Andersen Nominee, Tim Wynne-Jones, in The Toronto Star

Here is a great interview with Tim Wynne-Jones, IBBY Canada’s author nominee for the prestigious Hans Christian Andersen Award. Our artist nominee is Stéphane Jorisch. The biennial award recognizes an author and artist whose entire body of work has made a lasting contribution to children’s literature. The winners will be announced in March 2012.

IBBY’s Children in Crisis Support for Japan

IBBY’s Children in Crisis fund is accepting donations for the 3-11 Picture Book Project, a project initiated by JBBY to aid the children of Japan after the devastating earthquake on March 11, 2011. For more information on the project and details on how to donate, please visit IBBY Canada Councillor-West Margriet Ruurs’s website Bookmatchmaker.

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.