How a new children’s book series reminded me about the magic of world-building

Between the Cracks of Here and There

Author (and friend!) Kallie George recently wrote a guest post on my blog in which she described her world-building process for her brand new children’s book series, The Heartwood Hotel. 

Since that post, Kallie officially launched the series with a fun and engaging event at Kidsbooks, our local bookstore that specializes in catering to young readers.

heartwoodhotellaunch-kalliegeorgeThe launch was a stupendous success. Families were lined up down to block as they waited for the doors to open, clamoring to hear Kallie share her new world. For Kallie, that mean not only mesmerizing the kids with a reading of the first book in the series, but also providing amazing and tangible pieces that were completely interactive.

I was reminded, once again, about the magic that can happen when you really put the “build” into world-building.


In the earlier post on my blog, Kallie talked about using mapping as a…

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Oy Vey! We have a winner!

The Oy Vey! Committee is thrilled to announce that the Joan Betty Stuchner Oy Vey! Funniest Children’s Book Award for 2015-2016 goes to Rolli for his charming and hilarious book about a cave girl who lives in a cave on Main Street, Kabungo. Funnily enough, we announced the prize on Main Street last night, to a full house at the Cottage Bistro.

Thanks to all who came, to those who entertained us, and to especially Rolli, who flew out to accept the award and his prize of $1000, and to read a bit of Kabungo to us, in a gorilla suit, no less. And thanks again to all who helped make it happen.

Written by Rolli
Illustrated by Milan Pavlović
Groundwood/House of Anansi, 2016

Ten-year-old Beverly is an ordinary girl with an extraordinary best friend. Her name is Kabungo, and she lives in a cave on Main Street. No one knows where she comes from or who she really is, but life is never dull when Kabungo is around.


— Cindy Heinrichs, Silvana Goldemberg, Caroline Adderson, and Kathie Shoemaker

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16th Annual Chocolate Lily Award nominees

Congratulations to all authors, illustrators, and publishers whose submissions were shortlisted for the 16th Annual Chocolate Lily Book Awards!

The lists for all categories – Novels, Chapter Books and Picture Books – are posted on the Chocolate Lily website:

Picture Book Nominees

  • Bear’s Winter Party by Deborah Hodge and Lisa Cinar – Groundwood Books
  • Dojo Surprise by Chris Tougas – Owl Kids
  • Good Pirate by Kari-Lynn Winters & Dean Griffins illus. – Pajama Press
  • If I Had a Gryphon by Vikki Vansickle and Cale Atkinson –Tundra Books
  • The Lost Gift by Kallie George and Stephanie Graegin – Penguin Random House Canada
  • Spare Dog Parts by Alison Hughes and Ashley Spires – Orca Books Pub

Chapter Book Nominees (Grades 2 – 4)

  • Blackberry Juice by Sara Cassidy – Orca Books
  • Fluffy Strikes Back by Ashley Spires – Kids Can Press
  • Jasper John Dooley: Public Library Enemy #1 by Caroline Adderson – Kids Can Press
  • The Missing Magic by Kallie George– Harper Collins Pub

Novel Category Nominees (Grades 4 – 7)

  • Adventure on Whalebone Island by M.A. Wilson – Rainy Bay Press
  • Duke’s Den by Becky Citra – Orca Books Pub
  • Everyday Hero by Kathleen Cherry – Orca Books Pub
  • Pandas on the Eastside by Gabrielle Prendergast – Orca Book Pub
  • A Rare Gift by G. Rosemary Ludlow – Comwave Publishing House
  • Root Beer Candy and Other Miracles by Shari Green – Pajama Press
  • Seeking Refuge by Irene N. Watts – Tradewind Books
  • Shot in the Dark by Janet M. Whyte – James Lorimer & Co

— Harmina Jansen
Chocolate Lily Book Awards

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Heartwood Hotel book launch – July 13th, 2017

Hope lots of you can make it to the launch of my Heartwood Hotel chapter book!

Thursday, July 13th | 7 pm
2557 West Broadway, Vancouver

Though it is rather late, it will definitely be a kid-friendly event—with activities, snacks and prizes!

 — Kallie George

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Oy Vey Comedy Night – June 20th, 2017

The winner of the first Joan Betty Stuchner Oy Vey Award for the Funniest Canadian Children’s Book will be announced at Oy Vey Comedy Night:

Tuesday, June 20th, 2017 | 7-9 pm
Cottage Bistro
4470 Main Street, Vancouver

The evening is FREE! Wine, beer and light refreshments will be served.

There will be readings and performances by local authors and illustrators, the announcement of the winner, and a fabulous draw for a HUGE (50!!!) collection of FUNNY books for any Teacher/Librarian present who has a school library.

— Caroline Adderson

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CWILLers kick off TD Book Week at Christianne’s Lyceum

Left to right: Linda Demeulemeester, Christianne Hayward, Laura Farina (in front), Mahtab Narsimhan, and Norma Charles at Christianne’s Lyceum

TD Book Week was off to a great start with a warm welcome/launch party at Christianne’s Lyceum. Two members of CWILL, Norma Charles and Linda Demeulemeester, read with me in front of an engaged audience. Thoughtful comments from Christianne and the attendees gave us an opportunity to share our inspirations and writing processes. Over snacks and crafts for the kids, we had a chance to chat and get to know each other.

Thanks to Laura Farina and Christianne Hayward for hosting us, and to Cynthia Nugent for her support!

— Mahtab Narsimhan

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