IBBY Russia at the Toronto Russian Film Festival

IBBY Russia has organized a special children’s program as part of the 2nd Annual Toronto Russian Film Festival. Come see movies celebrating Russian culture and discuss children’s books by Russian creators, particularly those now living in Toronto. For more information, please visit www.torontorussianfilmfestival.ca.

Congratulations to Michelle Mulder!

Michelle Mulder’s book After Peaches was shortlisted for both the Chocolate Lily Award and the Bolen Books Children’s Book Prize, and she was selected to tour with TD Book Week 2011. Michelle was awarded the Frances E. Russell Grant in 2006 for her work and research for After Peaches. The TD Book Week runs from Saturday, April 30 until Saturday, April 7. Please visit the TD Canadian Chidlren’s Book Week website for more information about the upcoming tour.

Celebrate International Children’s Book Day on April 2nd

Saturday, April 2, 2011 is International Children’s Book Day! Celebrated annually since 1967 on or around the birthday of Hans Christian Andersen, ICBD is facilitated by IBBY (International Board on Books for Young People) and celebrated worldwide to inspire a love of reading amongst children and adults alike. This year’s international sponsor is IBBY Estonia and the theme is ‘The Book Remembers’, a reminder that books can be invaluable sources of history: The book remembers the time in which it was written. In honour of International Children’s Book Day and to celebrate this year’s theme, the Canadian Children’s Book Centre has put together a list of Canadian children’s books which are evocative of life in Canada throughout history.

Take a look at the list here. IBBY Canada vice-president Susane Duchesne has compiled a list of French books on the same theme. You can view her list of French books here.

May Cutler (1923-2011)

Photo Credit: Laureen Sweeney

IBBY Canada is sad to report on the passing of Tundra Books founder, May Cutler, at the age of 87. She was at home in Montreal.

Ms. Cutler created Tundra Books in 1967 in the basement of her home, running it for 28 years while also raising four boys. This accomplished woman also served four years as the first female mayor of Westmount, elected in 1987, which was also the year she won IBBY Canada’s Claude Aubry Award.

Ms. Cutler’s influence on Canadian children’s publishing cannot be measured. She believed children’s books could be works of art while also telling Canadian stories, which gave Canadian children a chance to see their own lives and environments reflected on the page. This is exemplified in one of Tundra’s earliest publications, Mary of Mile 18, by Ann Blades, which reflected the young author’s northern life. The book’s artwork was exhibited at the Vancouver Art Gallery, giving children’s book illustration a cachet it hadn’t had before in Canada. She continued to marry beautiful art with Canadian stories, publishing children’s books by renowned artists such as William Kurelek, Stéphane Poulin, Ted Harrison, and Song Nan Zhang. And, of course, she published one of the most iconic Canadian children’s books, The Hockey Sweater, by Roch Carrier.

May Cutler will be missed, but we will always feel her influence on Canadian children’s literature, Canadian art, and Canadian childhood.

We invite you to leave a note of remembrance for Ms. Cutler here and on Tundra’s blog.

Recent Russell Grant winner shortlisted for book award

Picturing Canada: A History of Canadian Children’s Illustrated Books and Publishing (University of Toronto Press) has been shortlisted for the Canadian Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences Book Prize, under the humanities category in English.

Authors Gail Edwards and Judith Saltman won IBBY Canada’s Frances E. Russell Grant–a $1,000 prize–in 2007. The Russell Grant supports research for a publishable work on Canadian children’s literature, giving authors a financial boost in often costly endeavours. Ms. Saltman said, “We’re so grateful to IBBY Canada and the Frances Russell jury for research support and encouragement.”

Could your work be the next Picturing Canada? IBBY Canada is currently accepting applications for the 2011 Frances E. Russell Grant. For more information, please click here. The deadline for proposals is May 31, 2011.

Call for Russell Grant submissions

Proposals are now being accepted for the 2011 Frances E. Russell Grant. The $1,000 grant is intended to support IBBY Canada’s mission “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. This grant supports scholarly work only; works of fiction are not eligible. The competition is open to Canadian citizens or landed immigrants. A jury, appointed by IBBY Canada, will select the successful applicant.

The Frances E. Russell Grant was established by the late Marjorie Russell in memory of her sister, Frances E. Russell, a longtime supporter of IBBY Canada. For more information, please click here. The deadline for proposals is May 31, 2011.