Celebrating Canadian books for kids

my costumeI feel like I’ve just walked a few miles in Emily Carr’s shoes (or at least in the uncomfortable, stiff leather button-up shoes of someone from the 19th c.), and now I need to put my feet up. I did a talk about my Emily Carr books for two grade three classes at York House School this morning and dressed in 19th century costume (the shoes were the only thing I wore on the bus and Skytrain — the rest I changed into at the school).

Like most Canadian authors of books for children, I’m reading, writing and promoting Canadian kids’ books all year, but this week is special. November 17-24 is Canadian Children’s Book Week. When I was growing up there were only a few books for kids written in Canada (my favourites were the Emily of New Moon series by Lucy Maud Montgomery and Secret in the Stlalakum Wild by Christie Harris). Now, there is no shortage of wonderful books to choose from — with stories that take place in every part of the country, as well as in other countries and imaginary lands. I just finished reading (and thoroughly enjoying!), Search of the Moon King’s Daughter by Linda Holeman, which is set in England in the 1830s and is about a girl who travels to London to search for her little brother who has been sold into work as a chimney sweep, a dirty and dangerous job.

Next post: Has George found a new home?

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2 Responses to “Celebrating Canadian books for kids”

  1. Jean-Pierre Antonio Says:

    It’s great to hear that there are many home-grown reading choices for Canuck kids today. I don’t remember reading very many Canadian stories when I was a child (many years ago!).

    Perhaps it is a sign of Canada’s maturing national identity. Last August I watched a tv show about a Newfoundland author who travelled to Iceland to find the secret of that nation’s thriving publishing industry (desite a tiny population). Apparently. almost everybody in Iceland is a rabid reader and they want to read their own stories. The answer she received from everyone she spoke to was that Iceland’s strong support for native literature is related to their recent independence. I didn’t know, but Iceland was, well into the 20th century, a Danish (I think) colony. After they gained independence their national identity blossomed and a national culture took off. Canadians moan and grown all the time about our weak national identity but maybe, all the official efforts (Canada Council etc…) have really paid off. I hope so. The world should be full of all sorts of voices in all tongues.

    Jean-Pierre

  2. Rochelle Says:

    Jacquie, keep up the good work!

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