The current pandemic means staying home to flatten the curve. It also means no book fairs. But authors are passionate people – passionate about books and about sharing our craft. That’s why a group of authors has put together the Salon du livre virtuel (Virtual Book Fair).
About 50 French authors of all genres and illustrators will be presenting their works live, April 23-26 2020. I will be reading my picture book “Ma branche préférée” (French version of The Branch) on Saturday at 3pm.
Swing by with your little ones for a fun, free French activity! All you have to do is go to the Salon du livre virtuel’s Facebook page for the line up and to attend the live readings.
À bientôt j’espère!
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
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!
Thinking of using the French version of my picture book Sergeant Billy in your classroom? Need ideas for fun activities linked to this story? If yes, you can download the FREE, French activity sheet by clinking this link: Fiche d’activités Sergent Billy
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
Start the holiday festivities by joining me for the launch of my new picture book, Nutcracker Night on Wednesday December 4th at 6:30pm at Mabel’s Fables!
Light refreshments and holiday cheer will abound! Book and ballet lovers, big and small, are welcome. The more the merrier 🙂
Each year in November, the illustrious Kirkus Review issues their Best Books of the Year list. And each year I get my pen and paper out, jot down those titles and run to the library with my list to put those books on hold so that I can read and learn from them.
So imagine my surprise and joy to learn that Treasure, MY picture book, is on this year’s list! It’s nice to rub shoulders with authors I admire. Thank you Kirkus for having such good taste 😉
Great news! My picture book, Nutcracker Night, has won the Northern Lights Book Award in the ARTS category. What a beautiful way to highlight the splendid work of my friend and illustrator, Gabrielle Grimard! Shine on, Nutcracker Night!
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)!
November 3rd was the launch party for my new historical picture book, Sergeant Billy : The True Story of the Goat Who went to War. What a wonderful day we had!
It was also the opportunity for me to meet for the first time (in person) the illustrator of our book, the oh so nice and oh so talented Kass Reich!
It was so nice to finally all be under the same roof!
The happy event took place at one of my favourite indie bookstores – Queen Books in Leslieville (Toronto). If you haven’t been yet I highly recommend a visit. It is a magical place full of books, old creaky wood floors, fancy rugs, bossy wallpaper and a kids section that dreams are made of!
Thank you again to everyone who came out to celebrate Sergeant Billy with us!