Saturday, 29 June 2013

Happy Canada Day!

In honour of Canada's 146th birthday on July 1st, I actually have two book recommendations.  These are books I first saw as board books when my son had just about outgrown board books.  Of course, even at the age of 5, he still occasionally enjoys a well-written and well-illustrated board book such as these ones, and they are available in a more standard paperback format for older children.  The books are written by Canadian author Kim Bellefontaine and illustrated in simple and bold way by Toronto-based illustrator Per-Henrik Gurth.  The text and pictures in the books will win over children and adults alike, and each page evokes a whimsical Canadian childhood scene.  It's all a lot of fun.

Bellefontaine first wrote ABC of Canada and continued with Canada 123.  I believe they are also both available in French, and, for our American friends, there is also ABC of America.  All these books can be purchased at  The ABC of Canada was the first gift I purchased for my nephew who was born in January 2013.  Although he lives in the U.S., I hope this will help him appreciate his Canadian heritage from a very early age.

Happy Birthday Canada!

Monday, 10 June 2013

C'est l'heure d'aller au lit! (Time for bed)

In my role as mom to a 5-year-old, I have had the privilege of being able to read hundreds of children's books over the past few years.  I figure I'll use this blog to highlight some of the books that we've read which Cole and I have really enjoyed. 

This first book is one that just resonated with me as a mom.  It always seems that my son can find a way to postpone the inevitable, and this can't be more evident than at night when he is supposed to be settling down to go to sleep.  C'est l'heure d'aller au lit! ("Time for Bed") is written cleverly by Andrée-Anne Gratton with captivating illustrations by Fil and Julie.  It tells the story from the perspective of little Caroline as she finds one thing after another to delay her bedtime.  We get to know what goes through Caroline's mind as she sees how her mother reacts, but, in the end, it all turns out, and you just can't but help loving the little girl in spite of the frustrations she puts her mother through.  It's probably a familiar story for most parents, but it's such a refreshing presentation of the dilemma, and a reminder that "you're not the only one who deals with this."

Although we borrowed the book from the library (which is the case for most of the books we read), it  is available in French from Bayard Canada and in English from Amazon.

Saturday, 8 June 2013

Book Signing

Last week, Darren and I had a very successful first book signing at Tag Along Toys, a locally owned toy store which is carrying The Littlest Knight.  Many of our friends, and some of Darren's family, came by to show their support, buying copies of the book at the event and getting them autographed and/or personalized by us.  We also had "swag" on hand for the kids: colouring pages, stickers, and pins with pictures of various characters from the book.

A few months before our book was published, when I was first looking into the idea of having a book signing, all signs pointed to doing it at a book store or a café since that's where most authors seemed to be holding these kinds of events, but I think having the toy store was a perfect location.  We even had a backdrop of fairies, knights and dragons!