Friday, November 16, 2007
Canadian Children's Book Week
Huzzah, huzzah, it's almost Book Week! In celebration of all things Canadian and bookish, I have a wish list. Pretty, pretty please, choose one of these things (or five!) to do in celebration.
[This is this year's fabulous Book Week poster, illustrated by Martin Springett. Used with permission.]
Wish #1: Go to your bookshelf (or your kids') and dust off a Canadian classic you've been wanting to re-read. You know, Jacob Two-Two, Jelly Belly, even Anne of Green Gables would make me happy. (I know, I know, "classic" is subjective. Make your own criteria and go for it.)
Wish #2: Send book from Wish #1 to a child you love. Or even one you don't love, or even one you don't know. Tell them, "Hey, a Canadian wrote this book, ya know? And I think you might just like it."
Wish #3: Find a Canadian author or illustrator you have never heard of and check out their bio and their books. The Canadian Children's Book Centre, The Canadian Society of Children's Authors, Illustrators and Performers (CANSCAIP), and, in BC, the Children's Writers and Illustrators of BC (CWILL-BC), have wonderful links to Canadian authors and illustrators.
Wish #4: Git yer tootsies over to your nearest bookstore and buy a brand spanking new book (or five) by a Canadian author and/or illustrator.
Wish #5: If you have a bookstore in your community or neighborhood with a great selection of Canadian books, take the owner a coffee or a cookie, wish them a happy Canadian Children's Book Week and give them a big hug or smooch or just shake their hand and say thanks.
Wish #6: If your local school actually has a librarian, give them a cookie too. Then write a letter to the provincial government, cc'd to the local School District, principal and newspaper explaining why oh why it's so very important to have librarians in each and every school who love children's books and want to share them with children and teachers and parents.
Wish #7: If you are a publsihed writer or illustrator, sit yourself down with a friend or relative who loves you, but just really doesn't get it, and explain how royalties mean that you are only getting 10 or 7 or 5 percent (or maybe less?) of the list price of a book and that authors actually have to buy their own books and that it's really not a great idea to be demanding books for less and less because, ya know, it hurts the author, the illustrator and the publisher too. And then ask them, pretty please, to tell two friends and ask them to tell two friends and so on and so on and so on. (Oh, and while I'm at it, tell them that photocopying your book and sharing it with all of their friends is NOT a good idea — yup, it happened to me — do it with a smile and give them a cookie.)
Wish #8: If, like me, you fritter away a good part of your early morning writing on your blog or reading other peoples' blogs or surfing the Internet when you could be doing something more virtuous like Ashtanga yoga or going for a long jog, do something useful and post a blurb that celebrates Canadian Children's Book Week.
Wish #9: As a gift for your favourite young person, start your own version of a Book of the Month club where, each month, you send them a book or two off your shelf, or from a second-hand (or, ideally of course, first hand) bookstore!
Wish #10: Repeat any of the above at any time -- make this year Canadian Children's Book Year.
(Okay, just one more. Tell me what you wish for Canadian Children's Book Week and send it to me here. I'll post it and link to your website or blog, too.)