Canadian Society of Children’s Authors, Illustrators and Performers<br>La société canadienne des auteurs, illustrateurs et artistes pour enfants

NOTES from September 2018 meeting with SPEAKER Neil Christopher, Inhabit Media Publisher

Wednesday, September 12, 2018 5:50 PM | Helena Aalto (Administrator)

NOTES from September 12, 2018 meeting with SPEAKER Neil Christopher, Inhabit Media 

President Sharon Jennings welcomed everyone. Noting that CANSCAIP survives on one part time employee, Helena Aalto, Sharon introduced and thanked the many volunteers at tonight’s meeting: Holly Main, Michele Nidenoff, Cathy Rondina, Theo Heras, Thereza Dos Santos, Patricia Storms, and Jennifer Maruno.  She also welcomed Loretta Garbutt, our new recording secretary.

We have lost an amazing volunteer: Christina Senkiw who managed the CANSCAIP art collection. Christine was a great support and wonderful artist.

Our last meeting was in June at the Guelph location and Sharon mentioned how thrilled we were that over 80 people turned out. She then thanked the team that organized the event: Kira Vermond, Lisa Dalrymple, Jean Mills, Werner Zimmerman, and Eric Walters.

Please let our office know if you have a book launch or event coming up. This is one of the easy things that CANSCAIP can do for its Members. Case in point: Eric Walters' publisher asked us to take to Twitter to congratulate him for his 100th book, and Erid was the top Twitter trend in Canada for two days!


Registration for our Packaging Your Imagination conference (on Sat Nov 10) opened at the end of July. We've had a great response and have already matched our 2017 numbers at this point. Don’t delay if you want to attend in person!

In our 2018 Writing for Children Competition, 350 people registered and there were 550 entries, one of the biggest.

Our fifth webinar was Successful School Visits by Kevin Sylvester. If you missed this live, you can still sign up to hear the webinar.

Michele Nidenoff updated us re: the latest CANSCAIP illustrator exhibition at Richmond Hill Heritage Centre.


Helaine Becker

Counting on Katherine, picture book biography Christy Ottaviano Books, Henry Holt, Jun 2018. The true story of Katherine Johnson, of Hidden Numbers fame. 

Sloth at the Zoom, picture book, Owlkids, Aug 2018. Sloth is supposed to go to the zzzzoo, the zoo for sleepy animals. But she is accidentally sent to the ZOOM! A sweet tale about the joys of slowing down and mindfulness. 

Hubots, nonfiction, KCP, Sept 2018, is a companion book to the award-winning Zoobots, focusing on androids - robots in human shapes. Featuring the notorious creepy baby robot and more. 

Deck the Halls, holiday board book, Scholastic Canada, Sept 2018. With the release of Deck the Halls, all three of the bestselling Porcupine in a Pine Tree books are now available in a chunky board book edition for the littlest hands. In French, too! 

Deb Lougheed

Bright Shining Moment, picture book, historical fiction from Second Story Press, Sept 2018. In her 1940’s Ottawa community of Hintonburg one December, Aline Sauriol comes to understand that there is a world of difference between being ‘poor’, and being ‘maybe just a little bit rich’.  

Wild Fire, Orca Currents, reluctant reader series. Bridgewood is having one of the hottest summers on record. Despite the strict fire ban, fires keep breaking out and it looks like arson is behind them. 

Launch - October 27, 2-5 pm, Indigo at Sherway Gardens

Judy Weagle

Magical Words, self-published, Jul 2018 – reluctant reader 14 and up based on respect and positive empowerment of others.

Jocelyn Shipley

Impossible, Orca, reluctant readers ages 12 and up. This is a dark story about a young mother who witnesses a drive-by shooting. 

Raw Talent, middle grade, 9-12 yrs, Orca's Limelight series, Aug 2018, a story about a girl who wants to be a pop star but suffers from severe stage fright.

Sue Irwin

Breaking Through: Heroes in Canadian Women’s Sport, non-fiction for reluctant readers ages 12 and up, James Lorimer & Company, Sept 2018. Highlights seven Canadian women who fought for, and achieved the right to play in sports traditionally dominated by men.

Anne Dublin

A Cage Without Bars, YA historical novel for ages 10 and up, Second Story Press, Sept 2018, the adventures of Joseph, a twelve-year-old Jewish boy, who becomes a slave in 1493 after the expulsion of the Jews from Spain. Launch: October 29th, 7:30pm at the Holy Blossom Temple in Toronto.

Sue Todd 

Illustrations for The Wild Beast by Eric Walters, Orca. Sept 2108, a creative retelling of an African folktale about the creation of the wildebeest, that incorporates a gentle message about treading lightly on the planet.

Sylvia McNicoll

Body Swap, YA, Dundurn Press, Sept 2018. Fifteen-year-old Hallie gets knocked flying by an SUV and her life ends without her having kissed a boy. In the otherworld, she meets the driver, 82 year-old Susan. They return to life but have swapped bodies.


Theo Heras introduced speaker Neil Christopher of Inhabit Media Publishers who gave a wonderful and intriguing presentation, sharing with us many of the ‘insider’ stories of how he developed his business and what it is like to work with the elders of the communities.

Neil went north to teach high school and later taught teachers at the Nunavut Teacher Education Program. This is when Neil saw the need for books about the north by people from the north, in their languages, before these languages are lost.

With a group of colleagues and artists, they formed the Nunavut Bilingual Education Society and began to develop resources for Nunavut schools.

In 2006, Neil partnered with two others to establish Inhabit Media, an independent trade publisher dedicated to telling northern stories. They realized that the language was still growing and that it had the ability to adapt.

Inhabit Media has published over 200 titles in English, Inuktitut, Inuinnaqutun and French. It is the only independent publisher in the north, and the books are distributed across Canada and the US.

Inhabit Media have been selected by the Ontario Library Association's Silver Birch Express awards and have been selected Best Books by Cooperative Children's Book Centre (Wisconsin).

Animals Illustrated: Walrus, by Herve Paniaq and illustrated by Ben Shannon, has been shortlisted for the 2018 children's Literature Roundtables of Canada's Information Book Award.

Please check out their web site for the many wonderful and unique creations they have to offer:

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