Thursday, May 27, 2010

Life, Above All Wins Prix François Chalais!

Last week, I wrote about the accolades that Life, Above All--a film based on Allan Stratton's novel Chanda's Secrets--was getting at Cannes. And now there's more: the film has won the prestigious Prix François Chalais! Congratulations to everyone involved.

Here's a picture of some of the cast and crew (taken from Allan's blog). Left to right, front: Harriet Manamela (Mrs. Tafa), Khomotso Manyake (Chanda), and Lerato Mvelase (Mama). Back: Greg Buckle (South African producer), Oliver Stoltz (German producer), Allan Stratton (author), Dennis Foon (screenwriter), and Oliver Schmitz (director). For more pictures of the cast, Cannes, and Roger Ebert, and much more, visit Allan Stratton's blog!

Here's the official trailer for Life, Above All:

And here's the trailer for Chanda's Secrets (the book, not the movie!):

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Twin Annick Authors Go West for Red Cedar Visits

Red Cedar nominees Charis Cotter (Kids Who Rule) and Laurie Coulter (Cowboys and Coffin Makers) had a wonderful time last week as guests of the Richmond Public Library. Charis visited libraries and schools in Richmond, North Vancouver, Vancouver and Victoria, while Laurie gave presentations in Richmond, Vancouver and Surrey. Enthusiastic students, welcoming librarians, stunning scenery and lots of shared laughs made it a memorable trip.

Charis presenting Kids Who Rule:

Laurie presenting Cowboys and Coffin Makers:

The two Toronto authors met in 2007 after they published their first books with Annick. They found they had some strange and spooky connections, including a shared birthday. Were they twins, separated at birth? The evidence is mounting: they both graduated from York’s Glendon College, they both are long-time book editors working for the same publishers, they have both published an adult book, and they have both written a children’s book about royalty. The Twin-ness doesn’t stop there – they each have a child who attended the Etobicoke School of the Arts, they were brought up as Anglicans and they both have fond memories of chicken pot pie at the Arcadian Court in the old Simpsons (now the Bay) in Toronto.

Coincidence? I don’t think so. Look at the picture and you decide.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Chanda's Secrets a Big Hit at Cannes!

The film Life, Above All, based on Allan Stratton's novel Chanda's Secrets, recently premiered at the Cannes Film Festival to great acclaim. Not only did it receive a ten-minute standing ovation, but Roger Ebert then conveyed his compliments to author Allan Stratton and screenwriter Dennis Foon.

In fact, Ebert was so impressed with the film that he wrote a blog entry, in which he calls Life, Above All "the best heart-warmer and tear-jerker so far--and when I write from Cannes I use the term 'tear-jerker' as a compliment, because this is a hardened crowd and when you hear snuffling in the dark you know it has been honestly earned. The film is about deep human emotions, evoked with sympathy and love."

To experience a bit of the film for yourself, click here to watch the trailer! Or why not buy the ebook?

More links:
Read Allan Stratton's blog (he's got lots of pictures from the film set!)
Find out more about the making of the film

Monday, May 17, 2010

A Statement About Robert Munsch

If you've checked the news over the past few days, you've probably learned that during an interview for Global, which aired Saturday, Robert Munsch revealed his struggles with drug and alcohol addiction. He has posted a Note to Parents on his website. On behalf of everyone at Annick Press, Director Rick Wilks made the following statement:

"From the time Annick Press published his first book, Mud Puddle, in 1979, we have enjoyed an extremely successful and productive relationship with Robert Munsch. It is no surprise that he is so beloved by generations of children who have enjoyed his brilliant storytelling. We are deeply proud to be the publisher of so many Munsch classics.

Our respect for Bob in his personal life matches that for Bob in his professional life. He has overcome a great deal to give as much as he has to children throughout the world. We know Bob will be successful in his recovery. We commend him for being so open, for reaching out to others, and we wish him continued strength."

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Forest of Reading Awards: Winners Announced!

The Ontario Library Association's Festival of Trees ceremony for the Forest of Reading awards took place on May 12 and 13 in downtown Toronto. Click here for a list of all the winners!

Nominated authors and illustrators visited schools across Ontario to meet with their young readers. Author Hazel Hutchins, who received a Red Maple nomination for her novel After, gave presentations to kids from kindergarten to grade 8 at schools across Toronto and London, Ontario. During one school visit, she was teaching a class of fifth graders the importance of opening a story with a strong emotion, such as fear. She was impressed when one student came up with the sentence, "I forced myself into the box," and went on to write about being trapped in a glass box. Scary!

Congratulations to all the winners!

At the Festival of Trees event, May 12
Front (left to right): Annick Press co-founder Anne Millyard and author Hazel Hutchins
Back: Annick staff Brigitte Waisberg and Joanna Karaplis

Friday, May 7, 2010

Happy Mother's Day!

May 9th is Mother's Day, so I hope all you mothers out there have a wonderful weekend! Last year, I posted the Top 10 Reasons a Book Makes the Perfect Mother's Day Gift. This year, I'd like to recommend a book for mothers with little ones who are just learning to read on their own: How Do You Read to a Rabbit? by Andrea Wayne von Königslöw.

In this adorable picture book, a child tries to read to various animals (an alligator, a kangaroo, and of course some rabbits) without success. The alligator eats the book, the kangaroos hop away too fast, and there are just too many bunnies. Animals are just so hard to read to! The child finally finds an appreciative audience... can you guess who they might be?

We're running a contest for children about this book: tell us which animal you think would be hard to read to and why, and Andrea will create a signed, original sketch of the winning entry! Click here to read the full contest details and to enter!

Here are just a few of the great entries we've received so far:
  • "It would be hard to read to a sea serpent because you would get the pages all wet and you would have to sit all the way behind him in the very bottom of the sea." (Owen, 4)
  • "Even if you try to read to a dodo bird you can't because they're extinct." (Jayden, 11)
  • "If you try to read to a chipmunk while he's eating his chubby cheeks will block the book." (Alycia, 10)
  • "You can try to read to a rhino, but his horn would poke right through the book." (Logan, 7)
  • "A llama and reading to it would be difficult because it would spit in my face." (Brenna, 9)

 We look forward to your entries! Happy Mother's Day!