Last night, we celebrated the launch of Marthe Jocelyn’s new releases at Ben McNally Books.
Here is Marthe Jocelyn before all the guests arrive. Please, look at all the lovely books!
The guests arrive and Marthe Jocelyn is busy, busy!
Busy signing books!
Group photo! Former Publisher of Tundra Books, Kathy Lowinger, is back from a vacation and came to say a few words about working with Marthe Jocelyn.
Marthe Jocelyn reading the first section of Folly.
Thank you to the wonderful team at Ben McNally Books! Thank you to everyone that came out to say “hello” to Marthe! It was nice seeing Gillian O’Reilly, Shannon Howe Barnes, and Meghan Howe from the Canadian Children’s Book Centre. They came with the new issue of Canadian Children’s Book News too! Here’s a little snippet of what the issue contained:
“…Rather than crafting a bleak, grimy and desperate tale, Jocelyn enriches her story with the inclusion of love and desire to paint a wonderfully textured portrait of some of England’s poor. Savvy teen readers will enjoy drinking from this sometimes saucy literary concoction. A toast to the spirited author and her great-grandmother….” – Lian Goodall
Will you be attending the 2010 OLA Super Conference? The conference will be taking place on February 24-27, 2010 in the Metro Toronto Convention Centre.
Tundra will be at booth #720 to tell you about our new and upcoming books! You can also come by to pick up our catalogues, posters, postcards, and bookmarks.
We are also hosting author signings at our booth! Be sure to line-up early, the first 50 people will receive a complimentary copy (finished books, unless noted otherwise). The only catch is… you have to meet the author! Not bad at all…
3pm – Theo Caldwell will be signing finished copies of Finn the half-Great
Friday, February 26, 2010:
10:30am – Marla Stewart Konrad will be signing finished copies of Grand and I Like to Play
1pm – Rona Arato will be signing finished copies of Mrs. Kaputnik’s Pool Hall and Matzo Ball Emporium
2pm – J. Torres will be signing chapbooks of Alison Dare, The Heart of the Maiden
Also, be sure to check out Session #1229:
Friday, February, 26, 2010 at 2:10pm
Read Fresh: Why we need Canadian books
Kathy Lowinger, Past Publisher, Tundra Books
For years hardly a single children’s book was published in Canada. Now we have a rich, diverse body of literature to call our own, but we may lose this hard-won national treasure. Why should we care? What should we do? And what are the must-have Canadian books for every library?
Since publishing my first picture book, in the U.K. and the U.S. in 1992, I have looked longingly (each November) at the Canada Book Week poster and felt a like the poor match-girl in the fairy tale, uninvited because she has never published a book in Canada. A sad state of affairs. But sad no longer!
Enter TUNDRA BOOKS and Kathy Lowinger and all the talented people who work so hard to produce the beautiful books that Tundra is famous for. And a huge thanks to Bill Slavin, the illustrious Canadian illustrator, whose work is so well-known that doors open for me when I mention his name! Thank you for putting me on the Canadian map! I am tickled pink to be a Canadian author and to have the opportunity to share my books with kids across our great country.
So … with my symbolic invitation in hand, I drove to the Black Creek library located in the North York Sheridan Mall. Driving up Black Creek Drive, I passed the perfectly named, “Photography Drive,” which indicates the street that leads to the old Kodak plant. In 2005 Kodak became a casualty of the digital age and was forced to close down its plant. Until then it had employed hundreds of people for nearly 100 years. All the Kodak film and photography paper used in Canada were manufactured at the place that was called, “Kodak Heights.” Now one solitary building remains—building number 9:
The Black Creek Library is on the lower level of the Sheridan Mall, tucked behind an escalator. But the strategy of arriving early, allowed me to get lost, at least once. Anne-Marie Di Lello, the librarian who contacted me, greeted me warmly. She is proud of the library. “This library is a pearl in the mall,” Anne-Marie tells me. “Most people don’t know it’s here. But when they discover it, they keep coming back.” And as I entered its cozy and quiet domain, I can see why.
I was shown the room where the reading was going to be. Nancy Velez, another Black Creek librarian, had gone to great lengths to search the Toronto system for every book of mine she could get. The table at the front of the room, made me feel right at home.
The group was a little late, but worth waiting for. I began my presentation by taking a panoramic photograph of the entire group. So see for yourself what a grand bunch of kids I had in front of me.
And did they have questions? They did indeed! For that Kirkus reviewer who thought that “a few phrases may confuse young readers (“George had a brain wave”),” you can rest easy. Not only did my young listeners understand the term “brainwave,” one astute young man answered my query this way, “It’s when you have a wave of an idea in your brain and then a lightbulb comes on over your head!” Sounds about right to me.
Royal Ontario Museum
100 Queen’s Park, Toronto
ABOUT THE SUMMIT: Becoming a reader is at the very heart of responsible citizenship. But as we find ourselves caught in the fierce updrafts of an information hurricane, we often lose sight of what reading — as an intellectual activity — contributes to our sense of self, our cultural awareness, our capacity for self-expression and, ultimately, our notions of engaged citizenship and the collective good. Reading, after all, is about so much more than a technical act that allows us to communicate, consume media and perform the activities of daily life. To be literate is necessary, but it is not enough.
What is Canada doing to foster a reading culture? Many countries around the world have developed a national program to promote reading among children and the general population. In Canada, individual provinces and communities have made steps in this direction; however, because schools and libraries are the most obvious focus for public reading initiatives, and both are under provincial and municipal jurisdictions, we have no coordinated national strategy to promote reading.
THE READING COALITION
In 2008, a group of librarians, parent activists, authors, publishers and corporate leaders came together with the goal of developing a national reading strategy for Canada; the TD National Reading Summit is the first step in identifying key strategies and building a coalition to advance policy development and implementation. Canadians from all parts of the country are encouraged to engage in this far-ranging discussion about the task of building a reading society.