Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Primary Science Series in Arabic

I had a cool package in the mail the other day -- the Arabic copies of the books in my Primary Science series. They are published by the Egyptian publisher Nahdet Misr. I can't find a link on the web and still haven't got the scanner hooked up, so I can't show a picture. They're very cool though. The kids enjoyed seeing how the cover and direction of reading is the opposite to the books in English. (Spine on the right and you read from "back to front.") The copies of my books I have in Arabic and Chinese (I suppose it would actually be Cantonese or Mandarin, but I don't know how the characters look) are my favourites. Each character is like a piece of artwork!

For those keen about writing and reading, especially for children and youth, you might want to make the trip to UBC May 4-5 to take in Serendipity. This wonderful annual event brings together illustrators, writers, publishers, and other bookish types for a wonderful day of talks about books. Cornelia Funke, Sarah Ellis, Bill Slavin, Ian Wallace and others are on the schedule this year. I'll be taking my teenager daughter and her friend -- enthusiastic teen readers who can't wait to see Cornelia Funke. If you are in Vancouver, consider joining/supporting the Vancouver Children's Literature Roundtable. There is also a CLB on Vancouver Island, but I don't have a link for them at the moment. Will post it when I do.

Another drippy spring day here, but there are primroses, daffodils, and forsythia brightening things up.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Honour for Skunks!
My book, Skunks, has been selected as an Outstanding Science Trade Book by the National Science Teachers' Association. It's a pretty short list, so it's a great honour and a nice way to begin my week. You can see the complete list at the NSTA site. My colleagues from YES Mag also have a book on the list -- the wonderful Science Detectives: How Scientists Solved Six Real-Life Mysteries.

Friday, March 02, 2007

Course: Writing Non-fiction for Children's Magazines
In my role as an editor, and from speaking with other editors of children's magazines, I know that many children's magazines are eager for well-written non-fiction for children. It seems that when most people think of writing for children, they only consider fiction. There is a world out there waiting to be written about! Non-fiction can be so many things: personal experience, history, sports, science, nature, ... it's really endless. I'll be teaching a course with SFU's Summer Publishing Program entitled Writing Non-fiction for Children's Magazines. (I can't attach the direct link for some reason, but go to the SFU site and look at the courses down the right hand side of the home page.)Maybe I'll see you there?

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Thanks to the students of Ucluelet Elementary, Ucluelet Secondary and Braefoot Elementary schools. I was hosted by these schools in the last month and really enjoyed meeting with young people to talk about books and writing.

The latest issue of KNOW is out. This was a fun, dirty issue -- in a literal, not naughty way! It's all about how dirt (more scientifically, soil) is part of our lives and the lives of plants and other animals.

I won't have much time to blog in the next while as I'll be reading through a stack of books. I'm on the jury for the chapter books and novels of BC's Chocolate Lily Awards. I'm looking forward to it, but I have a lot of reading ahead -- BC authors are very prolific and I have over 40 books to read! (To qualify, the books need to have been written (or illustrated for picture books) by BC residents.) Once the short-list has been announced, I'll post comments on some of my favourites.