New video: #NotYourPrincess by Lisa Charleyboy and Mary Beth Leatherdale



Fresh on the heels of hosting the exciting new season of CBC's New Fire, Lisa Charleyboy has teamed up again with Mary Beth Leatherdale, to edit the anthology #NotYourPrincess: Voices of Native American Women.

Watch the trailer above, and check out the book page for an excerpt. Coming in September!


Joshua Bell and Family Read The Dance of The Violin

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Joshua Bell was on Minnesota Public Radio’s Performance Today for a special Father’s Day audiobook reading of The Dance of the Violin.


Listen to Hour 2 from the 30:00 minute mark to 1:00:00, to hear Joshua Bell, his son Josef, and his mother Shirley read the whole book with host, Fred Child. Following the reading of the book, you can hear the incredible performance of Édouard Lalo’s Symphonie espagnole in D minor, which Bell performed with the Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal, conducted by Charles Dutoit, in 1988.


Listen here

Watch the trailer for Stormy Seas: Stories of Young Boat Refugees by Mary Beth Leatherdale and Eleanor Shakespeare



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Read the remarkable true stories of five young refugees.

A treacherous voyage on the open seas

was their last hope to reach safety and freedom.


read more:

Joshua Bell Brings the Books to the Symphony Stage

“America’s favorite homegrown violinist” was what the Washington Post called Joshua Bell this week, and it’s easy to see why. He will perform and conduct The National Symphony at a residency at The Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. this month, and, for their family concert on Sunday, February 12, they will debut a new work called The Man With the Violin. Academy-award winner Anne Dudley composed the score, adapting the pictures and story Kathy Stinson and Dušan Petričić’s book.


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Bell’s residency will also include a performance of Edouard Lalo’s Symphonie Espagnole, a piece he describes in this video as one that he’s played since he was young.


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In fact, it is this enchanting piece of music that young Joshua learns for his first recital in The Dance of the Violin, the new collaboration between Kathy Stinson and Dušan Petričić. We’re sure concert-goers are in for the sort of treat that this recital judge gets in the book:


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More about Joshua Bell at the Kennedy Center
More about The Man With the Violin
More about The Dance of the Violin

Annick at the Ontario Library Association Superconference

Annick is pleased to be back at this year’s Ontario Library Association Superconference on Thursday, February 2nd, and Friday, February 3rd!


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Visit our booth from 11-11:30 on Thursday to meet author Laura Scandiffio and get a signed copy of Fight to Learn: The Struggle to Go to School, along with a classroom discussion guide.


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Come back on Friday at 11-11:30 to meet astronaut Dr. Dave Williams and Loredana Cunti, authors of To Burp or Not to Burp: A Guide to Your Body in Space and the forthcoming Go For Liftoff! How To Train Like an Astronaut and get a signed copy to review for your library or classroom.


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And visit our booth anytime to ask about our upcoming collaboration with the Toronto Public Library, Let’s Get Ready For Reading, an early literacy guide for new parents and caregivers.


But wait! There’s more! Titles galore in five different categories of the Ontario Library Association’s Top Ten Best Bets lists:

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Picture Books:

Joseph’s Big Ride by Terry Farish and illustrated by Ken Daley

Harry and Walter by Kathy Stinson and illustrated by Qin Leng


Honorable Mention

Move It Miss Macintosh by Peggy Janousky and illustrated by Meghan Lands


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Junior Fiction:

The Biggest Poutine in the World by Andree Poulin


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Junior Non-Fiction

Faster, Higher, Smarterby Simon Shapiro

To Burp or not to Burp by David Williams and Loredana Cunti,  and illustrated by Theo Krynauw



YA Non-Fiction

Fight to Learn by Laura Scandiffio


Annick on CBC's the Next Chapter Childrens Book Panel

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Ken Setterington and Michele Landsberg returned to speak with host Shealgh Rogers on CBC's the Next Chapter today for their 2016 installment of the ever-charming children’s book panel. Among the books highlighted (and they all sound great) were two particularly admirable choices, SNAP! by Hazel Hutchins and Dušan Petričić, and Bad Girls of Fashion: Style Rebels From Cleopatra to Lady Gaga, by Jennifer Croll.


Of SNAP! they called it "A wonderful book about colour, about drawing, and it is simply just glorious. I would give this as a great present to a kid with a box of crayons. I just can't imagine a better gift."


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About another favourite book, Bad Girls of Fashion, they said it is:


“An amazing book that is just full of information” on the likes of Frida Kahlo, Andy Warhol and more.


Listen to the whole segment here:


Read and excerpt from SNAP!


Read an excerpt from Bad Girls of Fashion.

From Dr. Dave - Astronaut's day at the Ontario Science Centre

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all images © Ontario Science Centre

Burping, peeing, and farting...


No, this is not the transcript of a conversation in a Grade 3 classroom. Rather, it’s how Dr. Dave Williams kept groups of kids and their parents enthralled last Saturday at the Ontario Science Centre. Former NASA astronaut and, with Loredana Cunti, author of To Burp or Not to Burp, Dr. Dave talked  about what happens to the human body in zero gravity.  As a veteran of three space walks, he spoke from first-hand experience.


Kids of all ages sat mesmerized as Dr. Dave showed slides taken during several space missions. And, needless to say, they loved hearing about why it’s often necessary to pick your nose in space, how astronauts go to the bathroom, and why burping in space may not be such a good idea. 


Kids got a chance to ask Dr. Dave questions at the end of the talk, including ones like “How do you take a shower in space?”


More public appearances are in store for Dr. Dave in the spring, when his second book, Go for Liftoff: How to Train Like and Astronaut will be released.              

Having fun with board books!

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Check out these two, living life, and loving board books!


Which board books? You may ask.


Why, A Button Story and A Pebble Story by Emil Sher, illustrated by Cindy Revell.


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These stories introduce the youngest readers to problem-solving and crafting with down-to-earth language and whimsical illustration.


 “… a positive purchase for a home or day-care setting, for a read-aloud with an adult or for a child to read and enjoy on his or her own.”
—CM Reviews, 10/17/14


“A sweet, unassuming tale for adult and child to share.”
—Kirkus Reviews, 10/06/14


More Board Books

Launching Dr. Dave - Astronaut at the Ontario Science Centre

Ontario Science Centre 


On Saturday, November 19, 2016, Dr. Dave Williams will be at the Ontario Science Centre to present his new book To Burp or Not to Burp: A Guide To Your Body in Space! This event will take place at different points throughout the day, so mark your calendars, check this schedule, and get ready to blast into a series that is sure to give kids the solid facts to become space travelers!


View event page on


Read more about To Burp or Not to Burp: A Guide To Your Body in Space


Water Wow! at the Vancouver International Writers Festival

It was rainy in Vancouver last Thursday, but that made it a perfect day for us to talk about water. Students from two Vancouver schools, False Creek Elementary and Jules Quesnel Elementary, came down to Granville Island to hear us talk about our infographic, Water Wow! The energy was palpable, with over a hundred 11- and 12-year olds in the room.


Co-Authors Paula Ayer and Antonia Banyard


We warmed up with some “wows!” and recruited a volunteer “wow” co-ordinator, who enthusiastically cued the audience. We talked about the water in their backyard—the watersheds on Vancouver’s North Shore—and around the world, such as the South-to-North Water Transfer Project in China.



A group of volunteers created a “human infographic” on stage, to demonstrate how water is distributed globally. We had a lot of fun with that, thanks to Paula’s fully-decorated signs!



Question period was lively, especially as some of the kids knew far more than we’d expected. And we were lucky to have Belle Wuthrich, Water Wow’s illustrator and designer, in the audience and available to field questions about how the art was created.


Water Wow! creators Belle Wuthrich, Antonia Banyard, and Paula Ayer at the Vancouver International Writer's Festival 2016


It was a treat to connect with our audience directly. Their enthusiasm was infectious, and we left inspired!


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Read more about Water Wow!

Dr. Dave Williams and Loredana Cunti speak to 520 students in Toronto


A BIG day at Kew Beach Junior Public School last week needed two presentations to hold all of the space enthusiasts!


Dr. Dave Williams brought his uniform to an enthralled group of students and teachers to share his answers to how the body responds to life in zero gravity.


Check out the photos from the day:


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(note the cool artwork behind Dr. Dave and Loredana, courtesy of the grades twos and threes!)


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Read more about To Burp or Not Burp: A Guide to Your Body in Space.


Follow @AstroDaveMD.


And click here for more posts about Dr. Dave - Astronaut.

Lisa Charleyboy and Urban Tribes celebrated in Vancouver this week

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“I really wanted to showcase the diversity of the native millennial experience within urban settings,” A great piece in The Georgia Straight from last week looks at how Lisa Charleyboy found her audience among those who care about indigenous culture and contemporary fashion and lifestyle.


As always the author, publisher and broadcaster is keeping busy, with multiple appearances in Vancouver this week: she'll speak at "City Dwellers: First Nations and the Urban Experience" at the Vancouver Writers Fest on October 18 for a sold-out show; and next Saturday, at the launch of Red Rising Magazine's fourth issue. 


Read from Urban Tribes: Native Americans in the City.

Follow Lisa Charleyboy on Twitter.



Watch Dr. Dave – Astronaut on CTV’s Your Morning with Ben Mulroney

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Watching Ben Mulroney on CTV's Your Morning is a fun way to start any day, but seeing him get to "the tough questions" like 'to burp or not to burp?' is especially cool. On the show this morning he caught up with Dr. Dave to ask that and the many other fascinating questions about space travel that appear in To Burp or Not to Burp: A Guide to Your Body in Space.


Check out the clip at CTV Your Morning.


Read an excerpt of To Burp Or Not to Burp: A Guide to Your Body in Space.

An interview with Katherine Ashenburg, author of All the Dirt: A History of Getting Clean

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BRIGITTE WAISBERG (ANNICK): What inspired you to write a book about the history of cleanliness?


KATHERINE ASHENBURG: Oddly enough, it was a picture in the European furniture galleries at the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto. It showed a 17th-century crowd and the caption read, “The aristocrats in this picture are as dirty as the peasants. Press the button and hear more.” So I did, and I learned that my assumption that everyone was more or less filthy until maybe the beginning of the 20th century was not true. There were sporadic clean periods after the fall of the Roman Empire (when people were very clean), including a period in the Middle Ages when the crusaders brought back steam baths to Europe from the Middle East. But for about 400 years, from the Black Death to the 18th century, people feared water and rarely washed except for their hands. As soon as I read this, the proverbial light bulb went on in my head, and it was a title “Clean: The History of a Notion.” The title changed, but that became a book for adults, “The Dirt on Clean: An Unsanitized History.” While I was writing the adult book, an editor remarked that that was a good idea for a kids’ book. I filed that away in my head, and about five or six years later, I thought, “Yes! That would be a good book for kids.”


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ANNICK: What are a couple of the most interesting facts you discovered while doing your research?


KATHERINE ASHENBURG: There are so many! A few of the most interesting ones surfaced in the new research I did for “All the Dirt.” For example, brides in many countries take a ceremonial bath before the wedding, but there was a special twist to the traditional bride’s bath in Russia. In the “banya” — like a sauna — the bride’s sweaty body was coated in milk, and then flour. Once that messy combination was scraped off, it was added to the bridal breads and cakes! Sounds to me as if there’s a fertility custom in there somewhere...

   I’ve also been fascinated by some of the experiments scientists have done to investigate the so-called Hygiene Hypothesis— the possibility that too much cleanliness is causing our high rates of allergies and asthma, and that we need to accept that most bacteria are our friends. One study that I found particularly interesting is a Swedish one that divides parents of babies into two groups — those who wash off their babies’ fallen pacifiers under the water faucet, and those who simply suck the dirty pacifier themselves and pop it back into the baby’s mouth. The babies in the latter group have significantly fewer allergies and asthma — presumably because they’re getting a share of their parent’s bacteria.


ANNICK: What was the greatest challenge of adapting your book for adults to a book for children?


KATHERINE ASHENBURG: My smart, no-nonsense editor, Barbara Pulling, told me that this book was going to be written in “bursts” — which I thought of as packages, only a few paragraphs long, with a focussed piece of information in each. No transitions from one burst to another, no connective tissue — this was a new way of writing for me, and one I found disconcerting for a long time. My job — and my biggest challenge — was to craft bursts that collectively would tell the story of cleanliness in the Middle Ages, the 20th century, or whatever the chapter demanded.


ANNICK: Other than the straight facts, what do you hope kids take away from this book?


KATHERINE ASHENBURG: I hope they’ll realize that authorities, especially scientific and medical ones in this book, were often very wrong, and yet people obeyed their orders for centuries. And I hope they’ll see that “clean” is a relative concept, very culturally based, often deeply embedded in people’s ideas about themselves, and yet on occasion very malleable.


Read more about All the Dirt: A History of Getting Clean

A 40th-Anniversary Feature in Publisher's Weekly

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This illustration by Michael Martchenko hangs in our Toronto office, both as a reminder of the humble beginnings of Annick, and as a fun way to appreciate the very long way the press has come since its founding year. The illustration also adds a nice context for Laura Godfrey's expansive interview with Annick founders, Anne Millyard and Rick Wilks, in a new feature for Publisher's Weekly. Anne and Rick reflect on their drive, the inspiration of children, and the love of the written word that pulled them into publishing in the first place. Among other highlights are insights by Great Number Rumble author, Gillian O'Reilly, who looks back on some of her favorite Annick titles, as well as a look ahead to new developments with Pearson Canada, bringing our books directly to kids in the classroom through our Annick Collections.


Read the Publisher's Weekly feature here for more of the story behind the story.




Launching 'Dr. Dave – Astronaut'!

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This Fall, Annick ‘launches’ the exciting new series, Dr. Dave – Astronaut. Coauthored by astronaut, aquanaut, and neuroscientist, Dr. Dave Williams, the series will look at the aspects of space travel that matter most to kids. Some of the most pressing questions – what happens to our bodies in zero gravity? – are answered in the first installment, To Burp or Not to Burp: A Guide to Your Body in Space. (info | read an excerpt)


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But back in February, when the astronaut Scott Kelly returned to Earth from a whole year on board the International Space Station, it was Dr. Dave that CBC Newsworld called to get a firsthand account on what one can expect to feel back on terra firma. That’s because he isn’t ‘just’ an astronaut, Dr. Dave is also a neuroscientist who specializes in the effects of microgravity on the brain. His answers, though positioned for a slightly older audience, are no less inspiring. The challenges that space travelers have to readjust to life on earth, Dr. Dave said, occur both in body and in mind. Physically he compared the process of readjusting to life on Earth to waking from too much bed rest. There is a similar risk of lost bone density, muscle wasting, weakening, and lightheadedness. (Sounds rough!)




But what about the mental challenge in coming back to earth? The newscaster asked Dr. Dave.


Dealing with the misperception of weight, his expectation that his space helmet would be easy to lift, only to be thwarted by Earth’s gravity – was far more difficult than he expected.


But, he quickly added, returning to Earth was beautiful. Smelling the air, seeing the sunlight, going out into the woods. And perhaps, most of all, considering how incredibly profound the human exploration of space is.


Read more about Dr. Dave


Follow him on Twitter @AstroDaveMD



Jennifer Croll on the Bad Girls of Fashion publicity tour

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“This is the most bumpin’ book party I’ve ever been to.” That’s one of the nicer things that someone told me about the launch party for Bad Girls of Fashion, which took place on September 22nd at the Projection Room at the Fox Cabaret on Vancouver’s Main Street. The room was packed, and people munched on cupcakes from expert baker Katharine Miller and channeled their inner girl power via DJ Cherchez la Femme’s tunes. I was thrilled with the turnout, and barely managed to maintain a conversation longer than three minutes as I kept being interrupted to autograph books (which, let me assure you, I’m not complaining about!). The Paper Hound, the lovely bookseller at the event, told me that we sold fifty books. Not bad, not bad at all. 



The launch was only one of the Bad Girls-related events keeping me busy. My very first publicity opportunity was on the Vancouver-based podcast Fashion Hags; I went to the Mount Pleasant recording studio of Abby, Katie, and Evan to chat for an hour and a half about Bad Girls, teen fashion, and Pallas cats. It was a good warmup for my interview the next week on CBC’s North by Northwest, where host Sheryl MacKay gently questioned me about where the idea for the book came from (a collaborative effort with my fantastic Annick editor and friend, Paula Ayer), and the weird crushed-velvet dress I wore when I was 17. 


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The grand finale was my appearance at WORD Vancouver on September 25th. I took the stage at the Pondering Pop Culture lineup, which also included longtime Vancouver rock chick (and total bad girl) Bif Naked, who was there promoting her own book I, Bificus. It’ll likely be the only time I open for a major rock star! 


Check out the publicity tour here:





Launching Bad Girls of Fashion

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On September 22, a stylish crowd of Vancouver book fans stepped out to celebrate the launch of Jennifer Croll’s bold and illuminating new book, Bad Girls of Fashion. Profiling iconoclastic women through history who used clothing to make a statement, break the rules, or express themselves, Bad Girls features a variety of subjects both historical (Cleopatra, George Sand, Frida Kahlo) and modern (Lady Gaga, Rihanna, Pussy Riot). With photos galore, stunning illustrations by Polish artist Ada Buchholc, and a dynamic design by award-winner Natalie Olsen, Bad Girls of Fashion is as visually dazzling as it is thought-provoking, as launch-goers who snapped up copies to be signed by the author agreed. 


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Hosted at the intimate and eclectic Projection Room bar on Main Street, the event drew over 80 minglers who enjoyed cocktails, custom-made cupcakes, and conversation. (Spotted in attendance: Annick’s own bad girls of publishing, associate publisher Colleen MacMillan and editor Paula Ayer.) Local DJ Cherchez La Femme continued the female-empowerment theme with a selection of all-girl tunes that entertained partiers through the night. Congratulations to Jennifer on her fantastic book, sure to become an instant favorite of fashion fans and feminists of all ages!

Annick around the world: a look at foreign editions with Gayna Theophilus

One of the most fun parts of working in the rights department here at Annick is opening the mail. Packages arrive regularly from around the world containing fresh, new editions of our titles translated into foreign languages (although sometimes the new edition remains in in the same language for another country where English is spoken widely, like Australia, the UK and South Africa).


As the Sales & Rights Manager, I get to meet with publishers from different countries and work with them to find just the right Annick books for their own publishing programs - titles that will be the most interesting and relevant to young readers in their countries.


Once we have sold the rights for a title, the foreign publisher is in charge of handling the translation and deciding how their edition of the book is going to look. Sometimes, they love our books exactly the way they are and the only difference is the new language:


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Sometimes they decide to go with different image or design than we chose for their covers, but the inside looks the same:


Like In Your Face

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or Chanda’s Secrets


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& Complex Chinese



And occasionally a publisher will really like the story a lot, but they decide to use entirely different illustrations altogether!


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Either way, it is always exciting to open those packages and see what the new foreign editions will look like and add them to our growing collection.


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An interview with Nastasia Rugani, author of About Phoenix

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To celebrate the English-language release of the YA novel About Phoenix, We had a chat with author Nastasia Rugani, who wrote us from her home near Paris, France.



BRIGITTE WAISBERG (ANNICK): How did you become interested in writing novels for young adults?


NASTASIA RUGANI: I know it sounds selfish, but I never think about readers when I write, even less so about their age. I am too absorbed in the life of my characters. I let my imagination guide me, so they just happen to be teenagers and children. I love how complicated and interesting they are, often more so than adults, in my opinion. But I also truly believe that we do not need to label literature. For example, one of my favorite books is Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak and it’s a children’s picture book. I just think it’s a masterpiece. 



ANNICK: What did you enjoy most about writing the novel?


NASTASIA: I enjoyed portraying a girl who is quietly brave, because strength often comes from characters fighting or standing up for themselves, which is very necessary. But Phoenix has a different type of strength. It is the power of love and sisterhood that gives her the will to survive and to bear her immense suffering alone. I find myself very humbled by how utterly kind and protective Phoenix is towards her little sister, who she adores.



ANNICK: What did you find most difficult about writing it?


NASTASIA: Writing a book is one of the easiest jobs on the planet! I have been a cleaning lady and that was so much tougher than sitting at a desk and being creative. What was challenging, though, was knowing that while the book is a work of fiction, domestic abuse is, unfortunately, a very real and very common matter. I was worried about not being accurate, because I want to do justice to children who suffer domestic abuse. And I really hope I did not fail them. 


ANNICK: Are the characters based on any people you know?


NASTASIA: No, I have never specifically based a character on someone I know. But of course, some elements belong to my personal life. I love insects; my dad always signs his postcard with Pa2, and my mom adores plants; yet, I try my best to distance myself from my own experiences to better empathize with my characters. To envision an entire world is definitely more fascinating than duplicating my life. 



ANNICK: Domestic abuse is a difficult subject. Why did you decide to write about it in a book for teens?


NASTASIA: I am drawn to difficult subjects as a reader; therefore, it seems logical to write about them. And when I was a teenager, I was often in a very dark state of mind, so reading novels which echoed my own suffering was very helpful. It still is. We need those kinds of stories to try to understand, to learn, to feel less alone, to grow, to be aware of what is happening in the world. Those novels are as essential as light and funny ones. 


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