Butterfly Award

Today I received a message from Papertigers (http://www.papertigers.org/) with the "Butterfly Award" for my blog!
The idea of this award is to pass it on to others. So I'm forwarding it to several amazing writers whose blogs I have admired.

One of the sites that has a Butterfly Award is Just One More Book:

I think that the following blogs deserve this recognition:
• http://www.lindabaileybooks.com/
• http://www.deborahhodge.com/
• http://www.sherylmcfarlane.ca/
• http://www.cwill.bc.ca/
• http://www.marycasanova.com

Hope you enjoy exploring these informative websites.

Moonbeam Children's Book Award

It started out as a dreary day, on Salt Spring, with snow covering the fields. Not what I want to see now that the bulbs are several inches high already. But this afternoon it turned into a glorious day when the mail arrived: I received a silver medal and certificate from the Moonbeam Children's Book Awards. A Silver Medal for environmental issues for IN MY BACKYARD (Tundra Books, illustrated by Ron Broda).
I love what Ron did with the art for this book: he made amazing 3D paper sculptures. Children can read about every day critters that can be encountered in any backyard, including urban settings. In each illustration you can spot a ladybug. But Ron has also added a prediction element: in each illustration is a glimpse of the animal featured on the next page. Can you guess which animal it is?
CM magazine said
"Ruurs’ new book reflects her admirable desire to help children learn to appreciate the majesty of their natural surrounds. Her love of nature is evident in many of her books for children, and that is also the case here".

I'm glad the Moonbeam Awards agreed and gave it a silver medal!

Reading is Contagious!

I just returned home from IRA, Phoenix. What a wonderful Institute we had on Saturday! Our panel of authors (Deborah Hodge, Linda Bailey, Sara Holbrook and Mary Casanova) and teacher-of-the-year Jan Keese from Iowa, had a great time sharing inside stories and experiences of writing with teachers. We laughed and cried over poetry and picture books. The participants all left with a thick book of writing activities to use in the classroom. They will now, in turn, spread the joy of reading and writing to their students across the continent. The love of reading is contagious, isn't it?!
On the plane I finished the book I was reading: Throwaway Daughter by Ting-Xing Ye with William Bell. Wow, what a powerfully written book. I highly recommend it to adults and as older YA - the story of a girl adopted from China and the lives of all those involved. I couldn't put it down. That's the one thing I love about those long days of flying: lots of time to read a good book!

IRA Convention

Today I did my first school presentations on Salt Spring Island. Nice school, nice kids, nice teachers, great PAC!
It was a sunny spring day but the kids were excited about books and reading.

Now I'm packing to go to Phoenix, AZ to present an all day Institute at IRA with several fellow writers: Sara Holbrook, Linda Bailey, Deborah Hodge and Mary Casanova. Jan Keese, Iowa's teacher of the year, will weave our stories together with classroom activities. If you are a teacher attending IRA, either in Phoenix or Minneapolis (May) I hope you will attend this very dynamic Institute: Weaving Different Genres into Classroom Gold!

Another Good Book to Read!

I just finished reading another great book: ALPHABET OF DREAMS by Susan Fletcher.
I just couldn't put it down. I loved her book Shadow Spinner and this one also plays in Persia. It's the story of the famous Three Wise Men. She brings them to life in this gripping story full of amazing details. You can smell the camels, hear the copper bells, see the stable and the star. It's not at all a Christmas story but gives the background of a story we are all familiar with. Highly recommended for avid readers of 12 and up.

2009 Global Action Week on Literacy

Have you heard of this campaign? In April the Global Campaign for Education will celebrate literacy in many innovative ways. Be sure to register your school or library to participate in exciting events!


Globe & Mail article on writing/publishing

Interesting article if you are a fellow writer:

"Publish, and your book will probably perish"
You did your part, you wrote the book. So why are Canadian publishers getting worse at their part - selling it? James Adams reports


Colorado State Reading Conference

I just returned from Denver where I did presentations at a wonderful elementary school. The school uses 'real' books, the kids read nonstop, the teachers read aloud... What more could you ask for :-)
Then I presented several sessions at the Colorado State Reading conference - a great conference with nearly 3,000 teachers in attendance. The mayor of Denver made a surprise appearance and it was fun to have dinner with Jane Yolen, Susan Bartoletti, Julie Danneberg and many other wonderful writer friends, old and new.
Besides seeing many Colorado teachers, it was fun to listen to the wild stories of Jon Scieszca, to see Gordon Korman and hear the background details of Patricia Polacco's The Keeping Quilt.
But.. it's also nice to be home again. Time to finish my new book by this week's deadline...