The French version of Sergeant Billy is a Forest of Reading nominee!

Good news! My historical picture book Sergent Billy : La vraie histoire du chevreau devenu soldat (the French version of Sergeant Billy) is a finalist for the Prix Mélèze in ABO’s Forest of Reading program!

I am thrilled and honoured because not only is this an award for young readers in my home province (yeah Ontario!) I am also a finalist amongst a great number of authors and illustrators that I respect and admire!

To see a video of all the Prix Mélèze nominees, click here!

The winning title will be announced in May 2021. This gives you tons of time to enter your class. Just sayin’ 😉

Bonne chance à tous les finalistes!

Free Activity Sheets Now Available

Are you a teacher looking for themed activity sheets for your students?
Are you at home with your kids doing remote learning?

Yes? Perfect! I have a lot of FREE, downloadeable activity sheets, in French and in English for you!

The most recent is a brand new teacher’s guide to my picture book Nutcracker Night from the great team at Pajama Press! It focuses on the story of the Nutcracker but it also teaches how to use onomatopoeia (sound words) in a fun way to create and enrich your own stories.

Click here to access all my activity sheets! Have fun!

 

Trésor is a Finalist

Good news! Trésor, the French version of my picture book Treasure, is a finalist for the Prix AAOF de littérature jeunesse! What a great honour to be regnonized by my peers – the AAOF is the association of Franco-Ontarian authors – in this way. It is also the first time that a picture book is in the running for the prize. A rarity if there ever was one!
The winning book will be announced LIVE during the Ottawa Book Awards virtual ceremony on October 21st. This means that anyone anywhere can join to party, starting at 6pm. I hope you can make it.
Fingers crossed!

Virtual School Visit Offer

Social distancing means no more school visits, which breaks my little author heart. I love going to schools to meet students, read them some of my books and chat with them about all things story.

So, while we wait for the pandemic to be over, I would like to offer virtual author visits. With the possibilities offered to us through Hangout/Skype/Zoom I can meet with students “live” from my home. As a bonus, you’ll get to see the very place where I write (my very cluttered office) and, if we are lucky, one of my three cats might come say hello!

Presentations are 30-45 minutes, include a reading of the book of your choice (in French or in English) and are less expensive than regular in-person visits ($250).

If you’re interested, contact me at mireille@mireille.ca . Let’s chat!

Sergeant Billy WINS the Christopher Award!

I have a confession to make… I’ve often been a finalist for literary awards but I have never won. And that is fine. Being nominated truly IS an honour.

BUT… I am thrilled to announce that Sergeant Billy: The True Story of the goat who went to war has won (yes, WON!) the 2020 Christopher Award for best children’s book!

First presented in 1949, the Christopher Awards were established by Christopher founder Father James Keller to salute media that “affirm the highest values of the human spirit.” Their goal is to encourage men, women and children to pursue excellence in creative arenas that have the potential to influence a mass audience positively.

In these especially trying time, I am so honoured that Sergeant Billy’s story is being recognized for shining a light in young reader’s hearts.

Because of the pandemic, I was not be able to attend the awards ceremony that usually takes place in NYC in May. Nonetheless, I will cherish this recognition and am happy to abide by the Christopher Award motto: “It is better to light one candle than to curse the darkness”. #blessed

 

Sergeant Billy Finalist for the 2020 Shining Willow Awards!

Good news! My historical picture book, Sergeant Billy: The true story of the goat who went to war is a finalist for the 2020 Saskatchewan Young Readers’ Shining Willow Awards.

The Shining Willows are for readers from JK to Grade 3. The young participants will be the ones to read the 10 selected books and then vote for their favourite. What an honour it would be to be picked by the very readers I write for! I have my fingers crossed.

Of course, the announcement of the winners won’t be for a very long time – not until May 2021. But it prospect of having hundreds of children discovering Billy and his fabulous true story (a story that starts and ends in Saskatchewan, no less) is very exciting!

To see the selected books in the Shining Willow category and for more information about the Willow Awards, click here!

 

Sergeant Billy, Now Available in French!

Youpi! Youpi! Today is my book birthday. Well, kind of… but not really…

Today is the day that my historical picture book Sergeant Billy: The True Story of the Goat Who Went to War comes out in FRENCH! Isn’t he “trop mignon”? 🙂

Sergent Billy : La vraie histoire du chevreau devenu soldat, is published by Éditions de l’Isatis whom I have had the pleasure of working with in the past with my picture books “Une bestiole à l’école” and “À qui le coco?”. It’s good to be back with such a great team!

So, from this day forward, I can come to your school or event and introduce kids to Billy, in either French or English or (why not!) BOTH!

Also, there is now a teacher’s activity sheet available in French that is available to dowload here: Fiche d’activités Sergent Billy

Au plaisir!

G.O.A.T. at the War Museum!

Here’s a confession… I am plucky! So when my new picture book Sergeant Billy: The True Story of the Goat Who Went to War came out, I thought “Hey! This would be the perfect book to present at the War Museum in Ottawa”. So, I called them up and I told them so. And, guess what? They agreed!

I was invited to present Sergeant Billy, in French and in English, at the War Museum on a special evening of Remembrance activities for Youth groups. I was pretty stoked. But I had no idea what I was really in for…

At 6pm, they started arriving. Troops and troops of scouts, brownies and guides from all over Ottawa. At 6:45pm there were over 300 hundred kids in the auditorium. I was ready to start. But the organizers asked me to wait a little bit longer as more were still on their way. “More?” I thought. “Oh dear…”.

By 7pm the hall was full – standing room only. Some even watched from the second floor. I was given the green light and presented Sergeant Billy. The energy in the room was palpable. We all had a wonderful time.

After the event, I was told over 900 people attended the presentation. It’s all a bit of a wonderful, happy blur. It’s days like these were I LOVE my job!

Thank you to the organizers at the War Museum and to all who came out to listen to the story of Billy. I hope we get to do it again soon. It was the G.O.A.T. (Greatest Of All Time)!