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IBBY Country Study

International Children's Literature

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Canada

Publishers
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

The Brucedale Presshttp://www.bmts.com/~brucedale/.

Bungalo Bookshttp://www.bungalobooks.com/.

Cape Breton University Presshttp://www.cbupress.ca/.

Canchron Bookshttp://www.canchronbooks.ca/.

Chouette Publishinghttp://www.caillou.com/intro.htm.

Coteau Bookshttp://coteaubooks.com/.

Crabtree Publishinghttp://www.crabtree-pub.com/.

Dery Publishing Grouphttp://www.derygroup.com/.

The Dundurn Grouphttp://www.dundurn.com/.

Fitzhenry & Whitesidehttp://www.fitzhenry.ca/.

Firefly Bookshttp://www.fireflybooks.com/.

Formac Publishinghttp://www.formac.ca/.

Great Plains Publicationshttp://www.greatplains.mb.ca/index.php.

Groundwood Bookshttp://www.groundwoodbooks.com/.

Harbour Publishinghttp://www.harbourpublishing.com/.

HarperCollinsCanadahttp://www.harpercollins.ca/.

High Interest Publishinghttp://www.hip-books.com/.

JackFruit Presshttp://www.jackfruitpress.com/.

Key Porter Bookshttp://www.keyporter.com/.

Kids Can Presshttp://www.kidscanpress.com/kidscanpress/KidsCanPress_3/index.htm.

McClellend and Stewart Ltd.  http://www.mcclelland.com/
 
Random House of Canada Ltd. (Includes Doubleday Canada & Knopf Canada.)  http://www.randomhouse.ca/

Red Deer Presshttp://www.reddeerpress.com/.

Ronsdale Presshttp://www.ronsdalepress.com/

Scholastic Canadahttp://www.scholastic.ca/.

Second Story Presshttp://www.secondstorypress.on.ca/.

The Secret Mountain / La Montagne Secrètehttp://www.lamontagnesecrete.com/index_eng.shtml.

Simply Read Bookshttp://www.simplyreadbooks.com/.

Sleeping Bear Presshttp://www.sleepingbearpress.com/

Sono Nis Presshttp://www.sononis.com/.

Sumach Presshttp://www.sumachpress.com/.

Thistledown Presshttp://www.thistledown.sk.ca/

Tradewind Bookshttp://www.tradewindbooks.com/tradewindbooks/index.html

Tricycle Presshttp://www.tenspeedpress.com/.

Tundra Bookshttp://www.tundrabooks.com/.

Vanwell Publishinghttp://www.vanwell.com/.

Weigl Educational Publishershttp://www.weigl.com/.

John Wiley & Sons Canadahttp://www.wiley.com/WileyCDA/.

Whitecap Bookshttp://www.whitecap.ca/

XYZ Publishinghttp://www.xyzedit.qc.ca/.

Authors, Poets, and Illustrators

Adams, Steve

Aksomitis, Linda

Alderson, Sue Ann

Andrews, Jan

Armstrong, Luanne

Atkinson-Keen, Susan

Bailey, Linda

Baldwin, Alisa

Barkhouse, Joyce

Barton, Bob

Beam, Matt

Bedard, Michael

Bell, William

Bennoit, Renne

Bianchi, John

Bogart, Jo Ellen

Bonder, Dianna

Bouchard, David

Bourgeois, Paulette

Boutin, Lanny

Bowers, Vivien

Bradford, Karleen

Bright, Benjamin

Buffie, Margaret

Butcher, Kristin

Campagna, Phil

Carrier, Roch

Carter, Anne Laurel

Chan, Gillian

Chapman, Brenda

Cook, Jennifer

Cook, Lyn

Crook, Connie Brummel

Cumming, Peter

Daher, Anita

Dinsdale,Christopher

Downie, Mary Alice

Dyer, Hadley

East, Stella

Edwards, Frank B.

Eyvindson, Peter

Fitzgerald, Joanne

Födi, Lee Edward

Foon, Dennis

Frizzell, Colin

Gál, László

Galat, Joan Marie

Galloway, Priscilla

Gay, Marie-Louise

Ghent, Natale

Gillmor, Don

Gilman, Phoebe

Gilmore, Rachna

Glaze, Dave

Goodall, Lian

Goodwin, Catherine

Guest, Jacqueline

Gutierrez, Elisa

Hammond, Elaine Breault

Harrison, Ted

Harrison, Troon

Haworth-Attard, Barbara

Heneghan, James

Holeman, Linda

Hunter, Bernice Thurman

Hutchins, Hazel

Hutshell-Manning, Linda

Hundal, Nancy

Irvine, Joan

Jackson, Chris

Jennings, Sharon

Johansen, K. V.

Katz, Welwyn Wilton

Khalsa, Dayal Kaur

Khan, Rukhsana

Kilby, Don

Korman, Gordon

Kositsky, Lynne

Kovalski, Maryann

Kropp, Paul

Kusugak, Michael Arvaarluk

Langston, Laura

Leavey, Peggy Dymond

Lee, Dennis

Lemieux, Michèle

Levine, Shar

Levy, Myrna

Little, Jean

Lott, Sheena

Luiken, Nicole

Lunn, Janet

Lunn, John

Lesynski, Loris

MacDonald, Janice

Major, Kevin

Matheson, Shirlee

McAuley, Amy

McFarlane, Sheryl

MacGregor, Roy

Marois, André

Masse, Josée

Matas, Carol

McDonnell, Kathleen

McKay, Sharon

McNaughton, Janet

McNicoll, Sylvia

Montgomery, Lucy Maud

Morgan, Allen

Morin, Paul

Munsch, Robert

Newbigging, Martha

Newhouse, Maxwell

Nicholson, Lorna Schultz

Oberman, Sheldon

Ohi, Ruth

O’Huigin, Sean

Oppel, Kenneth

Parker, Marjorie Blain

Patkau, Karen

Poulsen, David A.

Quinlan, Patricia

Rayner, Robert

Reid, Barbara

Revell, Cindy

Richardson, Bill

Richardson, Gillian

Richler, Mordecai

Ritchie, Scot

Rose, Simon

Rotenberg, Lisa

Roy, Lynette

Ruurs, Margriet

Ryan-Lush, Geraldine

Scarsbrook, Richard

Schwarzkopf, Tom

Shaw, Mary

Shipley, Jocelyn

Simons, Joseph

Skrypuch, Marsha

Slade, Arthur

Souliere, Lin

Spalding, Andrea

Stanbridge, Joanne

Stewart, Donna

Simpson, Catherine

Stinson, Kathy

Stone, Tiffany

Stratton, Allan

Tate, Nikki

Taylor, Cora

Temple, Chuck

Tetro, Marc

Thiebaux-Heikalo, Tamara

Thornhill, Jan

Tripp, Christine

Trottier, Maxine

Tyrrell, Frances

Ungar, Richard

Vaage, Carol

Valgardson, W. D.

van Kampen, Vlasta

Wales, Johnny

Wallace, Ian

Walters, Eric

Ward, David

Watson, Laura

Wayne Von Koningslow, Andrea

Weissmann, Joe

Weller, Duncan

Westcott, Frank

Wiebe, Trina

Willett, Edward

Wilson, Eric

Wilson, Troy

Withers, Pam

Wood, Maggie L.

Wynne-Jones, Tim

Ye, Ting-Xing

Yee, Paul

Young, Dianne

Zagwyn, Deborah Turney

Zaman, Farida

Zeman, Ludmila

Zimmerman, Werner

More information and links to the authors can be found at these sites.

http://dmoz.org/Arts/Literature/World_Literature/Canadian/Children's/Authors/

http://childrensbooks.about.com/gi/dynamic/offsite.htm?site=http://www.bookcentre.ca/

Bibliography of Professional Resources
 
Bookbird:  a Journal of International Children's Literature.  This journal is published quarterly by the International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY).  Each issue of Bookbird publishes long and short articles that focus on a specific theme, genre, or region of the world. The other regular columns are Focus Ibby, Country Survey, Author Spotlight, Reading Promotio, International Children's Books of Note, Professional Literature, and News and Announcements. The journal also includes news from IBBY and IBBY National Sections.  Articles in Bookbird are regularly clustered around topics and issues of international interest. The regular columns include author and illustrator profiles, a country focus and book reviews and recommendations. Bookbird also pays special attention to reading promotion projects worldwide and contains news of IBBY projects and events in the Focus IBBY column.  
 
Brick:  A Literary JournalSubscription based, Brick published essays, interviews, poetry, and stories from some of Canada's best and upcoming writers. A lot of the material is written from a personal point of view and reveal thoughs about their lives and work. You can browse through some of the magazine's material here and order your subscription.
 
Canadian Children's Literature.  This is a bilingual refereed academic journal with the purpose of advancing knowledge and understanding of the texts produced for children in Canada a range of media in English, French and other languages.
 
Day, Frances Ann.  1999.  Multicultural Voices in Contemporary Literature : A Resource for Teachers.  Canada:  Pearson Education.  ISBN:  0325001308.  This guide is highly versatile, enabling readers to adapt the material to fit their individual teaching and learning styles, curriculum requirements, and educational goals. Educators, librarians, and parents alike will find the book an inspiring resource.
 
Our Choice.  This is a selection tool used by teachers, librarians, parents, and booksellers across the country to choose the best new Canadian children's books, magazines, audio and video. Each year, Canadian publishers of books for children and teens submit their newest releases for consideration. Our Choice committees across the country review hundreds of new titles before making their selections for this valuable annual guide. From picture books for toddlers to the latest novels for young adults, our expert committees go over every submission with a well informed and professional eye. Their selections are organized by subject matter, with notations and recommendations for reading and interest levels. Our Choice is the definitive tool for making an informed decision in selecting reading material for young readers of all ages.
Awards
 
Amelia Frances Howard-Gibbon Illustrator's Award. - This award is given by the Canadian Asociation of Children's Librarians.  It is an annual award presented to an illustrator of an outstanding children's book published during the previous calendar year in Canada.  The recipient must be a Canadian citizen of permanent resident of Canada.
 
Canadian Library Association Book of the Year Award Established 1947. A medal presented annually to the author of the best children's book published in Canada. The author must be a citizen or resident of Canada.
 
Canadian Library Association, Young Adult Special Interest GroupEstablished 1980. Presented annually for creative literature: novel, play, or poetry. Work must be written by a Canadian and published in Canada. The award was originally established by the Saskatchewan Library Association.
 
Governor General's Awards for Children's Literature. Established 1975. Until 1987, the awards were called the Canada Council Children's Literature Prizes. Awards are presented to the best books by Canadian citizens, whether published in Canada or elsewhere. Recipients are selected by two separate juries, one for English-language books, and one for French-language books. Initially, awards were presented for best writing. Awards for illustration were added in 1977/78.
 
Mr. Christie's Book AwardsEstablished 1990 to encourage the development and publishing of high quality Canadian children's books and to stimulate children's desire to read. Books must be created by a Canadian author and/or illustrator. At present, there are three categories in both English and French.
 
Canadian Information Book Award.  Established 1987. Awarded each February for an outstanding information book for children ages 5 to 15, written in English by a Canadian citizen, and published in Canada during the previous year.
 
Elizabeth Mrazik-Cleaver Canadian Picture Book AwardEstablished 1986 by the late Elizabeth Cleaver (1932-1985), a well-known Canadian illustrator. Presented annually to a Canadian illustrator whose work on a new book is deemed both original and worthy.
 
Imperial Order of Daughters of the Empire Violet Downey Children's Book Award.  Established 1985. Presented annually for the best English language book published in Canada for 13 years of age and under. The book must be over 300 words long.
 
Vicky Metcalf AwardEstablished 1963. Presented annually to a writer for a body of work "inspirational to Canadian youth."
 
Ruth Schwartz Children's Book Award.  Established 1976, in honor of Ruth Schwartz, a Toronto bookseller. Presented annually for a Canadian book published during the previous year. The books are judged by children, from a short list compiled by booksellers. Beginning in 1994, two awards were given; one for a picture book, and one for a young adult (fiction or nonfiction) title.
 
Geoffrey Bilson Award for Historical Fiction.  The Bilson Award was established in 1988 in memory of Geoffrey Bilson, a respected historian and children's author. The annual prize of $1,000 has been made possible by the Canadian children's publishing industry, and is awarded to a Canadian author for an outstanding work of historical fiction for young people.
 
Vicky Metcalf Short Story AwardEstablished 1979. Awarded to the Canadian writer (citizen or landed immigrant) of the best children's short story published in Canada in the previous year.
 
Sheila A. Egoff Children's Book PrizeEstablished 1987. Presented annually for the best children's book published the previous year by a writer who has lived in British Columbia for three of the previous five years, published anywhere in the world.
 
R.Ross Annett Award for Children's Literature.  Established 1982. Presented annually for excellence in writing by Alberta writers for children. Award named after Alberta writer R.Ross Annett.
 
Manitoba Young Reader's Choice Award.  Selected by Manitoba young people in grades 4 through 8 who have read (or have heard read) at least three titles from the list of nominees.
 
Silver Birch Awards.  Presented to a Canadian book selected by Ontario Grade 4, 5, and 6 children. To be eligible to vote for their favourite book in a given list, the children must have read a minimum of five of the approximately twelve books identified as Official Selections.
 
IODE (Toronto) Children's Book Award.  Toronto Municipal Chapter of the Imperial Order of the Daughters of the Empire (IODE).  Established 1974. Presented annually to a Toronto-area writer or illustrator of an outstanding Canadian-published children's book.
 
Ann Connor Brimer Award.  Established 1990. Presented each winter to a resident of Atlantic Canada for a book published in Canada that has made an outstanding contribution to children's literature.
 
Non-print Media
 
Web Sites
 
The Children's Literature Web Guide.  Contains internet resouces related to books for children and young adults.  The Children's Literature Web Guide is an attempt to gather together and categorize the growing number of Internet resources related to books for Children and Young Adults. Much of the information that you can find through these pages is provided by others: fans, schools, libraries, and commercial enterprises involved in the book world.  Web site address - http://www.ucalgary.ca/~dkbrown/index.html.
 
International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions.  Hosted by the National Library of Canada, the IFLA website is an international association that voices the concerns and interests of library and information services and their users. There are more than 1500 members in over 140 countries around the globe. Web site address - http://www.ifla.org/.
 
British Columbia Teacher-Librarians Association.  The BCTLA is the specialist organization of the BC Teachers' Federation concerned with school libraries, cooperative planning, cooperative teaching, literature appreciation, resource-based instruction and advocacy.
Note: The Bookmark
, BCTLA's professional journal is now available online.  The site also contains information for member and Teacher-Librarian links. Web site address - http://psas.bctf.ca/BCTLA/.
 
Canadian Association for School Libraries.  CASL is an organization of educators and friends of school libraries in Canada. The home page provides links to Internet happenings, position papers, professional development, publications, awards, announcements, and directories. A division of the Canadian Library Association.  Web site address - http://www.cla.ca/divisions/casl/index.htm.
 
Canadian Library AssociationA national organization dedicated to the promotion, development and support of library and information services in Canada.  Website address - http://www.cla.ca/.
 
International Association of School LibrarianshipLook here for an international perspective on school libraries. There is a members only listserv.  Web site address - http://www.iasl-slo.org/.
 
International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions.  Hosted by the National Library of Canada, the IFLA website is an international association that voices the concerns and interests of library and information services and their users. There are more than 1500 members in over 140 countries around the globe. Web site address - http://www.ifla.org/.
 
Clearinghouse Topical Index (Ontario Libary Service North & South)  Canadian Literature A Quarterly of Criticism and Review. There are also a few significant professional resources for librarians included.  Web site address - http://www.library.on.ca/links/clearinghouse/collectiondev/literaturefiction.htm.
 
 
History of Children's Literature & Publishing
 
Current Trends/Issues
 
Professional Organizations
 
The Canadian Children's Book Centerwww3.sympatico.ca/ccbc.  Founded in 1976, this national nonprofit organization promotes and encourages the reading, writing, and illustrating of Canadian children's books through such activities as Children's Book News and Our Choice.  The website has links to pages that provide names and addresses of Canadian publishers, bookstores, and related organizations, as well as author web pages and an explanation of the Canadian children's book awards.  Web site address - 
c/o The Toronto Public Library, Northern District Branch, Lower Level, 40 Orchard View Blvd., Toronto, ON M4R 1B9.
 
Canadian Society of Children's Authors, Illustrators, and Performershttp://www.canscaip.org/faq.html.  The Canadian Society of Children's Authors, Illustrators, and Performers (CANSCAIP) is a group of professionals in the field of children's culture with members from all parts of Canada. For over twenty years, CANSCAIP has been instrumental in the support and promotion of children's literature through newsletters, workshops, meetings and other information programs for authors, parents, teachers, librarians, publishers, and others. CANSCAIP also has some 900 friends – teachers, librarians, parents and others – who are also interested in aspects of children's books, illustrations and performances. 
 
Special Projects/Programs
 
Canadian  Children's Book Centrehttp://childrensbooks.about.com/gi/dynamic/offsite.htm?site=http://www.bookcentre.ca/A national not-for-profit organization and registered charity, the Canadian Children’s Book Centre (CCBC) was founded in 1976 to promote, support and encourage the reading, writing and illustrating of Canadian books for children and teens. We’re here for anyone who cares about Canadian children’s books. We provide resources for teachers, librarians, students and parents, writers, illustrators, storytellers, publishers and booksellers.
 
Unique Features
 
Book Reviews of 3 Books
 
THE FABULOUS SONG
 
Gillmor, Don.  2003.  THE FABULOUS SONG.  Ill. by Marie-Louise Gay.  La Jolla, California:  Kane/Miller Book Publishers.  ISBN:  1929132484.
 
     When Sarah Pipkin’s little brother is born his parents named him Frederick Chopin after the famous composer.  The Pipkins are a very musical family and when Frederick turns five his parents have him begin piano lessons.  The lessons are a disaster and so his parents have him try the clarinet which he plays as poorly as he did the piano.  Poor Frederick goes through several instruments with the same dismal results.  On Frederick’s seventh birthday party, the whole musically talented Pipkin clan was gathered with their instruments, each wanting to play a different song.  Into this chaos steps Frederick, who gets everyone’s attention by rapping on his Uncle’s head with a wooden spoon, and proceeds to conduct the family orchestra in a fabulous song that none have heard before.  Frederick has finally found his musical talent in the family.

     The illustrations are cartoon like water colors that are bright and engaging.  The illustration that I found amusing was the one that pictured Frederick at the piano with his piano teacher standing beside with tears streaming from his eyes.  Another humorous illustration is the one that shows all the musical instruments that are piled in a room that have been left behind by children on the bus transit system.  (Frederick wasn’t too happy when his mother had not trouble finding his clarinet that he “accidentally” left on the bus.)

     Cultural markers in this picture book were not obvious.  The story obviously takes place in a Western country (which could be either Canada, the United States, or even somewhere in Europe.)  The clothing is Western style clothing such as jeans, suits, dresses, and shirts.  The furniture is also the style that is found in most homes in Canada or the United States.  One illustration shows that it is snowing outside, so that indicates that the story has to take place in a country that has a temperate climate.  The illustrations are all of obviously white people.  There are no illustrations that show a mixture of ethnic groups.

     I found the story to be humorous and it will resonate with youngsters that feel that their parents push them to do things they don’t want to do.  "Although certainly not a priority purchase, this musical spoof might hit a familiar note with other misguided young musicians."  (School Library Journal, 1998).  Those young children that actually do take music lessons could probably tell that this isn’t really how a composer of a conductor would actually compose or direct a musical composition, but the book has a light, humorous style to it that will allow them to overlook this flaw.  "The theme is heavy-handed, and the story isn’t a true depiction of how a conductor or composer works, but the humorous touches in the text and art lighten the book."  (Horn Book Guide, 1998).

     I found the book to be enjoyable and the illustrations are very humorous.  I think there will be some young readers who will relate to the heavy handed pressure placed on Frederick to find his musical talent because parents can sometimes place this pressure on their children.  The humor used in the illustrations and text help to lighten the story.  Children will find the illustrations funny and they are detailed enough that children will enjoy looking at them to find new details they might have missed the first time through.

 

Sources

 

Horn Book Guide.  1 September, 1998.  Books in Print. [database online].  Available from http://ezproxy.twu.edu:2236/merge_shared/details/details.asp?item_uid=53418331&viewItemIndex=0&navPage=1&FullText=

&BipAlertQueryString=Criteria1=ISBN/UPCıAction=Searchıcollection

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School Library Journal.  1 July, 1998.  Books in Print. [database online].  Available from http://ezproxy.twu.edu:2236/merge_shared/details/details.asp?item_uid=53418331&viewItemIndex=0&navPage=1&FullText=

&BipAlertQueryString=Criteria1=ISBN/UPCıAction=Searchıcollection

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bookıIMAGE1.x=51ıIMAGE1.y=13&BipAlertDisplayQText=ISBN/UPC:%201929132484;%20Status:%20In%20Print,%20Forthcoming;%20Format:%20Book. 

 
 
LOOKING FOR X
 
Ellis, Deborah.  1999.  LOOKING FOR X.  Toronto, Ontario:  Groundwood Books/Douglas & McIntyre Ltd.  ISBN:  088899382X.
 

     Khyber is a feisty eleven year old girl living with her mother and autistic five year old twin brothers.  Khyber refuses to use the name her mother, Tammy prefers.  She calls it the "unspeakable name" and prefers to be called Khyber after the Khyber Pass in Afghanistan because someday, Khyber wants to travel.  She dreams of going to exotic places to escape the harsh realities of her life:  her mother is a former stripper, they live on public assistance, and she must help her mother take care of the autistic twins.  On top of that, she doesn't fit in at school and is bullied by some of the other kids, who manage to start things with Khyber so that when Khyber reacts, she is the one who gets in trouble.  One of her few friends is a homeless woman that Khyber calls X.  On one of the days that Khyber takes her homeless friend a sandwich, they are roughed up by skinheads in the park.  The next day, Khyber is accused of breaking windows at school and is expelled.  Khyber has no alibi for her whereabouts because X has disappeared from the park, and of course, Khyber was not at home where she was supposed to be.  Khyber runs away looking for X to prove she didn't break the school's windows.  Also, Khyber is greatly upset with her mother for a couple of reasons.  Her mother didn't believe her when she said she didn't break the windows and she has decided to place the autistic twins in a group home because she cannot take care of their special needs anymore.

After spending a few days on the street, Khyber eventually meets a group of women Elvis impersonators who convince her to go home, it is better than living on the street.  Her experiences on the street convince Khyber that maybe her mother is making the right decision for the twins and the family and Khyber’s mother learns to have more faith in her daughter, especially when it is proved that the skinheads were the ones who broke the windows at school.

     There are some cultural markers contained in the story.  Most are not obvious and are only slight differences.  The story is set in Toronto, Canada.  Khyber explains that Yonge Street is Toronto’s main street.  I thought it was interesting that one of the streets was named Parliament Street, which is the type of government Canada has.  An interesting cultural difference was the spelling of Halloween.  The author has put an apostrophe in it:  Hallowe’en.  This is not the typical way it is spelled in the United States.  Another spelling difference is the way center is spelled, it is spelled as centre.  Another interesting cultural difference is when the author describes a groom taking a two dollar coin out of his pocket.  The United States doesn’t have a two dollar coin; we do have a two dollar bill.  Khyber arrives late to school one day in the middle of the national anthem of O Canada.  One of the places Khyber describes is the Toronto train station.  She says it is the “best place in the city.  There are huge stone pillars out front that you have to walk through to get inside.  Even before you’ve gone anywhere, you feel like you’ve gone somewhere.”  (Ellis 1999, p. 116).

     I enjoyed reading this book that is the winner of the Governor General’s Literary Award.  Ellis tells the story in first person narrative through the main character of Khyber.  I thought the character of Khyber was believable and most teens will relate to her struggles with school and the students that pick on her.  I thought it was funny that Khyber’s mother, Tammy, is hooked on the Monkees.  “Tammy’s a big Monkees fan.  I think she named David after Davy Jones, one of the Monkees, but she denies it.  I’m the only kid my age in the whole universe who knows the words to every single Monkees song.  Unfortunately, this kind of thing never comes up on exams.” (Ellis 1999, p. 14).  Many teens will relate to this because their parents probably have a favorite singer or group that they feel is outdated.  I also thought it was funny that her favorite group was from the United States and not a Canadian singer or group.  This exchange also makes the characters seem more believable and real.  “All of the characters seem real and natural.  Khyber is a likable protagonist and readers will appreciate how she copes with her issues.”  (School Library Journal, 2000).  This is a story that teens will enjoy reading because of the characters and how they interact. 

 

Sources

 

School Library Journal.  1 July 2000.  Books in Print.  [database online.  Available from http://ezproxy.twu.edu:2221/merge_shared/details/details.asp?item_uid=51921168&viewItemIndex=0&navPage=1&FullText=

&BipAlertQueryString=Criteria1=ISBN/UPCıAction=Searchıcollection

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2E90407EF8AB451FB35ADAC2C935044A&BipAlertDisplayQText=ISBN/UPC:%20088899382X;%20Status:%20In%20Print,%20Forthcoming;%20Format:%20Book.

 
HEY WORLD, HERE I AM!
 
Little, Jean.  1986.  HEY WORLD, HERE I AM!  Ill. by Sue Truesdell.  New York:  Harper Trophy.  ISBN:  006443084X.
 
     This book is a collection of poems, prose, and observations about life, friendships, family, school, and love, all told through the voice of the character, Kate.  Kate is a young teenager who writes down her observations and poetry in journal form and some of them are very humorous and bring back memories of junior high.  One poem that I found funny because I see this in the classroom is called Today. 
          "Today I will not live up to my potential.
            Today I will not relate well to my peer group.
            Today I will not contribute in class.
               I will not volunteer one thing.
            Today I will not strive to do better.
            Today I will not achieve or adjust or grow enriched
               or get involved.
            I will not put up my hand even if the teacher is wrong
               and I can prove it.
 
            Today I might eat the eraser off my pencil.
            I'll look at clouds.
            I'll be late.
            I don't think I'll wash.
 
            I need a rest."  (Little, 1986, p. 6).
We all have days like this and I found that I can relate to the feeling conveyed in the poem even though I am an adult.  Many of the entries sound authentic such as not wanting to fight with her best friend (and her mother's solution to ending the fight was ingenious!), her observations about how her parents demonstrate their love for each other, and not wanting to eat certain foods that her parents want her to eat.  "It's a difficult task to evoke an adolescent's voice without writing painfully (for readers) like one.  Fortunately, whenever the style is in danger of becoming too polished, an ingenuous phrase saves it."  (School Library Journal, 1989).  Another entry that I enjoyed because I love to read books and feel the same way the character does was called Condensed Version
          "When I went over to the Blairs',
            Emily was reading her cousin Ann a condensed version
                of Heidi.
            It was all wrong - the pictures, the words, what happened,
                the way it felt.
           "You shouldn't read her that," I said.
           "Why not?" asked Emily.
             Suddently, I knew exactly how to explain.
           "People who read condensed versions instead of
                the real book," I said loftily,
           "Are like people who read a road map
            - and think they've been on a journey."
           Emily looked at me, for a moment.
           Then she put down the book and clapped."  (Little 1986, p. 80).
What a great explanation for what is the problem with reading the condensed version of classic literature!  The original is always so much better than the condensed version.  The condensed version just can't compete. 
     Cultural markers were not obvious in this book.  There were a few such as when Kate talks about being in grade two.  In the United States we would refer to it as having been in the second grade.  Another instance is when Kate says her History teacher told them to be proud that they were Canadians.  This is a more obvious cultural marker.  Otherwise, much of the topics and situations that Kate discusses will be very familiar to readers in the United States.  Teens will find that much of what happens to Kate and her experiences have probably happened to them or their friends.  Probably one of the reasons that it is difficult to find cultural markers in Canadian children's literature is because we share so much history and culture as it is, as well as our countries bordering each other.
     Overall, the book is enjoyable and teen will relate to Kate and her experiences.  It is a quick read and is accompanied by whimsical cartoon like sketches with the entries. 
 
Sources
 
School Library Journal.  1989.   Books in Print.  [database online.  Available from http://ezproxy.twu.edu:2221/merge_shared/details/details.asp?item_uid=714961&viewItemIndex=0&navPage=1&FullText=&BipAlertQueryString
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SimpleıResultTemplate=mbbookresult_fl.htsıScoreThreshold=0ıResultCount
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9FF16D14DEA34A0898F51C4FC13C8F01&BipAlertDisplayQText=ISBN/UPC:%20006440384X;%20Status:%20In%20Print,%20Forthcoming;%20Format:%20Book
 
 
 
Sources:
 
Canadian Children's Book Awards.  1997.  Available from http://www.acs.ucalgary.ca/%7Edkbrown/canawards.html.  Accessed 15 March, 2006.
 
Canadian Children's Literature.  The University of Winnipeg.  2006.  Available from http://ccl.uwinnipeg.ca/.  Accessed 16 March, 2006.
 
Canadian Literature.  Suite 101.com.  2006.  Available from http://www.suite101.com/links.cfm/canadian_literature#Publications.  Accessed 16 March, 2006.
 
Journals Division:  University of Toronto Press.  2006.  Available from http://www.utpjournals.com/jour.ihtml?lp=bookbird/bookbird.html.  Accessed 16 March, 2006.

International Children's Literature
Sylvia M. Vardell, Ph. D. - Instructor
Renee Schneider - Student

This site was created as an assignment for a Texas Woman's University course.  The course is a graduate level course in Library Science LS 5903.24 Special Topics - International Children's Literature.