Happy First Day of Summer!

Ahh, summer. Weekends at the cottage, campfires, swimming… there is just so much to do! Why not spend it reading This One Summer by Jillian and Mariko Tamaki? Today, on this beautiful first day of summer, we have some illustrations to get you excited for the warm days to come.

This One Summer by Mariko and Jillian Tamaki

This One Summer by Mariko and Jillian Tamaki

This One Summer by Mariko and Jillian Tamaki
 


 This One Summer by Mariko and Jillian Tamaki About This One Summer
Rose and Windy are summer friends whose families have visited Awago Beach for as long as they can remember. But this year is different, and they soon find themselves tangled in teen love and family crisis. From the creators of Skim comes an investigation into the mysterious world of adults.

Sure, Rose’s dad is still making cheesy and embarrassing jokes, but her mother is acting like she doesn’t even want to be there. Plus, being at the cottage isn’t just about going to the beach anymore. Now Rose and Windy are spending a lot of their time renting scary movies and spying on the teenagers who work at the corner store, as well as learning stuff about sex no one mentioned in health class.

Pretty soon everything is messed up. Rose’s father leaves the cottage and returns to the city, and her mother becomes more and more withdrawn. While her family is falling to pieces, Rose focuses her attention on Dunc, a teenager working at the local corner store. When Jenny, Dunc’s girlfriend, claims to be pregnant, the girls realize that the teenagers are keeping just as many secrets as the adults in their lives.

No one seems to want to talk about the things that matter. When the tension between Dunc and Jenny boils over, Jenny makes a desperate and destructive move and Rose’s mother is galvanized into action. In the aftermath, nothing is completely resolved, but secrets have been aired, which means that things are at least a bit better for everyone. For Rose and Windy, the end of summer brings the realization that, while Awago Beach might always be the same, they have both been changed forever.

From Mariko Tamaki and Jillian Tamaki, creators of the multi-award-winning graphic novel Skim, comes a stunning and authentic story of friendship, illustrated with subtly heart-breaking moments and pure summer joy.

The Breadwinner Cartoon Adaptation Releases New Artwork

We are so excited that the cartoon adaptation of The Breadwinner has gone to production! What better way to celebrate than taking a look at some of the newly released artwork from the film. Thanks to Cartoon Saloon for these fantastic images.

The Breakwinner Adaptation Artwork

The Breakwinner Adaptation Artwork

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The Breakwinner Adaptation Artwork

The Breakwinner Adaptation Artwork


The Breadwinner by Deborah Ellis

The first book in Deborah Ellis’s riveting Breadwinner series is an award-winning novel about loyalty, survival, families and friendship under extraordinary circumstances during the Taliban’s rule in Afghanistan.

Eleven-year-old Parvana lives with her family in one room of a bombed-out apartment building in Kabul, Afghanistan’s capital city. Parvana’s father — a history teacher until his school was bombed and his health destroyed — works from a blanket on the ground in the marketplace, reading letters for people who cannot read or write. One day, he is arrested for the crime of having a foreign education, and the family is left without someone who can earn money or even shop for food.

As conditions for the family grow desperate, only one solution emerges. Forbidden to earn money as a girl, Parvana must transform herself into a boy, and become the breadwinner.

The Important Landmarks of Sidewalk Flowers

In Sidewalk Flowers, a little girl collects wildflowers while her distracted father pays her little attention. Each flower becomes a gift, and whether the gift is noticed or ignored, both giver and recipient are transformed by their encounter. “Written” by award-winning poet JonArno Lawson and brought to life by illustrator Sydney Smith, Sidewalk Flowers is an ode to the importance of small things, small people and small gestures.

In The Horn Book Magazine‘s May/June 2016 Special Issue on Collaborations, Sydney Smith has illustrated a full-page spread on The Important Landmarks of Sidewalk Flowers — landmarks that include The Art Gallery of Ontario, JonArno Lawson’s home, and “the rusty train bridge.” The map itself is a collaborative piece on collaboration; the map was evolved and thought through by both Sydney and JonArno Lawson together, though the final illustration was done by Sydney.

Click on the image below to expand the illustration and view the landmarks — how many have you been to or walked by?

Sidewalk Flowers published by Groundwood Books


Sidewalk Flowers by JonArno Lawson and Sydney SmithWinner of the Governor General’s Literary Award for Children’s Illustrated Book

A New York Times Best Illustrated Children’s Book of the Year

In this wordless picture book, a little girl collects wildflowers while her distracted father pays her little attention. Each flower becomes a gift, and whether the gift is noticed or ignored, both giver and recipient are transformed by their encounter.

“Written” by award-winning poet JonArno Lawson and brought to life by illustrator Sydney Smith, Sidewalk Flowers is an ode to the importance of small things, small people and small gestures.

Sidewalk Flowers: a love letter to Toronto from illustrator Sydney Smith

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When I received an email from Groundwood asking me to illustrate JonArno’s story Sidewalk Flowers, my partner, Maggie, and I had already decided to relocate from Halifax to Toronto for her to study at Ryerson. And I was nervous.

I had tried moving to Toronto nine years before. I worked there in unbearable heat, with a bad case of poison ivy, digging out a basement on Lawrence Avenue for a temp agency that paid you in coins from a vending machine. I hitchhiked back to Halifax immediately.

Biking

But this time was different. I was older; I had a purpose and someone to share it with. Immediately, the city was exciting and infinite with so many things to discover. Each day I biked to my tiny studio space in Chinatown from our tinier apartment and I would sketch and photograph the people, the bent bikes, the old buildings, the sparrows, and the streetcar wires. Working on JonArno’s beautiful story, full of tenderness and beauty, forced me to look around at my new home and see how magical it really is. The images I made for this story are my love letter to Toronto.

Sidewalk-photos

Sidewalk-Sketches


Sydney Smith was born in rural Nova Scotia, and has been drawing since an early age. Since graduating from NSCAD University, he has illustrated multiple children’s books, including the wordless picture book Sidewalk Flowers, and he has received awards for his illustrations, including the Lillian Shepherd Memorial Award for Excellence in Illustration. He now lives in Toronto and works in a shared studio space in Chinatown where he eats too many banh mi sandwiches and goes to the library or the Art Gallery of Ontario on his breaks.

Behind the scenes of a picture book translation

When we came across the beautiful picture book À La Sieste! (Naptime!) by Iris de Moüy, we knew we had to bring it to an English audience. But there are lots of things that go into making a picture book that the average reader might not think about. In the case of Naptime!, all the text in the book was hand-lettered to match the illustrations. We knew that to make the English translation as beautiful as the French version, we had to hand-letter our text too.

Groundwood Art Director Michael Solomon was up to the task. He let us document the process, and gave us some insight into his thoughts. Have a look!


 

About to attempt the English lettering for our edition of Iris de Moüy's Naptime. The text will print as a greyscale layer in the final production and I wanted to match the dark and light tones of the original as much as possible (it's not a solid black). I assumed I would need to use a transparent coloured ink or watercolour, but I couldn't find any that were dark enough or that pooled the pigment in the right way. Finally I settled on this Windsor and Newton India: less black than Pelikan but strong enough in the heavy strokes and then yielding a nice grey when the brush runs dry or the pressure is less. Perfection! (The ink, not me).

I’m about to attempt the English lettering for our edition of Iris de Moüy’s Naptime!. The text will print as a greyscale layer in the final production, and I wanted to match the dark and light tones of the original as much as possible (it’s not a solid black). I assumed I would need to use a transparent coloured ink or watercolour, but I couldn’t find any that were dark enough or that pooled the pigment in the right way. Finally I settled on this Windsor and Newton India: less black than Pelikan but strong enough in the heavy strokes and then yielding a nice grey when the brush runs dry or the pressure is less. Perfection! (The ink, not me).

The original. Ours will be a conventional jacketed trade picture book, not a board book. But it will print in these 4 yummy spot inks.

The original. Ours will be a conventional jacketed picture book, not a board book. But it will print in these four yummy spot inks.

I am going to need complete silence.

I am going to need complete silence.

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The weapon of choice.

Silence, I say! Mmmm... Smooth white card stock...

Silence, I say! Mmmm… smooth white card stock…

Oh, yeah!

Oh, yeah!

I'm lying. I want to have a nap. Right now.

I’m lying. I want to have a nap. Right now.

Excess feathering and other irregularities: Photoshop will see to that!

Excess feathering and other irregularities: Photoshop will see to that!

Destination: page 5

Destination: page 5

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And the final result!

You’ll be moved by I Moved My Hand

Moví la mano / I Moved My Hand

When a little girl moves her hand, she changes the world as she discovers it. As she moves her known world she discovers her own power and creates everything anew.

The poem, written by Argentine poet Jorge Luján, comes from a culture saturated with magic in which even the very young can make the world by reaching out and moving it. Mandana Sadat’s imaginative illustrations deepen and enrich the text. Movi la mano / I Moved My Hand is a special contribution to the world of children’s books for the very young (and the not so young).

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On designing the poster for TCAF 2014 – A guest post by Isabelle Arsenault

When the Toronto Comics Arts Festival contacted me asking if I was able to illustrate one of the official posters to promote its 11th year, of course I was honoured and thrilled by the invitation!

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This year the festival has expanded its children’s programming, and I think they wanted to highlight this by featuring an illustrator who is associated with children’s literature.

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My graphic novel, Jane, the Fox & Me (written by Fanny Britt) was the main inspiration for the concept of the poster. The book is a celebration of literature, and speaks of its importance to a pre-teen trying to find his or her place in life.

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Hélène, the main character of the story, loves to escape her dull reality through reading books. She appears on the poster, next to that dog and other imaginary friends.

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I’ll be at TCAF with Fanny Britt, and I think we will have lots of fun meeting young readers — and older ones — seeing friends, buying new books, eating with our publishers and shopping in TO. Can’t wait!

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Meet Groundwood Creators at TCAF

Fanny Britt & Isabelle Arsenault
Jane, the Fox and Me

Saturday, May 10th

11am-12pm: Jane, the Fox and Me read by Fanny Britt and Isabelle Arsenault
Location: Toronto Reference Library, Novella Room

 2:15pm-3:15pm: Fanny Britt & Isabelle Arsenault present: Jane, the Fox and Me
Location: Toronto Reference Library, TCAF Kids Area – Beeton Auditorium

 3:45pm-4:30pm: Fanny Britt & Isabelle Arsenault book signing
Location: Toronto Reference Library, Groundwood Books table

Sunday, May 11th

11:15am-12:15pm Spotlight: Fanny Britt & Isabelle Arsenault
Location: Marriott Bloor Yorkville, High Park 2 & 3

12:30pm: Fanny Britt & Isabelle Arsenault book signing
Location: Toronto Reference Library, Groundwood Books table

Mariko Tamaki & Jillian Tamaki
This One Summer

Saturday, May 10th

12:15pm-1:15pm: Michael DeForge & Friends
Michael DeForge, Jillian Tamaki, Patrick Kyle, Moderator: Ryan Sands
Location: Marriott Bloor Yorkville, Forest Hill Ballroom

1:30pm-2:30pm: Spotlight: Jillian Tamaki and Mariko Tamaki
Location: Marriott Bloor Yorkville, Forrest Hill Ballroom

2:45pm-3:45pm Mariko Tamaki & Jillian Tamaki book signing
Location: Toronto Reference Library, Beguiling Signing Area (lower level)

4pm-5pm: Queering Comics – LGBTQ identity in comics and graphic novels
Mariko Tamaki
Meet five creators who, through their stories and published projects, are queering the medium and industry of comics.
Location: The Pilot, 22 Cumberland Street

Sunday, May 11th

12pm-1pm: Canadian Reading Series: Mariko Tamaki
Location: Toronto Reference Library, Novella Room

2:30pm-3:15pm: Mariko Tamaki & Jillian Tamaki book signing
Location: Toronto Reference Library, Groundwood Books table

You’ll want to read this classic 101 times

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Celebrating its 30th year in print, now back in hardcover, a classic picture book from renowned author and illustrator Jan Ormerod.

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What do you do with a new baby? An imaginative older sister and her parents explore this question in this sweet and authentic depiction of a day in the life of a young family.

Whether Big Sister is feeding, entertaining or dressing her baby brother (in Mom’s hat or Dad’s shoes!), Jan Ormerod illustrates a warm, and occasionally challenging story of family, perfect for older siblings getting to know their new brothers or sisters.

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Originally published in 1984, this book is a timeless depiction of family life and the important role older siblings play.

Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday — download this desktop background

In honour of Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday, we are happy to offer you this glimpse of the Promised Land, along with our sincere hope that 2014 will bring us all a bit closer to the mountaintop.

Desktop

Download this Desktop Background

Illustration copyright © Manu Chitrakar from I See the Promised Land: A Life of Martin Luther King Jr., written by Arthur Flowers.

 

 

 

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