2010 Book of the Year Award Finalists

ForeWord Reviews announced the finalists in the 2010 Book of the Year Awards. We would like to congratulate the following authors and illustrators on their nominations!

Children’s Picture Book Category

Humpty Dumpty and Friends: Nursery Rhymes for the Young at Heart
Illustrated by Oleg Lipchenko
ISBN 978-1-77049-205-9
24 Pages | Hardcover
“…inventive, sophisticated artwork…. Lipchenko’s style is a mix of textured retro with fancifully baroque illusions … this one will have illustration mavens intrigued.” – Kirkus Reviews

Which Way?
By Marthe Jocelyn
Art by Tom Slaughter
ISBN 978-0-88776-970-2
24 Pages | Hardcover
“Although aimed at the very young, this new picture book from Marthe Jocelyn and Tom Slaughter is not simplistic. …While the image seems simple enough, there is obviously a highly sophisticated design and colour sense behind its creation….” – Quill & Quire

Juvenile Fiction Category

Alison Dare, Little Miss Adventures
By J. Torres
Illustrated by J. Bones
ISBN 978-0-88776-935-1
96 Pages | Trade Paperback
“Normal just isn’t her thing. The 12-year-old daughter of an archaeologist/adventurer and masked hero the Blue Scarab, Alison has a craving for danger, and it has ways of finding her…. Be it magic genies, angry mummies, or a baron bent on world domination, Alison Dare is ready to take them on! … kids will love reading about her and her wacky adventures.” – Good Comics for Kids, School Library Journal

Dear George Clooney, Please Marry My Mom
By Susin Nielsen
ISBN 978-0-88776-977-1
eBook 978-0-88776-978-8
240 Pages | Hardcover
“Nielsen (Word Nerd) has created a narrator as sassy and candid as this memorable novel’s title…. Nielsen skillfully balances her story’s keen humor … with poignancy. Especially affecting are Violet’s struggles to accept her father’s new family….” – Starred Review, Publishers Weekly

Mrs. Katpuniks Pool Hall and Matzo Ball Emporium
By Rona Arato
ISBN 978-0-88776-967-2
eBook 978-1-77049-211-0
192 Pages | Trade Paperback
“With fantasy, farce, and also a strong sense of realism…. The kvetching and quarrels, the wry Yiddish idiom, and the search for the father will bring the coming-to-America story to young grade-schoolers, who will also enjoy the little dragon’s defeat of the crooks….” – Booklist

No Moon
By Irene N. Watts
ISBN 978-0-88776-9719
eBook 978-0-88776-972-6
240 Pages | Trade Paperback
“…Watts provides a fascinating account of what the great unsinkable ship was like. The catastrophe is rendered in a heartbreakingly graceful style, and Lou performs heroically in shepherding her two little girls to safety on a lifeboat in this uniquely engaging and satisfying coming-of-age historical adventure tale.” – Starred Review, Booklist

Rude Stories
By Jan Andrews
Illustrated by Francis Blake
ISBN 978-0-88776-921-4
88 Pages | Hardcover
“…they are rude stories of the highest order: wonderfully inventive, delightfully told, and charmingly illustrated…. They are tailor-made for reading aloud, and Andrews does a masterful job of linking disparate yarns…. Part of Andrew’s gift is making young readers feel as though she’s in cahoots with them … these stories will no doubt be the starting point for countless thought-provoking and entertaining discussions. Francis Blake’s lively illustrations just add to the sense of fun.” – Starred Review, Quill & Quire

Juvenile Nonfiction Category

All Aboard! Elijah McCoy’s Steam Engine
By Monica Kulling
Illustrated by Bill Slavin
ISBN 978-0-88776-945-0
32 Pages | Hardcover
“An engaging biography of the African-American inventor…. The narrative includes fictionalized dialogue and clear explanations about how the machinery works and concludes with an inspiring message…. Expressive watercolors, some full page and some full spread, capture the time period, allowing readers to imagine what life was like in this era, and add energy and touches of humor.” – School Library Journal and Black History Month 2011: SLJ‘s Picks

Cyclist BikeList: The Book for Every Rider
By Laura Robinson
Illustrated by Ramón K. Pérez
ISBN 978-0-88776-784-5
64 Pages | Trade Paperback
“… The book is packed with information and fun facts, covers everything from the history of bicycles, to choosing a bike and fueling yourself up for long rides. The illustrations are lively and the writing informative and engaging, communicating a deep knowledge and passion for the sport….” – Momentum Magazine

By Janice Weaver
Illustrated by David Craig
ISBN 978-0-88776-814-9
48 Pages | Hardcover
“Failure is not usually at the heart of an exciting adventure story, but this dramatic picture-book biography about Henry Hudson … makes the explorer’s lack of success a gripping read…. Craig’s glowing period portraits, landscapes, and watercolors of the ship in dangerous seas intensify the drama….” – Starred Review, Booklist

Talking Tails: The Incredible Connection Between People and Their Pets
By Ann Love and Jane Drake
Illustrated by Bill Slavin
ISBN 978-0-88776-884-2
80 Pages | Hardcover
“…These factoids, fictional or otherwise, about the intersection of animal and human lives provide the structure upon which sisters Ann Love and Jane Drake build another of their interesting and informative books…. Written in what might be described as an infectiously friendly fashion … and plentifully illustrated with witty watercolours by the irrepressible Bill Slavin, Talking Tails will appeal to those who are contemplating have a pet in their lives….” – The Globe and Mail

Young Adult Nonfiction Category

Yes You Can! Your Guide to Becoming an Activist
By Jane Drake and Ann Love
ISBN 978-0-88776-942-9
eBook 978-1-77049-235-6
144 Pages | Trade Paperback
“Young people who want to effect change are guided by a sequence of nine steps and inspirational examples of grassroots activism…. The style is conversational and the tone offers realistic encouragement to teens looking to solve problems. Teachers will approve of the focus on the importance of developing writing and speaking skills, being mindful of one’s online reputation, and learning how to evaluate project efforts. This title will primarily serve as a how-to, although the time lines, an accessible index, and factual information about anti-smoking campaigns, recycling, and children’s rights make it a useful historical perspective of activism.” – School Library Journal

The winners will be determined by a panel of librarians and booksellers selected from our readership. Gold, Silver, and Bronze winners, as well as Editor’s Choice Prizes for Fiction and Nonfiction will be announced at a special program at the ALA Annual Conference in New Orleans this June.

Guest Post: Laura Robinson

A continuation from Laura Robinson’s previous guest post, where she shared her thoughts about the On the move in the community! conference and told us she that would be riding in the Tour la Nuit.

Laura Robinson: What could be more fun then over 9,000 cyclists taking over downtown Montreal on a Friday evening? I met our gracious hosts from Velo Quebec at the most amazing Velo Maison, a Victorian rambling house that has been added to and added to as this non-profit organization continues to grow. Now with 80 full-time staff and another 30 temporary to help with the organization of un Tour la Nuit and Tour de I’ile on the first weekend of June the house vibrates with the energy of people who love to ride, and/or are simply committed to a culture where bicycles count.

I arrived around 5:30 on Friday evening after a short tour up Mount Royale and a “negotiated” ride on Montreal’s cycling lanes. The lanes are fashioned in a way that has the coming and going cyclists on the same side of the street on a somewhat narrow lane, with a yellow line between them. The success of Montreal’s cycling campaign is obvious as hundreds of cyclists going in different directions vie for a narrow slice of the pavement. But I made it along rue Rachel to find hundreds more cyclists already preparing for a ride that started three hours later.

Velo Maison offers a store and cafe downstairs so after a tour of the travel office and the place which is the heart of cycling in Quebec–which includes the ever expanding second and third stories, as well as the new patio off to the side, we settled into fabulous fresh food and conversation. Journalists from New York, Toronto and Seattle attended, along with CEO of Cycle New York. I think the Americans decided to move to Montreal by the time the outdoor cafe meal had ended and we were all straddling our saddles.

The start of the festival was a blast. Volunteers had dressed up in all kinds of great get-ups, music blasted, cyclists had decorated bikes like we were all ten years old again and bike cops and motorcycle cops led the way.

Riding through the neighbourhoods of Montreal as the sun sets behind Mount Royale and neighbourhoods come out to cheer us on is an experience never to be forgotten. Before I knew it the 20 km were over and I rode back to my hotel, dodging through festive summer streets as only Montreal can deliver.

Tundra Books: That’s not all, Laura Robinson celebrated the launch of Cyclist BikeList with Octopus Books two days later! Here are some event photos, posted with permission and courtesy of Tim Bouma:

Phoenix, Laura Robison, Yannick, and Noah!

Noah on his unicycle reading Cyclist BikeList! Now that takes skills! Sarah and her daughter Breanna are sharing a joke in the background. Breanna is a member of the Anishinaabe Racers that Laura Robinson coaches.

Sarah (Breanna’s mother) juggling.

Many thanks to Steve and his great team at Octopus Books! They were up against dark skies, rain clouds, and cold temperatures, but the kids who came had a fun time.

Guest Post: Laura Robinson

Laura Robinson, author of Cyclist BikeList: The Book for Every Rider, attended On the move in the community! in Montreal. Here are some of her thoughts after the conference.

Laura Robinson: Imagine a place where all planning decisions put the right of children to live in a safe place where it was easy to ride their bikes, run around or skateboard first. Where doing business was not more important than having fun. Impossible? Traffic engineer Leah Bisutti from Burlington, Ontario says that is how we must design planning guidelines. Bisutti was speaking at a panel entitled, “Safe Routes to School—Canada’s Best Practices” along with her colleague Jennifer Jenkins, who is a public health nurse with the City of Burlington, at the “On the Move in the Community” conference in Montreal on June 3, 2010.

Velo Quebec organized the conference. They are an amazing non-profit cycling advocacy organization that employs 80 full-time staff and another 30 building up to this conference and their spectacular Tour la Nuit, which I am riding in tonight, and the legendary Tour de l’ille, which happens on Saturday, June 5 when tens of thousands of cyclists will converge on the city and ride to their heart’s delight.

Tour de l’Ille started in 1985 with 3,500 cyclists braving cool, rainy weather. In 2009, when they celebrated their 25th anniversary, 35,000 came out! Tour la Nuit was initiated in 1999. Last year they had 13,000. Of course because this is Montreal, a festival is a real festival. I will report on what the start and finish areas are like, but I know one thing for sure—this isn’t a race—but a super fun time on a bike.

Things were a little more serious yesterday when experts like Leah Bisutti and Jennifer Jenkins talked about what it takes to get kids out of their parent’s cars and onto bikes or sidewalks. The weird thing is, every survey of kids shows that they LOVE riding their bikes. It is decisions by adults—parents and politicians—who decide life outside of the confines of the automobile is just too dangerous. How ironic given that it is the automobile that makes going to school far more dangerous than it has to be for children. Experts from across Canada and Europe showed how much safer the environment is, not to mention cleaner, when parents DO NOT DRIVE THEIR CHILDREN TO SCHOOL. Instead, parents and Safe Routes to School advocates, along with kids do a “walkabout” in their neighbourhood and decide what needs to be fixed (more signs that say kids are around, more crossing guards, signage that shows kids where the least car infested streets are, lower speed limits and traffic calming devices), and then they plan their walking school bus. Everyone has a blast and arrives at school ready to learn. Every study completed recently shows that kids learn better after engaging in cardio-respiratory exercise. But even if this does happen, riding a bike is a blast, and so is walking to school with friends and that is reason enough to do either activity.

The Leah and Jennifer team are going to work on getting kids on bikes for transportation to school for next year. So leave the car at home whether you are ensuring a child gets to school or if you are on your way too work or play. Get your running shoes out or your bike or both and have a blast.

The Clean Air Commute

This year, the 2010 Clean Air Commute takes place during June 14-18. For that week, try biking, walking, telecommuting, taking public transit, driving a hybrid, carpooling, or even just giving your car a tune-up. Who knows? You might discover a more enjoyable way of commuting.

Yes You Can!
Your Guide to Becoming an Activist
Written by Jane Drake and Ann Love
Trade Paperback
Pub Date: October 2010
Ages 11+  |  176 pages
ISBN 978-0-88776-942-9

  • Did you know? Ann Love, is one of the founding members of Pollution Probe!
  • Did you know? One of Pollution Probe’s first big campaigns was directed at phosphate pollution.

I was in WWF today and noticed they have an interesting campaign add-on to the Clean Air Commute. WWF is encouraging people to pin a car-key on their shirts as a way of pointing out that their choice to cycle or walk is a deliberate alternative to driving. Either you or your parents could do that – choose a sturdy fabric and a strong safety pin to attach the key prominently to the front of your shirt or jacket. So, you do a good thing for the environment and you make the point so that others will think about walking or cycling too… – Ann Love

Cyclist BikeList
The Book for Every Rider

Written by Laura Robinson
Illustrated by Ramón K. Pérez
Trade Paperback
Ages 9+  |  64 pages
ISBN 978-0-88776-784-5

  • Issues concerning cyclists vs. bikers covered in Cyclist BikeList – Mike Marino, The Florida Times-Union/Jacksonville.com
  • Book hits just the right gear – Paul Jankowsky, Owen Sound Sun Times
  • The Bicycle Nut with Laura Robinson discussion Cyclist BikeList – Jerry, The Bicycle Nut

Bring the kids and spend an afternoon with author Laura Robinson and discover the joy of cycling. Laura will be launching Cyclist BikeList with Octopus Books on Sunday, June 6, 2010.

For more information on the Clean Air Commute or to register your workplace, please visit their website: www.cleanaircommute.ca

First Weekend of May

Whoaa do we have some great events lined up for this weekend! Drop by if you’re in the neighbourhood and check these out, they’re all free to attend!

Speaking of free, May 1 is Free Comic Book Day!
Map: 12-55 Wyndham Street North, Guelph, ON N1H 7T8
J. Torres will be signing at the Dragon (Guelph, ON) from 10:00am to 2:00pm. You could pick up an Alison Dare, The Heart of the Maiden chapbook and other goodies (while supplies last). I hear that there will be yummy treats too… be sure to go to the Dragon early or you might miss out!
PS: Open Book: Toronto asked Alison Dare to answer The Proust Questionnaire. Keep an eye out for the interview and giveaway contest!

Saturday, May 1, 2010 – 1:30pm
Map: 740 Richmond Street, London, ON N6A 1L6
Author and athlete, Laura Robinson will be at the Oxford Book Shop (London, ON) for a presentation and signing of Cyclist BikeList: The Book for Every Rider. Learn about bike safety and maintenance as Bike Month approaches! Laura will be bringing in a sample tool kit.

Sunday, May 2, 2010 – 2:00pm
Map: 2901 Bayview Avenue, North York, ON M2K 1E6
Join Rona Arato at Chapters Bayview Village (Toronto, ON) as we celebrate the launch of Mrs. Kaputnik’s Pool Hall and Matzo Ball Emporium. Rona will be reading at 2:30pm, pay special attention and you could win some neat prizes by correctly answering a few questions.

We hope to see you there, will anyone be going to all three? There should be a prize for that!