Sunday, February 27, 2011


Oscars tonight, Hawaii tomorrow.  Life is not bad.  I have a few posts scheduled while I'm away, but otherwise, see you when I return in two weeks.


Friday, February 25, 2011

Let It Be Flash Mob for United Girls of the World

This video was created to raise awareness for United Girls of the World, a non-profit group out of Vancouver that assists in the area of critical issues affecting girls and women around the world, empowering them by providing the tools they need to develop positive self-esteem.  Among other things, they have a scholarship program.  Help raise a healthy world by empowering and educating the girls and women around the world.  Thanks to Margriet Ruurs for the heads up.

Resource Links Best Books of 2010 is out

Resource Links has their list of best books for 2010 out.  Scroll down to see the list to see the book list for grades 7-12.  Some great books to explore here, as well as professional resources, audio-visual resources, and French language titles.

March 9th is World Read Aloud Day

March 9th is World Read Aloud Day.  Celebrate by reading your favorite book aloud to someone you love.  Being read aloud to is a pleasure at any age.  All you have to do is find a good book, and someone you love (or like!) to share it with.  For more ideas, visit Lit World

Sid Fleischman Award for humor announced

Sid Fleischman Award for humor goes to:

Milo: Sticky Notes and Brain Freeze
by Alan Silberberg

SCBWI Golden Kite Awards announced

Congratulations to the Golden Kite Award Winners

Turtle in Paradise
by Jennifer Holm
Random House Books for Young Readers
The Good, the Bad, and the Barbie
by Tanya Lee Stone
Viking Juvenile
Big Red Lollipop
by Rukhsana Khan
Viking Juvenile

Golden Kite Honor Recipients

by Kathryn Erskine
Fort Mose
by Glennette Tilley Turner
Interrupting Chicken
by David Ezra Stein
Bunny Days
by Tao Nyeu
A Pocket Full of Posies
by Salley Mavor

Resources for young writers

Yesterday I posted a couple of good sites for YA writers on my teenreads blog.  Here's a   fantastic page of links to markets for younger writers put together by "Teaching Authors". The site is run by six authors who teach writing, and it's a fantastic resource for both teachers and young writers, so check it out.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Snowy day

Oh my.  This is what I woke up to.  I've shoveled, because there was so much snow that  Ruby disappeared when I let her out to pee.  Just to clarify, she didn't run away. The snow was over her head!  She was quite freaked out... It's still snowing though and is supposed to keep going through tomorrow!  Yikes.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Scars by Cheryl Rainfield

Further to my Freedom to Read post, fellow author Cheryl Rainfield has just discovered that her book Scars is being challenged in KY.  Talk about timing!  Here's a link with Cheryl's take on the whole situation.  You can help by blogging about the book or buying the book for yourself or a teen who has self-esteem issues. Literature can be the key that unlocks the door to a young person's personal hell.  Why take that opportunity away, especially when it can be so helpful? Banning or challenging books isn't new, but we don't have to lie down and accept it.  We all have the right to choose what we want to read, and what we don't.  If you have difficulty with a book, close it.  It's as easy as that.

Celebrate Freedom to Read Week

It's Freedom to Read Week so get involved. Get your students to make bookmarks using banned book titles, host a public reading of banned books, read a challenged book and leave it on a bus for a stranger to find, ask your local librarian for a list of classics that have been banned or a list of current literature being challenged, and share it with colleagues.  For more ideas, check out the Freedom to Read Website above.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Picture Perfect: Curricular Connections, summary & book list

The following is a summary of why picture books are perfect for all ages in classrooms.  The list of books that follows are picture books I referred to at my Picture Perfect: Curricular Connections workshop at the Calgary City Teachers' Conference.

Picture Perfect: Curricular Connections

Picture Books I referred to at the 2011 Calgary City Teacher’s Conference

Waiting for the Whales by Sheryl McFarlane, illustrated by Ron Lightburn
Moonsnail Song by Sheryl McFarlane, illustrated by Sheena Lott
The True Story of The Three Little Pigs by A Wolf as told to Jon Scieszka, illustrated by Lane Smith
Science Verse by Jon Scieszka , illustrated by Lane Smith
Jessie’s Island by Shery McFarlane, illustrated by Sheena Lott
Tides of Change by Sheryl McFarlane, illustrated by Ken Campbell
Eagle Dreams by Sheryl McFarlane, illustrated by Ron Lightburn
Canadian Railroad Trilogy by Gordon Lightfoot, illustrated by Ian Wallace
Tales from Gold Mountain by Paul Yee, illustrated by Simon Ng
In Flanders Fields : The Story of the Poem by John McCrae by Linda Granfield , illustrated by Janet Wilson
Secret of the Dance by Andrea Spalding, illustrated by Darlene Gait
My Librarian is a Camel by Margriet Ruurs
The Wall : Growing Up Behind the Iron Curtain by Peter Sis
of Thee I Sing: A letter to My Daughters by Barack Obama, illustrated by Loren Long
Baseball Saved Us by Ken Mochizuki, illustrated by Dom Lee
A Telling Time by Irene Watts, illustrated by Kathryn Shoemaker
Math Curse by Jon Schiezska, illustrated by Lane Smith
The Eleventh Hour by Graeme Base
The Water Hole by Graeme Base
Welcome to the World of Whales by Diane Swanson,
A Bear in War by Harry Endulat & Stephanie Innes, Illustrated by Brian Deines
This is the Dog by Sheryl McFarlane, illustrated by Chrissie Wysotski
Going to the Fair by Sheryl McFarlane, illustrated by Sheena Lott
A Pod of Orcas by Sheryl McFarlane, illustrated by Kirsti Waklin
Monkey Business by Wallace Edwards
Did You Say Pears by Arlene Alda
What’s That Sound? series by Sheryl McFarlane, illustrated by Kim LaFave
Wendel and The Great One by Mike Leonetti, illustrated by Greg Banning
The Day I Swapped My Dad for Two Goldfish by Neil Gaiman, illustrated by Dave McKeans
Hoops by Robert Burleigh, illustrated by Stephen T. Johnson
What’s the Most Beautiful Thing You Know About Horses by Richard Van Camp, illustrated by George Littlechild

Some of the Advantages of Using Picture Books in the Classroom Include:

•Picture books just might be the most affordable, versatile resource available to teachers

•They are short enough to be easily integrated into tight schedules

•They can be part of a theme, introduce a new concept, reinforce a topic, provide a challenge, or to bring closure

•They provide opportunities for challenged students to succeed and capable students to excel

Take advantage of opportunities to incorporated picture books into curriculum areas.  They can be a breathe of fresh air for any educational program

Writing Rules: Tips for Teaching Writing

The following is a snippet from a workshop I offered today at the Calgary City Teachers Conference.
Writing Rules: Tips for Teaching

Play with words
Follow a pattern
Fracture a fairy tale
Cook up a poem
Use visuals & ask "What if" questions"
Mix up the point of view
Make a list
Play the lying game
Web an idea

Good writers are readers, so give ‘em plenty, including read-alouds in various genera.
Don’t just teach it, model it.  If it’s not important to you, why should it be to kids?
Take advantage of opportunities to incorporated writing into other curriculum areas!
Writing comes in many forms, including comics, jokes, scripts, and yes… email & text messaging.
Writing is a skill set that we all need; ultimately writing is about communicating.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Silent River and Deadly StormImage by Stuck in Customs via Flickr

There's been a blogging storm recently over Martin Amis' famous dismissal of children's literature on the program Faulks on Fiction.

Here's what Amis said.  "People ask me if I ever thought of writing a children's book."  "If I had a serious brain injury I might well write a children's book, but otherwise the idea of being conscious of who you're directing the story to is anathema to me, because, in my view, fiction is freedom and any restraints on that are intolerable."

"I would never write about someone that forced me to write at a lower register than what I can write," he added.

Check out Patricia Storms' completely unique...and hilarious take on the whole subject. She definitely lives up to her name!

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Goodbye Margaret

Margaret McElderry has died at 98. It's hard to say goodbye to one of the greats in children's book publishing.  She's the first children's editor to named for an imprint, a tradition that we continue to see today.  She's also published one of my all time favorite series...Susan Cooper's The Dark is Rising.  She was one fine lady, and although she stepped out of publishing at 86, she continued to be a strong presence in children's books until the day of her death.  She will be missed.

"When the Dark comes rising, six shall turn it back,
Three from the circle, three from the track;
Wood, bronze, iron; water, fire, stone;
Five will return, and one go alone."

I still get shivers when I read these words.

Canadian Writers Speak Out on Copyright


Monday, February 14, 2011

A Happy Picture Book Valentine's Day

For a happy valentine's day picture book style, visit A Fuse #8 Production.  I swear it will make you happy.
And to Betsy's list, let me add My Friend Rabbit by Eric Rohnann and Blueberries for Sal by Robert McCloskey, a book I have always had a soft spot for. 

Of course there are many others, including the more recent Bird and Giraffe, which I also dearly love.

Young Writers Contest Deadline Contest Deadline is Feb. 18, 2011

Canadian Children's Book Centre

Book Week 2011 Writing Contest

Calling all young writers and poets!

Book Week 2011 WRITING CONTEST for Kids and Teens
Do you have a story or a poem about someone that is changing the world?
Are you in Grade 4 to 12? If so, enter the Book Week 2011 Writing Contest!
This year Book Week celebrates global citizenship. The theme Changing the World, One Child at a Time will focus on stories that highlight children and teens who are doing things to make the world a better place in their community, country, or abroad.
The stories may be fiction or non-fiction.
One winner from each grade will receive a $250 gift certificate to the bookstore of his or her choice.
Winning entries will be posted on the Book Week website –

*Please note that entries not accompanied by an ENTRY FORM will not be considered.
Writing Contest
c/o The Canadian Children's Book Centre
Suite 101, 40 Orchard View Blvd
Toronto, Ontario
M4R 1B9

The Book Week 2011 Writing Contest is generously sponsored by:

HarperCollins Publishers

Simon and Schuster Canada

2010 CYBILS announced

Valentines heartImage via Wikipedia
On the good news front the 2010 CYBILS were announced today.  These are grass roots awards that grew out of the community of Kid lit and YA lit bloggers who wanted to celebrate the best in books for young people.  Check out the winners, and don't forget that a lot of great books are to be found on the short-lists too.  Spread the word about great reading for kids and young adults, and while your at it, make a donation to keep the awards going...the folks who sit on these committees, read truckloads of books until they find the best, all do this on their own time.  It's Valentines Day so show them a little love.
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The Book Business

So it's happened...after months and months of teetering on the edge; Borders has gone under.  They declared bankruptcy today.  Some of you might be shrugging your shoulders.  "Big deal," I can hear you saying.  Well, just so you know, it is a big deal.  Things are in lock down mode.  Staff aren't being paid, and debts, including those to publishers & distributors aren't getting paid either.  That means that vulnerable publishers don't have money to pay royalties or go ahead with printing spring and maybe even fall lists.  I already know of a few writers who've had books cancelled, and the list serves are abuzz with talk about what all this means.  Don't forget, this event isn't in isolation.  Last week HB Fenn (a publisher and one of Canada's largest distributors) went down, and  the week before Key Porter Books closed show...and Key Porter books have published some of the biggest names in books in Canada, including Margaret Atwood!  It's so discouraging to be involved in books right now.  Senior writers are worried if they'll have enough money to pay their bills, and so many of us had gone back to part-time work to keep the wolf from the door.  

I know there will always be readers, and books will always be published in one form or another.  But with it being less lucrative to publish, will only a few houses and on-line book giants control what is available?  Will vibrant young writers bursting with ideas and talent want to be involved in a business that can't support them?  It's all so worrisome...and I can only hope that there are still a few out there who will want to take chances, who will want to bring out books that are just safe but push creative and intellectual boundaries.  I look forward things settling down in the book business soon.  But I hope we don't end up with a mediocre model.  I know it's hard to be creative when financial worries keep knocking at your door, but I also know that books change lives.  

All of you out there who've been touched by this have my every sympathy.  

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Friday, February 11, 2011

365 Days of Children's Books

I stumbled across a new Kid's book blog...365 Days of Children's Books. Aren't Google Alerts wonderful! Today they did a sweet little write-up about my picture book, This is the Dog.  They feature a different children's book every day of the year and make "a special effort to feature at least one book a week by a Newfoundland author and at least one book a week by a Canadian author..." By my calculation that could mean two Canadian books since Newfoundland is in Canada.

Thursday, February 10, 2011


Oops. I was really tired last night. That last post was NOT supposed to go on my book blog...sigh.

Wednesday, February 09, 2011 it a dirty word?

I love the term "kidlit" and I use it both in my blog and as a hashtag for twitter. The whole question of the term "kidlit" versus "children's literature" has been raging amongst bloggers since Betsy Bird mentioned on her birthday blog post that some find the term derogatory.  Very interesting discussion.  Check out Katie Davis' podcast on the topic as she not only sums up the discussion, but does so using quotes from several of the bloggers who've been part of the discussion. It's podcast #30. 

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

CBC 's YA Best Book Poll

CBC's Best YA Book Poll:   Make sure you vote.
Here are the five titles and let me tell you that you'll have a tough time making a decision because they are all seriously good books.

Best Young Adult Novel

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Harper Canada has a new children's executive editor

Congratulations to Hadley Dyer, Harper Canada's new Executive Editor of Children's Books. Dyer, is both a children's editor and the YA author of one of my fav. books, Johnny Kellock Died Today. She's worked as a bookseller, at the Canadian Children's Book Centre, and as a freelance editor at James Lorimer & Company, Groundwood Books.  Things are looking up at Harper Canada in the kids and YA departments. A little good news instead of the usual publishing doom and gloom.

Monday, February 07, 2011

Betsy Bird's Blog Birthday

Besty Bird has been one of my favorite bloggers for years.  Her posts are eclectic, informative, and sometimes a lot of fun to read.  It turns out that today she celebrates her 5th year as a blogger.  The fact that her "kid lit" remark set off a flurry of posts and tweets about whether or not to use the term speaks to how many followers she has.  Happy birthday A Fuse # 8 Production.   You're posts are always interesting and it seems occasionally provocative.

I know that some dismiss "kid lit" as a term, but I must admit that I'm pretty comfortable with it.  I know others disagree, but it sure fits better into limited character tweets than children's literature, and I seriously doubt whether those who don't take "kid lit" seriously are any more likely to do so if we refer to it as "children's literature."

13 Words by Lemony Snicket book trailer

This book trailer for 13 Words by Lemony Snicket is hilarious. Actually, I have to admit that I like it even more than the book. Of course I'd love the book if I could get Mr. Snicket to come to my house and read it to me!

Sunday, February 06, 2011

Dear George Clooney Please Marry My Mom by Susin Nielsen

It may be Super Bowl Sunday, but I'm more about Dear George Clooney Please Marry My Mom by Susin Nielsen than I am about football.  I'm reading it on my Kobo, and enjoying it immensely.  Nielsen is just so funny...

Saturday, February 05, 2011

2011 OLA's Canadian Materials Annual List

Thanks to Marsha Skrypuch for passing along this:

The OLA's Canadian Materials Committee, which is under the umbrella of 
the OPLA Child and Youth Services Committee, picks this annual list.

Books are selected on the basis of their literary/artistic merit as well 
as their appeal for children.

Text and illustrations are of equal importance in picture books and 
information books.


Bailey, Linda. Stanley's Little Sister.
Illustrated by Bill Slavin. Kids Can Press
Stanley's world is turned upside down with the arrival of "Fluffy" the 
cat. Chaos and hilarity ensue with Stanley catching all the blame. But 
just when Stanley is about to give up, he realizes that having a little 
sister isn't so bad after all.

Becker, Helaine. A Porcupine in a Pine Tree: a Canadian 12 Days of 
Illustrated by Werner Zimmerman. North Winds Press *
A porcupine, caribou, beavers, moose, squirrels, Mounties, Stanley Cups 
and more rollick through the familiar carol. With tongue-in-cheek humour 
and bright illustrations, this distinctively Canadian version is a delight.

Edwards, Wallace. The Cat's Pajamas.
Kids Can Press.
Wallace Edwards makes understanding idioms fun and entertaining. His 
extraordinary illustrations are visual clues to 26 idioms. Readers are 
challenged to decipher each one. Edwards seems to be telling us "Use 
Your Noodle"! and It's a "Piece of Cake'!". Check out the hidden cat on 
each page. Readers of all ages will find this book "more fun than a 
barrel of monkeys"!

Horrocks, Anita. Silas' Seven Grandparents.
Illustrated by Helen Flook. Orca Book Publishers
Modern family dynamics have left Silas with more than the usual quota of 
doting caregivers when his parents go away on a business trip. As one 
after another invites him to stay, Silas is in a quandary. How can he 
choose to stay with only one when all seven want him? Clever Silas finds 
a solution that pleases everyone. Colourful, lively illustrations make 
this book a special treat for readers, too.

Leonetti, Mike. The Mighty Tim Horton;
Illustrated by Greg Banning. North Winds Press*
Hockey fans and history buffs alike will enjoy this endearing story of a 
boy and his encounter with a hockey legend, the mighty Tim Horton. The 
thrill and excitement of the 1962 NHL playoffs is captured nicely as we 
join Tim Horton and the Toronto Maple Leafs on their successful quest to 
win the Stanley Cup.

Luxbacher, Irene. Mattoo, Let's Play!
Kids Can Press
Ruby LOVES to play with her pet cat, Mattoo. But why is Mattoo being 
such a sour puss? A delightful, beautifully illustrated story about 
considering the feelings of others and playing nicely.

Munsch, Robert. Put Me in a Book!
Ilustrated by Michael Martchenko. North Winds Press*
An author sitting on a park bench tells Mrs. O'Dell's class that he 
can't complete his picture book until he finds a kid to be in it. Hailey 
enthusiastically volunteers and is shocked when she is suddenly folded 
into the book. Once she discovers that she can't escape, the other kids 
try to help with hilarious results. Kids will buy into the absurdity of 
Hailey's problem and will love the concluding twist.

Tsiang, Sarah. A Flock of Shoes.
Illustrated by Qin Leng. Annick.
Abby's sandals are pink and brown with lime green trim. They are perfect 
for running and jumping and making tracks in the sand. But when summer 
is over Mum says they are worn out and it's time for them to go. Abby 
disagrees but the sandals take matters into their own hands, flying away 
to the south like birds. Soon unhappy Abby learns to love her blue and 
white boots with purple trim. Until, one sunny spring day.... Young 
readers will delight in this nonsensical story about Abby and her 
faithful footwear.

Ward, David. One Hockey Night.
Illustrated by Brian Deines, Scholastic.
Owen and Holly have moved to Saskatchewan from Nova Scotia and miss 
playing hockey on a lake. However their father has a big surprise for 
them on Christmas Eve. Gorgeous artwork and a charming story celebrate 
one of Canada's favourite pastimes.

Wishinsky, Frieda. The Queen's Secret.
Illustrated by Loufane. North Winds Press*
There's a secret that both the Queen and Kay share -- and it's up to the 
reader to find out! Delightfully teasing (the answer is at the end) 
this is also a rhyming book with bright, colourful illustrations.
*Note that North Winds Press is part of Scholastic Canada.


Brewster, Hugh Prisoner Of Dieppe: World War II, Alistair Morrison, 
Occupied France, 1942
(I am Canada). Scholastic
Alistair Morrison is talked into joining the war effort by his best 
friend, the slightly older "Mackie". After basic training they are sent 
overseas and end up being captured after the disastrous battle of 
Dieppe. This new series is promoted as being for ages 9-12 but the 
honest way in which Brewster treats the lives of the soldiers during 
WWII makes it suitable for older readers as well. Exciting and well 
written, this is a story that will engage boys in particular.

Charles, Rie. No More Dragons. Napoleon Publishing.
Alex keeps a diary in the form of letters to a friend. As we read each 
entry something disturbing is revealed. Thirteen year old Alex is not 
only lonely and insecure, he is also being abused. Nevertheless, his 
letters are filled with humour and hope, especially when he talks about 
trying out for the school play. We see his world slowly crumbling 
until he reaches a point where he knows he must stand up to his father. 
A believable and touching story.

Mack, Winnie. After All, You're Callie Boone. Scholastic.
12 year old Callie has been dumped by her best friend and has just belly 
flopped off the diving board at the pool. On top of that her Uncle has 
moved in with his ferrets and her grandma is cranky. Things change when 
a boy named Hoot moves to her neighbourhood. A great first novel about 

MacLean, Jill. The Present Tense of Prinny Murphy.
Fitzhenry & Whiteside
This shining novel reintroduces Grade 5 to 8 readers to characters from 
The Nine Lives of Travis Keating. Her mother's alcoholism, bullying 
classmates, and struggles with reading are making Prinny's life in her 
small Newfoundland town a misery until a sympathetic teacher gives her a 
book which helps her find the strength and resilience to grow past her 

Milway, Katie Smith. The Good Garden: How One Family Went from Hunger to 
Having Enough
Illustrated by Sylvie Daigneault. Kids Can Press
Impoverished soil and greedy "coyotes" have driven Maria's Honduran 
family to desperation. A new teacher defies tradition and introduces 
practices which enable Maria's family to rehabilitate their land and 
become successful, independent farmers. A thoughtful introduction to the 
issue of global food shortages. For Grades 4 to 8 but Daigneault's 
charming illustrations will attract younger readers, too.

Nielsen, Susin. Dear George Clooney, Please Marry My Mom. Tundra.
According to Violet, divorce sucks. Her mother dates losers and 
always seems depressed, while her father is never around since he has 
remarried and moved. When she and her sister are invited to visit her 
TV-director dad in Los Angeles, Violet hatches a plan involving George 
Clooney to save her Mom and make her father crazy with jealousy. A 
hilarious look at the ups and downs of family life.

Peterson, Lois. The Ballad of Knuckles McGraw
Orca Book Publishers
When Kevin Mason is abandoned by his mother, he decides to escape by 
becoming Knuckles McGraw, a tough and brave cowboy. But with the 
support of his new foster family, and the reunion with his grandparents, 
Kevin re-finds not only himself, but the courage to face his future with 
new optimism. A touching story.

Sherrard, Valerie. Tumbleweed Skies.
Fitzhenry & Whiteside
Ellie is sent to live with her embittered and unwelcoming grandmother 
for the summer. While a sympathetic uncle and a wounded magpie help her 
cope, it is Ellie's maturity and inner strength which guide her growing 
understanding. This historical novel captures Ellie's thoughts and 
emotions with compassion and insight. The hopeful ending avoids a 
sentimental solution.

Skrypuch, Marsha Stolen Child
After World War II, twelve year old Nadia is adjusting to life in Canada 
after years in a Displaced Persons camp in Europe. But her memories and 
her dreams are confused and contradictory. Gradually she comes to 
realize that as a young child she was stolen from her Ukrainian parents 
and raised to be a good Nazi German. This aspect of the war is not 
covered in children's books and this gives an added interest to an 
"adjusting to a new life in Canada "story.

Stevenson, Robin. Liars and Fools.
Orca Book Publishers.
In the wake of her mother's tragic disappearance, Fiona's rational 
minded science teacher father falls for a new age spirit medium. 
Smelling a rat, Fiona and her overachieving friend Anna decide to expose 
"psychic phenomena" for their next science project.

Fergus, Maureen -- Ortega -- Kids Can
Kerz, Anna -- Gnome's Eye -- Orca
Peacock, Shane -- Secret Fiend -- Tundra
Sylvester, Kevin -- Neil Flambé and the Marco Polo Murders -- H.B. Fenn


Becker, Helaine. Magic Up Your Sleeve: Amazing Illusions, Tricks, and 
Science Facts You'll Never Believe
Illustrated by Claudia Dávila. Owlkids Books Inc.
Magic and science unite with wondrous results in this clever and 
informative book about magic tricks. The easy to follow step by step 
instructions, and eye catching illustrations are sure to astound and 
amaze the curious minds of budding magicians!

Ellis, Deborah. We Want You to Know: Kids Talk About Bullying. Coteau Books.
Deborah Ellis' latest book is meaningful not only to kids who have been 
bullied, but also to educators and parents. The interviews are poignant 
and thoughtful and the kids have their own ideas, advice and solutions 
to share. A section called "What Do You Think" has great topics for 
further discussion. The "Resources" section provides helpful websites 
and addresses.

Kelsey, Elin.
Not Your Typical Book About the Environment.
Illustrated by Clayton Hanmer. Owlkids
Catchy titles and fun illustrations offering empowering advice without 
preaching or sentimentalizing make this book a winner. The book is 
packed with interesting information and readers are encouraged to 
connect with the environment proactively. The author's sincerity, 
thoughtfulness and ability to connect with kids shines through in this 
highly- readable book.

Kyi, Tanya Lloyd.
50 Burning Question: a Sizzling History of Fire. Illustrated by Ross 
Kinnaird. Annick Press
Entertaining headings ("Who was the first hairy potter?") and 
brightly-coloured pages with wacky illustrations introduce the reader to 
the subject of fire. Well-researched (there's a bibliography) with a 
wealth of interesting detail, this book is fun and informative. 
Chapters include both scientific and social aspects of fire in a 
question and answer format.

McAllister, Ian & Read, Nicholas. Sea Wolves- Living Wild in the Great 
Bear Rainforest
. Orca Book Publishers.
Beautifully illustrated with almost 100 photos by McAllister, this 
stunning book covers the lives and habits of these creatures who are 
genetically different from other wolves. Details on how they differ 
(they fish!) and how they are similar to other wolves is contrasted with 
how similarly they live to the First Nations who share the same space.

McAllister, Ian & Read, Nicholas. Salmon Bears: Giants of the Great 
Bear Rainforest
.. Orca Book Publishers.
This is another amazing book by this author and photographer. We hope 
they continue with this series. Incredible photos and informative text 
make this a must for any collection. Both titles by this author and 
photographer deserve to be on the Best Bets list

Patterson, Heather. Canada From Above: A Photo Journey.
Scholastic Canada
This photographic book features breathtaking images of 30 Canadian 
natural and man-made landmarks, all shot from above. Each picture 
covers a two page spread with interesting information about the location 
included. Subject matter ranges from the Alberta Pond Hockey 
championships, to a beluga migration in Nunavut, to salmon farms on the 
East coast, to an old-growth forest in B.C.

Read, Tracy E. Exploring the World of Eagles
Firefly Books
Get up close and personal with some of nature's most fascinating 
creatures. Beautiful colour photographs coupled with interesting facts 
and trivia make this and the other books in the Exploring the World 
of... series a must see!

Webb, Jonathan. Canada's Wars: An illustrated History. Scholastic Canada
A thorough and up to date, richly illustrated book covering Canada's 
official and unofficial involvement in conflicts around the globe. 
Starting with the Boer War and covering a surprising range of lesser 
known material, this book closes with Canada's role in Afghanistan. 
Includes maps and an index.

Coulter, Laurie -- Kings and Carpenters: One Hundred Bible Land Jobs You 
Might Have Praised or Panned
- Annick
Goldner, John-- Hockey Talk -- Fitzhenry & Whiteside
Lightfoot, Gordon -- Canadian Railroad Trilogy -- Groundwood (for the 
illustrations by Ian Wallace).
Weaver, Janice -- Hudson. Tundra


We are a long standing committee with a strong voice in promoting 
Canadian literature for children and young adults. Our goal is to 
highlight excellence in literature for children and young adults for the 
OLA membership and others with an interest.

The OLA's annual Best Bets evolved from a list put out by the Canadian 
Material's Committee of the Children's Services Guild. This Canadian 
Materials Committee is now under the wing of the OPLA Children and Youth 

The OLA's Canadian Materials Committee selects books on the basis of 
their literary/artistic merit as well as their appeal for children and 
young adults. Text and illustrations are of equal importance in picture 
books and information books.

The Committee thanks S & B Books,, for their ongoing 
support with providing a place to meet and copies of books to review.

Meetings are held a minimum of four times a year at S & B Books (3086 
Universal Dr., Mississauga). Members discuss and evaluate recent 
publications by Canadian authors and illustrators. The books evaluated 
are suitable for children and young adults from birth to nineteen years 
old. From these discussions, the Committee produces "Best Bets" lists, 
annual annotated lists of recommended titles. These lists are released 
each year at the OLA Super Conference.

OLA's Canadian Materials Committee Members:

Carrie Dawber, Richmond Hill Public Library

Dinah Gough, Retiree from Oshawa Public Library

Patrick Gracey, Toronto Public Library

Sandy Laird, Mississauga Public Library

Sheilah O'Connor, Toronto Public Library

Cecily Reid, Richmond Hill Public Library

Jane Salmon, Barrie Public Library

Jennifer Stephen, Vaughan Public Libraries

For further information, please contact

Jane Salmon at the Barrie Public Library

Ontario Library Association

50 Wellington St. East, Suite 201,

Toronto, ON M5E 1C8

Tel 416-941-9581 or 866-873-9867

FAX 416-941-9581 or 800-387-1181