Monday, September 30, 2013

A Qoodle of Margaret Atwood

Magaret Atwood was on CBC Radio's Q today.

The good folks on the show asked me to whip up a Qoodle of Ms. Atwood and her dystopian world.

Here's what I came up with.

Friday, September 20, 2013

My Q Opening Essay

I've had a few people ask for the text of my essay - pro KidsLit essay- from the September 19th episode of Q on CBC Radio.

Here it is.

It'a always nice to come sit in the Q chair.

I'm usually holed up in my attic writing books.

Kids books.

I want to talk about kids books for a second.

There are lots of stories out there right now about Gillers, Bookers, Westons... so on. Canada Reads will kick off in a few months. Books are front page news, finally.


Did you know that the big Canadian Children's book awards were also announced?

Probably not.

Did you know that Jon Klassen - Winnipeg born, Toronto trained - recently won the Caldecott medal for "This is not my Hat"... the Oscars of kids books - and that one of his other titles was a runner-up?

Probably not.

Other countries seem to do a better job of celebrating these achievements. Maurice Sendak was a national treasure in the US. In England, "kids" authors sit on shelves next to "regular" authors, and receive about the same critical attention.

Canada stacks up against these countries with our Munsch's, Oppels, Marie-Louise Gays, Jon Klassens.

Where's our Canada Reads for kids?

I know what you're saying right now. 

Kiddy Litter - Too simplistic, simplified, lots of cuteness or goofiness.

Not true.

The same things were said about graphic novels just a few years ago. But once people began accepting those as a separate genre, and not books-lite, the snobbishness disappeared.

Anyone who think kids books are simple and silly hasn't read any lately.

You should.

Go check out

Click on kids.

And see what all the fuss should be about.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Monday, September 16, 2013

More Bookmarks!

See you all at Word on the Street Toronto this Sunday.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Postcards and more!

Gonna be a busy September.

There's the amazing Telling Tales Festival this Sunday in Rockton, ON. (I am definitely the B-list of the line-up for this year!) If you've never been, it's a blast... there are old trains, buildings, kettle corn!

Then, on Monday, there's Storybook Confidential, an event for Small Print Toronto. You can even get me to do a custom tattoo on your arm! (I think other illustrators might stretch that boundary, but I'm staying clean).

And then next Sunday it's Word on the Street Toronto. I'll have my own booth again on Kids Street (KS-19), and I've started getting this year's batch of handmade bookmarks ready.

Here's a preview.

Visit early and visit often!

Saturday, September 7, 2013


As you may have heard, Neil Flambé and the Tokyo Treasure has been nominated for the John Spray Mystery Award. This is one of the many great awards that TD Bank supports through the Canadian Children's Book Centre - although John Spray himself backs this one!

Well, it's pretty amazing to be nominated and the group of fellow nominees is top notch. (Winner is announced in October at the big TD awards night.)

The nicest thing for me was the lovely description of the book from the judges....

"Filled to the brim with humour and wit, Neil Flambé and the Tokyo Treasure is a joy to read… Characters and location make reading the book an adventure, and the dramatic cooking battles keep the pace lively as the story develops … Sylvester's prose is delicious and Flambé is a character who will never spoil."