Children’s book creator Dianna Bonder is Illustrator in Residence at Stanley A. Milner Library in Edmonton (Oct. 17 to Nov. 10)

JFIR logoIBBY Canada program honours illustrator Joanne Fitzgerald

September 8, 2016 – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: IBBY Canada and the Edmonton Public Library are pleased to announce that children’s book creator Dianna Bonder is the 2016 Joanne Fitzgerald Illustrator in Residence.  Dianna Bonder’s residency will be at the Stanley A. Milner branch from October 17 to November 10.  The Illustrator in Residence program launched at the Toronto Public Library in 2013, and has become a key annual event in the children’s book community.

Dianna Bonder was born in Kamloops BC, and after studying fine arts, illustration and design in Toronto, she moved to Vancouver to work as a commercial artist. Tired of the hustle and tight deadlines of commercial art, Dianna evolved a unique style which found its way into children’s books. “For me, it’s simple…dreaming is believing,” she said. “If you can dream it… it can be.”

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. Dianna now lives on Gabriola Island BC and is working on her 15th children’s book.

Dianna’s Illustrator in Residence schedule will include workshops for adults, art activities for children’s class trips to the library, presentations to art students in high schools and colleges, and portfolio reviews with individual artists. The library will also display her original artwork.

“The Edmonton Public Library continues to champion both innovation and excellence when it comes to serving our customers, and we are delighted to be hosting the 2016 Joanne Fitzgerald Illustrator in Residence Program,” said Pilar Martinez, CEO of the Edmonton Public Library. “This is a fantastic chance for Edmontonians of all ages and abilities to connect with Dianna Bonder and one another about art, and create and make within our community.”

The 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, Toronto Public Library, Edmonton Public Library and the Canadian Urban Libraries Council, with financial support from Joanne’s family. Previous Illustrators in Residence were Martha Newbigging (2013), Patricia Storms (2014) and John Martz (2015), all at the Toronto Public Library.

Every year, IBBY Canada invites children’s book illustrators to submit applications for the Illustrator in Residence program. The submissions are evaluated and the illustrator is selected by a jury made up of representatives from the host library and IBBY Canada, as well as the previous year’s Illustrator in Residence.

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.

IBBY, the International Board on Books for Young People (, 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, please contact:

Helena Aalto
Promotion Officer
IBBY Canada