17.10.17

A Letter From Dolly

So pleased and proud that This Is Sadie was selected for #DollysLibrary a fabulous literacy initiative by Dolly Parton. 
Imagination Library sees books sent directly to children (ages five and under) in Canada, the United States, the UK, and Australia. It is such a cool program! But beyond all that it is Dolly Parton. And the day I got the letter in the mail was one of the more surreal experiences of my life.


Updated to include periodic reminder that Julie Morstad is the wonderful and you really need to buy ALL of her books.

12.9.17

When You Were Small

Thrilled that a little over a decade after its first publication When You Were Small is now available in paperback. Simply Read Books plans to bring the whole trilogy out in paper over the next year and I'm happy to think of the books finding their way into more small hands!

This seems like a good time to look back at some of the nice things that have happened since the book was first published. The original WYWS blog for the books is still up and it's been interesting trawling through the posts. A lot has happened and I've met a number of wonderful people because of these books and a fair few wonderful things have come my way because of these people.


The books are being seen into publication in French by Éditions de L'Étagère du bas and are also scheduled for publication in Simplified Chinese by Beijing TIANDAI Multimedia Publishing. My dream is to one day see the books published as board books for babies or in a miniature boxed edition for people who love Sendak's Nutshell Library. 


Our little Henry got a nice spotlight moment in The Walrus recently thanks to writer Kerry Clare. One of my favourite things about that whole experience was when I got the call from the fact-checker at the magazine. "Is it true you like small things?" she asked.


And here's one of the loveliest of small things that has come my way. A gift from Kellie Diguangco (whose friendship is itself a gift).



11.9.17

Sadies

Thought I would re-share the fab activity kit that Tundra Books made up for This Is Sadie...among the other beauties to be found here are a fox mask you can print yourself, paper dolls, and bunting featuring some of Julie Morstad's patterns from the book.








Since This Is Sadie was published I've had the privilege and joy of meeting a number of Sadies. Some of them are named Sadie and some of them just are. If you'd like to share a pic of your Sadie you can find me over on Instagram as 123olearyo.

More about the book here on tumblr and a throwback to when it was featured on All The Wonders.

26.8.17

Classroom Poster

The very nice people over at Groundwood Books have made a downloadable classroom poster for A Family Is a Family Is A Family.  Link HERE



The thing I really love about this image was that it was only after seeing Qin Leng's art that I realised that (of course) a classroom is another sort of family. Sending love out to to all the teachers and school librarians heading back to work!
And so long as I'm here, let me just say how proud I am to be published by Groundwood Books and Sheila Barry. Read about their fantastic diversity mandate here.

15.8.17

This Is Sadie (only smaller)


Really, really, really thrilled that This Is Sadie is being given a board book edition.

This picture gives a rough approximation of what the board book size will be and its beauty relative to the original.


Brilliant Julie Morstad art and Kelly Hill design on that cover.

The book pubs March 6, 2018 and will cost roughly half what the hardcover does which means you can give it to twice as many children, right?

Book available for preorder now.

Tundra Books
March 6, 2018
$10.99
9780735263246

24.6.17

Tundra Books Totes

Tundra Books is celebrating their 50th anniversary with a fabulous online auction of tote bags decorated by some of their great stable of artists. You can view the bags here and bid online. Proceeds will go to support IBBY.

                        
                           

There are lots of beauties there to choose from but these two by Julie Morstad have really piqued my interest!

26.5.17

Small News


Kerry Clare's "With My Children, Learning to Love the Little Things" in the new issue of The Walrus features one of my very favourite illos from my first book together with Julie Morstad. 

                                                  from When You Were Small ~ Julie Morstad (Simply Read Books)
(Actually--like my children--they are all my favourites!)

Looking at this picture makes me so happy for so many reasons, but right at the front of the queue is the joy of working with Julie Morstad.

When You Were Small has been in print for a decade now...it has gone through a number of editions, including a special project with the Mexican Ministry of Education that saw sixty thousand copies given away to primary students.

The book is going to be published in French for the first time this year (by Éditions de L'Étagère du bas) and is being republished by Simply Read Books in a special paperback edition  which is pleasing because is makes it more accessible to more children.

Oh, and all three of The Henry Books are being published in Simplified Chinese by Tiandai of Beijing.

It's so nice seeing our book finding its place in the world and also so lovely to look at this picture and remember when it was new.

The issue of The Walrus with the article is on stands now. It also references my beautiful baby books with Karen Klassen and you can see more of her work here.


18.5.17

The Boy and The Blue Moon

It looks like our beautiful cover for The Boy and The Blue Moon has just gone live. Thanks so much to the wonderful Mr. Schu for sharing!



The book pubs early next spring and I can't wait to share it. The art is simply out of this world!
Will post more about illustrator Ashley Crowley and what a joy it was working with editor-extraordinaire Laura Godwin soon.

For now I'm just happy to share this beaut of a cover.

Big thanks go out to my brilliant agent (Jackie Kaiser of Westwood Creative) and to Ash's wonder-agent (Kirsten Hall of Catbird) for putting this fantastic deal together and allowing us to make this dream of a book.

9.5.17

Books for Babies

A post shared by Sara O'Leary (@123olearyo) on



Fabulous honour for the first of my three books with the talented Karen Klassen: You Are One has been named a Carnegie Library choice for Best Books for Babies 2017.

Also, a nice mention for You Are Two and You Are Three here.

8.5.17

How I Became a Children's Writer


While I was in Vancouver it was very nice to visit the CBC studio and chat with Sheryl MacKay, host of North by Northwest about A Family Is a Family Is a Family and the long and winding road that took me to picture books.


You can stream the show here and while the whole show is wonderful, you can jump ahead to 53:00 to catch my ten minutes. Big thanks to Sheryl and to Groundwood Books.




18.4.17

Schwartz Children’s Book Awards

A Family Is a Family Is a Family is shortlisted for The Ruth and Sylvia Schwartz Book Award in the picture book category.



Here's the list of nominees for Children’s Picture Book:
  • The Darkest Dark by Chris Hadfield; the Fan Brothers, ill. (Tundra Books)
  • If I Had a Gryphon by Vikki VanSickle; Cale Atkinson, ill. (Tundra Books)
Such a nice list (and man, don't those Fan Brothers make beautiful books!) and I was especially pleased to see that my lovely friend Qin Leng is on this list twice.  Here's a little self-portrait of hers...hard at work as always!

And here's a link to a profile of Qin from last year.


The Ruth and Sylvia Schwartz Children's Book Awards were established in 1976 by Sylvia Schwartz in memory of her sister, Ruth Schwartz, a respected Toronto bookseller. In 2004, the family renamed the awards to honour both sisters. The Ontario Arts Foundation (OAF) administers the awards with the support of the Ontario Arts Council (OAC), which manages the nomination and jury process.

13.4.17

Blue Metropolis

Happy to be participating in the TD-Blue Met Children's Festival this year.

Westmount Library
April 25 10 am
Saul Bellow Library
April 28 10 am




1.4.17

Reviews for new book


A star for You Are Three. Thank you, Kirkus Reviews.
Throughout, children’s growing independence is honored rather than mourned, and the direct address of the second-person text displays an abundance of respect and joy in their growing autonomy: “You are still our baby but you are also your own person. We love to hold you close and we love to watch you run.”


This is the final instalment in my collaboration with Karen Klassen for Owlkids Books and I couldn't be happier with how the books turned out. Big thanks to publisher Karen Boersma for bringing me on board.

Thanks too to Kerry Clare for the lovely write-up on You Are Three over at her blog.
 I was surprised to be moved by You Are Three, the final book in Sara O’Leary and Karen Klaassen’s trilogy celebrating the milestones of toddlerhood. Flipping through the pages the other night, I felt a bit emotional. Because three is a cusp, about to unfurl. Three is a person’s threshold to the world, and while I’m ready to usher my little person through the door, it’s easy to forget the moment we’re in

And Here Wee Read writes:
Throughout the book you see children doing a variety of things three year olds are typically capable of doing: saying their ABC’s, building a tower with blocks, having conversations, and riding on a scooter.  I love the vintage/contemporary and whimsical feel to all of the illustrations.  I also like the warm and inviting choice of color palette the illustrator used.  There is also a diverse cast of toddlers which depicts that the same developmental changes are evident in different races and cultures around the world.

30.3.17

Una familgilia...

The Italian edition of A Family Is a Family Is a Family looks very promising:


                                                                                                                                           Art by: Qin Leg
And you can peek inside here


UNA FAMIGLIA E' UNA FAMIGLIA..SEMPRE!

Autore: O'LEARY SARA
EAN: 9788865321959
Editore: MARGHERITA EDIZIONI
Collana: LIBRI ILLUSTRATI
Pagine: 36

Oggi, a scuola, abbiamo parlato di famiglie. La maestra ci ha chiesto cosa rende speciale, secondo noi, la nostra famiglia. Io non sapevo proprio cosa rispondere. La mia famiglia è diversa dalle altre... Un dolcissimo libro che mostra quanto le famiglie siano tanto diverse ma tutte... BELLISSIME!





25.2.17

Family Visit!

Very pleased to be visiting Collage Collage in Vancouver next month to celebrate A Family Is a Family Is a Family in what looks to be the perfect place!
  



Big thanks to Erin Boniferro and to Kellie Diguangco for setting this up and to Cindy Ma at Groundwood Books for making it all happen. More info here.






27.1.17

Lily

It is publication day for Il était une fois Lily, the French translation of my book with Julie Morstad, This Is Sadie.







 Belin Jeunesse is running a competition on Facebook and Instagram (for entrants from France).

We've already had very nice notices on the book from Delphine Monteil at L’étagère du bas, from Mes échappées livresques, and from Bob and Jean-Michel.


Editions Belin has done a simply beautiful job on the book and you can have a look inside here.

16.1.17

We Need Diverse Children's Books

Two lists and a giveaway.

Betsy Bird brings us The Diversity List: Picture, Easy, and Early Chapter Books of 2016 via School Library Journal.

And from 49th Shelf a guide to diverse Canadian titles: "We are pleased to present this selection of titles from diverse Canadian authors and illustrators whose wonderful books inspire, delight, engage, and tell important stories about our differences and similarities." 

And finally, a giveaway from my wonderful publisher, Groundwood Books: 

Groundwood is committed to publishing books for and about children whose experiences of the world are under-represented elsewhere. 
Books give children a mirror in which to see themselves reflected, as well as a window through which they can see the wider world. And with a certain President-elect about to take office, the need for children to read diverse books is now more important than ever.Groundwood is committed to publishing books for and about children whose experiences of the world are under-represented elsewhere. (A sample of our diverse books can be found at diversity.groundwoodbooks.com.) Enter for your chance to win five such titles, including:

Open to residents of North America. Winner will be randomly chosen. Contest closes Jan. 29, 2017.

9.1.17

One, two, THREE!

The final book in my milestones series with Karen Klassen, You Are Three, is now available on NetGalley.


And to celebrate the book's March publication, the lovely folk at OwlKids have made a video on the theme of being three.



We received a very good notice (and a coveted star!) on the previous book from Kirkus Reviews. Also, here's a sweet review for You Are Two from The Caterpillar Corner and a very insightful one from CM Magazine

And here's me at three...riding a bike very similar to the one Karen chose to use for our cover! I love the retro vibe of Karen's work on this book--but then I would, wouldn't I?


A photo posted by Sara O'Leary (@123olearyo) on