THREE GROUNDWOOD TITLES SHORTLISTED FOR GOVERNOR GENERAL’S LITERARY AWARDS

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We’re thrilled to announce that three Groundwood authors have been shortlisted for the 2016 Governor General’s Literary Awards! Congratulations to:

Young People’s Literature Calvin, Martine Leavitt

Young People’s Literature— The White Cat and the Monk, Jo Ellen Bogart and Sydney Smith and Tokyo Digs a Garden, Jon-Erik Lappano and Kellen Hatanaka


9781554987207_hr Calvin
Written by Martine Leavitt

In the town of Leamington, Ontario, a seventeen-year-old boy is suddenly stricken by a schizophrenic episode and wakes up in hospital. The boy’s name is Calvin, and he is plagued by hallucinations.

As the hallucinations persist, Calvin comes to believe that the answer lies in performing one grand and incredible gesture.

And so he decides to walk across Lake Erie. In January. The temperatures have been below freezing for weeks. The ice should hold…

The lake, it turns out, is more marvelous, and more treacherous, than Calvin had ever imagined — populated by abandoned cars (joy ride!), ice-fishing eccentrics, psychokiller snow beings, and a not-so-mythical sea witch named Jenny Greenteeth.

Not to mention the man-eating tiger that looms just out of his sight lines as he treks.

But the biggest surprise of all is that Calvin finds himself accompanied by Susie, the girl of his dreams. Or is it his dreams that have conjured up Susie?

Part romance, part adventure story, part quest novel, Martine Leavitt brings her inimitable gentle wit, humor and compassion to a story about a teenaged boy struggling to gain control of his own mind and destiny.


Groundwood Logos Spine The White Cat and the Monk
Written by Jo Ellen Bogart and illustrated by Sydney Smith

A monk leads a simple life. He studies his books late into the evening and searches for truth in their pages. His cat, Pangur, leads a simple life, too, chasing prey in the darkness. As night turns to dawn, Pangur leads his companion to the truth he has been seeking.

The White Cat and the Monk is a retelling of the classic Old Irish poem “Pangur Bán.” With Jo Ellen Bogart’s simple and elegant narration and Sydney Smith’s classically inspired images, this contemplative story pays tribute to the wisdom of animals and the wonders of the natural world.


Groundwood Logos Spine Tokyo Digs a Garden
Written by Jon-Erik Lappano and illustrated by Kellen Hatanaka

Tokyo lives in a small house between giant buildings with his family and his cat, Kevin. For years, highways and skyscrapers have been built up around the family’s house where once there were hills and trees. Will they ever experience the natural world again?

One day, an old woman offers Tokyo seeds, telling him they will grow into whatever he wishes. Tokyo and his grandfather are astonished when the seeds grow into a forest so lush that it takes over the entire city overnight. Soon the whole city has gone wild, with animals roaming where cars once drove. But is this a problem to be surmounted, or a new way of living to be embraced?

With Tokyo Digs a Garden, Jon-Erik Lappano and Kellen Hatanaka have created a thoughtful and inspiring fable of environmentalism and imagination.


Meet the cast of The King of the Birds!

In The King of the Birds, inspired by the life of Flannery O’Connor, a young fan of fowl brings home a peacock to be the king of her collection, but he refuses to show off his colorful tail. Along the way, we’re introduced to a fine flock of feathered friends. Meet:

the_chicken1

the_chicken2

the_chicken3

the_chicken4

the_duck

the_goose

the_pheasant

the_quail

the_turkey

the_peahen

the_peacock

This picture book was inspired by the life and work of Flannery O’Connor, including her essay “The King of the Birds” (copyright by Flannery O’Connor, copyright renewed by Regina Cline O’Connor. All rights reserved).

Uma Krishnaswami on the Joy of End Papers

I just received the first two author copies of my new picture book, Bright Sky, Starry City, published by the lovely people at Groundwood and illustrated by the talented Aimee Sicuro. is there anything quite like opening a package and finding a new book?

All right, I’m not going into the usual rant about the lack of tactility in an e-book, or how the heck we think kids are going to love books if they can’t hug them or smell them or chew on them or even what’s going to happen to bodies and brains if a backlit screen becomes the primary source of text and image. Instead, let us consider endpapers. Look at these.

BrightSky

 

Sidewalk chalk and sky, child mind and universe — it’s all in here. Are these endpapers not the perfect introduction to a book on dark skies and a child’s vast, reaching imagination?

The picture-book writer is only the owner of the book in a kind of curatorial way. You start the thing off with an idea that has you in its grip. You try to give it shape. You plunk some words down on the page. If the thing holds up (and many picture-book ideas do not) you keep going. If you can get enough of the vision down so it makes sense to others, well then a publisher might pick it up and assign it to an illustrator. The illustrator gets to work, without my word-bound oversight, for which praise be. In this case, I got to check facts. I suggested a few research sources. I asked a consultant to comment on the accuracy of both text and images. Some text changed as the images grew. But the endpapers? They were a complete surprise. They ensure that the story of the book begins in the child reader’s mind before even a single page gets turned. What a gift!

— Uma Krishnaswami

Uma’s post inspired us to share some of our favorite end papers.

Click on any of the images below to see what book the are from!

 

Migrant online Sidewalk Swimming NorthernNight


 

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Bright Sky, Starry City
by Uma Krishnaswami, illustrated by Aimee Sicuro

Phoebe helps her dad set up telescopes on the sidewalk outside his store. It’s a special night — Saturn and Mars are going to appear together in the sky. But will Phoebe be able to see them with all the city lights?

Raindrops begin to fall, followed by lightning and thunder. Phoebe is filled with disappointment as she and her father hurry inside to wait out the storm.

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