Winter 2015, Vol. 34, No. 4
Letter from the Editor
Last fall was a busy season for IBBY Canada! Among the many events was the second annual Joanne Fitzgerald Illustrator in Residence Program. Hosted by Toronto Public Library, this program gives a Canadian illustrator the opportunity to connect with various students and budding illustrators through a month-long residency.
The 2014 candidate for the program was Patricia Storms, and in this issue of the newsletter we’ll hear from Patricia about her experience. I caught up with Patricia in person at the CANSCAIP meeting on January 14, 2015, at the Northern District Branch of Toronto Public Library. A few other IBBY Canada board members were present, including Theo Heras and Helena Aalto. Patricia was the guest speaker that evening, talking about her experience as the Joanne Fitzgerald Illustrator in Residence. She also spoke about what makes a good children’s book cover, based on her years of experience publishing for children. The evening was interesting and informative.
And speaking of CANSCAIP, be sure not to miss our CANSCAIP Spotlight Q&A with Ken Setterington. This award-winning author discusses the importance of supporting Canadian authors and illustrators, and of promoting the Canadian stories that they create (hear, hear!).
Stay warm, everyone!
– Katie Scott, Newsletter Editor
Mot de l’éditrice
IBBY Canada a été très occupée l’automne dernier! Parmi de nombreux évènements, il y a eu la deuxième édition du Programme Joanne Fitzgerald illustrateur en résidence. Présenté par la bibliothèque publique de Toronto, ce programme offre l’occasion à un illustrateur canadien de rencontrer de nombreux élèves et d’aspirants illustrateurs pendant une période d’un mois en résidence.
Celle qui a remporté ce prix en 2014 est Patricia Storms et, au cours de ce bulletin, vous aurez la chance de découvrir son parcours. J’ai eu la chance de la rencontrer le 14 janvier dernier lors d’une rencontre de CANSCAIP (la Société canadienne des auteurs, illustrateurs et artistes pour enfants) à la bibliothèque publique de Toronto, Direction du District Nord. D’autres membres du Conseil d’administration d’IBBY Canada, tels que Theo Heras et Helena Aalto, y étaient présents. Patricia était l’invitée d’honneur de cette rencontre et s’est exprimée sur son expérience en tant que lauréate du programme Joanne Fitzgerald illustrateur en résidence. Elle a aussi évoqué ce qui constitue, d’après ses nombreuses années d’expérience en édition de livres pour enfants, une bonne couverture pour livre d’enfants. Cette soirée était fort intéressante et informative.
Ne manquez pas notre entrevue CANSCAIP réalisée auprès de Ken Setterington. Cet auteur, gagnant de plusieurs prix, y parle de l’importance de soutenir les auteurs et les illustrateurs canadiens et de la promotion des histoires que ces artisans créent (oui, oui!)
Restez bien au chaud!
– Katie Scott, Éditrice de l’infolettre
Traduction : Yveline Jean-Charles
Greetings, IBBY Canada members!
It’s the depths of January as I write, and most parts of Canada are in a deep freeze. Icy roads and visible breath are the order of the day. We at IBBY Canada hope you have a good book to curl up with on these chilly days.
After the busy holiday season, we are now gearing up for our Annual Meeting of Members (formally known as the Annual General Meeting, or AGM) on February 28, 2015. We hope that many of you will be able to participate in person. We are exploring ways that members can participate from a distance.
IBBY Canada participated at the first annual INSPIRE! Toronto International Book Fair this past November. Over the course of three days we met people, shared information, talked about IBBY projects, and generally schmoozed at the IBBY Canada booth. We were one of about half a dozen literacy and book-related non-profit organizations that had booths at the fair. It is always great to have the support of others who share our passion for this work!
For INSPIRE!, IBBY Canada hosted special guests: IBBY International Executive Director Liz Page and originator of the IBBY Collection for Young People with Disabilities (now housed in Toronto) Heidi Boiesen. Liz and Heidi collaborated with the current IBBY Collection librarians Leigh Turina and Sharon Moynes to present an hour-and-a-half long workshop on the work of IBBY and the collection specifically. They shared a selection of books from the collection with the attendees, and everyone seemed interested in what the collection has to offer.
In this newsletter, you can read about happenings around Canada and internationally, as well as be reminded about some of the upcoming IBBY projects.
I look forward to seeing you at the end of February!
– Shannon Babcock, President
Rapport de la Présidente
Salutations aux membres d’IBBY Canada!
Voici que j’écris en plein janvier, et la plupart du Canada est en plein état de gèle. Des routes gelées et de l’haleine visible marquent tous nos jours. Nous espérons que vous avez un bon livre à lire accroupi dans ton lit, pendant ces journées froides.
Après la saison des Fêtes, nous préparons maintenant notre Assemblée annuelle des membres (auparavant connue comme Assemblée générale annuelle, ou AGA) le 28 février 2015. Nous espérons que beaucoup d’entre vous seront capables de participer en personne. Nous explorons des moyens de faire participer les membres à distance.
IBBY Canada a participé au premier salon du livre international annuel de Toronto INSPIRE! en novembre dernier. Pendant ces trois jours nous avons rencontré beaucoup de monde, parlé des projets d’IBBY, et fait du réseautage au kiosque d’IBBY Canada. Nous étions l’un des demi-douzaine d’organismes à but non lucratifs liés aux livres ou à l’alphabétisation qui avaient des kiosques au salon. C’est toujours génial de se faire appuyer par d’autres qui partagent notre passion pour ces œuvres!
Pendant INSPIRE! IBBY Canada a eu des invitées spéciales : Liz Page, directrice exécutive internationale d’IBBY, et Heidi Boiesen, fondatrice de la Collection IBBY pour les jeunes gens ayant des handicaps (maintenant hébergée à Toronto). Liz et Heidi ont collaboré avec les bibliothécaires de la Collection, Leigh Turina et Sharon Moynes, afin de présenter un atelier d’une heure et demie au sujet des œuvres d’IBBY et de la Collection en particulier. Elles ont partagé une sélection de livres de la Collection et tout le monde semblait intéressé à ce que la Collection peut offrir.
Dans ce bulletin, vous pourrez lire ce qui se passe au Canada et partout dans le monde, apprendre davantage sur quelques projets IBBY à venir.
Je tiens à vous voir à la fin de février!
– Shannon Babcock, Présidente
Traduction : Todd Kyle
Regional Report: Quebec
For those who don’t live in Quebec and who would like to read children’s literature in French, it can be difficult to choose a book or to even know where to look for one. Taking my cue from an article by Myriam de Repentigny that appeared in the Winter 2015 issue of Lurelu, the Quebec children’s literature journal, I’d like to present to you some of my favourite blogs and websites.
Behind the character of Sophie is a secondary school French teacher whose dynamic blog specializes in literature for teens. Besides her own personal opinion, her reviews provide publication data and a summary of the book. Right now, this is a site not to be missed, probably the most followed of the sites listed here.
“Reading is a passion and booksellers are devoted to it.”
The booksellers of Montreal’s Librarie Monet bookstore maintain this blog, and children’s literature is at the forefront. One of the blog’s interesting features is the top picks and reviews from each bookseller. Once you find a bookseller who shares your tastes in books, you can rely on their selections. It’s like personalized bookstore hand selling, but in the comfort of your living room.
Lectures de Nicholas
Nicholas Aumais is a literary consultant for Bayard Canada, Bayard Jeunesse and Milan. Nicholas is passionate about children’s literature, and his reviews make that clear. He updates his blog regularly. His tone inspires confidence; he is speaking to each of us, always. I can credit him for the discovery of several books that I would otherwise have missed.
Also, check out the following blogs and websites:
– Lyne Rajotte, Regional Councillor Quebec
Translation: Todd Kyle
Rapport régional du Québec
Pour qui ne vit pas au Québec et qui désire lire de la littérature jeunesse en français, il est difficile de choisir un titre, de savoir où chercher ou de simplement s’y retrouver. En m’inspirant d’un article par Myriam de Repentigny dans le numéro hiver 2015 de la revue québécoise de littérature jeunesse, Lurelu, j’aimerais vous faire connaître certains de mes blogues et sites web chouchous.
Celle qui se cache derrière le personnage de Sophie est une enseignante de français au secondaire et son dynamique blogue se spécialise en littérature pour adolescents. Outre son appréciation personnelle, ses billets fournissent une fiche technique et un résumé du livre. À l’heure actuelle, ce site est incontournable, probablement le plus suivi.
«La lecture délivre, les libraires se livrent.»
Ce blogue est tenu par les libraires de la librairie Monet à Montréal, et la littérature jeunesse occupe une place de choix. Un aspect intéressant du blogue est la présentation des coups de cœur, libraire par libraire, et la signature de leurs billets. Si on s’identifie à l’un d’entre eux en particulier, nous sommes confiants des choix qu’il propose. Ça ressemble à un service en librairie, mais dans le confort de son salon.
Lectures de Nicholas
Nicholas Aumais est conseiller en littérature jeunesse aux éditions Bayard Canada, et Bayard Jeunesse et Milan. Nicholas est un passionné de la littérature jeunesse, et ses billets en font foi. Il alimente son blogue régulièrement. Le ton est celui de la confidence; il parle à chacun de nous, toujours. Je lui dois plusieurs découvertes de titres qui m’avaient échappé.
Aussi, allez découvrir les blogues et les sites suivants :
– Lyne Rajotte, Conseillère régionale Québec
Regional Report: Ontario
It’s been a busy season for Leigh Turina and Sharon Moynes of Toronto’s North York Central Library. They spoke about the IBBY Collection for Young People with Disabilities at INSPIRE! Toronto International Book Fair last November and at the Ontario Library Association (OLA) Super Conference in January 2015. They’ll also be speaking at the Association des bibliothécaires du Québec – Quebec Library Association (ABQLA) in Montreal on May 7, 2015. The 2015 catalogue for Outstanding Books for Young People with Disabilities launches at the Bologna Children’s Book Fair on March 30, 2015.
The Japan Foundation, Toronto (131 Bloor Street West; 2nd floor of the Colonnade) is hosting an exhibition of 40 Japanese-language items from IBBY’s Collection for Young People with Disabilities from January 19-February 27, 2015. All are welcome.
– Lesley Clement, Regional Councillor Ontario
Rapport régionale de l’Ontario
C’est une saison très occupée pour Leigh Turina et Sharon Moynes de la bibliothèque North York Central à Toronto. Elles ont prononcé un discours au sujet de la Collection IBBY pour les jeunes gens ayant des handicaps lors du salon du livre international de Toronto INSPIRE! en novembre dernier, ainsi que lors de la Super Conférence de l’Association des bibliothèques de l’Ontario (OLA) en janvier 2015. Elles prononceront un discours également au congrès de l’Association des bibliothécaires du Québec–Quebec Library Association (ABQLA) le 7 mai 2015. Le catalogue des Livres exceptionnels pour les jeunes gens ayant des handicaps se lancera lors du Salon du livre jeunesse de Bologne le 30 mars 2015.
La Fondation Japon de Toronto (131, rue Bloor Ouest; deuxième étage de la Colonnade) présente une exposition de 40 articles en langue japonaise tirés de la Collection IBBY pour les jeunes gens ayant des handicaps du 19 janvier au 27 février 2015. Tout le monde sera le bienvenu.
– Lesley Clement, Conseillère régionale Ontario
Traduction : Todd Kyle
Patricia Storms: Tales from an Illustrator in Residence
It’s the New Year, and I am still thinking about my wonderful experience as the 2014 Joanne Fitzgerald Illustrator in Residence.
As soon as I found out about this program in 2013 (via emails from CANSCAIP and the Canadian Children’s Book Centre) I was intrigued. But I wasn’t sure if I would qualify. I asked a good writer friend if I should apply, and her response was something like, “Are you crazy? Don’t turn yourself down! Wait for someone else to turn you down! Cast your net as far as it can go!” So I applied, and … I got turned down! The very talented illustrator and instructor Martha Newbigging got the gig. But I was encouraged to apply the next year, which I did, and to my utter shock, I was accepted!
Even though the program didn’t start until October of 2014, the planning and organizing began in early April. There were so many people behind the scenes working extremely hard to make me look good. I am very thankful for all the support I received from the staff at IBBY Canada, as well as the staff at Toronto Public Library’s (TPL) Northern District Branch and their Communications, Programming and Customer Engagement Department. I am especially indebted to Helena Aalto, IBBY Canada Promotions Officer, for keeping my life organized during that busy month.
Most of all the programs and workshops took place at TPL’s Northern District Library. Mondays were set aside for portfolio reviews with artists hoping to break into children’s book illustration. Tuesdays and Wednesdays were class visits, ranging from Grades 1 to 6. Thursdays were offsite visits to high schools and colleges. I only did one workshop on a Saturday, which was a relief, because on top of this program, I was also illustrating a new picture book!
There were so many delightful memories during that month: having my illustration work on display in the Northern District’s gallery, discovering so many talented young illustrators from the class visits, and (hopefully!) encouraging and inspiring new talent during the portfolio review sessions.
I really could not believe how fortunate I was to have this unique opportunity. Libraries have always been a big part of my life. My mother is a librarian, I am married to a library technician, and in a previous career, I myself was a library technician. Books, art, and libraries have always been great fodder for my soul. So to be able to experience all three of my loves — my “Trifecta of Happiness” as I like to say — was truly a dream come true.
– Patricia Storms, 2014 Joanne Fitzgerald Illustrator in Residence
Patricia Storms : récits d’une illustratrice en résidence
Voilà la nouvelle année qui commence et je réfléchissais à ma participation au Programme Joanne Fitzgerald illustrateur en résidence 2014.
Dès l’instant où j’ai entendu parler de ce programme, en 2013 (par des courriels de la Société canadienne des auteurs, illustrateurs et artistes pour enfants et du Centre du livre jeunesse canadien), ma curiosité était piquée. Toutefois, je n’étais pas certaine d’être admissible. J’ai demandé à une amie, une écrivaine talentueuse, si je devrais poser ma candidature. Si je me souviens bien, sa réponse a été quelque chose comme « Tu as perdu la tête ou quoi? Ne rejette pas ta candidature toi-même! Attends que quelqu’un d’autre le fasse! Tente ta chance et ratisse aussi large que possible! » Alors, j’ai posé ma candidature… Et elle a été refusée! C’est Martha Newbigging, une illustratrice et instructrice incroyablement douée, qui a été sélectionnée. On m’a encouragé en revanche à poser ma candidature de nouveau l’année d’après; j’ai suivi ce conseil et, à ma grande surprise, c’est moi qui ai été choisie!
Même si le programme ne débutait qu’en octobre 2014, la planification et l’organisation ont commencé dès le début du mois d’avril. Tant de gens en coulisse ont travaillé fort pour que je puisse briller! Je suis très reconnaissante pour tout le soutien que j’ai reçu du personnel d’IBBY Canada, de même que des employés de la succursale du district Nord du réseau de bibliothèques publiques de Toronto (TPL) et des divisions responsables des communications, de la programmation et de la participation publique. Je suis particulièrement reconnaissante envers Helena Aalto, l’agente de promotion d’IBBY Canada, qui a organisé mon horaire durant ce mois particulièrement chargé.
La plupart des activités et des ateliers ont eu lieu à la succursale du district Nord du réseau de bibliothèques publiques de Toronto. Le lundi, je travaillais à l’évaluation de portfolios avec des artistes espérant percer dans le monde de l’illustration de livres pour enfants. Le mardi et le mercredi étaient consacrés aux visites dans les classes, de la première à la sixième année. Le jeudi, je faisais des visites hors site dans des écoles secondaires et des universités. Je n’ai fait qu’un seul atelier le samedi — je dois dire que c’était un soulagement, car en plus du programme, je travaillais également à un nouveau livre d’images!
Tellement de souvenirs inoubliables durant ce mois : voir mes illustrations exposées dans la galerie de la succursale du district nord, découvrir tant de jeunes illustrateurs talentueux durant les visites dans les classes, en plus (espérons-le!) d’encourager et d’inspirer de nouveaux talents durant les séances d’évaluation de portfolios.
Vraiment, je n’arrive pas encore à croire à quel point j’ai été chanceuse de participer à ce programme unique. Les bibliothèques ont toujours fait partie intégrante de ma vie. Ma mère était bibliothécaire, je suis mariée à un bibliotechnicien et, dans une carrière antérieure, j’en étais une moi-même. Les livres, l’art et les bibliothèques sont, depuis toujours, sources d’inspiration pour moi. Ainsi, pouvoir vivre de mes trois amours — ma trifecta du bonheur, comme j’aime si bien l’appeler — c’était un rêve devenu réalité.
— Patricia Storms, Joanne Fitzgerald illustratrice en résidence 2014
Traduction : Catherine Dussault
You’re Invited! IBBY Canada’s Annual Meeting of Members
Another year has passed, and it’s time once again for the IBBY Canada Annual Meeting of Members (formally the Annual General Meeting, or AGM). Join us on the morning of February 28 to meet outgoing and incoming board members, to catch up on what IBBY Canada has accomplished over the past year, to vote on upcoming changes, and to learn about what we’re looking forward to in 2015!
Patricia Storms, IBBY Canada’s 2014 Joanne Fitzgerald Illustrator in Residence, will be in attendance as our special guest. This will be a great opportunity meet Patricia, to talk to her about her residency experience, and to view some of her works.
Please note that, while all are welcome, in order to vote at the Annual Meeting of Members you have to be a current member in good standing. You can renew your membership at any time online. We will also be renewing memberships in person at the meeting with cash or cheque ONLY.
Where: Northern District Library, Room 200, 40 Orchard View Blvd., Toronto
When: Saturday, February 28th from 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. Registration opens at 9:30 a.m.
Who: IBBY Canada board members, general membership, and any friends or colleagues who might be interested.
Coffee and a light lunch will be provided.
We hope to see you there!
Remembering Ted Harrison
The sad news that Ted Harrison died on January 16, 2015, at age 88, touched Canadians in both the fine arts community and the children’s literature community.
Ted Harrison was born Edward Hardy Harrison in the village of Wingate in County Durham, England, on August 28, 1926. His artistic talent was recognized early by his teachers and was encouraged by his parents. After military service in World War II, he completed a diploma in art and received a teaching certificate. Ted travelled around the world, painted and taught, and eventually found his “Shangri-La” in Carcross, Yukon, where he, his wife Nicky, and their son Charles lived from 1968 to 1993. The northern lights and landscape of the north influenced his distinctive and recognizable style of swirling colours.
Ted illustrated both The Cremation of Sam McGee (Kids Can Press, 1986) and The Shooting of Dan McGrew (Kids Can Press, 1988), poems by Robert Service, and wrote and illustrated his own books — O Canada (Kids Can Press, 1992), A Northern Alphabet (Tundra Books, 1982), and Children of the Yukon (Tundra Books, 1977), to name just a few. In 2014, Pajama Press released A Brush Full of Colour: The World of Ted Harrison, a picture book biography about Ted’s life and work by Margriet Ruurs and Katherine Gibson.
In 1990, IBBY Canada asked Ted Harrison to create a poster for International Children’s Book Day, with the motto “Books: Paths to Many Worlds” (the message was written by Monica Hughes). In the foreground are children representing cultures from all over the world reading and enjoying books. In the background and looming large are trees, the legs of a (friendly) giant, a marvelous castle, and a rocket ship flying high in the sky. Ted’s characteristic use of loose lines and waves of colour create a Utopian fantasy world that welcomes all children.
Ted donated his original art as a fundraising raffle prize for IBBY Canada. His generosity raised enough funds to keep IBBY Canada operating in the black for years.
All of us in the children’s literature community will miss the presence of this singular Canadian artist.
– Theo Heras, 2nd Vice-President
TD Canadian Children’s Literature Awards in Toronto
November 6, 2014, was one of the most anticipated dates on the children’s literature calendar: it was the night of the 2014 TD Canadian Children’s Literature Awards in Toronto. Days earlier, the prestigious Giller Prize was televised on CBC and hosted by Rick Mercer. Could it have been half as much fun or exciting as the CCBC Awards gala?
Our host was Shelagh Rogers of CBC’s The Next Chapter. The air in The Carlu was electric with anticipation. Not just one prize would be announced, but six, plus the presentation of the CBC Fan Choice Award and the TD Grade One Book Giveaway. The dreary overcast weather outside did not dampen spirits inside. It was a heady, eventful evening.
Before the program began, the 500+ guests were treated to divine appetizers; the duck confit was not to be missed, but then neither were the French fries. Everyone nibbled and chattered away as nominees for the awards mixed with the supportive crowd and received many well wishes.
The doors to the Art Deco Carlu auditorium flew open and guests flocked in to find seating. One-by-one, names of the award nominees were called and winners announced. (To find the full list of awards and winners, go to the CCBC website.) IBBY Canada was pleased to note that the winner of the Marilyn Baillie Picture Book Award was Julie Morstad, author of How To (Simply Read Books, 2013), which had also won IBBY Canada’s Elizabeth Mrazik-Cleaver Canadian Picture Book Award. The Man with the Violin by Kathy Stinson, illustrated by Dušan Petričić (Annick Press, 2013) was shortlisted for both the Baillie and Cleaver Awards and won the 2014 TD Canadian Children’s Literature Award.
Post ceremony, the hall was filled with conversation, laughter, and congratulations. The room emptied slowly as guests were given a bag filled with gifts — a copy of The Man with the Violin; the TD Grade One Book Giveaway Doors in the Air by David Weale, illustrated by Pierre Pratt (Orca Book Publishers, 2012); the latest edition of Canadian Children’s Book News; and the CCBC’s Best Books for Kids & Teens magazine. It was one fabulous night!
– Theo Heras, 2nd Vice-President
Prix TD de littérature canadienne pour l’enfance et la jeunesse à Toronto
Le 6 novembre 2014 était une des dates les plus attendues dans le calendrier de la littérature de jeunesse : c’était la date de remise du Prix TD de littérature canadienne pour l’enfance et la jeunesse 2014 à Toronto. Quelques jours plus tôt, le prestigieux Prix Giller passait sur les ondes du réseau anglais de Radio-Canada avec Rick Mercer comme maître de cérémonie. Est-ce que cela pouvait être aussi amusant que le gala des prix du Centre canadien du livre jeunesse?
La maîtresse de cérémonie était Shelagh Rogers de l’émission Next Chapter sur les ondes du réseau anglais de Radio-Canada. L’atmosphère était électrique au Carlu. Non seulement un prix serait annoncé, mais aussi six autres prix en plus de la présentation du Prix des lecteurs de Radio-Canada (CBC) et du programme Un livre à moi TD. Le mauvais temps n’avait pas altéré la bonne humeur à l’intérieur. C’était une soirée pleine de surprises et de rebondissements.
Avant que la présentation ne commence, plus de 500 invités ont savouré des mets divins, il ne fallait pas manquer le confit de canard ni les frites! Chacun a grignoté et parlé allégrement alors que les auteurs et les illustrateurs en nomination se promenaient en recevant accolades et encouragements.
Les portes de l’auditorium Art déco se sont ouvertes et les invités s’y sont engouffrés pour se trouver une place. Un par un les auteurs et les illustrateurs en nomination ont été appelés et les lauréats ont été annoncés. (Veuillez trouver la liste des lauréats sur le site du Centre canadien pour le livre jeunesse).
IBBY Canada était fier de constater que la lauréate du prix Marilyn Baillie pour un album illustré était Julie Morstad, illustratrice de How to (Simply Read Books, 2013) qui avait également remporté le prix administré par IBBY Canada, à savoir le Prix Elizabeth Mrazik-Cleaver pour le meilleur livre d’images Canadien. Le livre The Man with the Violin (Annick Press, 2013) par Kathy Stinson et illustré par Dušan Petričić, était en nomination pour le prix Baillie et le prix Cleaver et a remporté le Prix TD de littérature canadienne pour l’enfance et la jeunesse de 2014.
Après la cérémonie, le hall était rempli de conversations, de rires et de félicitations.
La salle s’est vidée tranquillement alors que les invités repartaient avec leur sac-cadeau contenant un exemplaire de The Man with the Violin, ainsi que le livre sélectionné pour Un livre à moi ! Doors in the Air (Orca Book, 2012), écrit par David Weale et illustré par Pierre Pratt, la dernière édition de Canadian Children’s Book News et le magazine Best Books for Kids & Teens publié par le Centre canadien du livre jeunesse. Quelle soirée fabuleuse!
– Theo Heras, 2ième Vice-présidente
Traduction: Josiane Polidori
Prix TD de littérature canadienne pour l’enfance et la jeunesse in Montreal
The Prix TD de littérature canadienne pour l’enfance et la jeunesse is always a much anticipated evening in the francophone children’s book world, and this year’s event was no exception! Hundreds of people gathered at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts to celebrate this year’s nominees and winners.
Each nominee was invited to speak to the crowd before the winner was announced. The nominees were Destins croisés by Élizabeth Turgeon (Les Éditions du Boréal, 2013), Le lion et l’oiseau, written and illustrated by Marianne Dubuc (Les Éditions de la Pastèque, 2013), Ma petite boule d’amour by Jasmine Dubé, illustrated by Jean-Luc Trudel (Les Éditions de la Bagnole, 2013), Le Noël de Marguerite by India Desjardins, illustrated by Pascal Blanchet (Les Éditions de la Pastèque, 2013). First time novelist Andrée Poulin won for La plus grosse poutine du monde (Bayard Canada, 2013). Her delight and surprise were palpable! The audience was also treated to the announcement of the TD Grade One Book Giveaway title, Doors in the Air (Des portes dans les airs), with a special appearance by author David Weale and illustrator Pierre Pratt.
The party and the wonderful food are second only to the opportunity to catch up with other book loving colleagues. Live music and a gift bag with the winning title capped an already stellar evening. Congratulations on another wonderful evening with children’s books and their creators in the spotlight.
– Shannon Babcock, President
Prix TD de littérature canadienne pour l’enfance et la jeunesse à Montréal
La soirée du Prix TD de littérature canadienne pour l’enfance et la jeunesse est toujours un des évènements les plus anticipés dans le monde de la littérature jeunesse québécoise. La soirée cette année a été une autre grande réussite! Des centaines de personnes étaient accueillies au Musée des beaux-arts de Montréal pour la célébration des livres et des créateurs en lice.
Chaque créateur avait l’occasion de s’adresser aux participants. En nomination cette année : Destins croisés par Élizabeth Turgeon (Les Éditions du Boréal, 2013), Le lion et l’oiseau par Marianne Dubuc (Les Éditions de la Pastèque, 2013), Ma petite boule d’amour écrit par Jasmine Dubé et illustré par Jean-Luc Trudel (Les Éditions de la Bagnole, 2013), Le Noël de Marguerite, écrit par India Desjardins et illustré par Pascal Blanchet (Les Éditions de la Pastèque, 2013). L’écrivaine Andrée Poulin a remporté le prix pour La plus grosse poutine du monde (Bayard Canada), son premier roman. C’était merveilleux de voir sa surprise et son enthousiasme! Les participants avaient aussi l’occasion de découvrir le titre du programme Un livre à moi !, Des portes dans les airs, en présence de l’auteur David Weale et l’illustrateur Pierre Pratt.
La célébration est toujours très appréciée, mais encore plus apprécié est l’occasion de retrouver les autres amoureux des livres jeunesse. La musique « live » et un sac cadeau avec des livres ont donné une touche extra spéciale à une soirée déjà très mémorable.
– Shannon Babcock, Présidente
Call for Readings: Reading 2015 International Congress in Havana
IBBY Cuba is now receiving applications for presentations at the Reading 2015 International Congress. The conference will take place in Havana, Cuba, from October 27 to 31, 2015.
The theme of this year’s conference is “To Read the 21st Century.” For submission guidelines, registration information, and a full list of the conference topics, please visit their website.
CANSCAIP Spotlight: Ken Setterington
Ken Setterington is a specialist in children’s books in multiple ways. Not only has he won awards as a librarian, such as University of Toronto’s Jubilee Award and the Ontario Library Association’s Librarian of the Year, but he was also named the first Children and Youth Advocate for Library Services for Toronto Public Library. He has served on many prestigious award committees in Canada and the United States, including the TD Canadian Children’s Literature Award, the Norma Fleck Award for Canadian Children’s Non-Fiction, the Newbery Medal, the Caldecott Medal, and the Robert F. Sibert Informational Book Medal. He wears many hats including that of storyteller, reviewer, and award-winning author.
Q: How do your books have a universal appeal? Describe how they fill a much needed niche.
A: My most recent book, Branded by the Pink Triangle (Second Story Press, 2013), tells the true story of the gay men that were persecuted during the Holocaust simply because of their sexual orientation. There are few resources for children or teens that highlight this aspect of the Holocaust. I felt that it was important for youth to understand that there is a gay history, a little known history. Mom and Mum are Getting Married! (Second Story Press, 2004) was the first Canadian book to deal with the topic of same-sex marriage. I wrote the book so that children in families with parents of the same sex could see their lives reflected. My retellings of fairy tales are beautifully illustrated with intricate paper cuttings that encourage children to imagine the stories.
There are few books that I can point to and say that a niche has been filled, but I do believe that Branded by the Pink Triangle is unique and that there really isn’t anything out there like it. I believe that children need a wide variety of reading material, and my other work simply helps to round out a reading experience for children.
Q: How did your retellings of Hans Christian Andersen’s The Snow Queen and The Wild Swans differ from the originals?
A: The case of The Snow Queen (Tundra Books, 2000) is sort of amusing. I was asked by a publisher if I knew of any stories that had snow because the Hofers who create elaborate paper cut art would be able to make fabulous snowflakes. I suggested that the best title would be Andersen’s The Snow Queen and that I wasn’t needed at all. The publisher came back after reading the original and said it was too long and too religious. The Snow Queen had always been one of my favourite stories from childhood. I couldn’t remember any religion in the story, but when I reread the story I was struck at how Victorian it was with its sensibility and religiosity. There are many different translations from the Danish of this tale, and after reading a great many I decided that I would simply tell the story as if I was telling it to an audience. I didn’t want to change the story, but rather make it more immediate for an audience today. With The Wild Swans (Tundra Books, 2003) I eliminated some of the horrific elements found in versions of the story. The Brothers Grimm and Andersen have versions of the wild swan story, and the story I told is slightly less violent and gruesome — no witches gnawing on the bones of dead bodies while sitting on gravestones in the churchyard.
Q: In 2003 you collaborated with Deirdre Baker in your book A Guide to Canadian Children’s Books in English (McClelland & Stewart). Was this a successful way to promote Canadian children’s book at the time? Would you tackle writing a new guide?
A: I have always been a firm believer that children need to know the stories from their own country, and Canada has a rich collection of writers and illustrators. If we want to encourage any sort of Canadian industry of writing for children we must support those authors and illustrators. That is why I always talk about Canadian books when I review titles on the radio or on television. There are so few places that review books, and I feel that as a Canadian it is a duty to support Canadian books. The books are as good as any others, they just don’t have as many opportunities to be highlighted the way American books are.
A Guide to Canadian Children’s Books in English was a project that I had long considered. Based on my reviewing on CBC and my work as a librarian, I knew that children liked to know where stories took place, especially if the setting was just around the corner. When I was a child my parents took our family through Stratford, Ontario, looking for the setting of one of Lyn Cook’s books. That trip made the story seem even more real and more important. I wanted Canadian children to find the books that were set in their backyards. That is why the book had a location index to find the settings of the books and where the creator lived.
The book was well received and actually sold quite well. However, it was a lot of work! I am not sure that I would tackle a new one simply because I have other interests — mainly, I want to write my own stories.
Q: Why was Branded by the Pink Triangle such an important story to tell?
A: Millions of people were murdered by the Nazis, and for the most part the youth of today who know about the Holocaust think that Jews were the only victims. The plight of so many others is forgotten or unknown. I wanted readers to think about the gay victims of the Holocaust. I wanted children to know that there were many men — some simply teenage boys — that were arrested and worked to death because they were gay.
All youth, but especially youth who are questioning their own sexuality, need to know that there is a history that includes them. Jewish people have been very successful in telling the world that we must remember and take notice of what happened in Nazi Germany in order that the Holocaust not take place again. Gays need to be equally aware of the history of gay people.
When I was in my late teens I became aware of the pink triangle as a symbol of gay pride — or perhaps as a symbol of remembrance. Today that symbol is all but forgotten, and I felt that it was important that the gay victims of the Nazis should not be forgotten, too.
Q: What kind of censorship or bias have you come across with your children’s books and other kid’s books on the topic of homosexuality?
A: I worked for years as a librarian in the public library and saw how difficult it was to include books for children with “homosexual” themes in the collection. While being in charge of the children and teen collection in Scarborough, I tried to purchase the iconic Heather Has Two Mommies by Leslea Newman (Alyson Books, 1989) and Daddy’s Roommate by Michael Willhoite (Alyson Books, 1990) for the collection. It took months and months to actually get the books simply because the orders kept getting “lost.” The books were eventually ordered and put into the collection, and I had to write letters to offended parents about why we had the books in the library.
Perhaps it was because of my history with censorship that when I wrote Mom and Mum are Getting Married I wanted my title to say it all. No parent could say that they were surprised by the book when they got it home from the library. I was still working in the library at the time, and I was invited by a consultant at one of the Catholic school boards to do a presentation on new books (something I did fairly regularly). When they saw the title Mom and Mum are Getting Married!, I was asked not to talk about that title — the consultant was afraid she would be fired if I did.
I think the book — the first book in Canada to deal with same-sex marriage — was, paradoxically, simply not purchased for some schools and celebrated in others.
Censorship is tied very closely to selection and, simply put, many schools decided not to purchase the book and to avoid any controversy.
Branded by the Pink Triangle is a more interesting case. I don’t think that there are any challenges that have come about because of the topic of the book. It has had international attention because of the topic and has been celebrated as a children’s book. However, if a child is looking for it at the public library, most likely the book will be found in the adult department. Children’s selectors for the public library avoided any possible challenges by letting the adult department purchase the book.
Yes, the book is available in the library. Yes, it can be found through the catalogue and through a subject search. But it won’t be found by a child browsing the shelves in the library or looking at other Holocaust literature in the children’s department. The same is true in many bookstores. I am lucky to have a great independent bookstore at the end of my street, and my book was found in the teen non-fiction section. But in Indigo it can be found only in the section “Community and Culture” under the GBLTQ banner.
I was really pleased that the book was shortlisted for some awards and won others, as a children’s book, but I know that many librarians kept it out of the children’s collection because of the topic. Censorship — well, librarians might say the book is available and it is — but you have to know how to find it in the adult department.
Q: How have you been an advocate for Freedom to Read Week?
A: Freedom to Read has always been important to me. As a librarian I think that freedom to read is of fundamental importance to the profession. I have been lucky enough to be asked to write for the annual Freedom to Read week publication on a variety of topics, but all in support of children and youth having access to information. It has also been gratifying to be a panellist or presenter at a variety of Freedom to Read week events.
Over the years I have also been on the radio discussing particular books, and the challenges that have occurred. When Philip Pullman’s The Golden Compass (Alfred A. Knopf, 1996) was being challenged, I was pleased to be able to push parents to read the book and encourage discussion with other readers. That book in particular was interesting simply because it makes many demands of the reader and any child who reads the book will benefit from discussion. We want to encourage readers not ban books from youth. I think that all librarians, including those in schools, need to be aware of the constant concern from the public to censor materials. So often that results in books not being purchased or included in collections. It is so easy to avoid challenges by simply not buying the materials — which of course is just another form of censorship.
Finally on the topic of Freedom to Read Week — I think that we all have to take the freedom to read as an issue not just once a year in February, but throughout the year.
Q: Describe how you researched Branded by the Pink Triangle. Was there much material on the topic about homosexuals during the Holocaust?
A: I was able to travel to Europe and visit Sachsenhausen concentration camp, the Gay Museum in Berlin, the Gay research library in Amsterdam, and the Holocaust Museum in Washington. All of these places provided information and viewpoints that I might not have been able to uncover if I had simply been using the Internet or the rich resources of the Toronto Reference Library. There are books available, but much of it was written in the 1980s, and more information has been uncovered since then.
Being a librarian helped me immensely as I knew that librarians could help me and they did. In Toronto at the reference library, in Washington at the Holocaust Museum, and most importantly in Amsterdam the librarians went out of their way to find information in books, magazines, PhD theses, and videos that would further my understanding of the topic. The personal stories that I was able to uncover were of great help when working on the book.
Q: What was your approach presenting the facts of the historical material?
A: I actually have an undergraduate degree in history, and I always enjoyed the study of history. My partner is a history professor, and I totally believe in presenting the historical facts. I knew that this book had the potential to receive some attention, and I didn’t want any reader to be able to question the veracity of any of my data or stories. I didn’t want the stories embellished to make the pace a little quicker or more exciting. I simply believed that the truth needs to be told, and I didn’t want to add fictional dialogue or thoughts to the men I was presenting in the book.
Without question the most important aspect for me in presenting this topic was to reveal the truth that has been recorded and can be verified. I think one of my first courses at university was on understanding history and the way it is written. It had an impact on me, and I didn’t want anyone to be able to point to my literary exaggerations and suggest that there was anything unnecessary or untrue.
Also, I have been on award committees for the American Library Association (ALA) and listened to scathing reviews of books that I considered decent non-fiction because of liberties taken by a writer.
Q: How do you tell the truth to teens on such sensitive topics as the Holocaust and sexuality without offending or scaring your audience?
A: I think that truth is important. It may be horrific, as indeed the Holocaust was, but that does not mean that it should be avoided when talking to youth. In classrooms around the world children need to know what can happen when bullies are able to force or control others to do their bidding. When working as a librarian, I had a big display for Black History Month and had many classes come through the display with a representative from the Ontario Black History Society discussing the issues. One of children in the Grade 4 class went home upset because she had never heard of slavery and her parents complained the next day. That experience made me aware that shielding children from the truth only creates more difficulties.
I believe in telling the truth, but graphic details are not always needed. Anyone who reads Branded will know of the atrocities that were committed, but will not have passages and passages of horrific details — though they are available in all of the primary sources that I used.
Of course the issue of sexuality is trickier. I certainly didn’t want anyone to be offended about sexuality or scared of it. I simply made the point that the men that I was writing about were attracted to other men. It is a fact of life that homosexuals exist, and I wanted to highlight the fact that they were persecuted because of their very existence and that many people from all sectors of society were complicit in their persecution.
Q: When doing school visits have you ever come across negative responses to your topics?
A: A simple answer — no.
Any school that has invited me has known what they were getting into. I have been lucky to visit schools that wanted to hear this history. At one school, a young man in Grade 10 was anxious to meet with me. He had come out in Grade 6. It was refreshing to see the students supportive of him and curious about the topic. At a presentation to students from a gay program, the students who were trans were interested to know what happened to people who were transgendered in Nazi Germany. As much as it was a sad story to tell, I was able to share my knowledge of what happened to the people like them.
Actually, as much as this has been a sad story to tell at every presentation, people have come to thank me for writing this book.
Q: During presentations do you talk about bullying? How do you tie in examples from your book?
A: I do talk about bullying, but that is usually the topic I use to end the presentation. There is a natural progression from what happened then to what is happening in today’s society. The issue of bullying is always highlighted, but then so is the international situation for gay people. I was once a teacher in northern Nigeria in the area that Boko Haram is now terrorizing, and I know firsthand how horrific it can be to be gay in parts of the world. I point out that there are still laws against homosexuality, and that a death sentence is a possibility for homosexuals not only in Nigeria but in other countries in the world.
Q: Congratulations for winning the 2014 Canadian Jewish Book Award for Branded by the Pink Triangle. The book was also nominated for both the 2014 TD Canadian Children’s Literature Award and for the 2014 Norma Fleck Award for Canadian Children’s Non-Fiction, as well as being recognized as an Honor Book by the American Library Association for the 2014 Stonewall Book Award. How do these awards and nominations affect you as an author?
A: A simple answer would be — great!
Beyond making me very happy, the recognition has vindicated my choices to make the book as truthful and as challenging as it could be and still be a book for young people.
When the first review of the book came out I was referred to as a “retired librarian.” With this book, I hope that I can retire that title. I had a great run as a librarian, but now I am looking forward to doing more writing. The recognition simply validates me as a writer.
Q: In this stage of your life did you think that you would be this busy? What are you focusing on now and in the near future regarding children’s books?
A: I am busy. Busier than I thought I would be for sure! I am on the Board of Directors for the National Reading Campaign, and I am the Chair of the Board of Directors for World Literacy of Canada. These organizations both support literacy and literature within Canada and internationally, but they both take up time. I am reminded of the wonderful Claire Mackay who talked about all the things she could let herself do to avoid writing. I still need to force myself to get to work and avoid other projects no matter how worthy. I want to write more. I have a novel in the works and a great idea for a new non-fiction title — now to just sit down and get them written!
Thank you Ken Setterington for having such a strong voice and influence on Canadian children’s books. You are not afraid of controversy as you proudly promote and write about the topic of homosexuality. By the nominations and awards that you have won it is apparent that your books have made a strong impact and impression on the public and your readers.
Debbie Spring has nine published books. She likes to write children’s books about sports and overcoming obstacles, as in The Kayak and Breathing Soccer, published by Thistledown Press.
– Debbie Spring, Liaison CANSCAIP
January 19-February 27, 2015: Japan Foundation, Toronto (131 Bloor Street West; 2nd floor of the Colonnade ) is hosting an exhibition of 40 Japanese-language items from IBBY’s Collection for Young People with Disabilities.
February 28, 2015: IBBY Canada Annual Meeting of Members. See here for location and more information.
March 16, 2015: Bidding closes for USBBY’s auction in benefit of the Children in Crisis Fund for Syrian children in Lebanon. Up for auction is artwork by Hans Christian Andersen winner Roger Mello. Click here to place your bid online.
March 30, 2015: Launch of the 2015 catalogue for Outstanding Books for Young People with Disabilities at the Bologna Children’s Book Fair.
March 31, 2015: Announcement of the winner for the 2015 Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award.
October 27-31, 2015: IBBY Cuba’s Reading 2015 International Congress. More information is available on their website.
IBBY Canada Newsletter
Editor: Katie Scott
Copy editor (English): Meghan Howe
Copy editor (French): Susan Ouriou
Formatter: Camilia Kahrizi
Banner design: Martha Newbigging
English translation: Todd Kyle
French translation: Susane Duchesne, Catherine Dussault, Yveline Jean-Charles, Todd Kyle, Josiane Polidori