Awards & Recognition

Roundtable Honour

Thank you to the Children’s Literature Roundtables of Canada for choosing West Coast Wild as the winner of this year’s Information Book Award. Karen Reczuch, the marvellous illustrator, and I were thrilled!

We were honoured to be in the company of so many wonderful books on this year’s shortlist, and send congratulations to all!

You can see more about West Coast Wild at Anansi Press and read a behind-the-scenes look at its creation at Groundwood Books.

Forest of Reading

Karen Reczuch and I are thrilled that West Coast Wild is nominated on the Silver Birch Express list in the children’s choice awards (Forest of Reading) being held in Ontario this spring. I have been receiving lots of Twitter posts from schools in the region and it is so much fun to see them!

Here are a couple:


You can find out more about the Forest of Reading here and the Silver Birch Express nominations here.

Thank you to the Ontario Library Association for this wonderful initiative! It’s great that kids and teachers have the opportunity to read and vote on so many books.

In May, Karen and I will travel to Toronto to take part in the festivities. We can hardly wait!

Reading Lights

If you happened to visit a library today, you will know it is Family Literacy Day. Hooray for families and books everywhere!

I attended a kick-off event this morning to celebrate a wonderful new program, Reading Lights, that highlights the work of BC children’s authors and illustrators. Lamp posts around the city now feature plaques displaying the works of local creators. Beautifully designed images can be found in 20 locations near parks, playgrounds, schools and libraries throughout Vancouver.

Imagine my thrill to have a lamp post featuring one of my books! The plaque for Watch Me Grow! A Down to Earth Look at Growing Food in the City is at the northwest corner of Sunrise Park (near Rupert and 1st Ave.). It looks sensational! The talented Brian Harris is the co-creator of this book, which features local urban gardens. He shot amazing colourful photographs of children and adults engaged in growing food right where they live.

After the ceremony at the library, I zipped over to Sunrise Park to see the plaque and take a photo. It was a grey, rainy day in Vancouver so my friend and fellow author, Tanya Lloyd Kyi, took this photo on a sunnier day. Thank you, Tanya!


Thank you to the Vancouver Public Library and Cwill BC for such a lovely honour.

If you’d like to see the plaques, please check out the Reading Lights website to find the locations. Then take a tour!

The Mayor Reads

 The Mayor of Edmonton, Don Iveson, has a wonderful program for children called “The Mayor Reads.” Each month, he selects a book to read to an enthusiastic audience of kids. The reading is videotaped and posted on the city’s website. Imagine my surprise to find out that one of my books Emma’s Story had been selected for January. What a wonderful way to start the New Year! If you’d like to see the video, please go here.

Let’s give a big round of applause to the mayor and his inspiring literacy initiative!

Happy About Hackmatack!

I just received the happy news that my book, Rescuing the Children, has been nominated for the Hackmatack Award. This is the children’s choice award from the Atlantic provinces. Hooray!!!

The kind folks who administer the award apply for Canada Council grants to bring authors to their region for the award ceremony and for tours in the local schools. This will all happen in Spring 2014 (which seems a long time away), but nevertheless, I am thrilled!

If you are interested in reading more about the Hackmatack Awards, please go here.

By the way, the award is named after a tree (a species of Larch) that grows in the Atlantic provinces. The photo above shows the tree in bloom.

I look forward to seeing the tree in person. 🙂


Green Prize for Sustainable Literature

I’m happy to announce that my book Watch Me Grow! A Down-to-Earth Look at Growing Food in the City is the winner of the 2012 Green Prize Award for the Best Community Garden Book for Children, given by the Santa Monica Public Library. To see more about the award, please go here and to read more about the book, please go here.

In addition to that lovely news, Watch Me Grow! was also named as a Best Children’s Book of the Year by the Bank Street College of Education in New York. To find out more about the Bank Street List of Best Books, please go here.

A big thank you to the Santa Monica Library and to Bank Street College for these wonderful honours!

Sunshine — and a Nomination!

I think summer may have arrived in Vancouver. Hooray! The past few days have been sunny and warm, leading me to believe I can finally pack away my winter sweaters.

Besides the sun, I have another reason to celebrate: Up We Grow! A Year in the Life of a Small, Local Farm has been selected as one of the five finalists for the Information Book Award of Canada. Hooray again!

I’m thrilled with the nomination, and delighted to be named in the company of such wonderful books: 50 Burning Questions: A Sizzling History of Fire by my friend and talented author, Tanya Lloyd Kyi; Fatty Legs by Christy Jordan-Fenton and Margaret Pokiak-Fenton; Canadian Railroad Trilogy by Gordon Lightfoot and Ian Wallace; and Canada’s Wars: An Illustrated History by Jonathon Webb. Congratulations, all! And a sincere thank you to the Children’s Literature Roundtables of Canada for my nomination.

If you’d like to read more about the award, go here or here.

Sunshine and books! Could life get any better than this?