CM Archive
CM Archive Book Review line

Edited by Barbara Greenwood.
Markham, ON: Pembroke Publishers, 1991.
296pp., paper, $24.95.
ISBN 0-921217-58-7. CIP.

Subject Headings:
Authors, Canadian-20th century-Biography.

Grades 5 and up / Ages 10 and up

Reviewed by Brenda Reed.

Volume 19 Number 3
1991 May

The CANSCAIP Companion (The Canadian Society of Children's Authors, Illustrators and Performers) will be a useful reference source for children's librarians, elementary school teachers, and anyone else interested in Canadian children's literature because it provides information on some authors that may not be available elsewhere.

The book presents 262 alphabetically arranged one-page entries that provide a brief biographical description, a black-and-white photograph, a list of published works, awards, other memberships, and an "available for" section. The biographies are brief (one to three paragraphs), the photographs are not always available, and the lists of published works are not always complete (due to space restrictions), but the "available for" category will be useful for librarians and teachers who are looking for a children's author to visit their school. This section indicates whether or not an author is interested in school visits, and includes an address and phone number for the writer.

The biographical entries are uneven in content and style, but they generally include information on the author's education, and sometimes include an account of the writer's current interests. A better source of biographical information on over one hundred prominent Canadian children's authors and illustrators is available from The Canadian Children's Book Centre. The Canadian Children's Book Centre's biographies provide more complete information about the authors/illustrators than is given by CANSCAIP, and the Centre's biographies also include a photograph and a list of published works. They are available individually or as a set from the Canadian Children's Book Centre.

The authors, illustrators and performers included in CANSCAIP's "biographical record of Canadian children's authors, illustrators, and performers" were not chosen according to any set of criteria. Rather, this is a biographical record of the current membership of CANSCAIP. Accordingly, several of Canada's most well known children's authors (Stephane Poulin, Marie-Louise Gay and Brian Doyle, to name three) are not included in what otherwise seems an inclusive effort. This is, however, a useful membership list for librarians and teachers to have access to. Appendices include lists of "membership by craft," "membership by region," a directory of organizations concerned with writing and reading, and a list of Canadian awards and prizes for children's authors and illustrators.

Brenda Reed, Bishop's College School, Lennoxville, PQ.
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1971-1979 | 1980-1985 | 1986-1990 | 1991-1995


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