IBBY Canada is pleased to announce that illustrator Isabelle Arsenault is the winner of the IBBY Canada Elizabeth Mrazik-Cleaver Picture Book Award for Virginia Wolf, written by Kyo Maclear (Kids Can Press, 2012). Virginia Wolf is loosely based on the writer Virginia Woolf (who suffered from depression) and her sister the painter Vanessa Bell. 

The Cleaver Award was presented to Isabelle Arsenault on Wednesday, April 24 at 12:45, at the Père Ambroise Library, 2093 rue de la Visitation, 3rd floor, in Montreal.

Isabelle Arsenault’s first illustrated children’s book received the Governor General’s Award in 2004. She has illustrated many children’s books since then, and received her second Governor General’s Award in 2012 for Virginia Wolf. Isabelle lives and works in Montreal.

The Cleaver Award jury was made up of Lina Gordaneer, a Montreal librarian; Melanie Fishbane, Online Merchandiser and Editor for Kids and Teen books at Indigo Books and MFA candidate at the Vermont College of Fine Arts Writing for Children’s and Young Adults program; and Susane Duchesne, IBBY Canada President and Responsable du secteur jeunesse, Librairie Monet. The jury’s comments on Virginia Wolf:

“An un-precious treatment of depression that never diminishes its poignancy. Isabelle Arsenault’s illustrations illuminate the story. She begins with a touch of red and blue here and there. Then the sadness, embodied in blacks and greys that encroach on the page in a messy cloud, surrounds and engulfs Virginia as she becomes a dark shadow of herself. When Virginia starts painting and as the spirit changes, more colours begin to subtly appear as the darkness recedes. Arsenault reminds Virginia and the readers that the world is full of beauty.”

The IBBY Canada 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, the International Board on Books for Young People (www.ibby.org), founded in 1953, represents an international network of people committed to bringing books and children together. IBBY Canada is one of over 70 national sections worldwide. IBBY Canada is a volunteer organization promoting quality French and English Canadian children’s literature nationally and internationally. For more information, please visit www.ibby-canada.org.

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IBBY Canada invite les illustrateurs canadiens de livres pour enfants à soumettre leur candidature pour le premier volet du programme « Joanne Fitzgerald illustrateur en résidence ». Le programme, administré par IBBY Canada et financé par la famille de Joanne avec le soutien de Groundwood Books Éditeur, offre à des illustrateurs publiés l’occasion de participer à une résidence unique hébergée par une bibliothèque publique. Continue reading »

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IBBY Canada invites applications from Canadian children’s book illustrators for the inaugural Joanne Fitzgerald Illustrator in Residence Program. The program provides published illustrators the opportunity to participate in a unique residency hosted by a public library, administered by IBBY Canada, and funded by Joanne’s family, with additional support from publisher Groundwood Books. Continue reading »

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Early this summer, we announced that Cybèle Young is the winner of the 2011 IBBY Canada Elizabeth Mrazik-Cleaver Picture Book Award! She won the award for her picture book A Few Blocks, published by Groundwood Books.

Click below to read the press release.

Continue reading »

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Can you imagine, as a writer, not having your own computer? Having access to only a few public computers, at the library, which isn’t always open? And, when your chance to use one of the computers does arise, having your time on it limited because demand for its use is high? Or maybe, when your turn comes, the generators go down and you have to wait till next week to continue your work?

That’s the situation for most Liberian writers Kathy Stinson has had the privilege of working with for the past three years, as a volunteer for CODE (the Canadian Organization for Development through Education) and the We Care Foundation in Liberia.

Meanwhile, how many writers in Canada have laptop computers gathering dust in their closets, having upgraded to a newer model in recent months, or will soon have a laptop they don’t need because there’s an upgrade in their near future?

The contrast between dire need and likely availability led Kathy to the idea of “Laptops for Liberia”. If she can find some not-too-old laptops that would be of value to writers in Liberia, CODE has agreed to pay the not-insubstantial cost of shipping them there, as a way of supporting the Reading Liberia program which is designed to create Liberian-authored books for Liberian children. We Care in Liberia is working out details of fair distribution of any laptops that are donated.

So Kathy is now reaching out to her Canadian friends and colleagues through her blog, CANSCAIP, IBBY Canada (who originally arranged for her involvement in “Reading Liberia”), and The Writers’ Union of Canada. Whether you write for children or adults, novels, short stories, poetry, non-fiction, or picture book texts, and whether you’ve upgraded your computer recently or expect to in the near future, she hopes you’ll consider donating your used laptop to “Laptops for Liberia”.

You can email Kathy to let her know of your interest in doing so at kathy@kathystinson.com. Please put Laptops for Liberia in the subject line. Find out more about the Reading Liberia program at http://www.codecan.org/get-involved/reading-code/reading-liberia, about the We Care Foundation at http://www.codecan.org/our-partners/wcf, or about Kathy’s involvement with Reading Liberia at http://www.kathystinson.com/category/liberia/.

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L’assemblée générale annuelle de IBBY Canada aura lieu à 9 h le samedi 3 mars, à la bibliothèque Runnymede. Joignez vous à nous pour des rafraîchissements et venez entendre parler de nos activités en 2011 et de nos plans pour 2012. Le conseil d’administration et les conseillers régionaux sortants, entrants, et de longue date seront ravis de vous rencontrer!

Le bibliothèque Runnymede, au 2178 rue Bloor Ouest, est située deux rues à l’est de la station de métro Runnymede. Il est possible de stationner de l’autre côté de la rue, au sud de Bloor, mais ce stationnement est payant. Par contre, il y a des parcomètres sur la rue Bloor et du stationnement gratuit sur Glendonwynne Road.

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IBBY Canada’s Annual General Meeting will be held at 9 a.m. on Saturday, March 3 at the Runnymede branch of the Toronto Public Library. Join us for refreshments and to hear about our activities in 2011 and our plans for 2012. The outgoing, incoming, and long-standing executive officers will be excited to meet you!

The Runnymede Library (2178 Bloor Street West) is two blocks east of the Runnymede subway station. There is a pay parking lot across the street on the south side of Bloor Street, metered parking along Bloor, and limited free parking on Glendonwynne Road.

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‘Tis the season for giving, and the Literary Prizes Foundation has given a wonderful gift to IBBY Canada–a cheque for $5,000! The Literary Prizes Foundation finances the Burt Prize for African Literature, administered by IBBY Canada’s sister organization, the Canadian Organization for Development through Education (CODE). IBBY Canada has selected several Canadian authors who have helped CODE establish writing and publishing programs in various African countries. Some of the authors include Peter Carver, Hadley Dyer, Ted Staunton, and Kathy Stinton.

We’d like to thank the Literary Prizes Foundation for their generous support of IBBY Canada. Our shared goals and values will ensure this money goes toward projects that bring together children and quality books.

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The IBBY Honour List is a biennial selection of outstanding, recently published books that are representative of the best in children’s literature. Each IBBY National Section selects the best books in particular categories (depending on how many official languages are recognized by that country). The Honour List provides insight into the diverse cultural, political, and social settings in which children live around the world and is used to develop educational and literacy programmes to develop exemplary international collections.

Here are IBBY Canada’s selections:

  • English Text: The Nine Lives of Travis Keating by Jill MacLean (Fitzhenry & Whiteside)
  • Translation French to English: Today, Maybe (Aujourd’hui, peut-être), written by Dominique Demers, illustrated by Gabrielle Grimard, and translated by Sheila Fischman (Orca Books)
  • Illustration: The Imaginary Garden, illustrated by Irene Luxbacher and written by Andrew Larsen (Kids Can Press)
  • French Text: La saison des pluies, by Mario Brassard (Soulières Éditeur)
  • Anishinaabe (Ojibwe) Text: The Gift of the Stars / Ananagoog Meegiwaewinan by Basil Johnston (Kegedonce Press)

The selection jury consisted of Lisa Doucet (co-manager, Woozles Children’s Bookstore), Ann Foster (librarian, Saskatoon Public Library), Vikki VanSickle (children’s book author), Susane Duchesne (bookseller, Librairie Monet), Alice Lienard (assistant editor, La Courte echelle), Olivia Marleau (youth section librarian, Ville de Montreal), Patty Lawlor (First Nations Consultant, Southern Ontario Library Service), and Sheila Staats (Native Information Specialist, Goodminds.com).

Winners will be presented with their certificates at the 33rd IBBY Congress in London, England in August.

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The Canadian Organization for Development through Education (CODE) is looking for a Literary Awards Officer. This is a full-time position located in Ottawa. The successful candidate will lead all aspects of CODE’s Burt Award for African Literature and its expansion. Since this is a fairly unique position, the job description is at best a guideline, describing a wide range of hoped-for experiences from publishing, literary awards, marketing and communications, to strategic planning and international development. Anyone with experience in one and interest in the rest is encouraged to apply. Good luck!

Literary Awards Officer JD

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