Summer 2017, Vol. 37, No. 2
ISSN 1704-6033
En français

Letter from the Editor

As the summer starts to wind down (wait, how did that happen?), IBBY Canada is ramping up for an action-packed fall. We’ll be at The Word on the Street in Halifax and Toronto in September. In October, Ashley Barron will be taking up residency at Toronto Public Library as the Joanne Fitzgerald Illustrator in Residence. This fall, we will be accepting submissions for the Cleaver Award — our annual Canadian picture book award. All of these activities and more are featured in this issue of the newsletter.

I’d like to welcome Lana Button to the board of directors as the new CANSCAIP Liaison. Lana is the author of four books with Kids Can Press — Willows Whispers, Willow Finds a Way, Willow’s Smile, and the forthcoming My Teacher’s Not Here. She will be taking on the “CANSCAIP Spotlight” feature in the newsletter, among other contributions. Welcome, Lana!

I hope everyone is enjoying the final weeks of summer, and of course, enjoying lots of great summer reads.

– Katie Scott, Newsletter Editor

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10 Things You Should Know about IBBY Canada

1. What does IBBY stand for?

IBBY stands for the International Board on Books for Young People. IBBY Canada is the Canadian section.

2. How many countries does IBBY operate in?

IBBY operates in 75 countries around the world. The full list can be found here on IBBY’s website.

3. How long has IBBY been around?

IBBY was founded in 1953 by Jella Lepman, who was tasked with finding a way to help German children rehabilitate after World War II. These children not only needed food, clothing, and shelter, but also books to help them know they were not alone in their experiences. You can learn more about Jella Lepman, and the founding of IBBY, in her autobiography A Bridge of Children’s Books: The Inspiring Autobiography of a Remarkable Woman.

4. How long has IBBY been operating in Canada?

IBBY Canada was founded in 1980.

5. What does IBBY do in Canada?

IBBY Canada’s mission is to introduce Canadian children’s literature to the world and to promote exceptional international children’s literature in Canada. We have a picture book award (Elizabeth Mrazik-Cleaver Canadian Picture Book Award), an illustrator in residence program (Joanne Fitzgerald Illustrator in Residence), a research grant (Frances E. Russell Grant), and a service award (Claude Aubry Award). We also nominate Canadians for prestigious international awards, such as the Hans Christian Andersen Award (see below) and the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award.

6. What Is the Children in Crisis Fund?

The Children in Crisis Fund is an initiative operated by IBBY International that administers bibliotherapy and library collection replacement in places that have been disrupted by war, civil disorder or natural disasters. The fund has allowed IBBY national sections to work in such areas as Lebanon with Syrian refugee children, Japan after the 2011 earthquake, and Haiti after the 2010 earthquake — to name a few.

7. How is IBBY connected to the Hans Christian Andersen Award?

The Hans Christian Andersen Award, known as the “Little Nobel,” is the highest international recognition given to an author and an illustrator of children’s books. IBBY International administers the award, and IBBY Canada is the official nominating body for Canadian authors and illustrators. The Canadian nominees for the 2018 award are Kenneth Oppel (author) and Isabelle Arsenault (illustrator).

8. Why should I become a member?

IBBY members share a common belief in the importance of books and literacy to children around the world. Your membership fee helps to support the work we do in Canada, including administration of our awards and programs, and internationally. It also contributes to our annual dues to IBBY International. Your annual membership grants you voting rights at the Annual Meeting of Members, and keeps you in the loop with IBBY Canada’s activities through member-only emails and our quarterly newsletter.

9. How can I get involved?

There are many ways that you can get involved! Become a member and join us at the Annual Meeting of Members — it’s a great way to hear about our activities of the past year and what we have planned for the coming year. We also have volunteer opportunities at The Word on Street Festivals in Toronto and Halifax. If you’re looking for a more serious commitment, you might consider joining our board of directors. If you’d like to get involved, please get in touch!

10. How else can I support IBBY Canada’s work?

You can support IBBY Canada’s work by making a donation through our website. If you would like your donation to go to a specific area, such as the Children in Crisis Fund or the Cleaver Award, you can let us know in the notes field.

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Ashley Barron is the 2017 Joanne Fitzgerald Illustrator in Residence

Ashley Barron
Photo credit: Kevin C. W. Wong

IBBY Canada is pleased to announce that Ashley Barron has been selected for the 2017 Joanne Fitzgerald Illustrator in Residence Program at the Northern District Branch of Toronto Public Library. During her residency in the month of October, Ashley will present art activities for school children at the library, lead evening workshops in the library for adults and teens, make presentations to art students in high schools and colleges, and offer portfolio reviews.

Ashley Barron is a multimedia artist who is best known for her cut-paper collage-style work. The children’s books she has illustrated include the Math in Nature series by Lizann Flatt (Owlkids Books, 2012–2014), Kyle Goes Alone by Jan Thornhill (Owlkids Books, 2015), Up: How Families Around the World Carry Their Little Ones by Susan Hughes (Owlkids Books, 2017), and Birthdays Around the World by Margriet Ruurs (Kids Can Press, 2017). Ashley has also done illustration work for magazines, animations, advertising campaigns, and window displays. She grew up in Oshawa, Ontario, graduated from OCAD University, and now lives in Toronto.

Applications were received from illustrators across Canada. The 2017 illustrator in residence was selected by a jury comprised of Sheila Barry, Publisher, Groundwood Books and president of IBBY Canada; Sarah Bradley, Library Service Manager, Toronto Public Library; and Meghan Howe, Library Coordinator, Canadian Children’s Book Centre.

The Joanne Fitzgerald Illustrator in Residence Program offers a published children’s book illustrator a month-long residency in a Canadian public library. The program honours the life of Joanne Fitzgerald (1956–2011), whose children’s books include Plain NoodlesEmily’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, the Canadian Urban Libraries Council, and the Young family.

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Call for Submissions: 2017 Elizabeth Mrazik-Cleaver Canadian Picture Book Award

Publishers across Canada are invited to submit picture books for the annual Elizabeth Mrazik-Cleaver Canadian Picture Book Award (the Cleaver Award). The Cleaver Award is given annually in recognition of outstanding artistic talent in a Canadian picture book. The recipient receives a cheque for $1,000 and a certificate. An award ceremony to celebrate the winner is held each year.

The Cleaver Award is administered by a committee of three members of IBBY Canada. The jury members for the 2017 award are Lyne Rajotte (chair), Camilia Kahrizi, and Carol-Ann Hoyte.


  1. The recipient of the Cleaver Award is a Canadian illustrator of a picture book published in Canada in English or French between January 1, 2017, and December 31, 2017.
  2. The book must be a first edition and contain original illustrations by a Canadian artist (either a citizen or permanent resident).
  3. All genres are considered: fiction, non-fiction, poetry, and folk and fairy tales.
  4. If a book has been submitted in previous years, even if it was submitted in a different language, the book will not be eligible for consideration.

Submission information:

  1. A copy of each submitted title is mailed by the publisher to each of the three committee members. Please contact Lyne Rajotte for the addresses of the committee members.
  2. There is a $20 fee for each title submitted to the Cleaver Award. For example, if you are submitting two titles for consideration, you will mail one copy of each book to each of the three jury members and a cheque for $40 to IBBY Canada’s head office. 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.

Please send a cheque made payable 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 ensure that your submission fee arrives no later than December 1, 2017. Deadline for mailings to jurors is December 15, 2017.

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Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award Presentation to Wolf Erlbruch

On May 29, 2017, Wolf Erlbruch was awarded the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award — the richest prize in all of children’s literature — in Stockholm, Sweden. IBBY Canada is one of the nominating bodies for Canadian nominees.

Watch highlights from the award ceremony!

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York University Hosts International Children’s Literature Conference

Leigh Turina presents at the IRSCL
Leigh Turina presents at the IRSCL conference at York University. Photo courtesy of Rob Bittner.

From July 29 to August 2, Toronto’s York University hosted the biennial congress of International Research Society for Children’s Literature (IRSCL). The theme of the congress was “Possible & Impossible Children: Children’s Literature & Childhood Studies.” IBBY Canada was visible in several important ways.

First was the panel presentation on disability, organized and convened by Rob Bittner, Regional Councillor West. Leigh Turina, Lead Librarian of the IBBY Collection for Young People with Disabilities, housed at the North York Central Library (within the Toronto Public Library system), discussed the collection with the audience, explaining the selection process and illustrating with various books from the collection. Next up was Rob, who spoke on “Multi-Marginality and (Dis)Ability Representation in LGBTQ Young Adult Fiction.” The panel was rounded off by a talk from Megan Brown, a graduate student from Ohio State University, on “Judging by the First Look: Changing Representation of Disability on Book Covers.” A lively discussion ensued, and the panel was successful in profiling this topic and IBBY’s valuable resources housed in Toronto.

IBBY Canada was represented in several other ways as well. Recent recipients of the Frances E. Russell Grant gave papers. Bonnie Tulloch, a PhD student at the University of British Columbia, who received the grant in 2013 for her work on island literatures, gave a presentation on “Lost Boys and Lost Girls: The Kindred Offspring of J.M. Barrie and L.M. Montgomery” in a panel on “In and Out of Books: Montgomery’s Imaginings of Complex Childhoods.” Erin Spring, who received the Russell Grant in 2014 for work on the responses of Aboriginal youth to contemporary Canadian young adult fiction, presented a paper on “Reflections from a Reserve: Blackfoot Readers and their Texts” in a panel she organized and convened on “The Possibilities for Creating Community through Diverse Children’s Texts.” Erin, just finishing a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Lethbridge, is headed to the University of Calgary’s School of Education to take up a position in September.

Lesley Clement, Regional Councillor Ontario, co-organized two panels on L.M. Montgomery and presented a paper on “Montgomery’s Precocious Children and Their Narratives of Death, Dying, and Heaven” in one of these panels, “Beyond Green Gables: Transformative Opportunities for Impossible Children in Montgomery’s Fiction.”

While the five days were full of stimulating presentations, there was always time for conversations and fun. The congress dinner was held at Black Creek Pioneer Village, where we were serenaded by Björn Sundmark, one of the organizers for the next IRSCL congress, and the current editor of Bookbird, a journal published quarterly by IBBY. Björn’s dazzling performance persuaded us all to save up our krona so that we can attend the IRSCL 2019 congress in Stockholm, which will be hosted by The Swedish Institute for Children’s Books.

It was wonderful to see so many IBBY people present at the IRSCL congress.

– Rob Bittner, Regional Councillor West, and Lesley Clement, Regional Councillor Ontario

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New Travel Grant for Children’s Literature Scholars

Applications are welcome for the Clarke Library’s International Children’s Literature Research grant. The grant will fund travel to Central Michigan University’s Clarke Historical Library to conduct research using the international resources found in the Clarke Library’s Lucile Clarke Memorial Children’s Library. Among these resources are an extensive collection of International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY) nominee books and author dossiers, as well as other children’s books from around the world. For a detailed catalogue of the international children’s books found in the Clarke Library that would be available for use, visit www.cmich.edu/library and search the library catalogue.

Innovative proposals that exploit the riches of the collection are encouraged. The object of the research may be but is not limited to studies in children’s literature. Applicants may propose using the collection’s foreign language resources in any way that would promote scholarly endeavour.

Application forms may be obtained at clarke.cmich.edu/ICLRG. Applicants must be received no later than January 15, 2018.

Please note that the winning applicant must hold either a master’s or doctoral degree, or be currently enrolled in a doctoral program and must reside in the US or Canada or be currently enrolled in an American or Canadian university program. The winning applicant will receive $2,000, which will be expected to cover transportation and living expenses while visiting the library. For additional information please contact the Clarke Historical Library at clarke@cmich.edu. Please include the phrase “International Children’s Literature Research Grant” in the subject line.

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News from Our Partners

Communication-Jeunesse: Congratulations to André Marois, Pierre Pratt, Mélanie Watt, and Simon Boulerice for receiving top honours at this year’s Palmarès Communication-Jeunesse des livres préférés des jeunes. Each year, young readers vote on their favourite books of the year to be recognized. For more information, visit the Communication-Jeunesse website.

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Upcoming Events

September 16 & 24, 2017 (HALIFAX & TORONTO): IBBY Canada will be at this year’s The Word on the Street. The Halifax event will take place on Saturday, September 16, at the Halifax Central Library. The Toronto event will take place at Harbourfront Centre on Sunday, September 24. We hope to see you there!

October 20–22, 2017 (SEATTLE): The 12th Annual IBBY Regional Conference will take place in Seattle this year. The theme of this year’s conference is “Radical Change Beyond Borders: The Transforming Power of Children’s Literature in a Digital Age.” IBBY Canada’s Theo Heras and Allison Taylor-McBryde will draw on their shared experience as chair of the Elizabeth Mrazik-Cleaver Canadian Picture Book Award in their presentation titled “Canadian Picture Books – Across the Border: Embracing Diversity.”

March 27–31, 2018 (HAVANA): Reading 2018 International Congress: To read the 21st, hosted by IBBY Cuba.

August 30–September 1, 2018 (ATHENS): The 36th annual IBBY International Congress will be held in Athens, Greece, from August 30 to September 1, 2018. The conference’s theme is “East Meets West Around Children’s Books and Fairy Tales.” For more information, visit the official Congress website.

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IBBY Canada Newsletter

Editor: Katie Scott

Copy editor (English): Meghan Howe

Formatter: Camilia Kahrizi

Banner design: Martha Newbigging