Reading with Newcomer Children

Reading with Newcomer Children launched as an in-person program in 2018 as Readers and Refugees and since its inception has served hundreds of refugee and immigrant children ages 6-12.

Reading with Newcomer Children pairs volunteers with children for regular meetups and readalouds of favourite books, with a focus on Canadian books. Among our volunteers are teachers, students, librarians, storytellers, writers, illustrators, and readers with a range of career and life experiences. They all believe in IBBY’s core mission of bringing books and children together.

Today, the in-person program is operating in partnership with COSTI Immigrant Services and Christie Refugee Welcome Centre in Toronto – and we look forward to in-person programming opening up in Winnipeg and Montreal. The virtual program, launched during the pandemic in partnership with COSTI, currently has volunteers from Nova Scotia to Vancouver Island reading with refugee and immigrant children.

Find out how you can volunteer as a reader for the program.

And for further inspiration: Thank you to USBBY for inviting us to share our Reading with Newcomer Children experiences as part of the Closing Act for your 14th IBBY Regional Conference. Please check out the video prepared for our presentation featuring many of our amazing Reading volunteers.

Indigenous Picture Book Collection

The creation of the From Sea to Sea to Sea: Celebrating Indigenous Picture Books catalogue was initiated by IBBY Canada in 2016 in response to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action, and is in keeping with IBBY’s mission to support the right of every child to become a reader through access to high-quality books.

IBBY Canada has presented two editions of the catalogue: the first, launched in 2018, features the 100 best Indigenous picture books published from 1993–2018; and the second, launched in 2021, features the best 25 Indigenous picture books published from 2018–2020.

In curating the two catalogues, care was taken that they reflect the diversity of First Nations, Métis, and Inuit voices from sea to sea to sea, and that the titles are available and in print for anyone who wishes to access them.

The third edition of From Sea to Sea to Sea: Celebrating Indigenous Picture Books will launch in spring 2023!

Find out more and download the catalogues.

IBBY Canada’s Joanne Fitzgerald Illustrator in Residence Program

Inaugurated in 2013 and established in honour of illustrator Joanne Fitzgerald, IBBY Canada administers this award to provide up-and-coming published illustrators the opportunity to participate in a unique residency hosted by a public library. It is funded by Joanne Fitzgerald’s family. The illustrator takes part in a month-long residency in October of every year, providing workshops and programs at a participating public library. The residency alternates between the Toronto Public Library and another library system outside of Ontario. The illustrator receives $4000 plus $300 for art supplies.

The 2023 Call for Applications is now open

Past Years

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

Children’s book creator John Martz is 2015 Illustrator in Residence at Toronto Public Library

Patricia Storms has been selected for the 2014 Joanne Fitzgerald Illustrator in Residence Program

Patricia Storms est l’illustratrice sélectionnée dans le cadre du Programme d’illustrateur en résidence Joanne Fitzgerald pour 2014

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.

Read more about the Russell Grant here.

Children in Crisis Fund

The goal of the IBBY Fund for Children in Crisis is to provide support for children whose lives have been disrupted through war, civil disorder or natural disaster. The two main activities that are supported by the Fund are the therapeutic use of books and storytelling in the form of bibliotherapy, and the creation or replacement of collections of selected books that are appropriate to the situation.

IBBY Canada received funding from the Children in Crisis program for its initiative of giving the award-winning, wordless book Sidewalk Flowers to every Syrian refugee family arriving in Canada.

Read more about the Children in Crisis program here.

International Children’s Book Day

Every year, on or around Hans Christian Andersen’s birthday (April 2), International Children’s Book Day is celebrated to inspire a love of reading and to call attention to children’s books. IBBY International has been sponsoring the event since 1967.

IBBY Canada was delighted to have been the official sponsor of International Children’s Book Day (ICBD) 2022.

Find out more about the events and activities that were offered.