Dog Night at the Story Zoo is nominated for the Joan Stuchner Oy Vey! funny book award

Nothing helps in curing two months of debilitating back pain and a kidney stone attack like finding out that one of your books, Dog Night at the Story Zoo, has been nominated for the Joan Betty Stuchner Oy Vey! Award. Why? Because ironically, oy vey is what I’ve been groaning of late, and laughter is medicine, and an award celebrating funny books is kind of related.

It’s also a great honour. Those of us in Vancouver knew Joan to be a very funny soul who was taken from us much too early. This award was set up by some of her writer friends.

Dog Night at the Story Zoo is a graphic novel illustrated by Vick Nerino and published by Tundra Books

Red Cedar Awards Gala

Yesterday, I took part in the Red Cedar awards gala and had a great time! This is an event owned by the children (several hundred strong) who packed the room, many of whom had taken the ferry from Victoria that morning to get there. These grade 4-6 students served as masters of ceremony, they introduced the authors in attendance, they performed skits based on the nominated books and they came up to us to chat and get books signed. The level of confidence, the degree of capability and the abundance of humour shown by them has so much to do with the fact that these were children in school reading clubs who were among other children from other schools who also had a passion for reading. I was impressed with all of them.

PSA: Red Cedar Award Gala 2016

Janet of The Book Wars blog states all the important info and reasons why you should come down to the Vancouver central library tomorrow.

The Book Wars

Should you happen to be in or near Vancouver tomorrow (May 7, 2016), head to Vancouver Public Library’s Central Branch for the Red Cedar Award Gala 2016!

The Red Cedar is BC’s Reader’s Choice Award. Students in grades 4-7 read and vote on their favourite fiction and information books from the nominated list. At the Gala, readers get to meet nominated authors, talk books with friends, give speeches or perform skits about nominated books, and *drumroll* the winners are announced.

Honestly, the whole day is a win, and all the books (and authors) (and readers) are winners. The gala is a ton of fun, as attendees of last year’s gala can attest.

And this year’s line-up of author attendees looks fabulous. Here’s the plan for the day:

11:30 am – noon: Book sales & signings with Kidsbooks and featured nominees

Noon – 3 pm: Gala! Skits & book…

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A New Book Award Looking for Submissions

Oy Vey Funny Book AwardI would like to pass on information regarding a new children’s book award that is in honour of Joan Betty Stuchner, who passed away in 2014. If you write funny children’s books, read the following press release by the amazing organizing committee:
Joan Betty Stuchner, beloved children’s author and teacher, passed away
unexpectedly in 2014. Joan was many things — brave, gracious, warm,
generous, kind and absolutely hilarious to boot. (“*Oy vey!*” she’s
probably saying now…) With this award we honour Joan’s life-affirming
humour and encourage other children’s writers to laugh it up on the page
the way she did.

The $1000 Joan Betty Stuchner — Oy Vey! — Funniest Children’s Book Award
will be presented biannually to a Canadian author or illustrator of the
work of juvenile fiction that had the jury most: buckled over with guffaws,
incapacitated with giggles, and/or rib-ticklingly, side-splittingly,
thigh-slappingly entertained.

*Eligible works:*

· board books

· picture books

· chapter books

· graphic novels

· juvenile fiction (suitable for readers up to grade 7)

· created by Canadian authors and/or illustrators permanently residing
in Canada

· published between 1 January 2015 and 31 December 2016

· written in English

*Ineligible works:*

· non-fiction

· young adult fiction

· self-published titles

*Submission requirements: *Please send 3 copies of the work along with
the application form to:

The Joan Betty Stuchner OyVey Funniest Children’s Book Award

11731 Fourth Avenue,

Richmond, BC V7E 3H5

*Download the application form

*Please include a $25 submission fee per title by PayPal or a cheque
payable to “JBS Oy Vey Award”.*

*Submission deadline: *1 January 1017

*The first Joan Betty Stuchner Oy Vey Funniest Children’s Book Award will
be presented at a special ceremony in Spring 2017.*


The Joan Betty Stuchner — Oy Vey! — Funniest Children’s Book Award
Committee: Caroline Adderson, Silvana Goldemberg, Cindy Heinrichs, Kathryn

*For more information please visit the website:

Willow Award Nomination!

I’m thrilled to announce that Audrey (cow) has been nominated for a 2016 Willow Award, in the Diamond Willow (grade 4-6 fiction) category.willowawards logo framed

This is a reader’s choice award for the province of Saskatchewan, where I have toured many times and thoroughly enjoyed the schools I’ve visited.

Learn more about the awards here:

2016 Willow Award Nominees


A Red Cedar Award Interview


The Red Cedar Award is an annual, young reader’s-choice event given in two categories: fiction and information. Students from across the province of British Columbia take part in deciding the winners.

This is the first time one of my books have been nominated and I’m very excited to be attending the gala awards ceremony on May 7th at the main branch of the Vancouver Public Library. I understand that there will be skits performed based on the shortlisted books.

As part of the pre-voting activities, interviews have been conducted with the authors. Here is the link for the one I did with a grade six student from Pemberton BC:

Red Cedar Award Interview with Dan Bar-el

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