The Hurricane Harvey Book Club – Reading The Fragrant Garden

As many of you are, I am horrified at the devastation Hurricane Harvey brought upon the people of Houston, Texas. But natural disasters seem to bring out the best in people. One of these people is Kathryn Butler Mills, a teacher who created The Hurricane Harvey Book Club on Facebook after seeing photos of kids in bathrooms, under staircases and in pantries while tornado warnings were going off. The book club has gone viral with children, teachers, librarians and authors from around the world Continue reading

Good Pirates and Bad Pirates

I was parked outside the Arrivals section at Trudeau Airport this morning looking up and down the waiting area for someone. I have been picking up strangers at the airport once a year for the past few years. This isn’t as bad as it sounds. The occasion is TD Canadian Children’s Book Week when I volunteer to pick up visiting authors and drive them to their hotel or to a school or bookstore for a reading. This time, I was Continue reading

TD Awards 2015

NaNoWriMo: Getting Inspiration from the TD Canadian Children’s Literature Awards

I took the night off from NaNoWriMo last night to go to the annual TD awards for Canadian Children’s Literature published in French. Five books were up for the $30,000 top prize. The event at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts was an opportunity to mingle and meet writers and publishers in the French community.  It’s so inspiring to see writers and illustrators being feted and recognized for their work.

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Q&A with Suana Verelst, Illustrator of Razia’s Ray of Hope

Montreal has a terrific writing community and there is no doubt that its members have helped me grow as a writer. I met Suana Verelst, an award winning illustrator, several years ago at a get-together for writers and illustrators of children’s and young adult books.  (She also makes great home-made soup which I tasted at our last Christmas pot luck.) Her latest, Razia’s Ray of Hope, is an award winning book based on the true story of a girl in Afghanistan who desperately wants an education Continue reading

Happy Birthday Dr Seuss!

Happy Birthday to You by Dr Seuss

Dr Seuss on Writing

It has often been said
there’s so much to be read,
you never can cram
all those words in your head.

So the writer who breeds
more words than he needs
is making a chore
for the reader who reads.

That’s why my belief is
the briefer the brief is,
the greater the sigh
of the reader’s relief is.


2013 TD Children's Book Awards

Celebrating Children’s Literature

2013 TD Canadian Children’s Book Centre Awards for French Books

Writers and illustrators of children’s books were feted last Tuesday night at the annual TD Children’s Book Awards. It’s always a fun and elegant evening.  Waiters floated around the atrium at the Museum of Fine Arts with trays of cranberry vodka cocktails and delicious hors d’oeuvres. It’s also a great opportunity to meet and mingle with authors, illustrators, librarians, educators, booksellers and publishers.   Even though I’m not nominated, the evening makes me feel special and proud to be a writer.

Michel Noel

Winner of the 2013 TD Book Award for French children’s books

The winner for French books was Michel Noël for his book A la recherche du bout du mondeThe prize for English books was given to Polly Horvath in Toronto the week before for her book One Year in Coal Harbour. Each author was awarded a $30,000 prize.

Marie-Louis Gay, author and illustrator of the popular Stella picture book series, was given the Claude Aubry Award by IBBY Canada for distinguished service within the field of children’s literature. Gay was also honoured earlier this year by Canada Post with a stamp which I wrote about in a post. After the ceremony, it was back to the atrium to celebrate with decadent desserts and champagne.