harris of Edmonton and Dr. Kathryn Shoemaker of Vancouver.

IBBY, the International Board on Books for Young People is committed to bringing books and children together. IBBY was founded in 1953 by Jella Lepman, and is an international network represented in over 70 countries. IBBY Canada was formed in 1980 to promote Canadian children’s literature; members include authors, illustrators, librarians, booksellers, educators, and publishers.

For more information, please contact promotions@ibby-canada.org