Sarah Turner reads from her book, The Littlest Monkey
Here's a video we made of Sarah Turner reading from her book,
The Littlest Monkey
Here's a video we made of Sarah Turner reading from her book,
More pictures from our Working with Wool, a Coast Salish Legacy and the Cowichan Sweater by Sylvia Olsen, book launch.
Jim said it looks like I'm driving downhill but I'm actually driving up our steep mountain road (please excuse the annoying clicking sound from my camera).
Sylvia Olsen chats about her new book Working with Wool: A Coast Salish Legacy and the Cowichan Sweater.
After dinner one night last week, I was walking across the lawn to go back to work and noticed a bear standing near the back of the shop. I quickly went back to our house to put Gussy Buster Boy inside and grabbed my camera. The bear was non-aggressive and very kindly took off after I told it to go home.
One of my favourite things to do is make little movies om my Mac computer. I made this one back in 2009. It's 7 or 8 hours of time-lapse photography condensed into 2 1/2 minutes.
Shelagh Rogers will be interviewing Gabriola Island author Katherine Gordon about our Slocan Valley gardening book, The Garden That You Are on Sounds Like Canada, Monday May 19. I'm preparing for an onslaught of orders after it airs!
Yetsa's Sweater by Sylvia Olsen and Chasing the Moon by Penny Chamberlainhttp://www.sononis.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=193&Itemid=183 have been nominated for the 2007-2008 Chocolate Lily Award; congratulations Penny and Sylvia!
Last week a school librarian from Kindersley, Saskatchewan called to say a library committee at her school has decided to pull our Saskatchewan Willow Award nominated book, Trouble on Tarragon Island by Nikki Tate from their shelves and they are returning all copies to their supplier. The librarian told me that the committee felt our book was not appropriate for the age level it was listed at (8 - 12) and they were offended by the words "saggy breasts" and "bazoongas" and in particular by the sentence on page 11, line 14: "And Simon had his hands cupped around two invisible melons suspended in front of him." That sentence is part of the opening scene in the book where the protagonist, Heather Blake, is being bullied at school after her tree-hugging Grandma has posed semi-nude in a Ladies of the Forest calendar to protest logging in an oldgrowth forest. The committee feels that by allowing students to read our book, they are condoning behaviour that they have zero tolerance for in their school.
It's official! I've booked Nikki's and my plane tickets for the Bologna Children's Book Fair next March; needless to say, we're both very excited! Not only will this be my first trip to Europe, but we'll get to immerse ourselves for four full days in the children's book publishing industry. And the best part is we're flying there business class thanks to my huge stash of Air Canada Aeromiles!
Another whirlwind trip to Victoria for me, right on the heels of a five day trip to Toronto where I served on an Ontario Arts Council jury. Between trips, I had to get our BPIDP grant application finished and sent off by its May 15th deadline and get our Fall 2007 catalogue ready for the printers. It's been extremely hectic around here, to say the least! My trip to Victoria was to launch Robert Turner's beautiful new railroad book, Steam Along the Boundary at the Pacific Rails 2007 Rail Convention at the University of Victoria. Over 1300 rail fans attended on Sunday - it was a roaring success!
Just Ask Us by Sylvia Olsen has been nominated for The Steller Book Award: B.C.'s Teen Readers Choice Award. The nominees were selected by groups of teens in the Comox area on Vancouver Island. Teens named this award, drew the graphics, wrote the "book blurbs" and participate on the selections and steering committees. Congratulations Sylvia!
What an exciting evening we had!! Jim and I flew back to Victoria to attend the BC Book Prize Awards Ceremony held at Government House on Saturday. There were twelve of us in our group including Katherine Gordon (nominated for her book, Made to Measure ) Sylvia Olsen and Joan Larson (nominated for their book, Yetsa's Sweater) their partners, Marc, Tom, and Paul; Penny and Adrian Chamberlain, Nikki Tate, and even little Yetsa joined us. We all met outside Government House at 4:30 sharp so we could attend the VIP reception which was held downstairs in one of my favourite rooms in Government House, the MacClure Room. After mingling with a glass of wine, were were given pointers about what to do if we won and then we were instructed to form a circle around the room. Her Honour, Iona Campagnolo, went around the room to meet each one of us - she is an amazing woman! Then we all went upstairs to the Great Hall where the awards ceremony was held - it looked spectacular!
Jim and I are back from a whirlwind weekend trip to Victoria to launch our latest book, Government House: The Ceremonial Home of All British Columbians. We had an incredible time! Before the launch, we were invited to a special luncheon hosted by Her Honour, Iona Campagnolo, The Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia. We arrived at Government House a little early so we could walk around the beautiful gardens; after we went inside, Jim and I were led upstairs with the other eight guests to Her Honour's private suite. After introductions, we had a glass of sherry and then at the appointed time, we went across the hall and had lunch in the elegant Rattenbury Dining Room. Then we were taken downstairs to have our official portrait taken before going outside to listen to Her Honour pay tribute to the remaiming fifteen firefighters that fought the fire that burned down the previous Government House 50 years ago. Then Her Honour unveiled our book - it was very exciting! We then went inside to the bookselling table, where Rosemary Neering and Tony Owen signed autographs and Jim and I sold books. It was extremely busy - I think over 2000 people attended the open house! After the launch we were invited for tea downstairs in the MacClure Room with the staff and Her Honour. Needless to say, it was a very memorable day!
Exciting news! Two of the four books we published last year have been nominated for the prestigious BC Book Awards. Katherine Gordon's, Made to Measure: a History of Land Surveying in British Columbia has been nominated for the Roderick Haig-Brown Regional Prize and Sylvia Olsen's, Yetsa's Sweater (illustrated by Joan Larson), has been nominated for the BC Booksellers Choice Award. The Bookseller's Choice Award honours the author, illustrator, and publisher, which makes Sono Nis an official finalist, too! The BC Book Prize winners will be announced at the Lieutenant Governor's BC Book Prizes Gala on Saturday, April 28th at Government House in Victoria. This is the second time Katherine and Sylvia have been nominated for BC Book Awards in the last two years! Congratulations to Sylvia, Joan and Katherine! See you on the 28th!
Wow, three of our books have been nominated for the 2007 Saskatchewan Young Readers' Choice Willow Awards.
Gus had a great Christmas; he loves the squeaky bone his aunt Judy gave him and takes it everywhere, even to bed. When it was time to open Santa's present, he didn't want to put his new squeaky bone down; when he finally opened it, he immediately forgot about the squeaky bone and wanted to take his new rawhide bone outside. After lying in the snow and chewing on it for an hour or so, he buried it somewhere and we haven't seen it since!
If you'd been in the office on Friday (Dec 15) you'd have heard a huge sigh of relief when I finished packaging up the last of our grant applications to take down to the post office. From mid-November to mid-December, it's the busiest, craziest, and most hectic and chaotic time of the year for me. Most people think it's because of all the Christmas orders we send out at this time of the year; well, that's only part of it. It starts with getting sales material ready for our Kate Walker sales conference in Vancouver at the end of November, which includes having finished catalogue copy and sales material of our Spring '07 books for our 15 Canadian sales reps. Then it's on to our Canada Council block grant application which is due December 1st: six very full pages of writing about our company and the books we've produced and will be producing next year along with a ton of financial forms to fill out. Part of the process means working with our accountants to get our fiscal year end finished off, so I can fill in the financial information. And this year, add in my trip to Victoria in early December for a few meetings with our publicist and authors about the new and exciting grant from Canada Council for special project funding (SOFI - Supplementary Operating Funds Initiative) and a meeting with Rosemary Neering and Government House officials to show various samples of special editions they can choose from for the Government House book we're publishing this spring, and then back to Winlaw just in time to send our Spring catalogue off to the printers, work on the BC Arts Council block grant application (due Dec 15), write Christmas cards, do up a brand new contract for illustrators, and work on the CC SOFI grant which was also due Dec 15. Then add to the mix, Joanne, my main employee, was very ill and ended up having an emergency appendectomy on December 15!
Jim made me this interactive Christmas card from our dog Gus and the cats. It's called The Ten Days of Crittermas. Click here to view it!
Penny Chamberlain's latest book, Chasing the Moon has received two fantastic reviews since it was released just six weeks ago. The first glowing review was in the Victoria Times Colonist and reviewer Barbara Julian starts with high praise: "This elegant piece of storytelling is hard not to gush about"; the second review is in CM Magazine, the reviewer Vikki VanSickle writes: "Chasing the Moon is a solid sophomore novel from a promising Canadian writer." Congratulations, Penny!
Yetsa's Sweater by Sylvia Olsen (illustrated by Joan Larson) was one of the ten children's books featured in "the best of the current crop" in Susan Perren's Globe and Mail article, "Ten titles to tickle the tots" in Saturday's edition. Congratulations to Sylvia and Joan for creating such a fabulous book!
Since my two daughters are grownups now, it feels right that I sponsor two little girls through World Vision. Meet the newest member of our World Vision family, Sililo, who lives in Zambia, Africa. Sililo is seven years old and doesn't go to school. I think by my sponsoring her, she'll be provided with a school uniform that will enable her to go to school. I'm looking forward to getting to know her, as I'm getting to know Hameimida, my other World Vision daughter who lives in Mauritania, Africa. Hamemida writes to me at least once a month; we seem to have a strong bond with each other - what a gift!
May 1991 - November 16, 2006
Here's a great review of Yetsa's Sweater in CM Magazine. I particularly like how the reviewer, Gregory Bryan, says: "It is so well written and so artistically illustrated, however, that it is a book that will appeal to a much wider audience. Olsen’s and Larson’s collaboration provides an interesting insight into a unique aspect of Canada’s diverse heritage."
Nikki Tate arrived on Friday for a visit before starting a grueling week-long school tour here in the Kootenays. On Saturday, Jim went hiking with a friend, so we had the day to ourselves; Nikki worked in the office creating a new awards deadline database for us (of course, she did an amazing job!) and helped me get started on my first clothing sewing project - pajama bottoms. Then we had a nice walk with Gus up to the log house our friends and new-neighbours-to-be Deryl and Jan are building. On Sunday there was a scheduled 6 hour power-outage from 8 am - 2 pm; before the power went off I made lots of coffee for the thermal carafe, put toast in a hot oven and Jim made us brie omlettes. We had a wonderful morning relaxing by the fire and reading to our hearts content, taking breaks to refill our coffee mugs, and have little chats. It was a perfect morning!
What a week we had! Seven wonderful days launching our two newest children's books at the Mary Winspear Centre in Sidney, BC.