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Take the Quiz: Eyes and Spies- Do You Know How to Stay Internet Safe?

Take the Quiz: Do You Know How to Stay Internet Safe? 

Based on the book Eyes and Spies: How You're Tracked and Why You Should Know by Tanya Lloyd Kyi; art by Belle Wuthrich

What's true and what's false about privacy and the internet? Take this quiz with your kids so that everyone is aware how to stay safe while online. 

About the book: 
Who is watching you . . . and why? 
Social media and the internet are great for sharing information, meeting new friends, and exchanging points of view. But they also make it very easy to find out everything about you—including things you may not want others to know. This book asks three simple questions: Who’s watching, and why? Where is the line between public and private? How can you keep your secrets to yourself? Eyes and Spies looks at the way information and data is collected and used by individuals, governments, companies, and organizations. 
 
Each chapter covers one aspect of the subject, from data collection to computer surveillance and personal privacy. Arguments for both increased security and increased privacy are offered, encouraging readers to think critically about the issues. “Creepy Line” sidebars highlight controversial real-life scenarios, often involving youth. “Action Alert” entries explain how to find out more about the implications of surveillance and data mining. Other topics include how students are tracked at school, cyberbullying, and online safety.

Blog Tour: The House of One Thousand Eyes

Annick Press will be hosting our first ever blog tour for the new YA novel, The House of One Thousand Eyes by Michelle Barker coming out on September 11th! How can you join in the fun? Look below to get the inside scoop on which bloggers will be participating, their dates and the content they will be putting out for you! All of this to get excited for the release date of The House of One Thousand Eyes!

 

The House of One Thousand Eyes Blog Tour—September 10-16 

 

Monday September 10

Maria @ Reading Maria – Review, Author Interview, & never before seen Book Trailer!

 

Tuesday September 11 (On Sale!)

Allison @ Sleepless Reads – Review & Excerpt

 

Wednesday September 12 

Sara @ The Paperback Pilgrim – Review & Creative Content

 

Thursday September 13

Cindy @ Cindy’s Love of Books – Review & Guest Post

 

Friday September 14

Jessica @ The Paper Trail Diary— Review & Exclusive Content 

 

Saturday September 15

Indigo @ Adventures in YA Fiction— Review & Soundtrack/Playlist 

 

Sunday September 16

Madi @ Books and Tea— Review, Author Interview & Giveaway!

 

We hope you all can join in on the fun! 

 

 

About the book:

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Who can Lena trust to help her find out the truth?

Life in East Germany in the early 1980s is not easy for most people, but for Lena, it’s particularly hard. After the death of her parents in a factory explosion and time spent in a psychiatric hospital recovering from the trauma, she is sent to live with her stern aunt, a devoted member of the ruling Communist Party. Visits with her beloved Uncle Erich, a best-selling author, are her only respite.

But one night, her uncle disappears without a trace. Gone also are all his belongings, his books, and even his birth records. Lena is desperate to know what happened to him, but it’s as if he never existed.

The worst thing, however, is that she cannot discuss her uncle or her attempts to find him with anyone, not even her best friends. There are government spies everywhere. But Lena is unafraid and refuses to give up her search, regardless of the consequences.

This searing novel about defiance, courage, and determination takes readers into the chilling world of a society ruled by autocratic despots, where nothing is what it seems.

Author/ Illustrator Interview with Tiffany Stone and Holly Hatam creators of Tree Song

Author/ Illustrator Interview with Tiffany Stone and Holly Hatam creators of Tree Song

The world keeps turning all around us, and sometimes we forget to stop and appreciate it. Tree Song by Tiffany Stone and illustrated by Holly Hatam helps us to remember. It guides us through the life cycle of a tree and reminds us that nature deserves to be appreciated for all it does. Annick sits down with this author/illustrator team and they talk a bit about how they were inspired to write this book, what their creative process is like and also how we can continue to contribute to a better earth.


TS: My name is Tiffany Stone and I wrote the picture book Tree Song that came out on April 10th. Tree Song tells the life story of a tree and all the things that happen on, under and around it in the forest.

 

ANNICK TO TS: What inspired you to write a book about nature and the life cycle of a tree?

TS: This is my backyard and it’s what inspired me to write about nature and the life cycle of a tree.

 

ANNICK TO HH: Which was your favourite season, and which season was your favourite to illustrate?

HH: My favourite season is summer. Especially since I live in Canada and we have very long, very cold winters. And what feels like I’m wearing a million layers for the millionth month, by April and May I’m ready to peel those layers off and just got frolicking in the sun. Oddly enough, my favourite season to illustrate in Tree Song was winter. Just because it was so magical. I was able to add sparkly elements for the snow, and beautiful transparent icicles falling from the trees. There’s something so fantastical about snowflakes in the air, and the wind through your hair. I guess I love to draw winter, but I don’t really love it in the real sense.

 

ANNICK TO TS: Why did you decide to write Tree Song in rhyme and song?

TS: I wrote Tree Song in rhyme and song because to me Trees are too full of life and too majestic to simply just talk. I thought that they deserve a musical language.

 

ANNICK TO HH: What medium is your favourite to use in your art?

HH: My favourite art medium is the computer. That’s how I create all my art work. I used to work traditionally using water colour and ink. But, as I became a book illustrator it was just easier to use the computer. I can work faster and it’s just easier for revisions and things like that. But with the computer there are so many options. You can make the art work look like it was traditionally done, which I try to do, and a lot of people ask me what medium I use because they can’t tell. So, I guess I’m doing a good job there.

 

ANNICK TO TS: How do you think this book will impact young readers?

TS: I hope Tree Song inspires young readers to explore nature and learn more about how living things are connected.

 

ANNICK TO HH: What are you working on next?

HH: Right now, I’m working on four books that I wrote myself, which is really exciting because they are my first four books as a author and illustrator. They will each be about a different magical creature and the first one will be about unicorns. That’s all I can say but look out for those in June 2019.

 

ANNICK TO BOTH: Earth Week just passed, do you have any tips on how to contribute towards a cleaner, greener, earth?

TS: When I was writing tree song I imagined what it was like to be a tree. Can you pretend to be a tree? How would you like to be treated? Encourage your friends and family to treat real trees this way.

HH: I only use green cleaning products. So, no products with chemicals in them. That’s my detergent, my soap, my dishwash—everything is green. I also don’t use anything plastic. No plastic bottles, no plastic bags, no plastic Tupperware. Everything is reusable. 

 

Tree Song is available in stores now!

The Day of the Hi-Fiving Cats

 The Day of the Hi-Fiving Cat 

 

By: Elizabeth MacLeod author of Super Cats and Top Dogs

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Super Cats by Elizabeth MacLeod tells the stories of lots of amazing cats, including some from long ago. But cats are constantly in the news. For instance, did you know that today is National High Five Day and that cat rescue shelters have been teaching their cats to high-five to celebrate! 

 

Teaching shelter cats to high five helps the cats a lot. Being trained to perform a trick gives a cat’s brain a workout and the feline gets some exercise, too. Learning tricks can make a shy cat more comfortable with people and teaches an excitable cat to play more gently. Cats gain confidence thanks to the training and connect with the people around them.

 

Best of all, being able to perform a cute trick such as high fiving improves a shelter cat’s chances of being adopted!

 

Want to teach your cat to high five? Go to https://greatergood.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/JGP-High-Five-Day-Instructions.pdf and check out the instructions. Work slowly and make sure you’re both having fun. If your cat’s not enjoying himself, take a break and try again later.

And to find out why owning a cat is good for you, as well as lots of other fantastic facts about fabulous felines, read Super Cats!

 

Interested in taking a Super Cat/ Top Dog quiz based on Liz MacLeod's books? Go here.

Dr. Dave launches Mighty Mission Machines at the Ontario Science Centre

Calling all astronomy enthusiasts! On April 21, the Ontario Science Centre presents a full day of space-themed programs, including a nighttime Star Party, to celebrate International Astronomy Day. Learn about space equipment from former astronaut Dr. Dave Williams, pick up stargazing basics at a planetarium show, observe the celestial objects through a telescope and make comets right here on Earth.

 

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Special guest Dr. Dave takes us on a tour of the incredible equipment that allows humans to travel, live and work in space. Hear about the different kinds of machines – right down to the nuts and bolts – that are essential to space travel from someone who's been there. Mighty Mission Machines: From Rovers to Rockets, the third book in the Dr. Dave Astronaut series, is available for purchase and signing onsite. 

 

Read more about International Astronomy Day at the Ontario Science Centre here.

Read more about the Dr. Dave Astronaut books here.

Take the Quiz: Create your ideal outfit and we'll tell you what Top Dog or Super Cat you are!

Do you see yourself as a Top Dog? How about a Super Cat? Take this personality quiz and create your ideal outfit and we'll tell you what trait you have in common with what breed! Based on the books Top Dogs: True Stories of Canines that made History and Super Cats: True Stories of Felines that made History by Elizabeth MacLeod. 

 

Catching up with Ariana Koultourides illustrator of The Big Kids Board Books: Bed Tales, Shirt Tales and Toilet Tales

Maybe your parents haven’t stopped teasing you on how long it took for you to be potty trained. What about the time you put on a shirt inside out and went to school? Or the time they stayed up with you until two in the morning because you just would not go to bed. Are you going through all of this with the toddler in your life?  Hear what advice Ariana Koultourides, illustrator of the Big Kids Board Books, has for parents and toddlers reaching milestones. Read on or watch our Instagram Story.

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ANNICK: Which was your favourite animal to draw, and why?

AK: If I had to pick just one animal throughout the entire series that I drew, that was my favouriteI think I’d have to choose the elephant. Even though its hard, because I love animals, I think I would choose the elephant because it was really fun playing with the huge dramatic perspective and scale. It was my goal to get kids to laugh and try to imagine a huge elephant in their bathroom. A giant elephant crammed in a tiny bathroom next to a little toilet…just for little kids I think it’s really fun. So, I think that would be my favourite.

 

ANNICK: When did you know you wanted to illustrate kid’s books?

AK: Ever since I was little I always loved drawing and always loved reading children’s books and looking at the art. I got really inspired and my family always drew, so I was always drawing, painting and sculpting everything. As school went by I took every art class possible and eventually I went to college for art and I majored in illustration. It has always really been with me and has been my main goal. It feels great to finally have done it with such a wonderful publishing company.

 

ANNICK: Do you think there should be a book based on your Chihuahua?

AK: Absolutely! I would absolutely love that. That would be a dream come true. If only I knew someone that could write it for me. I have a ton of content about his whole little personality. It’s just really hard for me to write. I love to evoke stories through images. So, I’m kind of working on something, but it doesn’t really have text so if that could happen in the future, that would be amazing!

 

ANNICK: What is your favourite medium to use?

AK: My favourite medium to use is a really hard thing to choose. But I think if I had to choose it would probably be just pencil and paper. I feel the most relaxed and happy when I’m just drawing and drawing and drawing. I love that traditional aspect, but at the same time I love colour, and I love digital art and I like to combine all of that in my work. It’s really hard but I guess just traditional drawing would be my favouritedoodling everything.

 

ANNICK: We see you like nail art. Which one is harder, getting the perfect nail or the perfect sketch?

AK: Even though a lot of my professional work is illustration and mostly children’s book illustrationI do love a lot of different mediums of art and expression. I have a passion for sculpture even, and nail art. I think trying to decide what’s harder with nail art and sketching I think getting the perfect nail art is definitely harder for me because of the tiny, tiny scale. I like getting every little detail perfect and intricate. I think nail art would probably be harder than sketching, its just not as fluid, but it’s definitely just as rewarding.

 

ANNICK: What animals do you think would be the most successful at 1. Using the toilet, 2. Getting dressed and 3. Sleeping in a bed?

AK: If I had to choose an animal that would reach each milestone the best throughout all three books, I think for Bed Tales it would definitely be the bear because they’re so big and cozy and they like to hibernate. For Shirt Tales I think I would choose octopus because they have all those tentacles and they have the best chances at succeeding at reaching that milestone. For Toilet Tales I think I would choose the lion because I love the idea of the lion making the toilet their throne and just being really relaxed and comfortable while taking their time. I don’t know, I think its fun to think of any of these animals reaching these milestones but if I had to choose one for each those would be the three.

 

ANNICK: What advice can you give to all those toddlers out there reaching important milestones?

AK: For all those adorable little toddlers out there reaching these milestones, the best advice I can give them is to just be patient, have fun with it, make fun memories and just have a good time! Everyone’s different, everyone reaches everything at a different pace and I hope that these books create memories with toddlers and their families and I hope everyone has a fun time with them.  

The Big Kids Board Books: Bed Tales, Shirt Tales and Toilet Tales are on sale now!

What does the Paper Bag Princess mean to you?

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What Does the Paper Bag Princess mean to you? Tell us on our social channels with the hashtag #PaperBagPrincess!
Facebook


And for inspiration, here's what some others had to say
 
Pop star Lights

The classicist Mary Beard recommended the Paper Bag Princess in the Guardian Newspaper for the article "The book that made me a feminist" saying,
 
But can I put in a plea for a children’s book? One of my children’s favourites was always Robert Munsch’s The Paper Bag Princess, which I have read out loud hundreds of times. There is nothing more subversively empowering than reciting from memory those great last lines, when the enterprising Princess Elizabeth rescues the ghastly and feeble Prince Ronald from the dragon – and then dumps him: “‘You look like a nice guy, but guess what? You are a bum.’ And they didn’t get married after all.” There’s power for you, in a nutshell.
 


Author Francesca Segal’s "Stand Up to Dragons" in the Hairpin speaks of the subtle influence of Princess Elizabeth, that from childhood she “stayed with me, whispered to me of another empowered femininity; warning me of Ronalds.”
 


And the fantastic website A Mighty Girl puts the Paper Bag Princess first on their Ultimate Guide to the Independent Princess!
 
 
 
 

The Paper Bag Princess will be released with a beautiful new design this Spring along with four other Classic Munsch titles: Pigs, Purple, Green and Yellow, Stephanie's Ponytail, and Thomas' Snowsuit




 

Fire Song book launch at Glad Day Bookshop on Wednesday, March 21st

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Join us for the launch of FIRE SONG at Glad Day on March 21st for readings, signings, refreshments and more!

 

Facebook event https://www.facebook.com/events/728242234049556/

 

READ MORE

EXCERPT

WATCH THE TRAILER


More about GLAD DAY BOOKSHOP

 

 

Annick nominated for Children's Publisher of the Year Award at the Bologna Children's Book Fair

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Annick Press has been named a finalist for this year’s Bologna Prize for the Best Children’s Publishers of the Year awarded annually by the Bologna Children’s Book Fair to the the most significant publishers in the world. Winners will be announced at this year’s 55th Bologna Children’s Book Fair which runs from March 26-29.

This will be the independent press’s second nomination for the prestigious prize since the awards were initiated in 2013, and Annick’s Director, Rick Wilks, says “the creators and staff at Annick are thrilled to receive this recognition.”

“Annick’s goal, to foster a love of reading by developing strong stories that resonate, stimulate the imagination and encourage critical thinking remain as important to us today as they did when the company was founded 43 years ago.  We’re honored to be among a group of publishers that create books that truly do have an impact,” Wilks says of the Bologna Prize nomination. 

The award nod comes on the heels of a record-breaking year of 118 distinctions for the children’s publisher, including February’s American Indian Best Young Adult book award win for #NotYourPrincess: Voices of Native American Women (2017) edited by Lisa Charleyboy and Mary Beth Leatherdale, given out by the American Indian Library Association (AILA), an affiliate of the American Library Association (ALA). #NotYourPrincess was also a finalist for the ALA’s Young Adult nonfiction book top honors, the YALSA Award for Excellence in Nonfiction, as well as being named to the ALA’s Amelia Bloomer List Top Ten title for the best feminist books for young readers.

 

MARCH BREAK EVENT: Sylv Chiang and Connie Choi present Tournament Trouble at Mabel's Fables

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Join us as we launch a new chapter book series for video game lovers!


FREE activities, snacks, door prizes, and more!


Draw your own avatar and get your book autographed by special guests, author Sylv Chiang and book illustrator and video game artist Connie Choi, the creators of Tournament Trouble.

 


Tournament Trouble is the first book in an exciting new series CROSS UPS all about the highs and lows of middle grade life featuring friends who love gaming.

 

READ MORE

 

https://www.mabelsfables.com

RSVP: https://www.facebook.com/events/180379929244861/

 

 

Antonia Banyard Guest Post: So, a writer walks into a room full of physicists…

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(back row, l-r) Don Lincoln, Noah Baker, and me; (front row, l-r) Catherine O’Riordan, COO and Interim Co-CEO of AIP, and Paula Ayer.

 

From January 6-9, physics teachers from across the United States gathered in San Diego to share ideas and hear from leaders in their field. And for some strange reason, I was there too, along with my co-author Paula Ayer. How did we get there?


I have never thought of myself as a scientist. I’ve written poetry, a novel, adventure stories for middle readers, and recently, two infographic books. Then the American Institute of Physics awarded our book, Water Wow! An Infographic Exploration, the 2017 Science Communication Award. What? Really?!

 

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So there I was, on a panel with Paula and two other distinguished science writers (real science writers), science journalist Noah Baker and particle physicist Don Lincoln. We faced a room of physics teachers who want to break into the field of science communication.



The audience knew a lot more about leptons and string theory than I ever will. What could I tell them? I decided to talk about the communication, which is something I do know. I try to bring the same open-minded enquiry to every topic, whether it’s art, the human experience, or astrophysics.


In the end, we could all agree on a few things. A writer needs to know their audience (how true for children’s books!), that writing should make connections the reader can relate to, that humor is a valuable tool, and the power of narrative can’t be underestimated.


This award has been a huge (and unexpected) honor. Water Wow! is certainly in good company. It is the third Annick book that has won the AIP Science Communication Award, after Kaboom! (Gillian Richardson, 2010) and The Great Number Rumble (Gillian O’Reilly and Cora Lee, 2009).

 

Watch our STEM theme video:


 

New trailer: FIRE SONG by Adam Garnet Jones

Read more on the Fire Song page

 

Mary Beard on the Paper Bag Princess in The Guardian

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Mary Beard, the great classicist, Cambridge professor, and BBC program host,  gave a lovely mention of The Paper Bag Princess in The Guardian last month.

 

Fresh off her inspiring interview with 2016-Presidential candidate Hilary Clinton, she cited the subversive empowerment of the Classic Munsch picture book’s famous last lines:

 

“But can I put in a plea for a children’s book? One of my children’s favourites was always Robert Munsch’s The Paper Bag Princess, which I have read out loud hundreds of times. There is nothing more subversively empowering than reciting from memory those great last lines, when the enterprising Princess Elizabeth rescues the ghastly and feeble Prince Ronald from the dragon – and then dumps him: “‘You look like a nice guy, but guess what? You are a bum.’ And they didn’t get married after all.” There’s power for you, in a nutshell.”

 

Read the rest of the article "The book that made me a feminist" for recommendations from luminaries like Naomi Klein, Margaret Atwood, Jeanette Winterson, Reni Eddo-Lodge and more.

 

(With thanks to author Gillian O'Reilly for the idea!)

The Stormy Seas in Lampedusa

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Since 2012, more than 25,000 refugees from Africa and the Middle East have arrived in the Italian island of Lampedusa seeking asylum. Mariella Bertelli has visited the island now 5 times, helping IBBY, the International Board of Books for Young People, and IBBY Italia, create a library for local and immigrant children. Mariella was in Lampedusa this winter, working with local high school students to translate Stormy Seas into Italian. She believes that Lampedusa, in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea, is a very symbolic place in the world. Having the young people of Lampedusa translating Stormy Seas brings added value to the translation, because of their unique perspective and experience. The students and Mariella shared updates throughout the project in English and Italian. Click below to read more. 

 

Day 1: “I hope that books can save the world” 

 

Day 2: “The first impact” 

 

Day 3: “A child, a teacher, a book and a pen can change the world”  

 

Day 4: “A trip in translation” 

 

Day 5: “Last day with Mariella” 

 

Read more about Stormy Seas: Stories of Young Boat Refugees written by Mary Beth Leatherdale and illustrated by Eleanor Shakespeare. 

A List in a Year at Annick Press

It’s been a great year at Annick Press. We’ve watched books develop and grow and then move out into the world. Now as the year wraps up and we prepare for the holidays, some of us at Annick would like to share our favourite books of the year with you. 


Kaela

From Far Away (Revised and newly illustrated) by Robert Munsch and Saoussan Askar, illustrated by Rebecca Green (Fall 2017)

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“From Far Away has always been an important Munsch title, but Saoussan’s story has never been timelier or more pressing. New illustrations by Rebecca Green will bring this book to a new generation of young readers. My hope is that everyone will understand the power this book has to teach empathy.”

 

Brendan

#NotYourPrincess edited by Lisa Charleyboy and Mary Beth Leatherdale (Fall 2017)

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“I love the impact it's having on the readers.”

 

Elaine

I Love My Purse by Belle DeMont, illustrated by Sonja Wimmer (Fall 2017)

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“Both the story and the art flow together. This book is told in the most beautiful way.”

 

Claire and Katie

Stormy Seas by Mary Beth Leatherdale, illustrated by Eleanor Shakespeare (Winter 2017)

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“Stormy Seas deals with a highly relevant topic presented with inviting artwork and stories that will connect with readers.” −Claire

"Important and beautiful." −Katie

 

Gayna

Don't Move!, Hurry Up! by Anne-Sophie Tilly, illustrated by Julien Chung (Winter 2017) 

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“I like that they are written in three languages. Perfect for any bilingual babies.”

 

Brigitte

The Dance of the Violin by Kathy Stinson, illustrated by Dusan Petricic (Winter 2017)

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“A harmonious combination of music and literature.”

 

Toni

The Man Who Knew Everything by Marilee Peters, illustrated by Roxanna Bikadoroff (Fall 2017)

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“It has a bit of everything in it — humour, history, science, art. I love that Kircher fearlessly took risks all his life. Plus, Roxanna’s artwork is brilliant and Bambi, the designer, masterfully pulled together all the elements into a seamless whole.”


Shayanna

Let's Get Ready for Reading by The Toronto Public Library (Winter 2017)

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"It is the perfect book for parents and caregivers to instill a love of reading in babies and toddlers. It's such an easy to use guide, and it has helpful tips for anyone who values early literacy."


Thanks for reading with us! We look forward to putting more books in the hands of eager readers in the new year.

The Man With the Violin performed at the National Arts Centre in Ottawa

The Man With the Violin concert that took place in Ottawa last night was a huge success!

Here's a Q+A that the man with the violin himself, Joshua Bell, did with Maclean’s Magazine http://www.macleans.ca/…/joshua-bell-on-the-steadying-powe…/

Hard Feelings - a new space from I.D. author Kate Scowen

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Wheel of Emotion by Peter Mitchell, who also illustrated i.d. Stuff That Happens to Define Us, written by Kate Scowen

 

 

Amica, our volunteer greeter, is here to welcome you today!! Come by and say hi 😍

A post shared by Hard Feelings (@hardfeelingsto) on

 

In September 2017, a new non-profit social enterprise, called Hard Feelings, opened its doors in the west end of Toronto to offer low-cost counselling and retail a thoughtfully curated selection of books, resources and self-care items. The mission of our organization is to reduce barriers and increase access to mental health supports and services through an innovative community of practice.


Before its inception, founder Kate Scowen noticed a strong need for more accessible mental health supports in Toronto from her more than twenty-five years experience working in the field. As she developed this project over two years, the purpose and importance of Hard Feelings became more and more evident.

 

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Annick Press has been incredibly supportive of Hard Feelings, donating to the store a wide selection of books for children and teens. Stories centred around belonging, inclusion and empathy fit perfectly with our mandate and have given us a great start in our first three months. Hard Feelings has been hugely welcomed by the community and it has been very rewarding to celebrate its success with all of our donors and supporters.

 

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The counselling centre currently includes eleven private practitioners providing low-cost, short-term (12 sessions) service. The short-term counselling allows for Hard Feelings to support clients, as a lot of progress can be made on a short-term basis, and also make room for new people. In the first twelve weeks of operation, over 600 people have visited the store and more than 85 individuals have accessed the counseling services. With plenty of referral points and accessibility, Hard Feelings’ efforts extend past our counselling centre.

 

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The store is a major component of our success as it creates a warm and welcoming environment, and offers clients, customers and counsellors resources they may need and financially supports the organization’s initiative. From candles and local teas to memoirs and anxiety workbooks, we have a range of thoughtfully curated products that support stronger mental health and self-care.


We hope you will come by the store at 848 Bloor Street West and make Hard Feelings your destination of choice for holiday shopping. You can learn more about us here: www.hardfeelings.org

 

 

Read more about i.d. Stuff That Happens to Define Us.

 

(With photos by Claire Caldwell.)

Ann Love and Jane Drake launch Rewilding: Giving Nature a Second Chance at Wildbird

(From Left) Rivka Cranley, Jane Drake, Dave Salmoni, Rick Wilks, Ann Love



On November 22nd, we made our way down Toronto’s Mount Pleasant Avenue to a store called Wildbird, where authors Jane Drake and Ann Love had aptly chosen to launch their latest book: Rewilding: Giving Nature a Second Chance.


Speaking to a packed room of friends, family members and contributors to the book, they told us how researching their thirtieth co-authoring venture began with a question, how were they rewilders? They soon discovered the many ways they had been protecting wildlife and animal habitats throughout their lives, from helping a turtle cross the road, to adding birdseed to a feeder, to planting flowers that attract butterflies.

 
It is a wonderful concept that they have brought to a middle grade reading level in their book. Furthering the philosophy of conservation, which protects lands from development, rewilding reinstates plants and animals into spaces that human life and industry has overrun. This happens through three key actions: establishing ‘core’ regions big enough to support habitats; forming ‘corridors’ for wildlife to move through without disruption; and supporting certain ‘keystone’ species who make up the foundations of habitats. Thanks to a phenomenon known as trophic cascade, the presence of these keystone species then creates the right conditions for more wildlife and plant life to exist. A great example can be found in beavers, who chew down trees and create meadow laneways where birds and bats can swoop past to catch insects. The wood from the trees is of course used to build dams that steady the waters, raising their level to create marshes and wetlands. Wetlands make bird, plant, and fish habitats thrive.


Jane and Ann, who also happen to be sisters, said writing Rewilding brought back memories of their childhood trip to Yosemite National Park, where their parents encouraged them to use their storytelling and observation skills. Another storyteller of the natural world was on hand to congratulate their success, Animal Planet wildlife expert Dave Salmoni.

Reading this Amazing book! If you like animals and nature, you will love this!! @kannlove13

A post shared by Dave Salmoni (@realdavesalmoni) on




Read more about Rewilding: Giving Nature a Second Chance


On the Road with Mary Beth Leatherdale promoting Stormy Seas: Stories of Young Refugees

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This fall, I’ve been very lucky to have the opportunity to hit the road with my new book Stormy Seas. As a writer and editor, I spend far too much time at the desk in my home office and far too little actually talking to my readers. So I was thrilled when I received an invitation to speak at The Kansas City Public Library in Missouri. In a year when the anti-immigration rhetoric in the US has been weighing heavily on my mind, I was eager to visit a community that wanted to learn more about refugees’ experiences.  However, my preconceptions about the population and perspectives in mid-sized American cities were quickly blown away. The students at North East High School who had recently immigrated to Kansas City from around the world had far more to teach me than I them.

 

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As part of the Authors@School program at the Kingston Writers Festival, I visited two schools. One, Sacred Heart, Batawa, was a small, rural school in a bucolic setting where I presented to 45 students from Grades 5-8. The other, St. Francis Assisi, was housed in a brand-new building in north Kingston designed to offer flexible learning spaces. With its giant, glass garage-doored learning studios, stylishly furnished commons areas, and spinning bikes for those in need of a “body break”, it seemed, at first glance, to have more in common with Google headquarters than the traditional elementary school I had just visited.  But once I started presenting to the 100 Grade 6-8 students and heard their thoughtful, insightful questions, I realized how much these students shared—in their empathy for the refugees and their interest in their situations as well as how the stories resonated with their own experiences. They were also very curious about the process of writing the book asking questions like “How long did it take?”, “How much money did you make?” and my favourite “What would you do differently if you could write it again?”

 

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My travels ended at The Vancouver Writers Festival. I had more than 200 kids in my first presentation at the Waterfront Theatre on Granville Island and they were amazing — attentive, excited about the book, and full of thoughtful questions like “How has writing this book changed you?”. I was especially delighted to have students asking to read Ruth, Phu, Jose, Najeeba and Mohamed's stories on stage. The next morning, I visited Tecumseh Elementary School. The class had many recent immigrants which made for really interesting conversation. Two girls who told me that after reading Stormy Seas they asked their parents about their experiences as Vietnamese boat people. Another, a girl whose father escaped from Cuba by boat asked me “How does it feel to tell other people’s stories?”—something I’ve been struggling with increasingly. In the afternoon, I joined Seeking Refuge author Irene Watts and illustrator Kathryn Shoemaker on a panel. After listening to their excellent presentation, I got up to present but YIKES my Powerpoint presentation would not come up. Luckily, the talented AV team got things working and I got to share the beautiful work of my talented designer/illustrator Eleanor Shakespeare. Her artwork is so powerful and integral to the book. It’s no surprise that her beautiful artwork was the inspiration for the festival poster. 

 

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Being on the road with Stormy Seas was wonderful fun, and I look forward to hitting the road for more conversations.