Monday, June 14, 2010

Introducing Deirdre

Allow me to introduce Deirdre, a new Jacket Knack "field correspondent." Deirdre is in Ottawa, Canada, where she loves working with children, raising her own children, and writing for them too. Please welcome her in the comments!

Covering Canadian Covers

Hello, I am Deirdre Mander, jumping in as Carol’s Canadian Correspondent. I have no doubt that the phrase “Canadian book covers” will conjure up images of hockey, canoes, and lots of snow. Well, I won’t take offence because there are many fine Canadian covers that use these iconic symbols. Have a peek at Per-Henrik Gurth’s bold coloured cover for Oh Canada (Kids Can Press, 2009) and see how many you can find.

Ok, so he didn’t throw in a hockey stick. The best hockey cover I know is Roch Carrier’s The Hockey Sweater, illus. by Sheldon Cohen (Tundra Books, 1985).

When I think of canoe covers, these two gorgeous examples are top on my list. Shin-chi’s Canoe, by Nicola Campbell (Groundwood, 2008),

Canada Counts, by Charles Pachter
illus. by Kim LaFave (Cormorant Books, Inc., 2009)

And yes, it does snow a lot here (although it’s 20 Celsius/68 Farhenheit today). But kids love snow, as illustrated by Barbara Reid’s Perfect Snow (Scholastic Canada, 2007).

You don’t have to search long to find a few more Canadian symbols. Just look at how Canadian children learn the alphabet:

Lovenia Gorman, illus. by Melanie Rose (Sleeping Bear, 2005):

Mike Ulmer, illus. by Melanie Rose (Sleeping Bear, 2001):

Matt Napier, illus. Melanie Rose (Sleeping Bear, 2006):

I will leave you with one more stunning example, Under Prairie Sky by Anne Laurel
Carter, Alan & Lea Daniel (Orca, 2004):

 In my next post, I’ll reveal some wonderful Canadian covers that don’t have a single hockey stick, paddle, or snowflake on them. So have a good day – eh?!


  1. Well done, D! I love those Charles Pachter books--but didn't realize he didn't paint the art. Is the illustrator's name even on the cover?

  2. Welcome, Dierdre! Images of hockey and maple leaves may be "conventional" for Canada, but the book covers are all beautiful and quite individually expressive.

  3. We in Chicago are partial to hockey sticks and sweaters, so keep it coming! Welcome aboard, Deidre!

  4. Thanks Dierdre! As a a hockey fan, I love "The Sweater"-- what a touching and funny story. I first encountered it from a Film Board of Canada cartoon many years ago, and it still makes me smile...

  5. Love hearing from the hockey fans (especially those happy Chicago ones). And I have a correction to make. Kim LaFave actually illustrated Shin-chi's Canoe. Charles Pachter could put together a few hundred more picture books with the artwork he has created over the years. Sorry for the mix up.

  6. Welcome to Jacket Knack, Dierdre! I'm looking forward to more covers from Canada. Maybe jumping salmon? (British Columbia-style?) Maybe the Queen somewhere in the crowd? (Victoria, B.C.-style....)

  7. Deirdre--the illustration credit was undoubtedly my fault. Sorry! No wonder I was confused about Charles Pachter.

  8. These are all beautiful book covers that would make me want to delve in further. Alphabet books are certainly a way of getting to the heart of things - and I too love Shin-chi's Canoe cover - the perspective seems to me to be just perfect!

  9. You're right about Shin-chi's Canoe, Marjorie. It almost feels -- precarious.

  10. I like the Alphabet books too and find it amazing that there are many that share a common theme but have come up with completely different illustrations for the same letters.

    Now I'm off to find a Canadian cover with the Queen on it (Thanks for the idea Julie).