Spotlight on Tara Walker, guest speaker at the Illustrator’s Breakfast on November 16

Tara Walker, vice-president and publisher of Tundra Books (a division of Penguin Random House Canada Young Readers), will be speaking at our annual Illustrator’s Breakfast on November 16. This year’s theme is a tribute to the late Sheila Barry a highly regarded publisher at Groundwood Books and a beloved editor to all who worked with her. Her legacy includes many wonderful award-winning books for children.

What is your favourite memory of Sheila?

My fondest memories of Sheila are the regular check-ins we used to have with one another long after we worked together at Kids Can. Mostly our meetings consisted of funny stories we traded back and forth of everyday happenings at work and at home. There were many laughs and very little discussion of actual work. Almost all of them began with Sheila saying, “Tara Walker, I have the funniest thing to tell you” and many of them ended with “I love you, Tara Walker.”

What particular quality or ethic did Sheila bring to her editing work?

Sheila had a feather-light touch and gave her authors and illustrators—and her editors—a lot of freedom to roam in their work. That’s what I loved most about Sheila as my editor-in-chief: I felt she gave me a safe space to be creative and let me realize my vision for a book in a way that I never could if I didn’t feel so supported.

What three qualities do you think a great picturebook possesses?

The best picture books don’t talk down to children and don’t let the words do all of the storytelling. Truly great picturebook makers leave room for the art to do much of the talking, and they create memorable characters that kids can identify with, whether it’s a bear who wants his hat back or a boy who is sent to bed without his supper.

What are some of the books that you’ve edited?

Mary Who Wrote Frankenstein by Linda Bailey
This is Sadie by Sara O’Leary & Julie Morstad
We Are All Made of Molecules by Susin Nielsen
The Darkest Dark by Chris Hadfield & the Fan Brothers 
Virginia Wolf by Kyo Maclear & Isabelle Arsenault
Scaredy Squirrel series by Mélanie Watt
Narwhal and Jelly series by Ben Clanton

Spotlight on Deborah Hodge, guest speaker at the Illustrator’s Breakfast on November 16

Deborah Hodge will be speaking at our annual Illustrator’s Breakfast on November 16. This year’s theme is a tribute to the late Sheila Barry a highly regarded publisher at Groundwood Books and a beloved editor to all who worked with her. Her legacy includes many wonderful award-winning books for children.

What is your favourite memory of Sheila?

Sheila was a lot of fun and we often laughed together. Once when she was heading to Bologna for the Children’s Book Fair, I told her I was envious of her trip. As a consolation, the next time I was in Toronto, she treated me to a dinner at an amazing Italian restaurant where we shared yummy pasta and glasses of sparkling prosecco.

What particular quality or ethic did Sheila bring to her editing work?

Sheila was a gifted editor who believed deeply in her creators and their creative process. She trusted the authors and illustrators she worked with and provided a warm, supportive space where creators could feel comfortable taking risks and trying new things. She used to say to me, “I’ll read anything you write.”

What three qualities do you think a great picturebook possesses?

Wonderful writing, beautiful art and a seamless (and happy!) marriage between them.

What books did you work on with Sheila?

Cooking with Bear, Groundwood Books, 2019
Bear’s Winter Party
, Groundwood Books, 2016
West Coast Wild: A Nature Alphabet, Groundwood Books, 2015
Watch Me Grow! A Down-to-Earth Look at Growing Food in the City, Kids Can Press, 2011
Up We Grow! A Year in the Life of a Small, Local Farm, Kids Can Press, 2010
The Kids Book of Canadian Immigration, Kids Can Press, 2006

(I would also consider these books to be among my best ones.)

Register to attend the Illustrator’s Breakfast today!

8:00 am – 12:00 pm | November 16, 2019 | University Golf Course

Early Bird Rates end October 20, 2019
Registration closes November 13, 2019

Spotlight on Caroline Adderson, guest speaker at the Illustrator’s Breakfast on November 16

Carline Adderson will be speaking at our annual Illustrator’s Breakfast on November 16. This year’s theme is a tribute to the late Sheila Barry a highly regarded publisher at Groundwood Books and a beloved editor to all who worked with her. Her legacy includes many wonderful award-winning books for children.

What is your favourite memory of Sheila?

Once I brought a 400 word “manuscript” to lunch. I asked if I could share an idea. “Of course!” As I pulled it out of my purse, a look of horror crossed Sheila’s face. “Are you going to read that to me in a restaurant?”  I said, “Yes!”  I only got a couple of stanzas in, her eyes darting around for the exit, when the waiter approached.  It was her chance to cut me off. Instead, her protective instinct kicked in. “Do you mind?” she told him. Then she bought the book.

What particular quality or ethic did Sheila bring to her editing work?

Humour!  She was so very, very funny that even when she was telling you you had to write yet another draft, you didn’t mind prolonging the process.  

What three qualities do you think a great picturebook possesses?

Great art (even more important than the text, in my opinion), a child-centred text, love.

What books did you work on with Sheila?

The first three Jasper John Dooley books, Norman Speak! and I Love You One to Ten. 

Register to attend the Illustrator’s Breakfast today!

8:00 am – 12:00 pm | November 16, 2019 | University Golf Course

Early Bird Rates end October 20, 2019
Registration closes November 13, 2019

Spotlight on Bob Heidbreder, guest speaker at the Illustrator’s Breakfast on November 16

Bob Heidbreder will be speaking at our annual Illustrator’s Breakfast on November 16. This year’s theme is a tribute to the late Sheila Barry a highly regarded publisher at Groundwood Books and a beloved editor to all who worked with her. Her legacy includes many wonderful award-winning books for children.

What is your favourite memory of Sheila?

Sheila and I did not meet often because of distance, but with emails and phone conversations I felt we were both discovering again and again a valued, happy friendship.

Every aspect of living engaged Sheila. Liveliness, lovingness, warmth and care are what I will always remember about Sheila. She willingly shared her spirit.

What particular quality or ethic did Sheila bring to her editing work?

Big ears—to listen to the creator and to catch the rhythms of the story as it is told.

Big eyes—to see the beauty, power and strength that even an unfinished manuscript is hiding.

Big heart—to embrace books, to cherish editing and to esteem others.

What three qualities do you think a great picture book possesses?

Great picture books are like great choreography. The words and the pictures dance together to create a moving musical whole.

Great picture books are like great poetry. They send you along linguistic and visual paths you didn’t know and challenge you here and there on the way.

Great pictures books are like great gifts. They surprise you, enrich you and become a lasting part of your life.

What books did you work on with Sheila?

There were only two books that Sheila and I worked on together directly:

Song for a Summer Night and Rooster Summer, but I know she was behind the scenes in many of my other books at KCP: Lickety-Split, Drumheller Dinosaur Dance, A Sea-Wishing Day, etc. And we were just to begin editing Our Corner Store, which in an email to me when she accepted the book she called “pure joy.”

Register to attend the Illustrator’s Breakfast today!

8:00 am – 12:00 pm | November 16, 2019 | University Golf Course

Early Bird Rates end October 20, 2019
Registration closes November 13, 2019

Events for the 2019-20 Membership Year

Annual VCLR Illustrator’s Breakfast: A Tribute to Sheila Barry
Join us in a starry tribute to the brilliant picturebook editor and publisher, the late Sheila Barry, nurturer of books such as Sidewalk Flower, Speak Norman, Speak, Small in the City, and so many more.

Featuring some of Canada’s children’s lit stars: Caroline Adderson, Linda Bailey, Sarah Ellis, Robert Heidbreder, Deborah Hodge, and Tundra editor/publisher, Tara Walker.

We will also be formally announcing the new Sheila Barry Best Canadian Picturebook of the Year Award.

We welcome donations to help us cover the cost of offering reduced rates to students. Vancouver Kidsbooks will be on hand to sell books.

We are also holding a silent auction of great books, illustrations, and items related to picturebooks and children’s literature.

8:00 am – 12:00 pm | November 16, 2019 | University Golf Course

Early Bird Rates end October 20, 2019
Registration closes November 13, 2019


Celebrate! Award-Winning B.C. Children’s Writers and Illustrators
A celebration of BC award winning children’s authors and illustrators of 2019. The guest speaker will be the winner of the 2019 Information Book Award (the winner will be announced November 16, 2019 at the Illustrator’s Breakfast).

Wednesday, January 29, 2020, 6:30 – 9:30 pm
Free to members. Bubbly beverages and appetizers at the University Golf Club.


Special Picturebook Event
June 2020
Stay tuned . . . more details to come!

Register online here or download a mail-in registration form here.


Don’t forget that except where noted, these are member-only events. Don’t miss out. Please make sure your membership is up-to-date. Renew your VCLR membership here.

The 2019 Information Book Award Shortlist is out!

The Children’s Literature Roundtables of Canada Announce…

2019 Information Book Award Shortlist

(Eight terrific non-fiction titles published in 2018, listed alphabetically)

Bloom: A story of fashion designer Elsa Schiaparelli. By Kyo Maclear. Illustrated by Julie Morstad. Published by Tundra Books.

Mary Who Wrote Frankenstein. By Linda Bailey. Illustrations by Julia Sarda. Published by Tundra Books.

Out of the Ice: How climate change is revealing the past. By Claire Eamer. Illustrated by Drew Shannon. Published by Kids Can Press.

Ramadan: The holy month of fasting. By Ausma Zehanat Khan. Published by Orca Book Publishers.

Too Young to Escape: A Vietnamese girl waits to be reunited with her family. By Van Ho and Marsha Forchuk Skrypuch. Published by Pajama Press.

The Triumphant Tale of the House Sparrow. By JanThornhill. Published by Groundwood Books.

The True Tale of a Giantess: The story of Anna Swan. By Anne Renaud. Illustrated by Marie Lafrance. Published by Kids Can Press.

Wild Buildings and Bridges: Architecture inspired by nature. By Etta Kaner and Carl Wiens. Published by Kids Can Press.

Information Book Award Jury: Brooklyn Cribdon, Vicki Donoghue, Sarah Fast, Lauren Hathaway, Meghan Ross, Natalie Schembri, Lonestar Stone, Fiona Trotter, and Michelle Yule. Chair: Danielle Wing

ROUNDTABLES VOTING DEADLINE: OCTOBER 31, 2019

WINNER ANNOUNCEMENT: 16 NOVEMBER 2019

PRESENTATION OF AWARD: 29, JANUARY 2020

FURTHER INFORMATION/ VOTING SUBMISSIONS: [email protected]

The MACL program is turning 20!

You’re invited to the 20th Anniversary of the MA in Children’s Literature program at UBC iSchool!

Hear from author Kenneth Oppel, a Governor General’s Award winner, world-renowned children’s book historian Leonard Marcus, and professor emerita Judith Saltman, the heart and soul of the Children’s Literature program from its inception. We’ll be recognizing the achievements of alumni, faculty, and the vibrant children’s literature community that has grown and developed thanks to this program.

Details:

Date: March 2, 2019 
Time: 1:00 to 4:00 pm 
Jack Poole Hall at the Robert H. Lee Alumni Centre (UBC, Point Grey Campus)

The even is free but RSVP is required

Announcing the 2018 Information Book Award Winner

Thank you to everyone who took the time and made the effort to participate in the voting process for the 2018 Information Book Award. The award will be presented at our celebration event on January 30, 2019.

Winner of the 2018 Information Book Award

Winner
Speaking Our Truth: A Journey of Reconciliation, by Monique Gray Smith. Published by Orca Book Publishers .

The 2018 Information Book Award honour book

Honour Book
Eyes & Spies: How You’re Tracked, and Why You Should Know, by Tanya Lloyd Kyi.  Illustrated by Belle Wuthrich. Published by Annick Press

 

Celebrate Award-Winning BC Children’s Authors and Illustrators 2019

You Are Invited To A Celebration of Award-Winning BC Children’s Authors and Illustrators

Be prepared to mingle and chat with over 20 of BC’s best writers and authors, and to participate in our fun silent auction.

With special guest Monique Gray Smith winner of the Children’s Literature Roundtables of Canada 2018 Information Book Award for her book
Speaking Our Truth: A Journey of Reconciliation.

When: January 30, 2019, 7 – 9 pm. Doors open at 6:30 pm.

Where: UBC Golf Club

What: Bubbly and appetizers | Silent Auction

Cost: Free to members and students.

Register now to confirm your seat and update your membership.