Thursday, December 4, 2008

I spend 4 days on a train...

...and look what happens! National Post editor Mark Medley has interviewed ECW Press editor/publisher Michael Holmes about the GG Award cock-up. Big shock, Holmes has echoed other interested parties (Di Brandt, Jacob Scheier, Melanie Rutledge) in saying nothing wrong was done. He says a number of other irrelevant and/or indefensible things (such as that the widespread discontent and media coverage--including, presumably, stories in the Post, Star, CBC, Globe and Mail, and Winnipeg Free Press--is "cyber bullying"), which I don't have time to respond to adequately just now, but that are addressed quite cogently by Andre Alexis in the Bookninja discussion.

Had a good uneventful trip to Toronto. We're pretty excited to be launching Anything But Hank! here on Saturday morning. Here are the full details of the event:

Pages Books & Magazines presents TINARS For Tots

Award-winning playwright and novelist Claudia Dey hosts the first Annual TINARS For Tots Extravagant Holiday Bonanza! Do you like puzzles, mazes and blobs? Then don't miss Clayton Hanmer’s fun-filled unveiling of CTON’s Super A-maze-ing Year of Crazy Comics! (Owl Kids). Ruth Ohi will show us how to make play-do creatures based on Chicken, Pig, Cow (Annick Press). And, what’s in a name? Zach Wells and Rachel Lebowitz will share their tale of a baby that needs a name, Anything But Hank (Biblioasis). – A TINARS For Tots event presented by Pages Books & Magazines, Annick Press, Owl Kids, Biblioasis, Bunch, Gladstone Hotel and The Little Paper.
Gladstone Hotel Ballroom, 1214 Queen St West, Toronto
Sat Dec 6; 10AM (doors 9:30 am) PWYC Cover

CTON’S SUPER A-MAZE-ING YEAR OF CRAZY COMICS: PUZZLES BLOBS & MORE! Is a crazy collection of comics, mazes, puzzles, and all-around silliness from Clayton Hanmer, OWL Magazine’s most ingenious comic artist. Hosted by CTON, a comic book artist turned comic book character, and Blob, a big green blob, CTON’s Super A-maze-ing Year of Crazy Comics is themed by the four seasons. With captivating comic mazes and ridiculous make-believe contraptions, this book is immediately engaging and endlessly re-readable.

CLAYTON HANMER is a Toronto-based illustrator and graphic artist. He writes and illustrates CTON’s Corner, a popular feature in OWL Magazine each month. The winner of many industry awards, his work appears in such diverse publications as National Geographic Kids, The Walrus and the New York Times.

CHICKEN, PIG AND COW love everything about their home … everything except Dog. Pig, Chicken and Cow love the warm and cozy barn Girl made for them out of Popsicle® sticks. Even though Girl forgot to make a door, the three toy animals think their home is perfect. The only thing that isn’t perfect is Dog. He lives outside, but his drool makes it feel as if it’s raining in the barn.

One day, Pig and Chicken decide to go exploring, leaving Cow behind. Before long, Cow hears a drooly, snorty sort of sound, followed by a crash as the barn tips over. Dog is very big, and Cow is terrified – but she really has nothing to fear. All Dog wants to do is play, as Pig and Chicken discover during a daring rescue. Dog becomes a friend. Best of all, now that two sticks have been knocked free, their barn is indeed perfect – front door and all.

With her trademark economy of words and expressive characters, Ruth Ohi has created a refreshing, toddler-friendly story about making friends.

RUTH OHI started her career by illustrating books by other authors. She now has to her credit seven picture books that she has both written and illustrated. Ruth lives with her family in Toronto. Check out Ruth’s website at

ANYTHING BUT HANK! Rachel Lebowitz and Zachariah Wells combine the whimsical humour of Lewis Carroll with the adventure-narrative balladeering of Robert Service in Anything But Hank! to spin an unforgettable tale of a baby -- and a pig! -- in search of a name. Their quest takes them from the city to the mountains, as they seek an audience with the Wizard and his baby-naming Mexican beaded lizard. The story, accompanied by the gorgeously lush paintings of Eric Orchard, is a delight for readers of all ages.

ZACH WELLS is the author of Unsettled, a collection of poems about his experiences in the Canadian Arctic. He is also the reviews editor for Canadian Notes and Queries magazine and has twice won the Arc Magazine Critic's Desk Award. Forthcoming works include a poetry collection, Track & Trace and a collection of reviews and critical essays, Career Limiting Moves. Originally from Price Edward Island, Wells now lives in New Westminster, BC, where he works seasonally as a passenger train attendant. Check out Zach’s website at

RACHEL LEBOWITZ is the author of Hannus, which was shortlisted for the BC Book Prize and for the Edna Staebler Award for Creative Non-Fiction. She lives in Vancouver, British Columbia. Anything But Hank! is her first book for children.

CLAUDIA DEY is a playwright, novelist and columnist. Several of her plays have been produced internationally. Notable amongst these are Beaver, Trout Stanley and the Governor General’s– and Trillium Award–nominated The Gwendolyn Poems. Dey is a graduate of McGill University and the National Theatre School. She also writes the popular "Group Therapy" column for the Globe & Mail. Her debut novel, Stunt received popular and critical acclaim.

DON KERR is a musician, songwriter, producer, and author. He sings and plays drums, cello, and tenor guitar. Kerr has played with Ron Sexsmith since 1987 and was a member of Rheostatics. He has a recording studio in his home called The Rooster, where he works as a highly respected producer. Kerr created and illustrated The Sniffing Princess, a children's book and accompanying cd. He has invented and built many musical instruments; notably, the Salad Bowl Banjo, the Canadian Talking Drum, and The Hydrophone (a 2 octave tuned percussion instrument). .

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