Wednesday, 22 June 2022

FIREFLY wins the Ruth and Sylvia Schwartz Children's Book Award 2022!


"The student jurors who selected Firefly were very enthusiastic about the book. 

“We wish we could meet these characters in real life!” they said. “We love how the staff at the magical costume shop became a family for Firefly, and how every character evolved and grew – even the cat! Firefly is so relatable, with very human flaws, and we want to see her again in another story.”

 -- Faywood School Jurors

I am incredibly honoured to announce that FIREFLY has won the Ruth & Sylvia Schwartz Children's Book Award this year. THANK YOU to the Ontario Arts Council, the Schwartz family, the student jurors, the staff and administrators at Faywood Arts-Based Curriculum School, and also thank you to all the readers who have supported this book along the way.

Of course, also a huge thank you to my amazing publisher, DCB Young Readers. Shine on everyone!

Here is the Ontario Arts Council announcement on Twitter 

Read the complete News Release: Ruth and Sylvia Schwartz Children's Book |Award Winners 2022

Monday, 13 June 2022

FIREFLY is a Rocky Mountain Book Award 2023 Nominee!


I am so HONOURED that FIREFLY has been selected by the Rocky Mountain Book Awards for their 2023 list. What a great list too, may I add! Thank you to the nominating committee for adding FIREFLY to some great Canadian titles.

The winners will be decided next spring, 2023, by the young readers of Alberta.
Here's a little more about the RMBA

📚 Connecting Grade 4-7 readers with exemplary Canadian literature ❤️ Encouraging a lifelong love of reading 🏆 Alberta Children's Choice Award

Please go and check out these books, all by talented Canadians. Remember if you loved a book, please spread the word! Online reviews help books and readers find each other. Keep Reading Everyone!

Tuesday, 7 June 2022

Student Art for FIREFLY is mind-blowing and beautiful

What's going on in the mind of FIREFLY? I'm just blown away and extremely honoured to share these thoughtful, smart and insightful illustrations created by a class of Ontario students. A wonderful teacher recently posted them on twitter, and gave me permission to post them here (anonymously, for privacy reasons). Thank you to her and to them!

Here is her explanation of the task the students were given:
"Every “section” represents a scene or moment from the story. Not pictured are their equally incredible justifications."

It's a rare thing to actually see into a reader's mind, and to see how a story affects them. To discover where certain scenes land with them, and what they feel or remember about the important parts of the dialogue, the description, the climax, the action, the main characters. 

It's an incredible gift for an author to receive such beautiful work from readers. As FIREFLY would say, I'm verklempt! I made the images as large as I could, please take your time to see all the thinking, the nuance, the interpretation of emotion and story. Enjoy:

If you have read the book, you'll be amazed too. I find it so moving that many students seemed to relate to Juggernaut the cat, and a few used the little poem about cats (spoken by Moss Cart), as a starting point for their inspiration: 

Stray cat, Stray Cat, where your kitty-katty home be at? 
Kitty wander, kitty roam, kitty-katty, here be home.

Firefly thanks them too!