Thursday, May 19, 2011

Red Cedar Award Shortlists Announced......

...and yes! One of my books, The Insecto-Files, is on it.

Here is the complete list of nominees in both the fiction and non-fiction categories:

Red Cedar Fiction 2012 Nominees

The Dread Crew by Kate Inglis

Wanting Mor by Rukhsana Khan

Rex Zero: The Great Pretender by Tim Wynne-Jones

Walking Backward by Catherine Austin

After the Fire by Becky Citra

Faerie Rebels: Spell Hunter by R.J. Anderson

The Ship of Lost Souls by Rachelle Delaney

The Giant Slayer by Iain Lawrence

Zoobreak by Gordon Korman

Dear Canada: A Desperate Road to Freedom Karleen Bradford

Timothy and the Dragon's Gate by Adrienne Kress

The Prince of Neither Here nor There by Sean Cullen

Red Cedar Information Award 2012 Nominees

Charlie: a Home Child’s Life in Canada by Beryl Young

Learn to Speak Music by John Crossingham

The Insecto-files by Helaine Becker

Big Train: the Legendary Ironman of Sport by Lionel Conacher. Richard Brignal

Fighting for Gold by Lorna Schultz Nicholson

Pharaohs and Foot Soldiers by Kristin Butcher

Animal Aha! Thrilling Discoveries in Wildlife Science by Diane Swanson

It’s a Snap! George Eastman’s First Photograph. Monica Kulling.

Whispers from the Ghettos by Kathy Kacer & Sharon Mckay

Hoaxed: Fakes and Mistakes in the World of Science by The Editors of YES Magazine

How to Build Your Own Country by Valerie Wyatt.

100% Pure Fake by Lyn Thomas

Out of this World: The Amazing Search for an Alien Earth by Jacob Berkowitz

You Are Weird: Your Body’s Peculiar Parts and Funny Functions by Diane Swanson

Kaboom! Explosions of all Kinds by Gillian Richardson

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Whirlwind Month Ends in a Win!

I've done over 60 school and library presentations since April 1st, so my head is spinning for sure. But what spun me round the most was having two of my books honored with yummy awards this past week.

On Thursday last week, while I was presenting to schoolkids in Amherst, Nova Scotia, the Silver Birch Awards were being handed out in front of more 700 screaming book lovers in Toronto. What's the Big Idea? received the Honour Award in the nonfiction category.

Then, on Saturday night, the Canadian Booksellers Association held their annual Awards dinner for their fave books of the year. And yippy yahoo, A Porcupine in A Pine Tree won the Picture Book of the Year Award!

Here are some pictures from that wonderful event for your viewing pleasure:

The Toronto children's book store, The Flying Dragon (woot!) won Specialty Retailer of the Year.

Vikki VanSickle, bookseller and #Torkidlit Author, won the award for Young Bookseller of the Year!

Here she is, looking gorgeous accepting her award.

Here we are accepting our award from Eleanor of Mables Fables Bookstore.

I know everyone expects me to blabber on whenever they hand me a mike, but I surprised everyone by letting Werner take center stage and say our thank yous.

See how adoring I look??

                                              Of course I couldn't leave the stage without saying something......

Here, with my hubby Karl and Diane Kerner, Publisher at Scholastic Canada.

And here with Susan Chamberlain, owner of Sarnia's fabulous The Bookkeeper, which won the Bookseller of the Year Award. Susan and I go waaaaaay back, to our days working at McClelland & Stewart. Don't ask how long ago that was.

This is my favorite shot of all. Yes, we were pretty chuffed. :)

Thursday, May 5, 2011

So Cute! New Cover Just Arrived!

I was thrilled to receive this pic in my inbox last night from illustrator Ron Lightburn. It's the cover for our new picture book, Juba This, Juba That, which will be published by Tundra Books this fall.

Isn't it adorable????

The book is based on a traditional work chant sung by slaves in the American South. I learned the "song" when visiting Monticello, the home of U.S. founding dad Thomas Jefferson. The costumed staff we met there were doing all the jobs that were done on the original estate, including grinding corn. The chant was being sung as part of that  job.

I never was able to get the catchy rhythm of the Juba chant out of my head. What a wonderful book it would make, I thought! So I put my thinking cap on, did some research, and re-wrote the chant to make a simple story that's fun to read and fun to hear. I also made sure to include some key preschool learning opps - my background is in the education world, after all. The story focuses on opposites like up and down, near and far, high and low.

I haven't seen the rest of the art for the book yet, by judging by the cover, it will be whimsical and beautiful and evocative. Can't wait!!!!

Because: Science!