Winter 2018, Vol. 38, No. 3
ISSN 1704-6033
En français

Letter from the Editor


Let’s pack our bags for this edition of the newsletter!

Our first stop is Athens, where Canada was well represented at the 36th Annual IBBY International Congress. Taking you there are: Kathy Stinson’s “5 Reasons I’m Glad I Attended Congress”; a photo essay from Mary Beth Leatherdale with a range of pictorial highlights (including dancing); and a video announcing the 2018 Honour List, which includes three Canadian titles.

Next, we are in the GTA for an update on the Readers and Refugees program — and the expansion to three locations. Also, mark your calendar for what promises to be an exceptional panel discussion at the Ontario Library Association Super Conference, The Refugee Crisis: Reaching Children through Stories, which will include discussion of the IBBY Canada reading program.

Then on to Winnipeg for a heartfelt thanks to the students in the Social Justice Club at Faraday School who raised $720 in support of IBBY Children in Crisis Fund projects. Such amazing generosity from the kids …

Continuing west to Edmonton, please note Thursday, November 22nd for an evening event at Audreys Books celebrating the launch of the Indigenous Picture Book Collection.

And wherever you are, please plan to block some time in your calendar to explore IBBY Canada’s From Sea to Sea to Sea: Celebrating Indigenous Picture Books, a digital catalogue of the best 100 Indigenous pictures created in Canada over the past 25 years.

The Indigenous Picture Book Collection was developed by IBBY Canada in response to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action and aligns with IBBY’s mission to support the right of every child to become a reader through access to high-quality books.

The catalogue is now available on the IBBY Canada website. A special edition of the newsletter will follow focused on this extraordinary project — and we will travel again From Sea to Sea to Sea to visit the people behind, and picture books within, the collection.

Until then, happy reading!

– Patti McIntosh, Newsletter Editor

P.S. There are also lots of stops in between with awards news, program announcements and updates, including an article on the Joanne Fitzgerald Illustrator in Residence program, the 2019 AMM date – and a congratulations …

back to top

36th Annual IBBY International Congress

By the Numbers: 36th Annual IBBY International Congress

The 36th Annual IBBY International Congress was held in Athens, Greece. A few numbers:

• The conference was held over 3 days: 30 August to 1 September 2018
• 69 of the 79 IBBY chapters attended
• There were a total of 493 delegates, including 20 Canadians
The program featured:
• 2 Canadian Keynote speakers
• 6 Canadians presenting in Oral Sessions
• 2 Canadians presenting in Poster Sessions

Canadians attending: Patricia Aldana, Mariella Bertelli, Peter Carver, Lesley Clement, Alice den Otter, Deborah Ellis, Margara Goyzueta Zuleta, Merle Harris, Theo Heras, Carol Ann Hoyte, Mary Beth Leatherdale, Barbara McNeil, Catherine Mitchell, Perry Nodelman, Josiane Polidori, Margriet Ruurs, Jean-François Sénéchal, Sharon Smulders, Kathy Stinson, Leigh Turina

5 Reasons I’m Glad I Attended the 2018 IBBY Congress
Kathy Stinson

Photo credit: TKP
Kathy Stinson, author and IBBY Canada member, attended her first Congress this year. Kathy’s full blog from Athens, with slide show, can be found here.

1. Deborah Ellis’s keynote, “Before they give the order” — about books and her interactions with children in various parts of the world, some refugees, some not. Her talk earned a well-deserved standing ovation and was later referenced by several other speakers. The 20 Canadians attending the conference (a record number) couldn’t have been more proud. One especially moving moment for me was Deb talking about a non-refugee child’s comment after reading about refugees, “This could happen to anyone.” International understanding through children’s books.

2. Dr. Leila (Roya) Maktabi Fard’s keynote, “Two women, two continents, one aspiration” — in which she drew parallels between Tooran Mirhadi (Iranian) and Jella Lepman (German), and the impact of their shared belief that hope for world peace lies with children and children’s books. Mirhadi founded The Children’s Book Council of Iran which became the Iranian National Section of IBBY, the organization that Jella Lepman founded. Dr. Fard knew Tooran Mirhadi and is currently working at the International Youth Library (also founded by Jella Lepman), making her talk not only informative but welcomingly personal.

3. Having the chance to examine the best children’s books from countries all over the world. Even though I couldn’t read most of them, simply holding them and reading the descriptions of what they were about, somehow gave me a feeling for the impact the books would have in the hands of children who could read them, or understand them when read aloud.

4. Seeing many of this year’s IBBY Honor List authors, illustrators, and translators from all over the world, all being recognized on stage together, was surprisingly moving.

5. 493 people attended the conference from 73 different countries! (Including Katherine Paterson. Fun to see her again and recall our time in England with mutual friend Jean Little, 29 years ago.) Paradoxically perhaps, the children’s book community I’m part of feels wonderfully bigger for having attended the conference, and the world I live in wonderfully smaller. I couldn’t help thinking that Jella Lepman would have loved it.

Photos from Congress

Photos by Mary Beth Leatherdale and Alice den Otter
Captions by Mary Beth Leatherdale

What better way to end the Athens Congress than with some Greek dancing. Look for the IBBY Canada members celebrating with outgoing IBBY President Wally De Doncker.
IBBY Canada President Mary Beth Leatherdale shares some of the diverse literature for young readers by Indigenous writers and illustrators.
Ontario Regional Councillor Lesley Clement introduces the session on Diversity in Canadian Children’s Books.
Leigh Turina explores questions raised in books by Canadian authors and selected as outstanding by the IBBY Collection for Young People with Disabilities.
Lesley Clement presents Canadian titles that explore the vertiginous journeys of immigrant, migrant, and refugee characters.
IBBY Canada member Dr. Perry Nodelman delivers the opening keynote lecture Fish is People: What Post humanism can teach us about children’s books and what children’s picture books can teach us about Post humanism.
Canadians presented in sessions with their colleagues from IBBY chapters from around the world. IBBY Canada member Mariella Bertelli (far left) and her IBBY Italia colleague Debora Soria (3rd from right) spoke about their Voices of Books program, offering practical instruction on using books with newcomer/refugee children and youth. Canadian Barbara McNeil (4th from left) explored “Ethics and the possibilities of children’s ethical agency within the context of a globalizing world.”
Kenneth Oppel’s The Nest (Harper Collins) was one of 15 books recommended by the 2018 Hans Christian Andersen Jury as outstanding works that merit translation everywhere.
Patricia Aldana (left) congratulates Groundwood author Deborah Ellis after her powerful keynote lecture “Before they give the order.”
Jean-François Sénéchal offers a peek at his Certificate of Honour for Writing Le boulevard (Lémac Éditeur).
Thanks to the outgoing IBBY Executive including Hans Christian Andersen Jury President, and President of the IBBY Foundation, Patricia Aldana (4th from left).

Announcement of the 2018 Honour List at Congress

The 2018 IBBY Honour List was announced at Congress. The list includes 191 titles in three categories – writing, illustration and translation — from IBBY member countries worldwide.

Included on the list are Canadians Jean-François Sénéchel, author of Le boulevard; Sydney Smith, illustrator of Sidewalk Flowers; and, Sophie Chisogne, translator, Une berceuse en chiffons: la vie tissée de Louise Bourgois.

The presentation can be viewed here:

Links to the catalogue can be found here.

The IBBY Honour List is a biennial selection of outstanding, recently published books. Important considerations in selecting the Honour List titles are that the books chosen be representative of the best in children’s literature from each country and that the books are recommended as suitable for publication throughout the world.

The IBBY Honour List is one of the most widespread and effective ways of furthering IBBY’s objective of encouraging international understanding through children’s literature.

back to top

News – Readers and Refugees Program

To the GTA and Beyond: Expanding the Readers and Refugees Program

In October, IBBY Canada launched the Fall session of the Readers and Refugees therapeutic reading program at four locations in Toronto. As well as returning to Christie Refugee Welcome Centre in downtown Toronto, IBBY Canada is offering the program at three COSTI Immigration Services locations across the city.

Each Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday mornings, a small team of volunteers visits their designated site to read with children. With more than 100 children participating in the Fall session, our dedicated volunteers have enjoyed reading with children from Syria, Somalia, Columbia, Ethiopia, and other countries. They are seeing firsthand the truly universal appeal of Canadian classics such as A Big City ABC, Boy Soup, The Darkest Dark, In Front of My House, Red is Best, Stephanie’s Ponytail, Stanley’s Party, and Stella Star.

Our goal is to expand the program beyond the GTA in 2019. If you’re interested in volunteering or in starting an IBBY Canada Readers and Refugees program in your community, please contact Mary Beth Leatherdale at president@ibby-canada.org.

The Refugee Crisis: Reaching Children Through Stories – Panel Discussion at Ontario Library Association Super Conference (30 January – 2 February 2019)

OLA Super Conference participants are encouraged to attend the panel discussion The Refugee Crisis: Reaching Children Through Stories featuring:

• Patsy Aldana, Former publisher of Groundwood Books and President of the IBBY Foundation
• Mirna El Sabbagh, General Manager, COSTI Immigrant Services
• Deborah Ellis, award-winning author
• Sulekha Sathi, Chair of the Toronto Public Library’s Diversity and Inclusive Services Committee

Moderated by IBBY Canada Vice President, Fred Horler, the panel will provide librarians with an overview of the international refugee crisis, its impact on children and how books are making a difference. Panelists will discuss how stories and reading support refugee children across the globe. They will bring the narrative closer to home by focusing on local programs.

Topics covered will include: international reading programs in action, the impact librarians and volunteers are having around the world, how the power of stories can help children in refugee camps, ways in which the Toronto Public Library works with refugee children to help them find a welcoming home reading in the library, experiences with newcomer families at the Christie Refugee Welcome Centre, and IBBY Canada’s new refugee reading program.

*The date and time of the panel are to be determined. Please check the OLA Super Conference program.*

Kids Helping Kids

Congratulations and heartfelt thanks to the students of Faraday School in Winnipeg for their amazing fundraising efforts in support of the IBBY Children in Crisis Fund.

In April, the Faraday Social Justice Club held a bake sale, raising $720 to help children whose lives have been disrupted by war, conflict or natural disaster. The Faraday elementary school students’ generous contribution will be used to fund IBBY Children in Crisis Fund projects like the IBBY-REFORMA Project which provides children’s books in Spanish to children in detention centres, shelters and group homes in the United States.

To learn more about the projects Faraday students are supporting, click here.

back to top

Celebration of the Joanne Fitzgerald Illustrator in Residence Program

IBBY Canada’s 2018 Joanne Fitzgerald Illustrator in Residence is children’s book illustrator Nahid Kazemi.

The program, now in its sixth year, honours Joanne Fitzgerald (1956–2011), whose artwork appears in books such as Plain Noodles, Emily’s House and Governor General’s Award-winner Doctor Kiss Says Yes. Joanne’s husband Robert Young collaborated with IBBY Canada and Toronto Public Library to establish the program.

The program offers a published children’s book illustrator a month-long residency in a library. Martha Newbigging (2013) was the inaugural illustrator, followed by Patricia Storms (2014), John Martz (2015), Dianna Bonder (2016 at Edmonton Public Library), and Ashley Barron (2017). From applications received from across Canada, the jury comprised of last year’s illustrator Ashley Barron; Sarah Bradley, Toronto Public Library’s Service Manager; Meghan Howe, the Canadian Children’s Book Centre’s Library Coordinator; and Mary Beth Leatherdale, President of IBBY Canada, selected Nahid Kazemi as the 2018 Joanne Fitzgerald Illustrator in Residence.

Nahid came to Canada from Iran in 2014 and lives in Montreal. She has degrees from the Art University of Tehran, taught illustration and graphic design at the University of Sooreh, and illustrated more than 60 books and magazines published in Iran — but even with all her experience, Nahid says she “started at zero” in Canada. Her approach to finding a Canadian publisher was “try everything!” and her persistence ultimately led to a contract with Éditions de l’Isatis to illustrate Les mots d’Eunice, written by Gabrielle Gendreau — which has been nominated for a Governor General’s Award. Her second book in Canada, I’m Glad That You’re Happy, was published by Groundwood Books—and included on CBC’s list of “12 beautifully illustrated Canadian picture books for young readers”. She is illustrating Syria Story for Annick Press, scheduled for publication in 2019, and has a contract with Enchanted Lion Books in the US—so Nahid Kazemi’s North American career seems to be well underway.

The launch event on October 1st for the 2018 Joanne Fitzgerald Illustrator in Residence program was attended by about 30 guests. During her speech, Nahid read Joanne Fitzgerald’s This Is Me and Where I Am, and said the book was especially meaningful for a newcomer. Joanne’s daughter Laura Young said her mother would have loved the magical quality and textures of Nahid’s artwork. Guests at the launch included Rick Wilks and Paul Covello from Annick Press, Claudia Bedrick from Enchanted Lion Books who had flown in from New York, and a sizable Groundwood group with Semareh Al Hilal, Nan Froman, Fred Horler, Emma Sakamoto and Michael Solomon.

The very busy month of Nahid’s residency included portfolio review meetings with individual artists, art activities with elementary school classes, a presentation at Seneca College to illustration students, and four evening sessions about working as an illustrator. The Northern District Library’s second-floor gallery featured an exhibit of Nahid’s original artwork, as well as a selection of Joanne Fitzgerald’s art.

In 2019, the Joanne Fitzgerald Illustrator in Residence program will be at the Toronto Public Library’s newly renovated North York Central Branch—and an exciting Year Seven lies ahead!

Photos from the Celebration of the Joanne Fitzgerald Illustrator in Residence Program at the Toronto Public Library and Nahid Kazemi:

From l to r, Helena Aalto, Robert Young, Joanne Fitzgerald Illustrator in Residence Program recipient Nahid Kazemi, Laura Young, Mary Beth Leatherdale
Award sponsor Robert Young with Groundwood Books Publisher, Semareh Al-Hillal and Art Director, Michael Solomon
Nan Froman, Editorial Director at Groundwood Books chats with TPL librarian and TD Award Finalist Joanne Schwartz

Photo credit: Fred Horler

Call for Nominations: 2018 Claude Aubry Award

IBBY Canada is now inviting nominations for the 2018 Claude Aubry Award.

IBBY Canada presents two Claude Aubry Awards biennially: one for distinguished service within the field of Canadian children’s literature in English and one for distinguished service within the field of Canadian children’s literature in French. Eligible nominees include authors, publishers, illustrators, translators, designers, editors, librarians, booksellers, teachers, or any individuals who have made a significant contribution to Canadian children’s literature.

The deadline for 2016 Claude Aubry Award nominations, which may be submitted in English or in French, is January 10, 2019.

Nominations should include a short biographical profile of the nominee, highlighting his or her contributions.

Please send nominations to Shannon Babcock, Claude Aubry Award Chair, at aubry@ibby-canada.org.

Call for Proposals: Frances E. Russell Grant

The Frances E. Russell Grant was established in memory of a long-time supporter of IBBY Canada. The $1,000 grant is intended “to initiate and encourage research in young people’s literature in all its forms” and is given in support of research for a publishable work (a book or a paper) on Canadian children’s literature. Past winners include Samantha Cutrara, Ruth Bradley-St-Cyr, Erin Spring, Bonnie Tulloch, Beverley Brenna, Paulette Rothbauer, Gail Edwards and Judith Saltman, Michelle Mulder, Michelle Cobban, André Gagnon, Ronald Jobe, Carole Carpenter, Linda Granfield, and Françoise Lepage.

Deadline for proposals for the 2018 Russell Grant is 15 January 2019. For more information, click here.

Announcement of New Award: IBBY-iRead Outstanding Reading Promoter Award

The International Board on Books for Young People has announced the establishment of the IBBY-iRead Outstanding Reading Promoter Award. This award has been established by the Shenzhen iRead Foundation and IBBY to encourage a real commitment to the cause of reading promotion in the hope of spreading this dedication to others around the globe.

The full press release can be found here.

Congratulations: Mariella Bertelli! Named to 2020 Hans Christian Andersen Award Jury

Many congratulations to Canadian storyteller, former children’s librarian, IBBY Canada member (and great friend!), Mariella Bertelli, who has been selected to serve as member of the 2020 Hans Christian Andersen Award Jury.

The full press release, with the announcement of all jury members, can be found here.

back to top

News, Events & Activities

IBBY Signs Memorandum of Understanding with International Publishers Association (IPA)

The International Publishers Associsation (IPA) has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with IBBY.

José Borghino, IPA Secretary General said: ‘Partnering with IBBY makes so much sense for IPA. Literacy is the foundation of our industry and the work of IBBY to help young people around the world access books and develop that love of reading is fully supported by IPA. We look forward to working together to amplify that work.’

Read the full press release from IPA here.

IBBY Canada at Word on the Street

The nice weather for this year’s Word on the Street made for a lovely Sunday outing, 23 September, at Toronto’s beautiful Harbourfront Centre. Fascinating books from IBBY’s Collection of Books for Young People with Disabilities were a big draw, as were Denise Scott’s energetic and knowledgeable discussions about the books with children and adults stopping by at IBBY Canada’s booth throughout the day. The packs of new Cleaver cards and raffle tickets for the Cleaver gift basket, featuring the 2017 shortlist books, were also an attraction. Yvette Ghione was the winner of the draw. Thanks to our wonderful volunteers for making this another successful event: Helen Aalto, Deirdre Baker, Frances Gao, Yvette Ghione, Theo Heras, Fred Horler, Camilia Kahrizi, Mary Beth Leatherdale, Emma Sakamoto, and Denise Scott.

Volunteers Frances, Denise and Emma at the IBBY Canada table at Word on the Street Toronto.

Photo Credit: Theo Heras

Open for Visitors: IBBY’s Collection of Books for Young People with Disabilities at North York Central Library

IBBY’s Collection of Books for Young People with Disabilities is again open for visitors at the newly renovated North York Central Library, 5120 Yonge Street, Toronto. The 2017 catalogue and previous catalogues are available here.

Events: Lucy Maud Montgomery Society

L.M. Montgomery, author of Anne of Green Gables and many other books for children and young adults, lived in Ontario from 1911 until her death in 1942. Leaskdale and Norval, where she lived and raised her family, both have events throughout the year celebrating her life and books. For events hosted by the Lucy Maud Montgomery Society of Ontario in Leaskdale, go here. For events hosted by the Lucy Maud Montgomery Literary Museum and Literary Centre in Norval, go here.

Mark Your Calendar: IBBY Canada Annual Meeting of Members

Please mark Saturday, 23 March 2019 in your calendar for the Annual Meetings of Members. Details to follow.

Mark Your Calendar: Edmonton Launch – From Sea to Sea to Sea: Celebrating Indigenous Picture Books

Please mark Thursday, November 22th in your calendar for a 7:00pm event at Audreys Books celebrating the launch of IBBY Canada’s Indigenous Picture Book Collection.

For further details contact Merle Harris at alberta@ibby-canada.org

back to top

IBBY Canada Newsletter

Editor: Patti McIntosh

Copy editor (English): Meghan Howe

Formatter: Trish Osuch

Banner Illustration: Martha Newbigging