Serendipity 2018

The Vancouver Children’s Literature Roundtable invites you to

Serendipity 2018
Beasts, birds, and words: The poetics of children’s books
with four Canadian artists/poets whose metaphors and images captivate and engage both the young and the young at heart. Join us to hear Isabelle Arsenault,  Robert Heidbreder, Kyo Maclear, Tiffany Stone, and Frédéric Gauthier of Les Éditions de la Pastèque talk about their works, their inspiration, and the Canadian children’s book publishing space.
Mar. 3, 2018 | 8am to 3:30 pm | UBC Robson Square
Early bird rates end February 14, 2018 | Final ticket sales close February 28, 2018
Includes: Coffee, snacks, lunch, book sales, and book signing. Register here.

Isabelle Arsenault is an internationally renowned children’s book illustrator whose work has won many awards and much praise from critics. Her books include the graphic novels Jane, the Fox and Me and Louis Undercover by Fanny Britt, Spork and Virginia Wolf by Kyo Maclear, Once upon a Northern Night by Jean E. Pendziwol, Cloth Lullaby by Amy Novesky (Bologna Ragazzi Award 2017) and Colette’s Lost Pet, which marks her debut as an author. She has won the prestigious Governor General’s Award for Children’s Literature three times, and two of her picture books were named as New York Times Best Illustrated Books of the Year. The poetry expressed through Isabelle Arsenault’s graphic universe, the gentle flow of her lines and the overall charm of her books have made her one of Quebec’s best-known and esteemed illustrators. For more about Isabelle and her work, see

Robert Heidbreder was born on the wet, muddy banks of the  Mississippi River in 1947 and in 1970 he moved to the wet, misty skies of Vancouver B.C. to pursue his Master’s degree in Classical Languages.

In 1975 he became a Canadian citizen, and in the same year he completed his teaching degree at University of British Columbia. Soon after he started teaching primary children in Vancouver, he began writing because he wanted the children in his class introduced to a liveliness of language that matched their natural bounce, energy, imagination and playfulness.

His first book was Don’t Eat Spiders, published in 1985, and his newest books are Crocs at Work (2017), Song for a Summer Night (2016), and Rooster Summer, spring of 2018. His books have won and been nominated for many awards, including the BC Book Prize, The Chocolate Lily Award, The Blue Spruce Award and the Marilyn Baille Picture Book Award.

In 2002 he won the Prime Minister’s Award for Teaching Excellence and in 2005 he retired from teaching after 30 years. His presentations to children in the schools and at festivals help keep the child within him alive, awake, laughing and rhyming away. In the past years he has given over 100 school and group presentations.

Kyo Maclear is an essayist, novelist and acclaimed children’s author. She was born in London, England (to a British father and Japanese mother) and moved to Toronto at the age of four. Kyo now lives in Toronto where she is completing a PhD in children’s and youth literature and film. She shares a home with two children, two cats, and a singer.


Tiffany Stone has been playing with words for as long as she can remember. She especially enjoys penning poems and puns and using a lot of alliteration. Besides being in books, her poems have appeared in Chirp magazine, on buses for Poetry in Transit and on a plaque at Kits Beach as part of the Reading Lights initiative. Tiffany lives in Maple Ridge with her family and a plethora of pets.


Born in Abitibi, Frédéric Gauthier studied film production at Concordia University in Montreal. While doing so he was working in a specialised bookstore aimed at graphic novels called La Mouette Rieuse. In 1998 he co-created La Pastèque with Martin Brault. Publishing books for nearly 20 years, La Pastèque won many prestigious awards and some of their books are translated in over 20 different countries. They now publish graphic novels and picture books for kids, their catalog is over 250 titles.