Welcome to IBBY Canada

We are celebrating over 35 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 35 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.

Silent books: from the world to Lampedusa and back

At a time of uncertainty and change in ways of communicating, the IBBY library has discovered a new way of making use of freedom; together we have to learn and understand what new challenges and possibilities can be gained from this experience.

From Monday, 29 October to Saturday, 3 November 2018 we are going to Lampedusa again to work together on how to create a library that is at the same time international and local; normal and yet extraordinary; and is ready to welcome everyone who passes through.

Click here for more details about how to join this unique opportunity to bring children and books together.

With best wishes,

International Board on Books for Young People

Nahid Kazemi is IBBY Canada’s 2018 Joanne Fitzgerald Illustrator in Residence

IBBY Canada is pleased to announce that Nahid Kazemi has been selected for the 2018 Joanne Fitzgerald Illustrator in Residence Program, to be held at Northern District Branch of Toronto Public Library. During her residency in the month of October, Nahid will present art activities for school children at the library, lead evening workshops in the library for adults and teens, make presentations to art students in high schools and colleges, and offer portfolio reviews. All of the Illustrator in Residence programs are free.

Nahid Kazemi has a BA and MA in Visual Arts (painting) from the Art University of Tehran, and has taught drawing, illustration and graphic design at the University of Sooreh in Iran. She has illustrated 60 books for children and adults, and has been published around the world, including in Canada, USA, UK, Slovenia, and Iran. Her Canadian publishers include Groundwood Books (I’m Glad That You’re Happy), Éditions de l’Isatis (Les mots d’Eunice), and Annick Press (Syria Story). Nahid moved to Canada in 2014 and lives in Montreal.

The Joanne Fitzgerald Illustrator in Residence Program, launched in 2013, offers a published children’s book illustrator a month-long residency in a Canadian public library. The previous illustrators include Martha Newbigging (2013), Patricia Storms (2014), John Martz (2015), Dianna Bonder (2016), and Ashley Barron (2017). The program honours the life of Joanne Fitzgerald (1956–2011), whose children’s books include 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, the Canadian Urban Libraries Council, and the Young family.

From applications received from illustrators across Canada, the 2018 Illustrator in Residence was selected by a jury comprised of Ashley Barron, the Illustrator in Residence in 2017; Sarah Bradley, Library Service Manager, Toronto Public Library; Meghan Howe, Library Coordinator, Canadian Children’s Book Centre; and Mary Beth Leatherdale, president of IBBY Canada.


Nahid Kazemi est l’illustratrice pour le Programme Joanne Fitzgerald Illustrateur en résidence d’IBBY Canada en 2018

IBBY Canada est heureux d’annoncer que Nahid Kazemi a été sélectionnée pour le Programme Joanne Fitzgerald Illustrateur en résidence d’IBBY Canada en 2018 qui se tiendra à la succursale Northern District de la Toronto Public Library. Durant sa résidence qui aura lieu en octobre, Nahid Kazemi offrira des activités artistiques pour les écoliers qui fréquentent la bibliothèque, elle animera des ateliers en soirée pour les adultes et les adolescents, elle visitera des écoles et des collèges et elle offrira des conseils sur les portfolios. Tous les programmes offerts au cours de cette résidence sont gratuits.

Nahid Kazemi a un Bac et une maîtrise en Arts visuels de l’Université des Arts de Téhéran. Elle a enseigné le dessin, l’illustration et le graphisme à l’Université de Sooreh en Iran. Elle a illustré plus de 60 livres pour enfants et pour adultes, ses livres sont publiés à travers le monde: au Canada, aux États-Unis, en Grande-Bretagne, en Slovénie et en Iran. Ses éditeurs au Canada sont Groundwood Books (I’m Glad That You’re Happy), Éditions de l’Isatis (Les mots d’Eunice) et Annick Press (Syria Story). Nahid Kazemi a immigré au Canada en 2014, elle vit à Montréal.

Le Programme Joanne Fitzgerald Illustrateur en résidence a été lancé en 2013, il offre à un illustrateur publié, une résidence d’un mois dans une bibliothèque publique du Canada. Les illustrateurs précédents étaient Martha Newbigging (2013), Patricia Storms (2014), John Martz (2015), Dianna Bonder (2016) et Ashley Barron (2017). Le Programme rend hommage à la mémoire de Joanne Fitzgerald (1956-2011), illustratrice des livres Plain Noodles, Emily’s House et Doctor Kiss Says Yes qui a remporté le prix littéraire du Gouverneur Général en illustration. La résidence est un projet conjoint entre IBBY Canada, la Toronto Public Library, le Conseil des bibliothèques urbaines du Canada et la famille Young.

Parmi les applications venant de tout le Canada, l’illustratrice a été sélectionnée par un jury composé de Ashley Barron, illustratrice en résidence 2017; Sarah Bradley, gestionnaire des services en bibliothèque à la Toronto Public Library; Meghan Howe, coordonnatrice de la bibliothèque au Centre du livre jeunesse canadien et Mary Beth Leatherdale, présidente d’IBBY Canada.

Samantha Cutrara receives IBBY Canada’s Russell Grant for research on Canadian children’s literature

IBBY Canada is pleased to announce that Dr. Samantha Cutrara, a History Education Strategist and Curriculum Specialist at York University, is the recipient of the Frances E. Russell Grant.

The $1,000 grant will be presented to Samantha Cutrara for her critical analysis of children’s graphic novels with a focus on Canadian history. Combining her previous research both examining children’s picture books on Canadian history and exploring the representation of gender in graphic novels, the research funded by this grant will explore how the medium of graphic novels can invite new stories into the teaching and learning of Canadian history. The research will result in academic contributions as well as curriculum-linked supports for teachers and librarians.

As a consultant and professor, Samantha Cutrara develops strategies, projects, and programs that help organizations and individuals teach history in interesting, meaningful, and comprehensive ways. In 2012 she received her Ph.D. in Education from York University with a focus on meaningful learning in Canadian history education. She developed the education and exhibition program at the Archives of Ontario from 2012 to 2015. Currently, she is a Curriculum Specialist in the Office of the Vice Provost Academic at York University, managing a Digital Humanities and Social Sciences project designed to bring greater opportunities for student-centric teaching and learning practices into the classroom. Along with her teaching work, Dr. Cutrara is currently completing a manuscript for UBC Press titled Imagining a New “We”: Canadian History Education for the 21st Century.

The jury for the Russell Grant consisted of Erin Spring (former grant winner and assistant professor at the University of Calgary), Jo-Anne Naslund (instructional programs librarian at the University of British Columbia) and jury chair Deirdre Baker (assistant professor at the University of Toronto, Toronto Star children’s books reviewer and author).

The Frances E. Russell Grant was established in memory of a longtime supporter of IBBY Canada. The $1,000 grant is intended “to initiate and encourage research in young people’s literature in all its forms” and is given in support of research for a publishable work (a book or a paper) on Canadian children’s literature. Past winners include Ruth Bradley-St-Cyr, Erin Spring, Bonnie Tulloch, Beverley Brenna, Paulette Rothbauer, Gail Edwards and Judith Saltman, Michelle Mulder, Michelle Cobban, André Gagnon, Ronald Jobe, Carole Carpenter, Linda Granfield and Françoise Lepage.


IBBY Canada est heureuse d’annoncer que la lauréate de la Bourse Frances E. Russell est Samantha Cutrara, une spécialiste en histoire de l’éducation et des curriculums à l’Université York.

La bourse de 1000 $ sera remise à Samantha Cutrara pour son analyse critique des romans graphiques ayant pour sujet l’histoire du Canada. En alliant sa recherche précédente qui examinait les albums illustrés sur l’histoire canadienne et l’exploration de la représentation des genres dans les romans graphiques, la recherche subventionnée par cette bourse va permettre d’explorer comment le médium du roman graphique peut proposer de nouveaux récits pouvant être utilisés autant pour l’enseignement que pour l’apprentissage de l’histoire du Canada. La recherche va apporter une contribution à la connaissance ainsi que des documents de soutien liés aux curriculums pour les enseignants et les bibliothécaires.

À titre de consultante et de professeur Samantha Cutrara a développé des stratégies, des projets et des programmes qui ont aidé des organismes et des individus à enseigner l’histoire de façon intéressante, significative et complète. Elle a reçu son doctorat en 2012 de la faculté d’Éducation de l’Université York avec une concentration sur l’apprentissage significatif en enseignement de l’histoire du Canada. Elle a développé le programme d’éducation et d’exposition des Archives de l’Ontario de 2012 à 2015. Elle est présentement la spécialiste des curriculums au bureau du Vice-recteur des Affaires académiques de l’Université York. Elle dirige le projet des Humanités numériques et Sciences sociales destiné à apporter de plus grandes possibilités pour un enseignement tourné vers l’étudiant et des pratiques d’apprentissage dans la salle de classe. En plus de son enseignement, Samantha Cutrara travaille sur un manuscrit pour les Presses universitaires de Colombie- britannique intitulé : Imagining a New “We”: Canadian History Education for the 21st Century.

Le jury de la bourse Frances E. Russell était composé de Erin Spring (lauréate précédente de la bourse et professeur adjoint à l’Université de Calgary), Jo-Anne Naslund (bibliothécaire des programmes de formation à l’Université de la Colombie-Britannique) ainsi que la présidente Deirdre Baker (professeur adjoint à l’Université de Toronto, auteure et critique de livres jeunesse au Toronto Star).

La Bourse Frances E. Russell fut créée en mémoire d’une contributrice de longue date d’IBBY Canada. La bourse de 1000 $ est destinée à «susciter et encourager la recherche en littérature pour les jeunes sous toutes ses formes» et est attribuée pour appuyer la recherche d’un essai en voie de publication (livre ou article) sur la littérature canadienne pour la jeunesse. On retrouve parmi les anciens lauréats: Ruth Bradley-St-Cyr, Erin Spring, Bonnie Tulloch, Beverley Brenna, Paulette Rothbauer, Gail Edwards et Judith Saltman, Michelle Mulder, Michelle Cobban, André Gagnon, Ronald Jobe, Carole Carpenter, Linda Granfield et Françoise Lepage.

CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS: IBBY Canada 2018 Illustrator in Residence at Toronto Public Library

IBBY Canada invites submissions from published Canadian children’s book illustrators for the Joanne Fitzgerald Illustrator in Residence program. The program will be held during the month of October 2018, hosted at Toronto Public Library branch. The submission deadline is Friday, May 18, 2018.

The Joanne Fitzgerald Illustrator in Residence program is a joint project of IBBY Canada, the family of Joanne Fitzgerald, Toronto Public Library, Edmonton Public Library, and the Canadian Urban Libraries Council. The program honours the memory of Joanne Fitzgerald (1956–2011), whose books include Plain Noodles, Emily’s House and Doctor Kiss Says Yes (winner of the Governor General’s Award). The program launched in 2013 with children’s book illustrator Martha Newbigging, followed by Patricia Storms, John Martz, Dianna Bonder, and Ashley Barron.

Overview of the Illustrator in Residence program:

  • The illustrator conducts art activities for classes of children, presentations to adults and students, and individual portfolio reviews
  • The illustrator’s original work is exhibited in an art gallery space at Toronto Public Library
    Remuneration of $4,000 is provided to the illustrator, plus up to $300 for art supplies
  • Funds or other support for travel and accommodation may be available
  • Submissions are evaluated and the illustrator is selected by a jury with expertise in illustrated children’s books

Requirements for illustrators:

  • Has illustrated four or more professionally published children’s books, with publication confirmed for a new book within the next few years
  • Experience in developing and delivering programs for kids, teens and adults
  • Is friendly and empathetic, with an understanding of the needs of aspiring artists
  • Has mounted or framed finished work that can be displayed in the library’s art gallery
  • Is a Canadian citizen or permanent resident
  • Is available for the month of October 2018 for 15 to 20 programming hours per week including two weekday evenings (but no weekends)

Send submissions by Friday, May 18, 2018 to promotions@ibby-canada.org. Submissions must be a single Word or PDF document that includes:

  • Your programming ideas for different audiences: classes of school kids, art students in high school/college/university, adults (see Programming Guidelines below)
  • CV or resume that includes books (with publisher and year) and presentation experience
  • Two letters of reference about your presentations

Programming Guidelines

IBBY Canada’s Illustrator in Residence program coordinator works closely with the illustrator and the library before and during the residency. The coordinator arranges and schedules the class visits and portfolio reviews, maintains and updates the calendar of activities, and keeps the illustrator informed about any changes. The library promotes the program through their marketing vehicles, provides rooms and equipment, and offers space for the illustrator to store their supplies. The illustrator develops and presents the programming sessions, conducts the portfolio reviews, brings mounted or framed artwork for the gallery display, and purchases materials and supplies (costs are reimbursed).

We encourage illustrators to propose creative and engaging programming ideas, and also to be open to suggestions from Toronto Public Library and IBBY Canada. The illustrator develops and leads the following types of workshops and presentations:

Workshops for Grades 2 to 6 in the library
Classes of kids from Grades 2 to 6 visit the library for 90-minute hands-on art workshops developed and led by the illustrator. In the workshops, everyone creates an individual piece to take with them, or works together on a group project to bring back to the school. Since different classes come to each workshop, the art activity can be the same, with modifications as needed for the ages of the kids.

The workshops for school classes should include a short presentation about the illustrator’s work with projected visuals (e.g., PowerPoint); a projector and screen are provided by the library. However, most of the workshop should be spent on the hands-on art activity.

The workshops for school classes are scheduled in the morning and afternoon on two days each week, with about 15 in total for the month. The illustrator provides enough art materials and reusable supplies for a class set and at the end of each workshop collects the reusable supplies. The costs of materials and supplies is reimbursed. Teachers and parent volunteers stay in the workshop to supervise the class.

Presentations for adults in the library
Presentations for adults are 60 minutes, with a presentation scheduled one evening of each week in October, four in total. The content of each presentation should be different, since adults may come to several presentations. Hands-on art activities aren’t recommended for adult presentations. The focus should be on professional development topics, such as getting started as an illustrator, illustration work opportunities, developing a style, promoting illustration work, building a portfolio, and illustrating for publishers. Adult presentations should include projected visuals (e.g., PowerPoint).

Portfolio reviews in the library
Artists and art students can book individual 30-minute portfolio review meetings with the illustrator, to get feedback and suggestions on the artwork they bring with them. Portfolio reviews are held in the library, on one evening of each week in October, with up to six portfolio reviews per evening.

Presentations for students at high schools, colleges and universities
High school, college and university presentations are held at the school, not in the library. Presentations are 45 to 60 minutes, depending on the school’s schedule. The presentations for students at their schools can be similar to the presentations for adults at the library.

A Pattern for Pepper, written and illustrated by Julie Kraulis, winner of Elizabeth Mrazik-Cleaver Canadian Picture Book Award

IBBY Canada is pleased to announce that A Pattern for Pepper, written and illustrated by Julie Kraulis, is the winner of the Elizabeth Mrazik-Cleaver Canadian Picture Book Award. The book is published by Tundra Books.

Author-illustrator Julie Kraulis lives and works in Toronto. She received a Bachelor of Design in Illustration from the Ontario College of Art & Design. She has written and illustrated three other picture books: Whimsy’s Heavy Things, An Armadillo in Paris and An Armadillo in New York.

The jury for the Elizabeth Mrazik-Cleaver Canadian Picture Book Award was comprised of jury chair Lyne Rajotte, school librarian at the Commission scolaire de la Seigneurie-des-Mille-Îles; Camilia Kahrizi, former Marketing and Website Coordinator for the Canadian Children’s Book Centre; and Carol-Ann Hoyte, school librarian, children’s poet and editor.

In selecting A Pattern for Pepper, the jurors commented:

What an original book this is! Julie Kraulis gives a lesson on fabric patterns and their origins in this story about Pepper who needs a special dress for a special occasion. There is a nostalgic feel to the book as Pepper goes to the tailor shop with her mother to choose just the right fabric for her dress. The illustrations in oil are filled with patterns in the background as well as with images of who wore what and where the fabrics came from. Pixie-like and curious, Pepper is depicted in a variety of poses and is hard at work designing her dress as the tailor sets to his task. Both a documentary and an endearing story, A Pattern for Pepper, is a delicate and delightful confection.

The jury also selected two Honour Books that were considered for the Award:

Town Is by the Sea, illustrated by Sydney Smith and written by Joanne Schwartz (Groundwood Books, 2017).

Smith seduces us from the first spread … Throughout the picture book, he juxtaposes bright and dark pages to reveal the contrast between life outside and inside of the mine.

When the Moon Comes, illustrated by Matt James and written by Paul Harbridge (Tundra Books, 2017).

James’s illustrations are magnificent, an excellent marriage between bright and dark colours. He evocatively captures the sense of waiting for the perfect moment when the ice will finally be ready for that first hockey match on the pond.

IBBY Canada’s Elizabeth Mrazik-Cleaver Picture Book Award, established in 1985, honours one of Canada’s pre-eminent book illustrators. Elizabeth Mrazik-Cleaver left funds in her will to annually recognize outstanding artistic talent in Canadian picture books; the winner receives $1,000.


IBBY Canada est heureux d’annoncer que A Pattern for Pepper, écrit et illustré par Julie Kraulis, est lauréate du Prix Elizabeth Mrazik-Cleaver pour un album illustré. Le livre est publié par Tundra Books.

L’auteure et illustratrice Julie Kraulis vit et travaille à Toronto. Elle a obtenu un Baccalauréat en Design et Illustration du Collège d’art et de design d’Ontario. Elle a écrit et illustré trois autres albums: Whimsy’s Heavy Things, An Armadillo in Paris et An Armadillo in New York.

Les membres du jury du Prix Elizabeth Mrazik-Cleaver pour un album illustré étaient sous la présidence de Lyne Rajotte, bibliothécaire à la Commission scolaire de la Seigneurie-des-Mille-Îles; Camilia Kahrizi, ancienne coordinatrice du marketing et du site web du Centre du livre canadien pour la jeunesse; et Carol-Ann Hoyte, bibliothécaire scolaire, poète et éditrice de littérature pour la jeunesse.

En choisissant A Pattern for Pepper, les membres du jury ont fait ces commentaires:

Quel livre original! Julie Kraulis offre une leçon sur les motifs des tissus et leur origine dans cette histoire à propos de Pepper qui a besoin d’une robe unique pour une occasion toute spéciale. Le livre revêt une ambiance nostalgique lorsque Pepper va à la boutique du tailleur avec sa mère pour choisir le tissu parfait pour sa robe. Les illustrations peintes à l’huile sont agrémentées de motifs en arrière- plan, d’images de qui a porté quoi et de la provenance des tissus. Vive et menue, Pepper est représentée dans une variété de poses, elle s’applique à créer le modèle de sa robe alors que le tailleur s’affaire à la tâche. A Pattern for Pepper est autant un documentaire qu’une histoire touchante, c’est un assemblage délicat et adorable.

Le jury a également sélectionné deux livres à l’honneur pour ce prix :

Town Is by the Sea, illustré par Sydney Smith et écrit par Joanne Schwartz (Groundwood Books, 2017). Dès la première double page, l’illustrateur nous séduit. Tout au long de l’album, le contraste entre les pages lumineuses à l’extérieur de la mine et les pages sombres dans la mine vivent en alternance.

When the Moon Comes, illustré par Matt James et écrit par Paul Harbridge (Tundra Books, 2017). Les illustrations sont magnifiques, un excellent mariage entre les couleurs vives et sombres. Matt James saisit subtilement l’attente du moment parfait où la glace sera enfin prête pour cette première partie de hockey sur la mare.

Le Prix Elizabeth Mrazik-Cleaver pour un album illustré a été mis sur pied en 1985 en l’honneur d’une des illustratrices les plus reconnues au Canada. Elizabeth Mrazik-Cleaver a laissé des fonds dans son testament pour honorer annuellement un talent artistique remarquable pour un album illustré canadien. Le lauréat reçoit 1000$.

IBBY Canada Children in Crisis Refugee Centre Reading Program Information Night

IBBY Canada is launching a therapeutic reading program for young refugee claimants from 6-12 years old living in shelters in Toronto, based on the model of IBBY Children in Crisis programs worldwide.

Increasing numbers of refugee claimants are arriving in the Greater Toronto Area and are facing longer and longer waits for refugee hearings. Children and families need support during this transitional stage.

IBBY Canada will be training volunteers to read with the children. A six-week pilot reading program at the Christie Street Welcome Centre will begin in mid-May 2018. We hope to expand to shelters across the GTA and eventually across the country, as fuelled by need and volunteer interest.

To learn more about the IBBY Canada Children in Crisis Refugee Centre Reading Program and how you can get involved as a volunteer reader, committee member or sponsor, please join us:

Monday, April 23, 2018 at 6:30 p.m.
Palmerston Library
560 Palmerston Ave., Toronto, ON

Please RSVP to info@ibby-canada.org if you would like to attend.

Please feel free to share this post with anyone who might be interested!