Sunday, January 22, 2017

Thank you, Roundtable!

On Tuesday night, the Children's Literature Roundtables of Canada presented Karen Reczuch (illustrator) and I with the Information Book Award — honouring the year's "most outstanding" nonfiction book for children in Canada. It was given to us for West Coast Wild: A Nature Alphabet.

We couldn't be more thrilled or grateful! Thank you to the Roundtable for this award and for establishing it all those years ago, highlighting the importance and value of nonfiction books for children. Thank you also to Kay Weisman, Chair of the award and to the jury who worked hard and read many books.

There was an amazing shortlist this year — books that ranged in style, topic, diversity, art, design and age-group. Any one of the books was deserving of this special award! Karen and I were honoured to see our book in such exceptional company.

We are also thankful to our publisher, Groundwood Books, who took a chance on what I thought was a regional manuscript, with limited appeal, and who allowed Karen and I to work together — something that is unusual in publishing these days. (Authors and illustrators are generally expected to communicate via their editor and art director, and not speak directly to one another.)

The presentation of our award at a celebration evening was lovely! Many of our friends in the children's writing and illustrating community were there.

Thank you to everyone involved. We are so appreciative!

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Happy New Year!

Here on the west coast, we are leaping into the New Year with snow and ice. It is unusual for us to have such a cold winter (we are accustomed to balmier temperatures) and we are muddling our way through it.

The big old trees in my neighbourhood are beautiful in their coats of white, but some have come tumbling down with a bang under the weight of the heavy snow. Watch out!

The side streets have not been cleared of ice and snow in a month, nor salted or sanded, and so driving (and walking!) remain somewhat treacherous — like navigating an ice rink in ballet slippers.

But we brave west-coasters carry on, and look forward to the beginning of a fresh and shiny New Year. We have high hopes that there will be many bright spots in the days ahead.

Wishing you a happy, healthy and productive 2017 — with many good books to read!