Friday, April 29, 2011

Winners of How Do You Read to a Rabbit Contest!

To celebrate the release of Andrea Wayne von Königslöw's charming picture book How Do You Read to a Rabbit? we ran a contest asking children to tell us which animal they thought would be hard to read to, and why. The winner would receive an original illustration of their entry from Andrea. In the end, Andrea received so many great submissions that she decided to choose three winners rather than just one. Here are the lucky winners, along with their illustrations.

Sarah, age 6 when she entered, said that "It would be hard to read to a butterfly because it will flutter too much and you'll have to read in all different directions."

N., age 3 when he entered, said, "I would try to read to a cow, but it would be hard because the cow would keep saying moo."
The final winner wasn't a single person--it was a classroom from South Park Elementary School in Tsawwassen, BC. Teacher-librarian Leslie Clancy read the students How Do You Read to a Rabbit? and then encouraged them to enter the contest. Twenty-seven of them submitted their ideas, and Andrea chose to illustrate six of them!
The entries for the above illustration included "maybe some gorillas know what we're talking about," "an orangutan will just want to swing the pages," "a platypus would go right to sleep (they are lazy)," "don't read to a funny hyena, the laughing is annoying," "you can try to read to an eagle but you'll need to fit in its nest," and "when you read to a bird, you have to read fast before it flies away to its nest."

Thanks again to everyone who entered--Andrea loved reading all of your wonderful ideas--and congratulations to the winners!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Happy Easter!

Happy Easter! The Easter Bunny knew the Annick offices would be closed for Good Friday tomorrow, so he paid us a visit today instead.

And we didn't just get chocolate--advance copies of three of our Fall 2011 books arrived, and they look gorgeous! They'll be in stores this fall, so keep your eyes peeled for Chicken, Pig, Cow and the Class Pet (the latest in Ruth Ohi's series about three charming toy animals), Munsch at Play Act 2 (plays based on popular Robert Munsch stories--perfect for classrooms!), and Dogs Don't Eat Jam (a big sister's guide to growing up, by the author/illustrator team that brought you A Flock of Shoes).

We also received more good news on the awards front. Out of the five titles shortlisted for the CSWA's Science in Society Book Awards, four were Annick Press titles: 50 Burning Questions, Animal Snoops, Animals That Changed the World, and Lizards in the Sky. Congratulations to all of our shortlisted authors!

Congratulations are also due to Judie Oron, whose book Cry of the Giraffe won the Youth Literature category of the 2011 Helen and Stan Vine Canadian Jewish Book Awards. An awards ceremony will be held on May 30th in Toronto.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

We Rocked the Drop!

After learning about Rock the Drop on readergirlz--an event in which young adult books are left in public places to celebrate Support Teen Lit Day--we decided to participate by "dropping" four of our Spring 2011 titles: The Never Weres, Chanda's Secrets (movie tie-in edition), Held, and A Sword in Her Hand. Here they are, waiting to get their bookplates:

We printed off bookplates from readergirlz and affixed them to the inside front cover or title page of each book, like so:

Once the books were ready, four staff members each took one to leave in public today. The Never Weres ended up riding the Yonge-University-Spadina subway line (though for how many stops, we don't know!):

Held is ended up in the halls of A.Y. Jackson Secondary School, Chanda's Secrets hung out in a Starbucks around College & Bay, and A Sword in Her Hand was last spotted on a bench at Greenwood subway station:

A big thank you to readergirlz for organizing this event and promoting teen lit. If you happen to spot any of our dropped books, let us know in the comments! And if you want to see more pictures of dropped books, check out the readergirlz blog.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Meet a Book Blogger: Teresa's Reading Corner

Our April Meet a Book Blogger post features Teresa of Teresa's Reading Corner. Her blog is a wonderful mix of book reviews, author spotlights, blog tours, and reading challenges.

1. When did you start book blogging, and what was your motivation?
I started blogging just over a year ago. Teresa's Reading Corner celebrated its first birthday on February 23rd. I have always been an avid reader and love talking about books. I started out writing reviews on GoodReads and creating my own space was the next logical step.

2. How often do you post?
I try to post 2-3 times per week. One of those being a "Kids Corner" post highlighting a title that my little monkey and I are reading.

3. Which kinds of books do you like to review?
I review a variety of books on the blog. You will find historical fiction, classics, chick lit, children's books, mysteries (cozy and otherwise) and the occasional non-fiction title.

4. Where do you get the books you review?
I come from a family of book lovers so I tend to get books as gifts. I do receive books from publishers and authors. I also frequent a couple of local bookstores to get my "fix."

5. Where do you find out about new books?
I still rely heavily on other blogs for news on new releases. I also subscribe to the newsletter for my favorite local bookstore.

6. Do you read other book blogs? If so, which are your favorites?
I read A LOT of book blogs. There are a few bloggers that I have really clicked with and have highlighted on my blogroll. [Ed. note: these include Book Journey, Crazy for Books, Jenn's Bookshelves, Reading Without Restraint, Red Headed Book Child, and Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers.)

7. What’s one of your favorite books? How about the best book you’ve read in the past six months?
The book that I always mention when asked about my favorite is the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon. Of course I give the warning that it can be a bit explicit, but I love the characters. My favorite book that I've read in the last six months is Skipping a Beat by Sarah Pekkanen. As soon as I put it down I was ready to start it again.

8. What’s the most enjoyable part of book blogging? What’s the worst part? Do you blog about other topics too?
I really enjoy reading and discussing the books. There is always someone within the book blogging community that is interested in talking about the book you've just finished. The worst part is that it can sometimes feel stressful and overwhelming. There are so many great titles out there and I really have to reign myself in and not say "yes" to everything. So far I've kept the blog fairly bookish. I've thought about adding some other content but am still not sure about that.

9. Do you have an ereader? If so, do you like it? If not, do you want one someday?
I am a total gadget lover and I've read a couple of ebooks on my ipod, but I don't really have an ereader. I don't think I'm ready to take the plunge yet.

10. What do you do when you’re not reading?
I certainly keep busy. I have a wonderful husband and of course there is my little monkey. We have a Rottweiler Lab that rounds out our little family. I have a full time job that keeps me busy during the week. Weekends you will find us doing any number of things from working in the yard to riding bicycles to the park.

Thanks, Teresa! Have a wonderful spring and we look forward to more of your reviews!

Monday, April 4, 2011

Spring Blooms in Bologna

Today's post is by Annick's Associate Publisher, Colleen MacMillan, reporting on the Bologna Children's Book Fair:

Bologna 2011 is officially over. Despite a general nervousness in the publishing industry due to the recession, cutbacks in institutional budgets, changes in delivery of content and sundry other issues, the biggest international book fair to focus exclusively on children's books had a great energy and feeling of optimism. Aisles were crowded, both with publishers, the Italian public, and illustrators, many of whom came from around Europe to show their work.

Annick was there in both a selling and buying capacity. Gayna Theophilus, our new rights director, pitched Annick titles to our international agents as well as other publishers. Meanwhile, I was on the floor meeting with publishers who were presenting English language rights to us. Now Gayna will have follow-up work to do in sending out pdfs and hard copies for those titles which were requested, and publishers who met with us to sell will be doing the same for the properties we wish to look at. Certainly sending material electronically has made the whole process less expensive and faster than in the days when there were only hard copies or printouts of pages.

In the weeks to come we'll report on the results of Bologna, but in the meantime, these photos show our exhibit, along with the Bologna sunshine that poured into our stand:

Friday, April 1, 2011

Spring News & Reviews

Spring has sprung, even if it doesn't quite feel like it here in Toronto--though my friends in Vancouver say the cherry trees are beginning to bloom! Associate Publisher Colleen MacMillan and Sales and Rights Manager Gayna Theophilus are representing Annick at the Bologna Children's Book Fair, and they report that spring has arrived in full force there. We're looking forward to a full update next week.

The reviews are starting to come in for our Spring 2011 titles. Edeet Ravel's psychological thriller Held--about a teen who is kidnapped while on a class vacation in Greece--got a great review in Quill and Quire: "rich, thought-provoking stuff that would be excellent fodder for discussion and debate among older teens." Blogger and librarian Pamela Thompson also featured Held, calling it "clever, compelling, and consistent".

What's on your spring reading list?