16.1.17

We Need Diverse Children's Books

Two lists and a giveaway.

Betsy Bird brings us The Diversity List: Picture, Easy, and Early Chapter Books of 2016 via School Library Journal.

And from 49th Shelf a guide to diverse Canadian titles: "We are pleased to present this selection of titles from diverse Canadian authors and illustrators whose wonderful books inspire, delight, engage, and tell important stories about our differences and similarities." 

And finally, a giveaway from my wonderful publisher, Groundwood Books: 

Groundwood is committed to publishing books for and about children whose experiences of the world are under-represented elsewhere. 
Books give children a mirror in which to see themselves reflected, as well as a window through which they can see the wider world. And with a certain President-elect about to take office, the need for children to read diverse books is now more important than ever.Groundwood is committed to publishing books for and about children whose experiences of the world are under-represented elsewhere. (A sample of our diverse books can be found at diversity.groundwoodbooks.com.) Enter for your chance to win five such titles, including:

Open to residents of North America. Winner will be randomly chosen. Contest closes Jan. 29, 2017.

9.1.17

One, two, THREE!

The final book in my milestones series with Karen Klassen, You Are Three, is now available on NetGalley.


And to celebrate the book's March publication, the lovely folk at OwlKids have made a video on the theme of being three.



We received a very good notice (and a coveted star!) on the previous book from Kirkus Reviews. Also, here's a sweet review for You Are Two from The Caterpillar Corner and a very insightful one from CM Magazine

And here's me at three...riding a bike very similar to the one Karen chose to use for our cover! I love the retro vibe of Karen's work on this book--but then I would, wouldn't I?


A photo posted by Sara O'Leary (@123olearyo) on






6.12.16

Writer and Illustrator Meeting

Why are Qin Leng and I smiling? 
Is it because we inadvertently showed up to our event wearing matching outfits? Is it because we got to talk about our book together with a lot of wonderful children and their grown-ups? Or is it because we've just learned that A Family Is a Family Is a Family is headed for its third printing? All of the above!

30.11.16

A Family Event in Toronto

I'm looking forward to this weekend's Bookmarker Event with Koffler Arts. It's Sunday at 1 -2:30 pm at Artscape Youngplace, 180 Shaw Street and it is FREE.
For this edition of our Bookmarkers series, we’ve invited award-winning author Sara O’Leary and award-winning illustrator Qin Leng to read from and talk about their latest children’s book, A Family is a Family is a Family. When a teacher asks the children in her class to think about what makes their families special, the answers are all different in many ways – but the same in the one way that matters most of all. Plus: cartoonist Jonathan Rotsztain will also be joining our Bookmarkers conversation, featuring an intergenerational comics project with grandparents and grandkids.
One of the things I'm most looking forward to is meeting Qin Leng for the first time. It's a very funny thing making books with people--I always say to Julie Morstad that it's like we have all these children together even though we've only meet IRL a handful of times. And this really goes to the heart of what this post is circling around which is how both books and families are made. I'll be meeting Qin for the first time that day and yet I already feel that she and I are family in a way. I hope she won't made me saying so!

Koffler Arts has allowed Qin and I to take over their Instagram account for the week. This is the post that is going up today along with a little detail from this amazing spread from the book.




Here is a lovely depiction by Qin of a child's idea of how she sees herself...this detail is so funny and joyful and full of life! The purple hair! The winning smile!  A big part of what this book is about for me is exactly that--how children see themselves. My lovely publisher Groundwood has a page on their website called Windows & Mirrors that talks about issues of representation and inclusion in children's books. Here's one little bit of that: "Groundwood is committed to publishing books for and about children whose experiences of the world are under represented elsewhere." And it's for just that reason that I wanted to make a book with Groundwood and with its brilliant publisher Sheila Barry. I wanted this book to be in the world for children who wouldn't necessarily see themselves or their own home situation reflected in the pages of the picture books available to them. And, just as importantly, I wanted the book to be there for children who need to see that there may be other configurations and permutations to family than what they have grown up with. Windows and mirrors. Love is love.



18.11.16

Bookstore Love

Events in Saskatoon and Winnipeg now just a happy memory, but I did leave signed copies behind for anyone who might be interested. Thanks to my publisher, Groundwood Books for sending me west. Big thanks to McNally Kids for being fabulous hosts!

A photo posted by McNally Robinson for Kids (@mcnallykids) on





A photo posted by McNally Robinson for Kids (@mcnallykids) on






2.11.16

A Family Book Tour

                                              
Did you know that November is Picture Book Month?

And, handily, today's theme is SCHOOL which makes for a convenient hook on which to hang this post about my classroom-set book, A Family Is a Family Is a Family.


I'll be doing bookstore visits in Saskatoon and Winnipeg this month. Big thanks to Groundwood Books and my fabulous publisher, Sheila Barry, for sending me and to McNally Robinson Saskatoon and McNally Robinson Winnipeg for hosting me!

Here's a post I did for Groundwood about this book.

And while we are the subject of schools...I would absolutely love to hear from any classroom teachers using this book with their students!

24.10.16

Second Printing!


A Family Is a Family Is a Family is going into second printing and I am so joy-filled I could be a drawing by Qin Leng!



While I'm here, could I ask a favour? We've been very lucky with reviews (stars from Kirkus, School Library Journal, and Publishers Weekly) but it would be nice to have a few more reader reviews up here if anyone has the time or inclination. Thanks!