Children’s book creator John Martz is Illustrator in Residence at Toronto Public Library

JFIR logoIBBY Canada program honours illustrator Joanne Fitzgerald

September 29, 2015 – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: IBBY Canada and the Toronto Public Library are pleased to announce that children’s book creator John Martz is the 2015 Joanne Fitzgerald Illustrator in Residence. John Martz’s residency will be at the Northern District Branch (Yonge & Eglinton) for the month of October.

John Martz has illustrated children’s picture books including A Cat Named Tim and Other Stories (Koyama Press), Black and Bittern Was Night (Kids Can Press), and Dear Flyary (Kids Can Press). He has also illustrated comic books, web comics and iPad picture books, and was the founding editor of the illustration blog

John Martz’s Illustrator in Residence schedule includes a series of workshops, art activities for children’s class trips to the library, visits to high schools and colleges, and portfolio reviews with individual artists. The Northern District Branch art gallery will feature John Martz’s and Joanne Fitzgerald’s artwork.

“The Joanne Fitzgerald Illustrator in Residence Program launched at the Toronto Public Library in 2013, and has become a key event in the children’s book community,” said Shannon Babcock, president of IBBY Canada.

“Toronto Public Library is pleased to once again host the program at our Northern District Branch,” said Vickery Bowles, City Librarian. “This is a wonderful opportunity that provides people of all ages and stages with meaningful experiences, connects artists and supports the city’s creative and cultural communities.”

The Illustrator in Residence Program is a collaboration between IBBY Canada and the family of Joanne Fitzgerald (1956–2011), honouring the award-winning illustrator whose books include Plain Noodles, Emily’s House, and Doctor Kiss Says Yes.

The Joanne Fitzgerald Illustrator in Residence Program offers a published children’s book illustrator a month-long residency in a public library. The Program honours the memory of Joanne Fitzgerald (1956–2011), whose booksinclude 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 and the Canadian Urban Libraries Council, with financial support from Joanne’s family.

Toronto Public Library is one of the world’s busiest urban public library systems. Every year, 19 million people visit our branches in neighbourhoods across the city and borrow 32 million items. To learn more about Toronto Public Library, visit our website at or call Answerline at 416-393-7131. To get the most current updates on what’s happening at the library, follow us on Twitter @torontolibrary.

IBBY, the International Board on Books for Young People (, founded in 1953, is an network of organizations in over 70 countries, committed to bringing books and children together. IBBY Canada ( promotes quality French and English Canadian children’s literature nationally and internationally.

For more information, please contact:

Helena Aalto
Promotion Officer
IBBY Canada

INVITATION: IBBY Canada Illustrator in Residence launch and silent auction

JFIR logo

IBBY Canada and Toronto Public Library
invite you to celebrate the
Joanne Fitzgerald Illustrator in Residence program 
and the 2015 illustrator

Thursday, October 1, 2015
6:00 to 7:30 pm
Toronto Public Library, Northern District Branch
40 Orchard View Blvd., 2nd floor art gallery


The event will include a SILENT AUCTION of artwork by
Joanne Fitzgerald, John Martz, Martha Newbigging and Patricia Storms
with proceeds in support of IBBY Canada.

Call for Submissions for the 2015 Elizabeth Mrazik-Cleaver Canadian Picture Book Award / Le Prix Elizabeth Mrazik-Cleaver pour le meilleur livre d’images Canadien

Publishers across Canada are invited to submit picture books for the annual Elizabeth Mrazik-Cleaver Canadian Picture Book Award / Le Prix Elizabeth Mrazik-Cleaver pour le meilleur livre d’images Canadien (the Cleaver Award).

Every year since 1986, IBBY-Canada has given the Cleaver Award to a Canadian illustrator in recognition of outstanding artistic talent in a Canadian picture book. The winner receives a cheque for $1,000.00 and a certificate at an annual award ceremony.

Three members of IBBY-Canada form the Cleaver committee and administer the award. The committee members for the 2015 award are: Theo Heras, Chair; Allison Taylor-McBryde; and Lyne Rajotte.

Please keep in mind these terms when submitting your book(s):

  1. The recipient is a Canadian illustrator of a picture book published in Canada in English or French during the 2015 calendar year.
  2. To be eligible, the book must be a first edition and contain original illustrations by a Canadian illustrator (either a citizen or permanent resident).
  3. Picture books include: original stories, poetry, and folk and fairy tales.
  4. There is a $20.00 fee for each title submitted to the Cleaver Award. The fee is non-refundable, even if your submission is determined to be ineligible, so please read the submission guidelines carefully. This fee will be used to offset administration costs as well as costs associated with the presentation of the award.
  5. Please send a cheque made out to “IBBY Canada” with “Cleaver Award fee” on the memo line to:

IBBY Canada
c/o The Canadian Children’s Book Centre
217-40 Orchard View Blvd.
Toronto, ON M4R 1B9

Please submit one copy of any eligible book to each committee member (total of 3). For their addresses, please contact Theo Heras at

Deadline for entries is December 11, 2015.

International exhibit of wordless children’s picture books tours Canada

IbbyPoster-(3)Edmonton (Aug 28 to Sept 18), Vancouver (Oct 1 to 22), Toronto (Nov 2 to Dec 11)

People around the world are deeply touched by the desperately dangerous circumstances for boatloads of refugees from Africa and the Middle East, with many arriving on the small island of Lampedusa, Italy. In response to the waves of refugees, IBBY Italia is working to establish the first children’s library in Lampedusa for the young migrants that arrive there every year, as well as for the local children and teens.

With such a diversity of cultures, it made sense to begin the Lampedusa library’s collection with wordless picture books—“silent books” that tell a story with pictures but no text. IBBY Italia gathered a selection of outstanding books from 23 countries, including Spain, the Netherlands, Korea, the UK, the US, and Canada. These wordless picture books begin at the beginning, with the universal language of images and art, bypassing age, culture and language barriers, to offer readers a unique but shared reading experience.

In the true spirit of Jella Lepman who founded IBBY (the International Board on Books for Young People), the library in Lampedusa is conceived to provide a place of peace, reflection, pause and hours of reading enjoyment. It is like a seed library that has been planted and that will grow into a complete collection of books for the use and pleasure of the children who live or pass by there.

To showcase the library, “Silent Books: Final Destination Lampedusa,” a travelling exhibit of more than 100 renowned wordless picture books, has been touring around the world. Following stops in cities in Italy, Mexico City and Graz, Austria, the exhibit is now in Canada, travelling to Edmonton, Vancouver and Toronto.

Canadian children and adults will delight in reading these books, experiencing our uniqueness while celebrating our differences. Activities and events to promote and highlight the Silent Books exhibit will include a postcard that Canadian children can fill with a drawing or a message to send back to the children of Lampedusa. Sharing these books may bring us closer to the children who live in Lampedusa and to other children who travel until they find a safe place to call home.

Canadian tour dates for Silent Books: Final Destination Lampedusa travelling exhibit

Aug. 28 to Sept. 18
Stanley A. Milner Library, 7 Winston Churchill Square

Oct. 1 to 23
Irving Barber Learning Centre, University of British Columbia, 1961 East Mall

Oct. 8 to 18
Vancouver Public Library, Central Branch, 350 West Georgia St.

Oct. 10 to 22
Italian Cultural Centre, 3075 Slocan St.

Nov. 2 to Dec. 11
Toronto Public Library, North York Central Library, 5120 Yonge St.

IBBY Italia and IBBY Canada thank the Italian Cultural Institute in Toronto for its generous support, as well as IBBY Italia, IBBY International, the Consulate General of Italy in Vancouver, Palazzo delle Esposizioni, Edmonton Public Library, the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver Public Library, and Toronto Public Library. Special thanks to Merle Harris of Edmonton and Dr. Kathryn Shoemaker of Vancouver.

IBBY, the International Board on Books for Young People is committed to bringing books and children together. IBBY was founded in 1953 by Jella Lepman, and is an international network represented in over 70 countries. IBBY Canada was formed in 1980 to promote Canadian children’s literature; members include authors, illustrators, librarians, booksellers, educators, and publishers.

For more information, please contact

Call for Submissions: Writing for Children Competition

CANSCAIP (Canadian Society of Children’s Authors, Illustrators and Performers), in partnership with The Writers’ Union of Canada, is accepting submissions by unpublished writers for the 18th annual Writing for Children Competition. A goal of the competition is to discover, encourage, and promote new writers of children’s literature across Canada. The deadline for submissions is September 30, 2015.

In previous years, the Writing for Children Competition awarded one cash prize. This year, there will be two $1,000 winners:

  • picture book/early reader
  • chapter book/middle grade/young adult

Eight additional finalists in these reading age categories will also be selected.

The entries of the eight finalists and two winners will be submitted to Canadian children’s publishers for consideration. Some previous finalists and winners of the Writing for Children Competition have had their entries published.

The Writers’ Union of Canada initiated the Writing for Children Competition in 1996. The competition has grown in popularity since its inception, and in 2014 CANSCAIP took on this initiative as a partnership with TWUC.


  • Writers who have not been published in book format(including e-book and self-published) in any genre for children or adults
  • Writers who do not currently have a contract with a book publisher
  • Writers who are Canadian citizens or permanent residents


  • Up to 1,500 words of text, in English; entries can be excerpt(s) or chapter(s) from a longer work such as a novel, or complete text of a shorter work such as a picture book
  • Entries must not have been previously published in book form (including e-book or self-published)
  • Fiction or non-fiction is eligible
  • Text only; no illustrations
  • Reading age categories: picture book (ages 2 to 6), early reader (ages 5 to 8), chapter book (ages 7 to 10), middle grade (ages 9 to 12), young adult (ages 13 and up)
  • Typed in 12-point font, double-spaced, pages numbered
  • Submission emailed as PDF attachment
  • Hard copy entries are not eligible and will not be returned.


  • An entry consists of a writing submission of up to 1,500 words PLUS a one-page cover letter.
  • Each page of the writing submission should be numbered, with your name and the title on the top of each page.
  • Include in the cover letter:
  1. your name, address, phone number, e-mail
  2. summary of your writing experience
  3. title of submission, genre, reading age category(e.g. picture book, chapter book), fiction or non-fiction
  4. submission’s place in the story (e.g. first chapter)
  5. summary of the complete story
  6. additional information as needed
  • Submit writing submission and cover letter as a single PDF: cover letter first, followed by writing submission.
  • For multiple entries, send each entry in a separate email.
  • In email subject line include: WFC 2015 – Your Name -Title of Entry -Reading Age Category
  • Email submissions
  • NOTE: Register and pay the entry fee before emailing your entry.


  • The entry fee is $30 for one writing submission, $50 for two submissions, and $75 for three submissions.
  • If not already a Friend member of CANSCAIP, you can join for just $35 (regular $45 per year)
  • To register and pay the entry fee online, please go to Online payment is by Visa or MasterCard, with credit card payments processed through PayPal (entrants don’t need to have a PayPal account).
  • Entry fee can also be a cheque mailed to:

Writing for Children Competition
720 Bathurst Street, Suite 503
Toronto, ON M5S 2R4


  • The first readers for the entries will be a group of published writers with experience in the genre of the submission. These first readers will select and recommend a shortlist of the best submissions. These shortlisted submissions will be sent to the jury panels.
  • There will be a jury panel comprised of three published authors to evaluate and select from the shortlisted submissions for chapter books/middle grade and young adult. There will also be a jury panel comprised of three published authors to evaluate and select from the shortlisted submissions for picture books/easy readers.
  • Each of the jury panels will determine five finalists, including one winner.
  • The selected entries of the ten finalists will be submitted to three Canadian children’s publishers for consideration.


  • Only the finalists will be contacted.
  • Results will be posted at


  • Deadline for entries is September 30, 2015

For more information, please contact:

Helena Aalto
Administrative Director, CANSCAIP
416 515-1559