Welcome to IBBY Canada

hadleyWe are celebrating over 35 years of helping children around the world through access to books and literacy programs and supporting the Canadian authors, artists, storytellers, organizations, and scholars who have all contributed to producing quality children’s books.

IBBY Canada is one of more than 70 National Sections of the International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY), a non-profit organization that was founded in the wake of World War II by Jella Lepman. This remarkable woman believed in the power of children’s books to bridge cultures and, ultimately, to promote peace.

Please join us in our efforts to help children in Canada and around the world connect with quality children’s books. Click here to learn more about IBBY Canada.


Depuis 35 ans, IBBY vient en aide aux enfants du monde grâce à des programmes d’accès aux livres et d’alphabétisation, et en soutenant les auteurs, artistes, conteurs, organisations et érudits canadiens qui contribuent à la réalisation de livres pour enfants de haute qualité.

IBBY Canada est l’une des plus de 70 sections nationales de l’Union Internationale pour les Livres de Jeunesse (IBBY), une organisation à but non lucratif fondée au lendemain de la Deuxième Guerre mondiale par Jella Lepman. Cette femme remarquable croyait au pouvoir des livres de jeunesse à rapprocher les cultures et, par conséquence, à promouvoir la paix.

Joignez-vous à nous pour soutenir l’accès à des livres de qualité pour les enfants du Canada et du monde entier.


From 09 to 30 September 2017, the International Centre for the Picture Book in Society (ICPBS) will host an exhibition in collaboration with BIBIANA, the International House of Art for Children in Bratislava, Slovakia. The exhibition, titled MIGRATIONS, will coincide with the Biennale of Illustration in Bratislava (BIB) and its symposium.

MIGRATIONS hopes to draw attention to the plight of thousands of children and their families who are, as a result of oppressive regimes, violence or poverty, forced to migrate to safer places in the world. Artists may not be able to change regimes, influence governments or save the migrants, but they can raise awareness of a reality that has become part of the contemporary socio-political environment. As visual storytellers and communicators, we can continue to pose questions and challenge indifference through our work, at the same time highlighting the positive impact that the migration of peoples, cultures and ideas has had across the globe.

An installation of between 100 and 200 postcards (or more!) from illustrators all over the world will make up one half of the exhibition. Each of these will show a migrating bird, ‘flying’ or ‘perching’ in a room in BIBIANA. This installation will in itself emphasize that culture and ideas migrate across human borders, barriers and bans. Well-known picture book illustrators such as Isol from Argentina, Roger Mello from Brazil, Shaun Tan from Australia, Laura Carlin and Petr Horacek from the UK and Marit Törnqvist from the Netherlands have already agreed to take part.

A catalogue of the postcards will accompany the exhibition and will include a foreword by Shaun Tan, the 2011-winner of the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award. This installation will complement a series of illustrations created by the staff and selected alumni of the University of Worcester, UK, and its International Centre for the Picture Book in Society in response to the theme: Migrations.

The Brief

Illustrators are invited to send a postcard (10x15cm) with your illustration of a bird on the picture side of the card and a relevant message, phrase or thought on the theme on the message side of the card.  The bird could be representative of a real bird from your country, a fictitious bird from your culture or your own fantasy bird. The postage stamp from your country of residence and your name will indicate the flight of your artwork first to the UK, then to Bratislava and who knows … to further exhibitions thereafter.

This enterprise is supported by IBBY – the International Board on Books for Young People.

By sending and donating your postcard, you grant permission that the ICPBS may include your card in the exhibition, use your image in related publicity and publish both sides of the card in the catalogue and/or a book of the postcard exhibition. Any profits made from this publication will be donated to promoting the cause of migrants through a recognized aid organization.

By sending your postcard, you agree that the original postcard will become the property of the ICPBS after its use in the exhibition MIGRATIONS in Bratislava, Slovakia in 2017 and could either be kept in a permanent collection or auctioned and all proceeds from any sales will be donated to the agreed refugee charity. A form giving permission for such use can be downloaded here. Please sign and return a digital copy to Piet Grobler at: pietgrobler123@gmail.com

Please send your bird-card to arrive by 15 June 2017 to:

MIGRATIONS exhibition
Taz Lovejoy
Digital Arts Centre
University of Worcester
Henwick Grove
United Kingdom

About the International Centre for the Picture Book in Society

The ICPBS aims

• to engage with the making and study of the picture book in its broadest sense (children’s books, comics, hand made books, zines and educational books, e-book, graphic novels);

• to engage with society in its broadest terms by promoting multi-culturalism, inclusivity of minorities and socially disenfranchised people;

• to create an awareness in the UK of international picture book making outside the
Anglophone environment and a platform to promote and showcase internationally
published picture books.

Elizabeth Mrazik-Cleaver Canadian Picture Book Award to Isabelle Arsenault for Louis parmi les spectres / Le Prix Elizabeth Mrazik-Cleaver pour le meilleur livre illustré canadien à Isabelle Arsenault pour Louis parmi les spectres

Louis parmi les spectresHONOUR BOOKS: Eric Fan and Terry Fan for The Darkest Dark; Matt James for The Stone Thrower

March 8, 2017—FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: IBBY Canada is pleased to announce the artists of the winning book and the two honour books for the 2016 Elizabeth Mrazik-Cleaver Canadian Picture Book Award / Le Prix Elizabeth Mrazik-Cleaver pour le meilleur livre d’images Canadien. The winner of the Cleaver Award receives $1,000. The winning book and the honour books demonstrate the Cleaver Award criteria of “fusion of words and pictures”, with art that “speaks to the child”, has “warmth and depth of emotion” and a “storytelling quality”.

The winner is Isabelle Arsenault for Louis parmi les spectres, a complex and mature graphic novel written by Fanny Britt (La Pastèque). The lives of Louis and his little brother are shadowed by the rift between their parents, and their father’s depression and alcoholism. Isabelle Arsenault portrays their world in charcoal and watercolour, with washes of black, grey and tan, ‘the blues’ lurking in many images, and delicate applications of chartreuse and red. The masterful visual storytelling speaks to the emotional depth of each character. Isabelle Arsenault previously won the Cleaver Award for Virginia Wolf, and is a three-time winner of the Governor General’s Award for Illustration.

The artists of the two honour books for the Cleaver Award are:

Eric Fan and Terry Fan for The Darkest Dark, written by Chris Hadfield and Kate Fillion (Tundra Books). It was during the seminal summer of the 1969 lunar landing that young Chris Hadfield knew he would become an astronaut. The Fan brothers work collaboratively in ink, graphite and digital composition, merging history with fantasy, weaving in cultural and historical references while illuminating the imaginative life of young Chris and his triumph over his fear of the dark.

Matt James for The Stone Thrower, written by Jael Ealey Richardson (Groundwood Books). The harsh reality of growing up in ‘the projects’ in a segregated community in Ohio is vividly depicted in Jael Ealey Richardson’s story of her father, Canadian Football League icon Chuck Ealey. With bold colours layered and then scratched to create gritty images and textures, Matt James naïve paintings juxtapose the light and the dark, echoing Chuck’s challenges and ultimate victory. Touchdown!

The jury members for the 2016 Cleaver Award were Lyne Rajotte (school librarian and board member of Corporation of Professional Librarians of Quebec), Camilia Kahrizi (marketing and website coordinator, Canadian Children’s Book Centre), and chair Allison Taylor McBryde (adjunct professor, University of British Columbia; librarian, youth collections, North Vancouver District Public Library).

IBBY Canada’s Elizabeth Mrazik-Cleaver Canadian Picture Book Award/Le Prix Elizabeth Mrazik-Cleaver pour le meilleur livre d’images Canadien, 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. A list of the winners of the past thirty years is available here.

IBBY, the International Board on Books for Young People (www.ibby.org), founded in 1953, represents an international network of people in over 70 countries, committed to bringing books and children together. IBBY Canada (www.ibby-canada.org), founded in 1980, is a volunteer organization promoting quality French and English Canadian children’s literature nationally and internationally.

For more information, please contact:

Helena Aalto
IBBY Canada Promotion Officer

Le Prix Elizabeth Mrazik-Cleaver pour le meilleur livre illustré canadien à Isabelle Arsenault pour Louis parmi les spectres

Mentions d’honneur: Eric Fan et Terry Fan pour The Darkest Dark; Matt James pour The Stone Thrower

Louis parmi les spectresLe 8 mars, 2017- Pour diffusion immédiate : IBBY Canada (Union internationale des livres pour la jeunesse, section canadienne) est heureuse d’annoncer les créateurs du livre lauréat et des deux mentions d’honneur du prix Elizabeth Mrazik-Cleaver pour le meilleur livre illustré canadien 2016 / 2016 Elizabeth Mrazik-Cleaver Canadian Picture Book Award. La lauréate du Prix Cleaver recevra 1000$. Le livre gagnant et les livres à l’honneur incarnent  les critères du Prix Cleaver, c’est-à-dire la « fusion des mots et des illustrations », avec un art qui « s’adresse aux enfant », qui possède « charme  et émotion » ainsi qu’avec des « qualités narratives ».

La lauréate est Isabelle Arsenault pour Louis parmi les spectres, un roman graphique complexe et abouti écrit par Fanny Britt (La Pastèque). Les vies de Louis et de son petit frère sont assombries par les disputes de leurs parents et par la dépression et l’alcoolisme de leur père. Isabelle Arsenault dépeint leur monde au fusain et à l’aquarelle, avec des lavis de noir, de gris et de brun clair, « les bleus » se tapissent dans plusieurs illustrations avec des applications délicates de chartreuse et de rouge. Son vocabulaire visuel exprime de façon magistrale la profondeur émotionnelle de chaque personnage. Isabelle Arsenault a remporté auparavant le Prix Cleaver pour Virginia Wolf, elle a été lauréate du Prix du Gouverneur général pour l’illustration à trois reprises.

Les illustrateurs des deux livres avec mentions d’honneur sont :

Eric Fan et Terry Fan pour The Darkest Dark, écrit par Chris Hadfield et Kate Fillion (Livres Tundra). C’est au cours de l’incroyable été 1969 lors de l’atterrissage sur la lune que le jeune Chris Hadfield a compris qu’il deviendrait un astronaute. Les frères Fan ont travaillé de façon collaborative avec de l’encre, du crayon et des compositions numériques en fusionnant l’histoire et le merveilleux, en entrecroisant les références culturelles et historiques tout en éclairant la vie imaginaire du jeune Chris et son triomphe de sa peur du noir.

Matt James pour The Stone Thrower, écrit par Jael Ealey Richardson (Groundwood Books). La difficile réalité de grandir dans un “projet où Jael Ealey Richardson décrit de manière saisissante l’histoire de son père Chuck Ealey, un joueur illustre de la Ligue canadienne de football  au sein d’une communauté séparée racialement en Ohio. Les tableaux naïfs de Matt James juxtaposent la lumière et la noirceur avec des couches de couleurs franches qui sont grattées pour créer des images directes et des textures, faisant écho aux défis rencontrés par Chuck et à sa victoire ultime. Un vrai coup de circuit!

Les membres du jury du Prix Cleaver 2016 étaient Lyne Rajotte (bibliothécaire scolaire et membre du conseil d’administration de la Corporation des bibliothécaires professionnels du Québec (CBPQ), Camilia Kahrizi (coordinatrice du marketing et du site du Centre canadien du livre pour enfants) et Allison Taylor-McBryde, professeure auxiliaire à l’École de bibliothéconomie, archives et sciences de l’information de l’Université de Colombie-Britannique (présidente du jury).

Le prix Elizabeth Mrazik-Cleaver du meilleur livre illustré canadien d’IBBY Canada a été créé en 1985,  il vise à reconnaître le talent artistique exceptionnel d’un illustrateur canadien. Elizabeth Mrazik-Cleaver a laissé par testament des fonds pour la remise annuelle d’un prix visant à reconnaître les qualités artistiques d’un livre illustré pour la jeunesse au Canada. Une liste des lauréats des trente dernières années est disponible ici.

IBBY: l’Union internationale pour les livres de jeunesse (www.ibby.org) qui a été fondée en 1953 représente un réseau international de personnes dans plus de 70 pays, IBBY s’engage à rapprocher les livres des enfants. Fondé en 1980, IBBY Canada (www.ibby-canada.org) est une association à but non lucratif qui fait la promotion de la littérature canadienne pour la jeunesse francophone et anglophone, sur le plan national et international.

Pour plus d’informations, veuillez contacter:

Helena Aalto
Agent de promotion, IBBY Canada

You’re Invited: IBBY Luncheon with Andy Jones

IBBY Canada and the Toronto Storytelling Festival invite you to a luncheon with one of Newfoundland’s favourite sons – Andy Jones.

Friday, March 31, 2017
11:00 a.m.–12:30 p.m.
Free Times Cafe
320 College Street (2 blocks west of Spadina)

Andy Jones is Newfoundland’s best-known storyteller. He has been a professional writer, actor, and storyteller for over forty years. He has extensively toured, to critical acclaim, across Canada as well as to Glasgow (Scotland) and Waterford (Ireland). Andy Jones is well-known in Canada as one of the groundbreaking members of the Newfoundland comedy troupe CODCO. Andy’s prize-winning retellings of traditional Jack tales are published by Running Goat Press.

Andy’s books will be available for sale at the event.

Chicken and vegetarian buffet, including hst and gratuity – $20.00
(Drinks not included.)

Seating is limited. RSVP to Theo Heras at theoheras@gmail.com.

Call for Submissions: 2017 Joanne Fitzgerald Illustrator in Residence Program

JFIR logo


IBBY Canada invites submissions from Canadian children’s book illustrators for the Joanne Fitzgerald Illustrator in Residence program, for the month of October 2017, hosted at the Toronto Public Library Northern District Branch. Submissions are evaluated by a jury with expertise in children’s books and illustration. The submission deadline is Friday, April 28, 2017.

The Joanne Fitzgerald Illustrator in Residence program is a joint project of IBBY Canada, Toronto Public Library, Edmonton Public Library, and the Canadian Urban Libraries Council. The program is funded by the family of Joanne Fitzgerald (1956–2011), whose books include Plain Noodles, Emily’s House, The Blue Hippopotamus and Doctor Kiss Says Yes (winner of the Governor General’s Award).  The Illustrator in Residence in previous years has been Martha Newbigging (2013 in Toronto), Patricia Storms (2014 in Toronto), John Martz (2015 in Toronto) and Dianna Bonder (2016 in Edmonton).

Overview of IBBY Canada’s Joanne Fitzgerald Illustrator in Residence Program in 2017:

  • Held at Toronto Public Library Northern District Branch (at Yonge, north of Eglinton) from October 1 to 31, 2017
  • The illustrator leads art activities for classes of children, makes presentations to adults and students, and offers individual portfolio reviews
  • The illustrator’s original work is exhibited in the art gallery in the library
  • Remuneration of $4,000 provided to the illustrator, plus up to $300 for art supplies
  • Travel, accommodation and meals are the responsibility of the illustrator
  • The illustrator will provide about 20 to 25 programming hours per week, with some evening and possible weekend events

Requirements for illustrators:

  • Has illustrated four or more professionally-published children’s books, with publication of a new book expected within the next few years
  • Experienced in developing and delivering programs for kids, teens and adults
  • Is friendly and empathetic, with an understanding of the needs of aspiring artists
  • Has preparatory sketches and finished work that can be displayed in the library’s art gallery
  • Is available for the month of October 2017 (the illustrator is not scheduled on every day)
  • Is a Canadian citizen or permanent resident

Send submissions by Friday, April 28, 2017 to promotions@ibby-canada.org.  Submissions must be a single attachment of a Word or PDF document that includes:

  • Your ideas for workshops and presentations for different audiences: school kids, adults, high school/college students (see Programming Guidelines on next page)
  • CV that includes your presentation experience and published books (include publisher and year)
  • Letters of reference (2) about your presentation experience

Programming Guidelines

The selected illustrator will lead the following types of workshops and presentations. We encourage illustrators to propose creative and engaging programming ideas, and also be open to suggestions from the library and IBBY Canada.

Workshops for Grades 2 to 6
Classes of about 30 kids from Grades 2 to 6 come to the library to participate in 90-minute workshops led by the illustrator; teachers are there to supervise the class. The workshops are scheduled in the morning and afternoon on 2 days of each week in October, about 15 workshops in total. Since a different class comes each time, workshop content can be similar/the same for all the classes, perhaps with modifications for different ages. Workshops must include a hands-on art activity, with everyone creating a piece (or group project) they take with them. The illustrator provides the art materials (costs of materials is reimbursed).  The workshop can also include short presentations with projected visuals such as PowerPoint, but most of the time should be spent on the hands-on art activities.

Adult presentations
Presentations for adults are 60 minutes, scheduled in the library on 1 evening of each week in October, about 5 adult presentations in total.  The content of each presentation should be different, since the same people often come back.  The focus should be on topics like getting started as an illustrator, work opportunities for illustrators, promoting illustration work, building a portfolio, and illustrating for publishers. Adult presentations should include projected visuals such as PowerPoint.  Hands-on art activities aren’t recommended for adult presentations.

Student presentations at high schools and colleges
High school presentations are held at the school or college, not in the library.  Presentations for student audiences can be similar to those for adults.  Presentations in schools are about 45 to 60 minutes long, depending on each school’s class schedules.

Portfolio reviews
Artists and art students can book individual 30-minute portfolio review meetings with the illustrator for feedback on the artwork they bring with them. Portfolio reviews are held in the library, on 1 evening of each week in October, with up to 6 portfolio reviews scheduled per evening.  A program coordinator books the portfolio reviews, and the illustrator receives an ongoing updated schedule.

Cleaver Art Raffle

IBBY Canada is pleased to announce that tickets are now available to purchase for the Cleaver Art Raffle. The raffle celebrates the 30th anniversary of the Elizabeth Mrazik-Cleaver Canadian Picture Book Award, which recognizes outstanding artistic talent in a Canadian picture book. In support of IBBY Canada, the raffle offers the unique opportunity to own a signed illustration from Isabelle Arsenault, a Cleaver Award–winning illustrator of children’s books.

1st PRIZE: original cover art from Once Upon a Northern Night(Groundwood Books, 2013), signed by Isabelle Arsenault

1st PRIZE: original cover art from Once Upon a Northern Night (Groundwood Books, 2013), signed by Isabelle Arsenault

2nd PRIZE: Giclée print from Virginia Wolf (Kids Can Press, 2012), signed by Isabelle Arsenault

2nd PRIZE: Giclée print from Virginia Wolf (Kids Can Press, 2012), signed by Isabelle Arsenault

Tickets are $25 CAD and can be purchased online through IBBY Canada’s website until November 30, 2016. The raffle is open to residents of Canada and the United States.

About IBBY Canada
IBBY (International Board on Books for Young People) Canada is a non-profit organization whose mission is to provide children with access to books and literacy programs, introduce Canadian children’s literature to the world, and promote exceptional international children’s literature in Canada. This is done through our national awards and programs, nominations for prestigious international awards such as the Hans Christian Andersen Award, and partnerships with Canadian literacy organizations. For more information, please visit us online at www.ibby-canada.org.

For further information contact:

Katie Scott
IBBY Canada board member

EPL to host Illustrator in Residence program this fall

Artist and children’s book illustrator Dianna Bonder will be in Edmonton October 17 through November 10

For immediate release:

JFIR logoEDMONTON, AB, October 17, 2016 – Artists of all ages and abilities are in for a treat, as artist and children’s book illustrator Dianna Bonder is taking up residence at the Edmonton Public Library (EPL).

The International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY) Canada Joanne Fitzgerald Illustrator in Residence program launched at the Toronto Public Library in 2013 in memory of children’s illustrator Joanne Fitzgerald and, for the first time, is extending beyond that region.

“I know I’m not alone in being constantly curious, and therefore inspired to create stories through art and illustration,” said Bonder. “I’m thrilled to be joining EPL. It’s going to be a fun few weeks working alongside both accomplished and aspiring artists in Edmonton, helping them bring their dreams to life through their work.”

Bonder will host workshops for adults, art activities for children and students, and present to high school and post-secondary classes, as well as hold one-on-one portfolio reviews. Her original artwork will also be on display at the Stanley A. Milner Library from October 17 to November 10.

Bonder studied fine arts, illustration and design, and has worked as a commercial artist. After the success of her first book The Pacific Alphabet in 2001 other books followed, including Accidental Alphabet, Three Royal Tales, Digging Canadian Dinosaurs, Leon’s Song and Dogabet. Bonder is currently working on her 15th children’s book.

“EPL continues to champion both innovation and excellence when it comes to serving our customers, and we are delighted to be hosting the IBBY Canada 2016 Joanne Fitzgerald Illustrator in Residence program,” said Pilar Martinez, CEO of EPL. “This is a fantastic chance for Edmontonians to take their love of art to the next level.”

The IBBY Canada Joanne Fitzgerald Illustrator in Residence program offers a published Canadian children’s book illustrator a month-long residency in a public library, honouring the memory of illustrator Joanne Fitzgerald (1956-2011), whose books include Plain Noodles, Emily’s House and the Governor General’s Literary Award-winner Doctor Kiss Says Yes.

The program is a joint project of IBBY Canada and EPL, with financial support from Fitzgerald’s family. Since its inception, more than 1,400 children, teens and adults have attended library workshops and programs. Previous Illustrators in Residence include Martha Newbigging (2013), Patricia Storms (2014) and John Martz (2015).

For more information, visit epl.ca/illustrator-in-residence. For more on Bonder and her work, visit diannabonder.com.


About the Edmonton Public Library

The Edmonton Public Library (EPL) is proud to be 2014 Library of the Year! We’ve come a long way since 1913 when books were all you could find on our shelves… and we’re just getting started! Today, EPL carries everything you care about. We are Edmonton’s largest lender of all manner of information and entertainment.

Our professionally trained staff take you beyond Google with the knowledge, discernment and desire to help you navigate a universe of information. The second most visited place in Edmonton, every year EPL hosts over 14 million in-branch and online visits across our 20 branches and website. We deliver our incredible content to you everywhere – in the library, at home or on your handheld device. Unmatched access and unrivalled value – that is today’s EPL. EPL is a registered charity and relies on donations to enhance services. Spread the words. www.epl.ca/give

About the International Board on Books for Young People

The International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY), founded in 1953, is a 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, contact

Heather McIntyre
Marketing Communications Specialist
Edmonton Public Library