Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Toronto Public Library's First & Best Booklist

Just in time for the holiday season, the Toronto Public Library has announced their fourth annual First and Best Booklist, which their press release describes as "a selection of the very best in Canadian books for children from birth to age five that are fun to read and also help build early literacy skills."

We're very pleased to have two of our talented author/illustrators on the list: Ruth Ohi (for Chicken, Pig, Cow Horse Around) and Andrea Wayne von Königslöw (for How Do You Read to a Rabbit?). If you've got a little one to buy for this holiday season, check out the list and you're sure to find the perfect gift.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

NCTE 2010 Convention in Orlando

From November 19-21, Annick Press exhibited our titles at the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) convention in Orlando, Florida. Here's our booth:

Lots of high school teachers were looking for books for reluctant readers, so we introduced them to the Single Voice series: each book has two short, edgy stories that appeal to readers aged 14 and up, but the reading level is around third or fourth grade.

Our international titles were also a big hit: Thunder over Kandahar takes place in Afghanistan, Chanda's Secrets, The Bite of the Mango, and Cry of the Giraffe are set in Africa, and Chenxi and the Foreigner unfolds in China.

Thank you to everyone who dropped by our booth to say hi and find out about our titles! Please visit our website to find lists of all our books by theme, to download free lesson plans, or to browse our latest catalogs.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Rocky Mountain Book Award Shortlist

We're thrilled to announce that two Annick Press titles have been shortlisted for the Rocky Mountain Book Award: Born to Write, by Charis Cotter, and Kaboom! by Gillian Richardson.

Born to Write is the story of what six famous authors--Madeleine L’Engle, Lucy Maud Montgomery, Philip Pullman, Christopher Paul Curtis, C.S. Lewis, and E.B. White--were like as children. How did their childhood experiences and influences shape the writers they would become?

Kaboom! takes young readers through the exciting world of explosions, from man-made blasts to those that occur in nature. From popcorn to fireworks to volcanoes, readers will explore how and why things blow up.

Congratulations to all the shortlisted authors and illustrators!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

TD Canadian Children's Literature Awards

Last night's Canadian Children's Literature Awards celebration was an impressive affair. Held at The Carlu, the event attracted people from across the children's publishing industry--authors, illustrators, agents, editors, booksellers, publishers, librarians, members of literary organizations and committees.

After some time spent mingling while enjoying delicious hors d'oeuvres and cocktails, it was time for the presentations to begin. MC Garvia Bailey, from Radio One CBC, did a great job setting the tone and moving things along.

And the winners were:

We were very proud to have three of our authors nominated (Charis Cotter's book Born to Write was also a finalist for the Norma Fleck Award), and absolutely thrilled when Adventures on the Ancient Silk Road won. Priscilla Galloway gave a moving speech about persevering through some major health issues that delayed her book's publication, and how happy she was to finally see it not only published, but also recognized with such a prestigious award. She received a touching standing ovation after her speech.

(Above: Priscilla Galloway and Dawn Hunter accept the Norma Fleck Award for Non-Fiction)

Click here to check out the rest of our photos on Flickr!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Meet a Book Blogger: Callista at SMS Book Reviews

It's November, and you know what that means: National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), Movember, and last but not least--time for another Meet a Book Blogger post! This month, I interviewed Callista, who blogs at SMS Book Reviews.

1. When did you start book blogging, and what was your motivation?
I started my book blog in 2003, but I started reviewing books in 1999. I started reviewing on my geocities website, then in 2001 I found Amazon.com and started reviewing on there. In 2003, they stopped letting you review there unless you had bought from there, so that's when I needed another place to blog. I found some book blogs and decided a blog would be perfect for my reviews. I wasn't an active book blogger in the community with regular posting till 2007, though.

2. How often do you post?
I don't have a regular posting schedule. I tend to post many times a week for a few months and then get busy with life or interested in other things for a bit and rarely post for a few months and then start posting again. I'm just finishing up a lag in posting right now. I love book blogging but sometimes I just need a computer break.

3. Which kinds of books do you like to review?
I mostly review children's books and nonfiction. I rarely do adult fiction, maybe one to three a year. As for children's, I like everything from picture books to YA, fiction as well as nonfiction. For children's fiction, I prefer realistic fiction.

4. Where do you get the books you review?
I started out with library books and books I owned but the last few years I've gotten most of my books through publishers, authors, and publicists. I've been trying to cut down on the amount of review books I get lately because it's hard to catch up and I want more time to read the books I choose out of the blue during library visits.

5. Where do you find out about new books?
I learn about some books from blogs but I also get catalogues from publishers and direct offers.

6. Do you read other book blogs? If so, which are your favorites?
Yes, I subscribe to more than 200 other book blogs. My top favs would be Maw Books, Caroline Bookbinder, A Striped Armchair, A Reader's Respite, At Home with Books, and Reading Through Life.

7. What’s one of your favorite books? How about the best book you’ve read in the past six months?
Quirkology: The Curious Science of Everyday Lives by Richard Wiseman is one of the best adult nonfiction books I've read. It was VERY interesting. Best book in the last six months? Writing for the Web by Crawford Kilian.

8. What’s the most enjoyable part of book blogging? What’s the worst part? Do you blog about other topics too?
I love helping others find books to enjoy that perhaps they might not have picked up on their own without reading a bit about it first. I especially like introducing people to nonfiction, which I don't think enough people read.

The worst part is keeping up the blog when you need a break. When you let it go, you lose readers, are behind on special community events, and get tons of spam. I only blog about books and reading/literacy on my book blog but I have another blog that I use for other topics.

9. Do you have an ereader? If so, do you like it? If not, do you want one someday?
No, I don't have an ereader. I'm reluctant to use them as I love real books, but they would be good sometimes for books only available on an ereader. I don't like that you can't just donate an ebook when you are done with it like a regular book, though. I prefer to share my books.

10. What do you do when you’re not reading?
I am a stay-at-home-mom of two girls ages three and four plus I am pregnant with another child due in April. I love listening to music and I'm a Girl Guide leader. I currently work with three different age groups: 5-6, 7-8, and 9-11.

Sounds like your life is full of children and books, how wonderful! Thanks for telling us the story behind your blog, Callista.