Friday, October 29, 2010

Spooky Halloween Blog Tour Wrap-Up, and Forest of Reading Nominations!

Happy Halloween! Our Spooky Halloween Blog Tour for The Night Wanderer traveled across six different blogs this week, and included reviews, interviews with author Drew Hayden Taylor, and giveaways!

If you missed it, never fear: just click on the links below!
Oct. 25: Teresa's Reading Corner
Oct. 26: A Girl Reads A Book and YA Book Shelf (plus a bonus interview)
Oct. 27: Chick Loves Lit
Oct. 28: Word of Mouse Book Reviews
Oct. 29: Tahleen’s Mixed-Up Files

The ebook is live on Kobo, and until Halloween you can take advantage of special promotional pricing.


In other news, the nominations for the Ontario Library Association's Forest of Reading awards have been announced! Annick Press has three books nominated:

Congratulations to all the nominated authors and illustrators!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Check Out Our Spooky Halloween Blog Tour, Oct. 25-29!


In celebration of the release of our ebook edition of Drew Hayden Taylor's The Night Wanderer, six blogs are hosting a spooky Halloween blog tour from Oct. 25-29. There will be interviews with the author, reviews, and giveaways, so stop on by!

Here's the trick-or-treat schedule:
Oct. 25: Teresa's Reading Corner
Oct. 26: A Girl Reads A Book and YA Book Shelf (plus a bonus interview)
Oct. 27: Chick Loves Lit
Oct. 28: Word of Mouse Book Reviews
Oct. 29: Tahleen’s Mixed-Up Files

The ebook will be live on Kobo next week, along with some special promotional pricing, so check back in on Monday!

Friday, October 15, 2010

A Snack of Shoes

Today, we have a guest blog post from author Sarah Tsiang, who recently launched her book A Flock of Shoes in Kingston. Take it away, Sarah!

Children in Kingston will tell you that shoes are pretty tasty if you give them a try. On October 2nd, over 50 kids got their choice of chocolate or vanilla sandals at the Flock of Shoes book launch. Don't the sandals look delicious?

Even the local library got involved, planning an entire morning’s program around the theme of shoes and boots. At the end of the program, I read “A Flock of Shoes” and everyone headed upstairs for some crafts, cakes, and general partying.

Kids made wings for their shoes, sandals, and boots--there were quite a few children that we had to convince off the ceiling (wings and icing--you try keeping kids on the ground)! Abby, the star of the book, was busy all morning eating cake, demonstrating the craft, and assuring the grown-ups that the book is actually a true story (Abby wants me to write a side note to kids: the book isn’t really a true story, but grown-ups don’t know that).

Many thanks to all the great kids and grown-ups who came!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Cry of the Giraffe Launch

Last night, we celebrated the launch of Judie Oron's book Cry of the Giraffe with a party at the Gladstone Hotel in Toronto. Guests mingled and enjoyed delicious hors d'oeuvres while waiting to get copies of the book signed by Judie.

Esteemed MC Theo Heras kicked off the evening's presentations with a short, moving speech. Next, Annick Press Director Rick Wilks said a few words, and then Judie shared some of her experiences writing the book. The presentations concluded with a touching speech by Judie's adopted daughter, on whom the main character Wuditu was based. (One of Judie's sons, Daniel, assisted by being both an interpreter and a supportive brother.)

It was a wonderful night--thank you to everyone who came out to help us celebrate this book. You can see the rest of the photos on our Flickr account.

For more info on Cry of the Giraffe:
Listen to a podcast interview with Rick Wilks (starts at 1:24) for The Book of Life:

Watch the book trailer:

Friday, October 8, 2010

Meet a Book Blogger: Anastasia Suen

It's October already? Well, that means it's time for this month's edition of Meet a Book Blogger! Today, let me introduce you to Anastasia Suen, who maintains six (yes, six) active blogs:

1. When did you start book blogging, and what was your motivation?
I started blogging in 2005. At the time I was posting children's book biz news once a week on my webpage for my writing students. A blog looked like an easier way to manage that, so I took the plunge. Over the years I have had 15 or so blogs. (I've lost count!) I've used LiveJournal, Blogger, Typepad, Wordpress and Twitter.

2. How often do you post?
I have 6 active blogs now, so I post 4 times a day Monday through Friday. (I write ALL of the blog posts over the weekend and then schedule them to post throughout the week using Hootsuite.)

3. Which kinds of books do you like to review?
I blog about the book genres that I write. (It helps me see what is selling.) I don't "review" books the way many bloggers do--I "booktalk" them instead. I write a short teaser and include a snippet of text from the book. (No spoilers!)

I like to have one kind of book per blog, so I have a board book blog (Read to Me), a picture book blog (Picture Book of the Day), an easy reader blog (5 Great Books) and a chapter book blog (Weekend Reads). I also have an activities blog for my own books (Book of the Week), and a new version of the Children's Book Biz News blog that started it all.

4. Where do you get the books you review?
I used to find all of my books at the library but now the publishers send them to me directly. (I also write a monthly column for the Booklist's Quick Tips for Schools & Libraries.)

5. Where do you find out about new books?
Publishers send their books to me several months before the book comes out now, so I place them on my shelves by the month of publication and plan my blog posts that way. (I blog for parents and teachers, so I only write about a book after it is available to the public.)

6. Do you read other book blogs? If so, which are your favorites?
I have a massive blogroll on my webpage at Blog Central. I read editor blogs, agent blogs, artist blogs, author blogs, and reviewer blogs. (My blogroll is always in need of updating as I continue to add more blogs to my reader.) For favorites, bookmark the Cybils blog and the blogs of my Cybils committee members! We'll be reading lots of easy readers and early chapter books for the next four months.

7. What’s one of your favorite books? How about the best book you’ve read in the past six months?
I read so many books each week that I can never answer this question, unless I were to say that my favorite is the book I have in my hand (and that changes daily!) I just love to read books.

8. What’s the most enjoyable part of book blogging? What’s the worst part? Do you blog about other topics too?
I love having all of these books come to me. I have stacks and piles of books to read, so I never run out! The other side of that coin is that I never seem to catch up. (There are always more books to read than there are hours in the day.)

I also blog about my other day jobs. For my writing students I share "children's book biz" news once a day. I'm also a children's literature consultant, so once a day I also share a literacy link.

9. Do you have an ereader? If so, do you like it? If not, do you want one someday?
I don't have an e-reader yet. It would be a nice toy for plane trips, but I'm waiting for the market to mature before I buy one. (VHS vs Beta anyone?)

10. What do you do when you’re not reading?
When I am not reading, gardening, or watching mysteries on TV, I work as a children's book author, consultant and teacher. (Yes, all of my "day jobs" involve children's books!)

Thanks, Anastasia! Best of luck with all of your blogs, and have fun with the Cybils awards this month!

Friday, October 1, 2010

Guest Post by Judie Oron: We Day 2010

Today, we're lucky to have a guest post by author Judie Oron, who attended We Day in Toronto yesterday. Take it away, Judie!

18,000 teenagers filled the Air Canada Centre yesterday. It was We Day and I’d been anticipating this event, knowing that Free the Children co-founders Craig and Marc Kielburger would be speaking, along with celebrated performers and a sprinkling of Nobel Prize Laureates.

And what an event it was! Since then, people have been asking, “What was the high point?” Whew! There were so many.

Betty Williams, the Nobel Prize Laureate who worked for peace in Ireland, asked the audience to get up and give each other a hug! But her manner was warlike when speaking of freeing children from slavery and abuse. “They said it couldn’t be done. So I said, ‘will ya just get out of my way!’”

“A dream that you dream alone remains a dream,” said renowned physician and author, Deepak Chopra. “But a dream that we dream together, combined with action--this can transform the world!” To the young listeners who had been working all year to build schools in Africa, this was just the reinforcement needed.

At twelve, Craig Kielburger went to Pakistan on a fact-finding mission and found himself freeing a child slave. As a boy who grew up in Canada, “I looked at him, and, except for our age, there was nothing similar between us.”

I couldn’t help thinking of my own experience in going to Ethiopia to look for Wuditu, heroine of Cry of the Giraffe. I remembered how she’d bow with her nose nearly touching the ground whenever I looked at her. What must her years in slavery have been like, to have produced such a horrifying, instinctive response?

My attention was caught by the mass of enthusiastic teenagers shouting, “freedom!” And I realized that this was not a moment to cling to sad thoughts but to celebrate achievements.
(top: the packed Air Canada Centre in Toronto; bottom: Craig Kielburger addresses the crowd)