Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Wizard Hat Options Chicken. Pig, Cow Series!

We're pleased to announce that Ruth Ohi's adorable Chicken, Pig, Cow series has been optioned by Wizard Hat Productions for a TV series! You can find out more details in our press release.

Last week, Ruth paid the Annick office a visit to sign the film option contract. We celebrated afterward with cake, and Ruth remarked, "It's neat to be able to say I've been optioned!"

Ruth also had a chance to look over the proofs for the latest Chicken, Pig, Cow book: Chicken, Pig, Cow and the Class Pet (the fifth book in the series, due out this fall):

Congratulations, Ruth! We're all looking forward to seeing Chicken, Pig, Cow, and Best Friend Dog come to life on screen!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Meet a Book Blogger: Melissa at YA BookShelf

The March edition of Meet a Book Blogger falls on St. Patrick's Day, so let's all raise a green toast to Melissa of YA BookShelf! She's active on Twitter (@YABookShelf), so feel free to say hi to her there, too.

1. When did you start book blogging, and what was your motivation?
I started book blogging in April of 2010, so it’s been less than a year. I’d thought about starting a blog for some time as a means of building a writing portfolio, but I could never think of a focus for the site that would stick. However, I’d always loved reading and when a friend of mine started a book blog, it inspired me to try it myself.

2. How often do you post?
I post between five and six days a week, sometimes with multiple posts a day.

3. Which kinds of books do you like to review?
While I read books that are outside of the young adult genre, the vast majority of novels I review are YA. Occasionally, I’ll review an adult novel with a teenaged protagonist or a middle-grade novel that catches my eye. As for the type of YA novels that you can find on, I review a pretty large variety of genres, including contemporary, Gothic, paranormal, historical, LGBT, fantasy, and dystopian books that are marketed to both boys and girls. While I certainly review a lot of American and UK authors, I also love reading and reviewing books by Canadian writers.

4. Where do you get the books you review?
The vast majority of books I review come directly from the publisher, author, or a third-party publicity company in either a physical or ebook format. I also use services like NetGalley and the Simon & Schuster Galley Grab program to pick ebooks or ARCs that I really want to check out.

5. Where do you find out about new books?

I learn about new books in a number of different ways. Sometimes it’s through checking the publisher’s website (or when they pitch a new book for me to review), but often I hear buzz about them on Twitter or Facebook from fellow book bloggers or authors that I follow. I love hearing about new books through someone else’s recommendation, especially when I know that their taste in books is similar to mine, as it gives me a better idea of what to expect. That said, when someone pitches a new book to me for review, it’s great because I’ve had the chance to read some phenomenal books that I might not have picked up of my own accord. Books like these that surprise me are always sure to leave a lasting impression.

6. Do you read other book blogs? If so, which are your favorites?
Yes, I do read other book blogs on a semi-regular basis. Some of the ones that I come back to again and again are Good Books And Good Wine and A Tapestry of Words.

7. What’s one of your favorite books? How about the best book you’ve read in the past six months?
My all-time favourite novel is Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte, but I also really love Frankenstein by Mary Shelley and A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens. As for the best book I’ve read in the last six months…oh that’s definitely a hard choice to make. However, if I have to choose, then I’d say Nina LaCour’s Hold Still. It’s a beautiful portrait of a teen’s grief over her best friend’s suicide and shows how she is finally able to move on with art, love, and the joy of new friendships, which not only rings true, but also is very moving.

8. What’s the most enjoyable part of book blogging? What’s the worst part? Do you blog about other topics too?
The best part about book blogging is getting to read some of the best new YA novels and spreading the love about them to other readers of teen fiction. I just love to hear that my review made someone want to pick up a particular novel. The worst part would have to be losing everything I’ve written when my wifi connection fails (it happened quite a bit while I was travelling in Costa Rica recently, so the pain is fresh in my mind). And to answer your other question, yes, I have blogged about other topics on for some memes, but the majority of content on my site is related to the book industry or the marketing of it.

9. Do you have an ereader? If so, do you like it? If not, do you want one someday?
Yes, I have a Sony eReader Pocket Edition, and I love it (only partially because it’s a gorgeous pink colour). Don’t get me wrong…I love the physicality of books and enjoy reading them as well, but personally, I think that there are a lot of pluses for ebooks and eReaders. When it comes to bookshelf space, I have a limited amount of room to store my books, so I try to keep only the ones that I plan to read again. When that isn’t likely, I have no problem with giving them away on my site or to a friend who I think will enjoy them. With ebooks, I don’t have to make this choice because they don’t occupy any physical space. As I’ve said more than once to anyone who would listen, I would love if more book publishing companies offered egalleys as an option for book bloggers, rather than only making physical copies available.

10. What do you do when you’re not reading? 

I read a lot, but when I’m not reading, there are many things I enjoy. Here is a small rundown of some of my favourite non-reading activities. I love designing and illustrating the covers and interiors of books as well as other web and print documents (which I get to do on a regular basis…yay!). I enjoy travelling throughout the world and have been to several countries in Europe, Asia, and Central America, where I recently learned that I really love snorkelling. I have two cats that I love a lot, even when one of them (who is a beautiful Maine Coon) uses me as a scratching post. Finally, I love cooking and baking vegetarian cuisine from all over the world.

Thanks for stopping by, Melissa, and hope you have a wonderful St. Patrick's Day!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Never Weres launch with Fiona Smyth

On Sunday, Fiona Smyth launched her new graphic novel The Never Weres at the Gladstone Hotel. The well-attended event was organized by This Is Not A Reading Series and Annick Press, and featured:

A comic jam:

A performance of the first chapter by Fiona and four talented actors:

A lively interview with RM Vaughan, art critic for The Globe & Mail:

And, of course, a book signing!

Check out the rest of the photos on our Flickr site and Facebook page. You can read a recent review of the book here, or check out Fiona's blog post about the event. And for a sneak peek inside the book, click here!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Happy International Women's Day!

March 8th is International Women's Day, so today I'd like to showcase some of our books with strong female protagonists. Our most famous, of course, is Elizabeth from The Paper Bag Princess. She's the princess who rescues a prince from a dragon, but won't put up with him when he insults her in return. (She's also our logo!)

At a recent Vancouver fundraiser, the Seycove Auction, guests were asked to dress up as heroes or villains. One couple chose Elizabeth and Prince Ronald! Here are their very detailed costumes:

Five recently released tales of fearless females:

Fatty Legs (Fall 2010): Based on the true story of one girl's experience at a residential school, and how she struck back at a nun who tormented her.

Thunder over Kandahar (Fall 2010): As Tamanna faces an arranged marriage to a much older man, and the Taliban target Yasmine's Western-educated family, the two best friends take their fate into their own hands and decide to flee.

Cry of the Giraffe (Fall 2010): When 15-year-old Wuditu is separated from her family during their attempt to escape from Ethiopia to Israel, she must find a way to survive on her own.

Held (Spring 2011): On a school trip to Greece, 16-year-old Chloe is kidnapped and held for ransom. Throughout her ordeal, she focuses on keeping herself safe, sane, and strong.

A Sword in Her Hand (Spring 2011): Set in the Middle Ages, this is the tale of Marguerite: the daughter who was supposed to be a son (according to her disappointed father), and who persuades a master swordsman to train her in secret.

Who is your favorite female protagonist? Leave a comment and let us know!

Monday, March 7, 2011

Three Annick Books Nominated for Willow Awards

Congratulations to Sharon McKay, Christy Jordan-Fenton and Margaret Pokiak-Fenton, and Keltie Thomas, whose titles have been nominated for the SYRCA (Saskatchewan Young Readers’ Choice Award). Thunder over Kandahar was nominated for a Snow Willow Award (grades 7–9); Fatty Legs and Animals That Changed the World have both been nominated in the Diamond Willow category (grades 4–6).

Eleven thousand children and teens throughout Saskatchewan will vote for their favourite book, and award winners will be announced in April 2012. We look forward to the results!

Friday, March 4, 2011

Enter Our GoodReads Giveaways!

We're pleased to offer a few copies of some of our Spring 2011 titles for giveaway on If you have a GoodReads account, click the "Enter to Win" button on the widgets below. Good luck!

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Held (Paperback) by Edeet Ravel


by Edeet Ravel

Giveaway ends April 02, 2011.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter to win

Goodreads Book Giveaway

A Sword in Her Hand (Paperback) by Jean-Claude van Rijckeghem

A Sword in Her Hand

by Jean-Claude van Rijckeghem

Giveaway ends April 02, 2011.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter to win

Goodreads Book Giveaway

The Never Weres (Paperback) by Fiona Smyth

The Never Weres

by Fiona Smyth

Giveaway ends April 02, 2011.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter to win

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Louis the Tiger Who Came From the Sea (Paperback) by Michal Kozlowski

Louis the Tiger Who Came From the Sea

by Michal Kozlowski

Giveaway ends April 02, 2011.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter to win