Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Ruth and Sylvia Schwartz Children's Books Awards

Baba Wague Diakite's Art
1:30pm at Ryerson Community School, Denison Street, Toronto: About forty people gather at the library to announce and celebrate the Ruth and Sylvia Schwartz Book Awards. Started in 1976 by Sylvia Scwartz in honour of her sister Ruth, their family have since 2004, renamed the award for both Sylvia and Ruth whose work honoured children; Ruth as a bookseller and Sylvia as a photographer. The award ceremony was simple and sweet with the welcome and introductions by Brian McBurney the teacher-librarian of Ryerson school and Janet Stubbs of the Ontario Arts Foundation. Fule and I were the entertainment, and who better to tell of than Ananse. That trickster spider has been my favorite theme this week and as the owner of all stories, he claims even the ones in books. Ha!

Lorraine Filyer of the Ontario Arts Council, introduced the student jurors and the shortlisted books of both categories of the award: Picture Books and Young Adult books. She also gave us a glimpse of the process of choosing the winners.

Kenneth Oppel won the YA award for his book "Darkwing" and Duncan Weller won the picture book award for his picture book "The Boy From The Sun." In attendance were Carol Solway and Herb Solway representatives of the Schwartz family and the foundation, the principal of the school and other people connected with the OAC, libraries and education. There was a delightful 3 month old baby girl in pink and blue jeans and about thirty five students including the jurors and their friends. At the end we ate chocolate cupcakes and juice. Yum!

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