Virginia Davis

Virginia Davis, one of the leaders in advocating the reading and writing of Canadian children’s books over the last several decades, has died. Virginia won the 1994 Claude Aubry Award, after a career of passionate promoting Canadian children’s books. She headed School Library Services for the Department of Education in Manitoba (1977 to 1981) before serving as one of the early executive directors of the Canadian Children’s Book Centre (1981 to 1984). For many years Virginia reviewed children’s books and videos for CM and as a panelist on CBC Radio’s Morningside. She was Vice-President of Marketing and Development for National Book Service (a library wholesaler previously known as the Learning Tree and Maclean Hunter Library Services) before moving to S&B Books, another book wholesaler. Virginia has been a past president of the Canadian Association of Children’s Librarians and a past president of IBBY Canada. She was a mentor to librarians, teachers, writers, booksellers and many others who were bringing Canadian books to children. She was dynamic, intellectually brilliant, always curious about what was happening in the industry even after her final retirement (and there were several retirements), and always the life of the party. She will be sorely missed.

Judy Sarick

It is with deep sadness that we announce the passing of Judy Sarick on February 15, 2016.

Bookseller, librarian, teacher-librarian, former Canadian Children’s Book Centre Board member, passionate advocate for children’s books, Judy was a groundbreaking force in children’s books in this country.  In 1974, she and her husband Hy opened The Children’s Book Store in Toronto. Her enthusiasm, knowledge, energy and high standards helped put children’s books on the public radar and also encouraged Canadian publishers to produce books that could compete with the thousands of titles from the U.S. and U.K. flowing into Canada each year. She was a regular participant on juries and on the CBC Morningside Children’s Book Panel.  In 1991, she received the Claude Aubry Award from IBBY Canada for distinguished service within the field of children’s literature.

The funeral is scheduled for Wednesday, Feb. 17. Arrangements through Benjamin’s Park Memorial Chapel.


Notice of Meeting: IBBY Canada Annual Meeting of Members 2016

Another year has passed and it’s time once again for the IBBY Canada Annual Meeting of Members (AMM). Come out and join us for the morning of February 27th to meet the outgoing and incoming executive board, to catch up on what IBBY Canada has accomplished over the past year, to vote on upcoming changes and to learn about what we’re looking forward to in 2016!

The meeting will take place at the Northern District Library (40 Orchard View Blvd, Toronto, ON M4R 1B9). Coffee and membership renewal will take place at 9:30am. The meeting will follow at 10am to 12pm.

We’ll be announcing the winner of the Elizabeth Mrazik-Cleaver Canadian Picture Book Award and discussing IBBY Canada’s exciting activities and involvements from 2015—like the IBBY Silent Book Exhibit which toured Canada!

The AMM is a great opportunity meet with like-minded folks (adults who never quite grew up and still believe in the power of story), to talk about Canadian children’s literature and how IBBY Canada is involved, or who would like to become involved in the international world of children’s literature and literacy.

IBBY Canada is always seeking new membership, so if you know someone who might like to get involved please pass this message on. Furthermore, if you or someone you know would like to become more involved with IBBY Canada, either on the board or with a special project, please join us at the AMM or send us an email inquiry or suggestion to:

Please note that, while all are welcome, in order to vote at the AMM you have to be a current member in good standing. You can renew your membership at any time online. We will also be renewing membership in person at the AMM with cash or cheque ONLY.

Agenda to follow.

IBBY Announces the Shortlist for the 2016 Hans Christian Andersen Awards

HCA_Logo_72IBBY, the International Board on Books for Young People, has announced the shortlist for the 2016 Hans Christian Andersen Award – the world’s most prestigious children’s book award:

Authors: Cao Wenxuan from China, Louis Jensen from Denmark, Mirjam Pressler from Germany, Ted van Lieshout from the Netherlands and Lois Lowry from the USA.

Illustrators: Rotraut Susanne Berner from Germany, Pejman Rahimizadehfrom Iran, Alessandro Sanna from Italy, Suzy Lee from the Republic of Korea and Marit Törnqvist from the Netherlands.

The jury for this award is comprised of ten members from around the world:

Patricia Aldana from Canada/Guatemala is the 2016 jury president.  She led the jury comprising the following Lola Rubio (Argentina), Dolores Prades (Brazil), Wu Qing (China), Kirsten Bystrup (Denmark), Yasmine Motawy (Egypt), Shohreh Yousefi (Iran), Andrej Ilc (Slovenia), Reina Duarte (Spain), Susan Stan (USA) and María Beatriz Medina (Venezuela). Elda Nogueira (Brazil) represented the IBBY President and Liz Page acted as Jury Secretary.

The criteria used to assess the nominations included the aesthetic and literary quality as well as the freshness and innovation of the body of work; the ability to see the child’s point of view and to stretch their curiosity; and the continuing relevance of the works to children and young people. The Award is based on the entire body of work.

After the meeting Aldana said, “It was remarkable to work with such an accomplished jury. Despite coming from so many different cultures and backgrounds there was a surprising degree of consensus.  And it was a highly enjoyable process for us all.”

The two winners will be announced at the IBBY Press Conference on 4 April 2016 at the Bologna International Children’s Book Fair. The medals and diplomas will be presented to the winners during the 35th IBBY Congress in Auckland, New Zealand on Saturday, 20 August 2016.

About the Award

2016 is the 60th Anniversary of the Hans Christian Andersen Awards. Previous winners include: authors Erich Kästner (Germany), Astrid Lindgren (Sweden), Katherine Paterson (USA), Lygia Bojunga (Brazil) and Margaret Mahy (New Zealand).  Illustrators include Peter Sís (Czech Republic), Maurice Sendak (USA), Mitsumasa Anno (Japan), Wolf Erlbruch (Germany) and Robert Ingpen (Australia).

The IBBY members elect the Jury President during the biennial world congress and the Executive Committee elects the international jury of experts from nominations submitted by the IBBY National Sections.

The members of the Jury assess the complete body of the work in all cases. All the candidates nominated for the Award have made outstanding contributions to children’s literature in their countries and are selected by the IBBY National Sections. IBBY Canada’s nominees for 2016 were author Kenneth Oppel and illustrator Pierre Pratt.

The International Board on Books for Young People is comprised of 77 National Sections and works to bring children and books together.  It is the oldest and most highly regarded organization in the world working globally for children and books.  The Andersen Award is sponsored by Nami Island Inc.

For further information, please visit