On Writing, with Alec Dempster

The Huasteca region, an area in Eastern Mexico known for its heterogeneous cultural traditions, is the subject of both visual and literary art in Alec Dempster's Lotería Huasteca (Porcupine's Quill). Alec's series of woodblock prints and complementary texts bring to life the history and flair of Huasteca and the people who live there.

The second part of the book's title will be more familiar to many — lotería is a popular, bingo-like game that features beautifully illustrated cards. Alec borrows from lotería as a structure, bringing the iconic household game into a celebration of the region.

Shortlist for The 2015 Ruth and Sylvia Schwartz Children’s Book Awards Announced

The 2015 shortlist for the Ruth and Sylvia Schwartz Children's Book Awards was announced yesterday. The shortlist is divided into two categories, one for Children's Picture Books and one for Young Adult/Middle Reader, and one winner will be selected from each list by student jurors from Alexander Muir/Gladstone Avenue Junior and Senior Public School.

Five students in Grades Three and Four will select the winner of the Children's Picture Book Award, and five students in Grades Seven and Eight will choose the Young Adult/Middle Reader award recipient. Each winning author will take home a $6,000 prize.

The awards will be announced at the school on Friday, May 15, 2015.

The Proust Questionnaire, with Robert Priest

Robert Priest's Spell Crossed series launched with The Paper Sword last summer. Now fantasy lovers can rejoice, as he returns this spring with the next instalment, Second Kiss (Dundurn Press). Young Saheli and Xemion are back, but have been separated by a crossed spell. War is on the horizon, and two friends have little time to find each other. Drawing comparisons to The Chronicles of Narnia, the Spell Crossed series is a modern classic.

Today Robert appears on Open Book to take on our favourite personality-revealing quiz, the Proust Questionnaire. He tells us about his favourite Narnia hero, a fantastical power he'd like to possess and a personal motto we can happily second.

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