August 2013 Events

Thursday, August 1st, 2013

Click on event name for more information

American Library Association (ALA) Annual Conference~ ongoing until July 2, Chicago, IL, USA

ALSC Events at the American Library Association (ALA) Annual Conference~ ongoing until July 2, Chicago, IL, USA

YALSA Events at ALA’s 2013 Annual Conference~ ongoing until July 2, Chicago, IL, USA

Write Up a Storm: Foyle Young Poets Competition~ submissions accepted until July 31

Etisalat Award for Arabic Children’s Literature~ submissions accepted until Aug 31, United Arab Emirates

The Scholastic Asian Book Award (SABA)~ submissions accepted until Oct 21, Singapore

Frances Lincoln Diverse Voices Children’s Book Award 2013~ submissions accepted until Dec 31, 2012, United Kingdom

42nd Annual SCBWI Summer Conference~ Aug 2 – 5, Los Angeles, CA, USA

Tulika Books Launches The Bee Master, written by Lata Mani, illustrated by Priyankar Gupta~ Aug 3, Koramangala, Bengaluru, India

8th National Conference of African American Librarians~ Aug 7 – 11, Covington, KY, USA

The Bhutan Festival of Literature, Arts and Culture~ Aug 9 – 11, Thimphu, Bhutan

The Storylines Festival of New Zealand Children’s Writers and Illustrators~ Aug 10 – 18, Auckland, New Zealand

Edinburgh International Book Festival (Baillie Gifford Children’s Programme)~ Aug 10 – 26, Edinburgh, Scotland

Writing & Book Camp for Kids 11+~ Aug 12 – 16, Vancouver, BC, Canada 

Tulika Books Hosts Author Pika Nani Reading From Her Book Little Indians: Stories From Across the Country~ Aug 15, Koramangala, Bengaluru, India

CBCA Book of the Year Winners Announcement~ Aug 16, Australia

Children’s Book Week: Read Across the Universe~ Aug 17 – 23, Australia

Kids’ Book Review Reading Hour Photo Challenge~ Aug 17 – 24, Australia

Meet Author Grace Lin and Join in a Discussion of Her Book Starry River of the Sky~ Aug 18, Easthampton, MA, USA

Melbourne Writers Festival (Children and Youth Programme)~ Aug 22 – Sep 1, Mebourne, Australia

National Reading Hour 5 – 6pm~ Aug 24, Australia

Summer Dreams Literary Arts Festival Featuring Joy Kogawa~ Aug 24, Vancouver, BC, Canada

How To Teach Using Comics~ Aug 24, Singapore

Jump Start 2013: Focusing on the children’s books from India and abroad~ Aug 29 – 30, New Delhi, India (more…)

Poetry Friday ~ PaperTigers 10th Anniversary: My Top Ten Picks by Sally Ito

Friday, November 9th, 2012

[Time is running out to enter our Tenth Anniversary Draw – the deadline is tomorrow – so if you haven’t already, take a look here for the chance to win some fantastic prizes for you or your school or library]

Sally Ito is a poet, editor and translator living in Winnipeg, Canada, where she also teaches Creative Writing; she is currently writer.  Sally was  a book reviewer and contributor to the PaperTigers blog until earlier this year and wrote many of our contributions to Poetry Friday during that time (which is why we decided to post Sally’s selection on a Poetry Friday day!).  So we are delighted to welcome her back with her Top Ten list of favourite books, encountered through her work with PaperTigers.

As a prelude, do listen to Sally reading the title poem from her collection Alert to Glory (Turnstone Press, 2011) in the video below.

My Top Ten Picks by Sally Ito

When I joined the Paper Tigers blog contributor team in 2008, the thing I was most excited about was getting to read and review great multicultural books for kids.  What I discovered was a plethora of wonderful books that reflected who I was culturally and who my community was, culturally, as well.  From my short time with PaperTigers, these are my ten picks of multicultural books for kids.  It’s a little Japan-heavy, I realize but I hope you indulge my bias!

Tales from Outer Suburbia by Shaun Tan (Allen & Unwin, 2008) – I found this quirky picture book amazing and it was an inspiration for me when I was teaching to take my creative writing students out into our immediate neighborhood (an historic district called The Exchange) in Winnipeg to see what we could make of our environment in a creative way.

Naomi’s Tree by Joy Kogawa, illustrated by Ruth Ohi (Fitzhenry and Whiteside, 2008).  This book is about a cherry tree and a Japanese Canadian girl who grew up with it and was separated from it by the circumstances of the Second World War.  This book was a personal favorite since the author’s history reflects my own family’s in Canada.

Granny’s Giant Bannock by Brenda Isabel Wastasecoot, illustrated by Kimberly McKay-Fleming (Pemmican, 2008).  This is one hilarious book about a Cree-speaking grandmother and her grandson Larf who accidentally bakes a giant bannock by misunderstanding his grandmother’s instructions on how to make the doughy confection from scratch.

Moribito: Guardian of the Spirit by Nahoko Uehashi, illustrated by Yuko Shimizu, translated by Cathy Hirano (Scholastic, 2009).  This book is a translation of a popular fantasy series that was also made into a TV series.  The story is set in early imperial Japan and features a woman warrior named Balsa who protects the son of the emperor, Chagum, as he carries within him a spirit from another dimension who must lodge in a human host in order to survive.

The Song of the Cicada by Shizue Ukaji.  This is a Japanese book, yet untranslated into English, that I discovered while living in Japan in 2011.  It’s an Ainu folktale illustrated with textile creations made by Ukaji herself.  It’s the story of a woman who prophesies disaster – namely a tsunami – to her people and what becomes of her as a result.  A timely read for the year I was visiting the country.

The Fox’s Window and Other Stories by Naoko Awa, translated by Toshiya Kamei.  This is a collection of short stories spanning a career of writing by Japanese author Naoko Awa.  Magical, enchanting and absorbing are the words I’d use to describe these stories, which have also been referred to as ‘modern fairytales.’

David’s Trip to Paraguay by Miriam Rudolph.  A bilingual book with German and English text, this story is about a young Mennonite boy named David who travels to Paraguay from Canada in the late 1920s.  Rudolph, an artist, charts the arduous journey with vivid and colorful illustrations of the things David sees on the trip.

Gifts: Poems for Parents edited by Rhea Tregebov (Sumach Press, 2002).  We say we read to our children for their sake, but it’s just as true that we read to feed ourselves, too.  Poetry is a kind of bread for the soul, and this particular treasury of poems by Canadians really fed me as a poet and a parent.

Bifocal by Deborah Ellis and Eric Walters.  This is one book I read in part with my son, who later went on to have the book assigned to him for his English class in junior high school.  It’s about two teenagers – Haroon and Jay – who have to negotiate their cultural identities during a tense lockdown situation at their high school.

Aya by Marguerite Abouet and Clement Oubrerie.  I started covering graphic novels for PaperTigers a few years ago as I felt this was a developing trend in books for young people.  And this book was one of my favorites!  Aya is about a young woman growing up in Cote D’Ivoire, looking to become a medical student, but whose life is inevitably shaped and influenced by those around her with less lofty goals than her.

This week’s Poetry Friday is hosted by Ed at Think Kid, Think – head on over.

PaperTigers 10th Anniversary ~ Top 10 “Books that Open Windows” selected by Deborah Ellis

Monday, October 15th, 2012

Today we bring you the first in a series of “Top-10” posts as part of our 10th Anniversary celebrations.  First up is a selection of “Books that Open Windows” by award-winning writer Deborah Ellis.

Deborah’s latest novel came out last month: My Name Is Parvana (Groundwood Books, 2012) is the long-awaited sequel to her acclaimed The Breadwinner Trilogy.  As well as fiction, Deborah has written non-fiction highlighting global social issues from children’s perspectives, such as war, AIDS and bullying, and giving affected children a voice.  You can read PaperTigers’ interviews with Deborah here and here.


Top 10: Books that Open Windows by Deborah Ellis

Jean Little is a wonderful Canadian author of books for young people. She has a special place in my heart because when I was a child, my parents were friends with a friend of Jean’s – Jane Glaves – and I would get Ms. Little’s books for Christmas. One of my favorite Jean Little books is Look Through My Window, where one character talks about looking through someone’s window into who they are and what their lives are like.

The following books are ten I would recommend to anyone interested in seeing what’s inside someone else’s window.

1.   From Anna, by Jean Little ~ Novel for young people about a German family who comes to Canada just before the start of World War 2. The youngest, Anna, has struggles with her eyesight, her awkwardness and figuring out where her place is in her family and in this new world.

2.   All of a Kind Family, by Sydney Taylor ~ First in a series of books for young readers about a Jewish family in turn of the century Brooklyn. As the girls go about the adventures of their lives – such as earning money to pay for a lost library book – the family celebrates the calendar of holidays. As a Protestant-raised small-town girl, this was my first window into a different religion, and set off a respect and fascination for Judaism that continues to this day.

3.   Obasan, by Joy Kogawa ~ Moving telling of a young girl’s experience in a Japanese internment camp in Canada during World War 2.

4.   Nobody’s Family is Going to Change, by Louise Fitzhugh ~ Novel for young people about a girl in New York who can’t make her father see her for who she is. She grows to learn about other kids in other families and their struggles.

5.   A Dog on Barkham Street and The Bully of Barkham Street,  by Mary Stoltz – Look at the same story from two points of view. They taught me how to look for more than one side of the story.

6.   Mighty Be Our Powers, by Leymah Gbowee ~ A powerful memoir of a woman who survived the Liberian civil war and won the Nobel Prize for her work to rebuild the country.

7.   Amazing Grace, by Jonathan Kozol ~ About homelessness and poverty in America and the power of the education system to hurt or help the children in its care.

8.   Shannen and the Dream for a School, by Janet Wilson – part of the Kids’ Power Book series for young activists, this is a profile of Shannen Koostachin and her First Nations community of Attawapiskat as they try to get a safe school built.

9.   Bury Me Standing, by Isabel Fonseca ~ A moving, detailed history of the Roma people.

10.   Grey is the Color of Hope, by Irina Ratushinskaya ~ Prison diaries of the Soviet poet who spent seven years in the Gulags. One of the few records we have about what that time and place was like for women.

An Evening with Joy Kogawa and Maggie DeVries ~ November 15th, Vancouver, Canada

Tuesday, November 8th, 2011

On Tuesday, November 15th, The Vancouver Children’s Literature Roundtable and the Museum of Anthropology present An Evening with Acclaimed Canadian Authors Joy Kogawa and Maggie DeVries.

Joy Kogawa (Naomi’s Tree) and Maggie DeVries (Hunger Journeys and Chance and the Butterfly) will discuss the ways in which contemporary children’s literature can address the effects of social conflict in the world, and at the same time inspire hope and a desire to bring about positive change. This event, presented in conjunction with MOA’s exhibition ひろしま hiroshima, takes place from 7 – 9pm and is free with museum admission. For more information click here.


Postcard from Japan

Thursday, April 21st, 2011

I’ve been away from posting on the blog recently because of a temporary move … to Japan!  And now, having settled in a bit, I’m ready and roaring to go (appropriate for a PaperTiger blogger!) from my new location here in Nishinomiya City, Hyogo prefecture.   I’ll be in Japan for four months and hope to immerse myself in the wonderful world of childrens’ literature as it is experienced here by readers.  Japan has some great childrens’ book writers and illustrators and I’m eager to explore that world with my children as they attend the local elementary and junior high schools here.  With Japan being so much in the news, I feel in the unique position of being a reporter-of-sorts, in particular, of any activities related to children and the recent disaster in northern Japan.  Days after arriving, I heard about a childrens’ book donation program through Unicef; childrens’ books were being collected to be sent to children in the earthquake and tsunami-hit zones.  The program, running for only a short time, was very successful.   I was heartened and encouraged to see how the Japanese responded so swiftly to a request for books, knowing full well the transformative powers of story on the lives of children.   Even as the basic supplies were being sent out to the victims and survivors, here also was considered necessary, supplies for the hearts and minds of the most vulnerable.  Kodomo no tame ni — for the sake of the children — is a Japanese phrase I first encountered in Joy Kogawa’s novel Obasan.  How apt this phrase is for these times of trial and hardship for northern Japan!

Toronto To Japan Presents Hope Blossoms, a fundraiser for those in Japan

Wednesday, April 13th, 2011

Toronto To Japan is a Toronto-based collective of Canadian artists, musicians, writers, activists and business leaders organizing events to raise relief funds for victims of the earthquake/tsunami in Japan. On April 21st, they will be presenting Hope Blossoms, a night of entertainment inspired by the grand tradition of the Japanese variety show. Not only a fundraiser, this is a show of solidarity for the people of Japan.  Among those participating are renowned authors Joy Kogawa, Margaret Atwood and Michael Ondaatje. For more information, click here.

Knitting Cherry Blossoms for Awareness

Saturday, January 15th, 2011

For those of you who are avid knitters and love stories, here’s an event for you.   A local knitting group in Vancouver — the Yarn Bombers — are raising awareness for the Joy Kogawa Historic House by knitting cherry blossoms to cover the cherry tree in the yard of the house.   For more information, check out their post on the event.  PaperTigers has also covered Joy’s childrens’ books on the newly revamped PaperTiger’s main website, as well as having an interview with her.

A Celebration of Music in Children's Literature

Wednesday, August 5th, 2009

The new issue of PaperTigers, focusing on “Music in Children’s Literature,” is now live!

Music is central to the human experience and has been bound up with poetry and storytelling since time immemorial. We have brought together an international array of writers and artists whose lives and work have been touched by music; and whose work, in turn, reaches out across geographical boundaries to touch their audience.

As the final words of the opera Naomi’s Road say, “We’ll always carry with us these three things. Gift of music. Gift of words. Gift of love.”

We hope that you’ll find inspiration for all three of these gifts among our website’s new features, which include interviews with Joy Kogawa and Matt Ottley; gallery features of Lulu Delacre and Satoshi Kitamura’s work; essays by Jorge Luján and Michelle Lord, and more. Through September, we’ll continue to explore, here on the blog, the ways in which music features in children’s and young adult literature, so read the new features and let us know what you think by leaving a comment on this or any of our upcoming music-related posts!