Wishes Come True at St. Francis Xavier


Over the past four years, Glen Huser has served as writer-in-residence for grade four classes in a series of pre-Christmas workshops at St. Francis Xavier Elementary in Vancouver.


The students develop a story plan which involves deciding on a central character who has a particular wish. Of course, there are problems along the way in making this wish come true—but, ultimately, success! During the residency they learn different ways of beginning a story, creating scenes, writing dialogue, using imagery, crafting humour, and illustrating their text. In a culminating session, they present their books to an audience of classmates, parents and other guests. Each student receives a copy of Glen’s chapter book for young readers—Jeremy’s Christmas Wish.

— Glen Huser

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Meet the Author: Caroline Adderson

On November 17th 2016, the incredibly talented Caroline Adderson gave a presentation at Christianne’s Lyceum on her new release Vancouver Vanishes. It was a call to anyone who lives in Vancouver to take more notice of the walls around them.


To learn more about the author, visit: http://www.carolineadderson.com.

To read more tales of demolition and redemption, visit: https://www.facebook.com/VancouverVanishes/?ref=page_internal.

— Christianne’s Lyceum

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Children’s Literature Roundtables’ 2016 Information Book Award

The winner of the 2016 Children’s Literature Roundtables of Canada’s Information Book Award is West Coast Wild: A Nature Alphabet, written by Deborah Hodge and illustrated by Karen Reczuch (Groundwood, 2015).


“This stunning nature alphabet book explores the fascinating ecosystem of the Pacific west coast — a magnificent area that combines an ancient rainforest, a rugged beach and a vast, open ocean, and where whales, bears, wolves, eagles and a rich variety of marine species thrive in an interconnected web of life.

Author Deborah Hodge has spent more than forty years on the west coast, frequently visiting the Pacific Rim region, and she knows it intimately. From A to Z she describes in vivid language the rainforest, ocean and beach, and a great variety of animals that a child might see walking along the shore — from tiny sea jellies to inquisitive sandpipers to leaping orcas. Illustrator Karen Reczuch brings her remarkable talent to the book, and has created image after image that is simply breathtaking. The text and art have been carefully checked for scientific accuracy. Includes a note about the Pacific west coast and suggestions for exploring the region and further reading.”

The Children’s Literature Roundtables of Canada’s Information Book Award is given annually to a book that arouses interest, stimulates curiosity, captures the imagination, and fosters concern for the world around us. The award’s aim is to recognize excellence in Canadian publishing of children’s nonfiction. The criteria include accuracy, clarity, imaginative approach, appropriateness of organization and format, and sensitivity to ethnocentric and gender biases.

Vancouver Children’s Literature Roundtable

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The Doorway to Adventure – November 2016

Lee Edward Fodi is working as a writer-in-residence at West Sechelt Elementary on the Sunshine Coast, working with two groups of students ranging from Grades 4-7. During four separate sessions, he is helping the students sculpt a fantasy story based on the idea of “The Doorway to Adventure.”


During the sessions, the students will be covering the different stages of the writing process including brainstorming, plotting, writing, and editing. The students will also be delving into the specific aspects of fantasy writing including world-building, magical elements, and heroes and villains.

— Lee Edward Fodi

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25th anniversary – White Jade Tiger


To celebrate the upcoming 25th anniversary of Julie Lawson’s White Jade Tiger, Dundurn is publishing a new edition — complete with a new cover. The text also got a makeover.

Julie reread the text with a ruthless editor’s eye, correcting typos, cutting unnecessary adjectives and deleting unnecessary space breaks. During the process she discovered how vividly she remembered the process of writing the book. Certain passages brought back hair-tearing struggles while others filled her with the same joy she’d felt when creating them.

White Jade Tiger has led to awards and nominations, hundreds of reading tours throughout BC, and thousands of letters from readers. It has been optioned for a movie, performed as a play by Victoria’s Kaleidoscope Theatre, and is still the theme of walking tours in Victoria’s Chinatown. The book that began as a title scribbled in a notebook has had a very good run so far. Long may it continue!

— Julie Lawson

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CWILL members do apps too!

After twenty years in children’s print publishing as an author and illustrator, I enrolled in UBC’s unique interdisciplinary MA in Children’s Literature program. During my degree I became interested in children’s media, particularly animating picturebooks for trailers and story apps for the iPad. I began a hybrid thesis which involved researching picturebook scholarship and how I could apply it to creating quality story apps. That academic study became a commercial project when I founded Rascal Media.

But I’m not the first CWILL member to have a story app in the iTunes Store. Check out Paola Opal’s Saffy Looks for Rain and Rebecca Kool’s Fly Catcher Boy! Rebecca’s app was developed by former CWILL president, Crystal Stranaghan. Following their leads, I’m proud to announce the completion of my story app for the iPad.

The King’s Ears is an inventive, beautifully illustrated, animation-rich, and highly interactive story app adapted from the award-winning children’s picturebook, The King Has Goat Ears, published by Vancouver’s Tradewind Books. Narrated by Terry Jones of Monty Python fame, this retelling of an ancient Greek myth by CWILL member and early childhood specialist Katarina Jovanovic shines with wisdom and wit. The King’s Ears is about accepting yourself just the way you are. The app’s meaningful and fun interactions, beautiful sounds, and child-controlled animations stimulate laughter and thoughtful discussion.

The King’s Ears story App trailer from Cynthia Nugent on Vimeo.

The beta is essentially the same as the version which will be in the App Store in November. If you would like to download it now for free in exchange for some feedback, please complete the Rascal Media contact form so I can send you a beta invitation. I am hoping to get feedback from as many people as possible during the beta period so we know the app is stable before selling it in iTunes. It works on any iPad or iPad mini except for the very first one that came on the market.

Please share with any teachers, librarians, teacher librarians and students who might be interested in story apps. The app appeals to a broad range of ages but I’d say the sweet spot is grade two.

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