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