1 venue, 2 wonderful BC Authors

Authors Dayle Gaetz & Kristin Butcher

Monday November 18th, 7:30 pm

at the Victoria Children’s Literature Roundtable

Authors Dayle Gaetz and Kristin Butcher will tell us about their latest books for youth. Dayle’s books range from animal adventure for the youngest readers, to mystery and history novels for pre-teens and teens. Her latest title is Taking the Reins, a horse story for girls. Kristin, drawing on her teaching experience, writes for ages 7-17. Her latest titles are Caching In (Orca Currents) for teens, and Truths I Learned from Sam, about 17-year-old Dani set in BC’s Cariboo Country.

The VCLR is open to the public. Members free, drop-ins $5, students $4. Meetings are held at the Nellie McClung Branch Library, 3950 Cedar Hill Road.

Doors open at 7 pm. Browse Schoolhouse Teaching Supplies and Children’s Bookstore’s table before the meeting. Bring a friend!

For more information about the Roundtable, call 250-598-3694, find us on Facebook, or visit:


New release coming soon: Midnight in the Mountains ebook

Crow Cottage Publishers has added another new ebook to their list, Midnight in the Mountains by Julie Lawson and Sheena Lott. This audio enhanced ebook is gorgeous, so check it out the audio sample of the story being read by the author.. If you want quality ebooks for your kids, grandkids or students, Crow Cottage is a good place to start. Midnight in the Mountains will soon be available as an i-Book.

In the category of ‘Made my day’

In the category of ‘made my day’… a short video taken by a friend of  her nephew reading This is the Dog to his dog.

Imagine, an old golden retriever sprawled on a comfy overstuffed chair at the cottage snoozing on a hot summer day.

The screen door bangs, and a  little boy, maybe four or five comes in.  The dog cocks one eye open and watches the boy. The boy gets a book of the shelf.  He brings the book over to the dog.  He doesn’t shoe the dog off the chair.  Instead, he sits on the floor and holds the book open so the dog can see.

The dog’s tail thump thump thumps against the back of the chair. This boy throws him sticks, pats him, and sometimes shares his food.  They are best buddies.

The boy turns the pages, showing the dog the pictures and reading the story…well, not exactly reading, but the telling the story.  The boy isn’t able to read yet, although he likes to pretend he does.  But, he knows this story.  And, he likes it . He knows his dog will like it too.  It’s a story about a young dog’s adventures…

Ok, I filled in the blanks, but I was totally delighted to get the email containing the video clip described above of  Hunter reading This is the Dog to his dog. I wish I could share it, but won’t for  privacy reasons.  Take my word for it, it’s adorable.


Crow Cottage Publishing, producing quality picture books in digital formats

ImageI spent yesterday afternoon in the company of Stephen McCallum of Crow Cottage Publishing, my new digital publisher.  Stephen is one of those super-talented guys who is an art director, illustrator, musician, games and film animator, and now publisher. We laid down the audio narration for Moonsnail Song, a lyrical story that celebrates imagination and the magic of the seashore. Sheena Lott’s illustrations beautifully capture plovers dancing in and out of waves, “a dozen different sea stars”, otter rolling in swaying kelp, “moonsnail egg cases made from a million unhatched eggs”, and the quiet moments that make the seashore a place that draws us back time and time again.  I can’t wait to see the finished ebook which will be available for i-pads.

The ebook version of Moonsnail Song won’t be available until mid September, but in the meantime, you can check out the first few e-books from Crow Cottage Publishing.  You’ll be impressed with their latest offering, The Foxes Kettle, lavishly illustrated by Vic Bosson and beautifully narrated by the author, Laura Langston.

Crow Cottages started out with releases of Stephen’s own illustrated picture books, Belle’s Journey and A Dog for a Friend, both written by Marilynn Reynolds.  These are lovely titles for the little ones in your life.  They make perfect gifts, especially for modern families who value literature.

Crow Cottage will be releasing more digital picture books in the near future.  Their commitment is to produce beautiful, quality literature for young readers in digital format.  I’m so impressed with these gorgeous ebooks and I hope you will be too.



Another loss for children’s literature

I’m saddened to report another loss in the children’s literature world. Author of more than 100 novels including award-winning Julie of the Wolves and My Side of the MountainJean Craighead George, has died.  She  was 92.

Craighead George’s agent, Ginger Knowlton said that “The legacy she leaves behind for those of us at Curtis Brown who act so proudly on her behalf is that of a passionate and fearless naturalist, teacher, and artist. We are so grateful for the many years of good memories, and for all her beloved books that will live on forever.”

Maurice Sendak

What a sad day for the children’s literature community. The New York Times reports that Maurice Sendak has died. Published in 1963, Where the Wild Things Are was both groundbreaking and career making.  It is as fresh today as it was nearly fifty years ago.  It and Sendak helped to chart a new course for children’s literature, one that was less sanitized, one in which children could go out into the jungle of one’s imagination and conquer fear.

The Guardian has a great photo montage that’s worth checking out.

Losing another children’s literature great


from Bread and Jam for Frances by Russell Hoban, illustrated by his wife Lillian Hoban

I was saddened when reading about the death of one of children’s literature greats, Russell Hoban in the New York Times.  The author will live on in his Frances books, which my children absolutely adored and which adults never tired of reading.  Having grown up in a family of non-readers, I was first introduced to Hoban through his exquisite writing in The Mouse and His Child when took a children’s literature course in university.  Hoban, who wrote more than 50 books for children (from tots to teens), went on to write for adults.  Two of his better known books include: Turtle Diary (it was made into a movie of the same name) and his futuristic, critically acclaimed  Riddley Walker which was once in the book pile on my bedside table, but which I never did get around to reading.

GG short-lists announced

The GG short-lists have been announced.  Here’s the lists I’m most excited about…

And for those of you who don’t know about the GG’s, They are Canada’s Top awards in the Arts.  You can read more about the full list at Canada Council for the Arts.

Children’s Literature — Text

Jan L. Coates, Wolfville (Nova Scotia), A Hare in the Elephant’s Trunk
(Red Deer Press; distributed by Fitzhenry & Whiteside)
(ISBN 978-0-88995-451-9)

Deborah Ellis, Simcoe (Ontario), No Ordinary Day
(Groundwood Books / House of Anansi Press; distributed by HarperCollins Canada)
(ISBN 978-1-55498-134-2)

Christopher Moore, Toronto, From Then to Now: A Short History of the World
(Tundra Books; distributed by Random House of Canada)
(ISBN 978-0-88776-540-7)

Kenneth Oppel, Toronto, This Dark Endeavour
(HarperCollins Publishers; distributed by HarperCollins Canada)
(ISBN 978-1-55468-339-0)

Tim Wynne-Jones, Perth (Ontario), Blink & Caution
(Candlewick Press; distributed by Random House of Canada)
(ISBN 978-0-7636-3983-9)

Children’s Literature — Illustration

Isabelle Arsenault, Montreal, Migrant, text by Maxine Trottier
(Groundwood Books / House of Anansi Press; distributed by HarperCollins Canada)
(ISBN 978-0-88899-975-7)

Kim La Fave, Roberts Creek (British Columbia), Fishing with Gubby, text by Gary Kent
(Harbour Publishing; distributed by the publisher)
(ISBN 978-1-55017-497-7)

Renata Liwska, Calgary (Alberta), Red Wagon, text by Renata Liwska
(Philomel Books, a division of Penguin Young Readers Group; distributed by Penguin Group Canada)
(ISBN 978-0-399-25237-2)

Frank Viva, Toronto, Along a Long Road, text by Frank Viva
(HarperCollins Publishers; distributed by HarperCollins Canada)
(ISBN 978-1-44340-620-8)

Cybèle Young, Toronto, Ten Birds, text by Cybèle Young
(Kids Can Press; distributed by University of Toronto Press)
(ISBN 978-1-55453-568-2)

Congratulations to the creators of these wonderful books.  Now that rainy days are upon us, I hope you’ll have plenty of time to read them all!

Victoria Children’s Literature Roundtable with John Nedwidek

***If you are interested in children’s literature and you want to meet some friendly faces, The Victoria Children’s Literature Roundtable is a good place to start***

John Nedwidek

Monday Sept. 19th, 7:30 pm

at the Victoria Children’s Literature Roundtable

 John Nedwidek is a designer, illustrator and first-time author from Victoria. John will read his children’s book “Ducks Don’t Wear Socks” and other tales, including “Cheese Louise” and “I Thought I Was 10,” and talk about how he creates his stories. He will also show sketches and illustrations, talk about how the Duck book came to be and his efforts to get a second book on the shelves.

The VCLR is open to the public. Members free, drop-ins $5, students $4. Meetings are held at the Nellie McClung Branch Library, 3950 Cedar Hill Road. Come early and browse Tall Tales Books’ table, and bring a friend! Doors open at 7 pm.

For more information about the Roundtable, call 250-598-3694 or visit: