A spruce and a poplar… Sounds like the start of a nerdy tree joke or maybe a garden centre list. But it isn’t!
My picture book The Branch / Ma branche préférée is a finalist for two literary awards – the Blue Spruce (for the English version) and Prix Peuplier (for the French version). Both awards are in the Forest of Reading program of the Ontario Library Association.
Between now and May 2018, thousands of young Ontario students will read the books in their selected categories (French, English, fiction, non-fiction, picture book, chapter books & YA). They will then vote for their favourite book. The winners will be announced mid-May at a huge (and I mean HUGE!) book party at Harbourfront in Toronto with hundreds of young readers going wild for their favourite books and authors. If you ever had any doubt as to whether kids can still get excited about books, this is THE must-attend event of the year!
This is my 6th time being a finalist for the Forest of Reading but this is my FIRST TIME having one of my books in both a French and an English category simultaneously. I’m honoured… and a little stunned. This year, in the Blue Spruce finalists there is a book written by an astronaut, a book with a foreword by a hockey legend and a book that will have you running for your pencils to write your own story. And that’s just a few of the amazing books that The Branch is up against! The list is just as impressive on the French side with books that will have you laughing, rhyming, thinking and maybe even shedding a little tear! One thing is for sure – the readers will have a fantastic time discovering all these wonderful Canadian authors and illustrators!
Happy reading to all the participants and congratulations to all the finalists!
Fall had always been a time for new things. New pencils and new shoes? Sure. But also new projects, new challenges and new places! This September is no different. I have a new book coming out and two new events where I will have the pleasure of meeting young readers.
On September 20th, my new French picture book, Moi aussi! Moi aussi! will be available in stores. Published by the great team at Éditions de la Bagnole and illustrated by the very talented Yves Dumont, this is the story of two new friends… and of one little fib! Moi aussi! Moi aussi! is for readers 3 to 8 and touches on themes like friendship, truth and forgiveness. But mostly, it’s about being able to laugh at ourselves! I hope you’ll enjoy it!
Then, on September 24th, it’s Word on the Street! If you are in the Toronto area, don’t miss this amazing day of all things books at Harbourfront. This year, on top of the hundreds (yes, with an « s ») of authors present, there will be an entire day of French programming for young and old. Swing by the Franco Stage to check it out! I’ll be there presenting Ma branche préférée at 1:30pm and would LOVE to see you there.
Finally, on September 25th, I will be heading out to Lac St-Jean for the Salon du livre du Saguenay where I will tour area schools presenting by books and meeting hundreds of avid young readers. We’re even having a pyjama party! It’s going to by a blast!
All this, and that’s just in September! Wait until you see what I have in store for October! (one hint… it starts with Word and ends with Fest and takes place in Calgary!)
It’s here! It’s here! It’s finally here!
My new picture book Fatima and the Clementine Thieves has arrived!
Fatima and the Clementine Thieves is the story of a young girl’s struggle to help save her family’s clementine orchard from mysterious clementine thieves. Based in Morocco, it’s a fable of collaboration and non-violence inspired by an African proverb.
Magnificently illustrate by the very talented Gabrielle Grimard, this story is sure to transport readers into a whimsical, citrus-scented land.
Fatima and the Clementine Thieves is now available both in French (Fatima et les voleurs de clémentines, Éditions de la Bagnole) and in English (Red Deer Press)!
The school presentations of this book will include a reading of the story, an activity with clementines (season permitting) and a discussion about proverbs or non-violent conflict resolution. I will also bring puppets of Fatima and her Grandfather!
Every year I have the great pleasure of visiting a number of schools to share my books and my love of reading and writing with thousands of students. This year I visited 47 schools across 3 provinces and met over 6000 students!
I’d like to take a moment to thank all the librarians, the teachers, the principals and, or course, the students, who made this possible. These visits are an unending source of inspiration for me and, I dare hope, might spark some budding authors into action.
A special thank you to… (suite…)
Looking for ways to enjoy The Branch even more? Look no further! The wonderful folks at Kids Can Press have put together an amazing, FREE, teaching guide that’s yours for the taking. Use it in class or use it at home!
The lessons in this teaching guide are designed to enhance a child’s ability to deal with challenging emotions, as well as think about the “potential” of each difficult situation, similar to the main character in the story. It’s also a lot of fun!
Click HERE to download it!