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Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Left to right, this year's Henry Bergh award-winning authors: Barbara Cole; Mary Alice Monroe; Helen Wilbur; Beth Finke; Maribeth Bolts; Sue Ann Alderson; Me; Joanne Ryder and a very talented book designer of "Ape" whose name slips my mind (very sorry!).

I was so impressed by these authors. Beth Finke is not only beautifully dressed in this picture, but had us all in stitches with her straight-up sense of humour about life with a seeing-eye dog. It was lovely to see Sue Ann Alderson, also from Vancouver and a talented author on Tradewind Books list. Vancouver has a very close community of children's book writers but I haven't seen Sue Ann in a few years, so it was especially nice to be reunited with awards in our hands. Mary Alice Monroe is the talented novelist of some beautiful books, including "Time is a River" which I borrowed from the North Vancouver Public Library and thoroughly enjoyed. Thanks to Joanne Ryder for reminding us all of the importance of frog appreciation in childhood"; Barbara Cole presented the true story of "Anna and Natalie" with a warm Southern Charm; author Helen Wilbur accepted the illustration award on behalf of artist Robert Papp for for "M is for Meow" and Maribeth Boelts' reading had us all nodding our heads.

Yup, that's Joe Pentangelo, star of "Animal Precinct" on Animal Planet. My nine year old was so impressed that I got to shake his hand at the ASPCA Awards Ceremony in June! Me too!

One of the events the ASPCA treated authors of this year's Henry Bergh books was a chance to visit and read at the Southeast Area Animal Control Authority (SEAACA), a local Anaheim animal shelter, on June 29th. So if I look a little flushed in this picture, well, it was warm and I was unlucky enough to have come down with stomach flu the day before.

Proceeds from the sale of the books that day were donated to SEAACA and benefit homeless animals in the area. It's an absolutely lovely shelter and every inch is immaculate, what a great refuge the staff provide for those animals. We learned later that they have a very high adoption rate, no surprise in such a welcoming place. The real surprise of the day was "Henry", a little black dog on the loose on the streets of Anaheim. He was running in such a confused and startled way we could tell he hadn't just raced ahead of his owner, he was definitely on his own, skittish and scared. We spotted him when we were just a few blocks away from the shelter. Kristen from the ASPCA headquarters in New York pulled her mini-van over and we all watched as she leaped out of the car, knelt down and opened her arms. "Henry" leapt right in. We all had tears in our eyes. Our convoy started up again and a couple of minutes later, Kristen delivered authors plus dog to SEAACA. Of course this story has an even happier ending, Henry was adopted a few days later.

Saturday, September 06, 2008

A big thank you to the Canadian Children's Book Centre for including Old Mother Bear on their list of Best Books for Kids and Teens 2008. Molly and I very much appreciate the affirmation!