________________ CM . . . . Volume VIII Number 20 . . . . June 6, 2002

cover Meet Canadian Authors and Illustrators: 60 Creators of Children's Books. Revised Edition.

Allison Gertridge.
Markham, ON: Scholastic Canada, 2002.
144 pp., pbk., $16.99.
ISBN 0-439-98780-6.

Subject Headings:
Authors, Canadian-20th century-Biography.
Children's literature, Canadian-Bio-bibliography.
Illustration of books-Canada-Bio-bibliography.

Grades 3 and up / Ages 8 and up.

Review by Dave Jenkinson.

**** /4


Julie Johnston

Growing up as the middle sister in a family of three girls, Julie Johnston spent a lot of time reading as a child - horse books, especially, and all of L.M. Montgomery's Anne novels. But the fictional character she felt closest to was Louisa May Alcott's struggling writer, Jo March.

The revised edition's subtitle states that it contains "60 Creators of Children's Books." As the first edition, which appeared in 1994, offered but 50 entries, mathematically inclined readers will recognize that there appears to have been a twenty percent increase in the content of the revised edition. However, a comparison of the tables of contents of the two editions reveals that, in fact, the difference is actually twice as large for the revised edition has deleted 10 subjects who were part of the first edition: Warabé Aska, Lyn Cook, Laszlo Gal, Martyn Godfrey, Ted Harrison, Linda Hendry, Dayal Kaur Khalsa, Lucy Maud Montgomery, Gordon Penrose and Gilles Tibo. Since books from these "removed" authors and illustrators are likely still to be found in school and public libraries, owners of the first edition of Meet Canadian Authors and Illustrators who are planning to purchase the revised version are strongly advised against discarding the original work. Making up the roster of the 20 new entries are: Karleen Bradford, Kady MacDonald Denton, Brian Doyle, Sarah Ellis, Kim Fernandes, Sheree Fitch, Linda Granfield, Barbara Greenwood, Julie Johnston, Rukhsana Khan, Julie Lawson, Ron Lightburn, Norah McClintock, Tololwa M. Mollel, Kenneth Oppel, Karen Reczuch, Shelley Tanaka, Maxine Trottier, Eric Walters and Tim Wynne-Jones.

     Like its predecessor, the revised edition of Meet Canadian Authors and Illustrators is organized alphabetically from Michael Bedard to Werner Zimmerman with pairs of facing pages being devoted to each person. Via a banner, each entry introduces its subject as an "Author," an "Illustrator" or as an "Author/Illustrator." In the case of the 40 reappearing subjects, in most instances their black and white photos have been updated though the content of their entries, with the exception of the bibliography portion, remains essentially unchanged. The author's/illustrator's date and place of birth plus his/her present community of residence appear under each photo. Below that is a bibliography of "Selected Titles" which, in the case of authors/illustrators, also uses symbols to indicate when they are responsible for just a work's text or its illustrations. The bibliography also identifies any major awards, such as Governor General's Award or the Vicky Metcalf Award, which the person has won. As before, Gertridge utilizes black and white reproductions of two book covers per entry for decorative purposes, and, in the case of entries found in the initial volume, she has usually updated them. The two column text speaks briefly to the author's/illustrator's background and normally addresses how s/he came to her/his craft plus how s/he works. Each person's entry concludes with a "Do It Yourself!" suggestion for budding young authors or illustrators. These suggestions are either made by the entry's subject or are based on that person's works.

     The supplementary sections at the book's conclusion have also been modified slightly. The "Awards" section has added five new awards while deleting one. Instructions and suggestions for "Hosting an Author/Illustrator Visit" remain unchanged. The "Need Help?" section now references CANSCAIP and the Canadian Authors Association in addition to the Canadian Children's Book Centre and the Writers' Union of Canada. The "Birthdays" section lists the book's subjects by date, beginning with Philippe Beha's January 1 birthday and concluding with that of Janet Lunn on December 28. While the "On Becoming a Better Writer" section has been maintained, a new one-page section, ideas "On Becoming a Better Artist," has been added. The "Your Classroom Publishing Centre," a bibliography of writing related books, has been expanded from 17 to 30 titles. Also greatly expanded is the concluding "Additional Resource Materials" section which provides references to other sources of materials about the book's subjects.

     As school children are frequently searching for biographical material about their favorite Canadian authors and illustrators, either for their own interest or because of school assignments, a book like Meet Canadian Authors and Illustrators is a necessary resource in the nation's elementary or early/middle schools. And the modest $2.05 increase over the first edition makes the new volume a steal.

Highly recommended.

Dave Jenkinson teaches courses in children's and YA literature in the Faculty of Education, the University of Manitoba.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

Copyright the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.

Published by
The Manitoba Library Association
ISSN 1201-9364