Tag Archives: Roch Carrier

Happy Canada Day 2017!

1 Jul

Today, Canada celebrates its 150th birthday.

The CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation) recently published a list of the top 150 bestselling Canadian books of the last decade. Many children’s and teens books made the list and I thought I would share them with you.

The #1 & #3 books were by Robert Munsch. Love You Forever was #1 and my favorite Munsch book, The Paperbag Princess,  was #3.

 

Munsch books appear 27 more times on the list – and most of them are illustrated by the same person, Michael Martchenko!

The first non-Munsch book to appear is A Porcupine in a Pine Tree: A Canadian 12 Days of Christmas written by Helaine Becker and illustrated by Werner Zimmermann. It came in at #33.

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Number 37 was Sing A Song of Mother Goose  by Barbara Reid.

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Number 45 was ABC of Canada  by Kim Bellefontaine, illustrated by Per-Henrik Gürth.

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One of my favorites came in at number 56: Scaredy Squirrel by Mélanie Watt.

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You might not know what a zamboni is, but Canadian kids do. It is no surprise that written by Matt Napier and illustrated by Melanie Rose.

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The most classic story is Roch Carrier’s The Hockey Sweater,  illustrated by Sheldon Cohen. It was # 84.

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A new one to me was #85,  Grumpy Bird by Jeremy Tankard.

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Anne of Green Gables  made the list at #89, the only one of L. M. Montgomery’s many books to make the list.

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The team of Kim Bellefontaine and Per-Henrik Gürth make a second appearance at #101 for Canada 123.

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Did you know Gordon Korman was Canadian? He made the list at #110 for One False Note,  part of the 39 Clues series.

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Astronaut Chris Hadfield made the list 3 times. His picture book, The Darkest Dark  is lucky #113.

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Number 121 is Eric Walters’  action-packed novel The Rule of Three.

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Phoebe Gilman’s Something From Nothing makes the list at # 124.

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The classic Red is Best  by Kathy Stinson, illustrated by Robin Baird Lewis is # 144 and the final children’s book on the list.

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More than just a number

11 Dec

I get weepy around Christmas time. My twin sister likes to send me Hallmark ads to see if I’ll cry. t’s always the good kind of cry, and I try to get her back. So imagine how surprised I was to find myself more than a little teary-eyed at the end of a picture book about hockey!  The Highest Number in the World is written by Roy MacGregor and beautifully illustrated by Geneviève Després.

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From the publisher: 9-year-old Gabe (Gabriella) Murray lives and breathes hockey. She’s the youngest player on her new team, she has a nifty move that her teammates call “the Gabe,” and she shares a lucky number with her hero, Hayley Wickenheiser: number 22. But when her coach hands out the team jerseys, Gabe is stuck with number 9. Crushed, Gabe wants to give up hockey altogether. How can she play without her lucky number? Gabe’s grandmother soon sets her straight, though–from her own connection to the number 9 in her hockey-playing days to all the greats she cheered for who wore it, she soon convinces Gabe that this new number might not be so bad after all.

 What starts off as a simple story about a disappointed little girl becomes a much more complex and meaningful tale once Grandma starts sharing her story. Talk about girl power and historical context.

As a kid hockey wasn’t even an option for me. Where I grew up, girls didn’t play, we watched.  Hockey heroes were big for us. I loved watching Guy Lafleur skate down the ice hair flying (these were the days before mandatory helmets). In 1979, Roch Carrier, published The Hockey Sweater, which you can watch as an excellent National Film Board of Canada short here. The Highest Number in the World, feels like an homage to  The Hockey Sweater and girls in sports all at once. I’m going to be sure my twin sister reads this one. I bet she cries, too.

Hockey Night in Canada

13 Feb

Growing up we watched Hickey Night in Canada. For a while, when we lived in Abitibi Canyon and had on one TV station, that might be the only thing to watch. Stories and images of hockey permeate my childhood memories.

There are a couple of really great hockey related books I’d like to share with you today, to celebrate the Canadian Women’s Hockey team victory over the US last night at the Sochi Olympics.

First, and foremost there is Roch Carrier’s The Hockey Sweater originally published in French as Le Chandail de Hockey.

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This is a great story, but can be hard to find. It was turned into a short film by the National Film Board

https://www.nfb.ca/film/sweater

As a kid I loved watching the Montreal Canadiens. It was the days before helmets and I loved watching my two  Guy Lafleur’s hair as he skated towards the net on a breakaway. I remember listening to Paul Henderson’s winning goal in the 1972 Canada Russia hockey series.

The NFB has a number of other short films about hockey that you can view HERE.

On a funny note, I remember being in the New Hamburg library in the late 70’s 80’s, looking at the rounders. There was a title that frequently intrigued me: Dinky Hocker Shoots Smack by M.E Kerr.

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I assumed it was about hockey and never checked it out. Years later, I realized it was about heroine, not slap shots. I still laugh at my folly. I was a rather naive child. It turns out that Dinky Hocker doesn’t shoot smack, but she sure could tell you a lot about kids who do. Just like I don’t write books, but like to think I can tell you about authors who do.

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