Sponsored annually by the Ontario Library Association, the Red Maple Award reading program is geared to readers in Grade 7 and 8. Ten novels are nominated each year and ten non-fiction are selected every second year.
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Blue Spruce Nominees, 2002
The Best Figure Skater in the Whole Wide World by Linda Bailey; Alan Daniel (Illustrator); Lea Daniel (Illustrator); Heather Collins (Illustrator)All Lizzy wants is to be the best figure skater in the whole wide world. When she begins taking lessons, Lizzy discovers that ice-skating is a lot harder than it looks. Even so, she is determined to learn. And when her teacher announces that the class will be performing Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs at the winter carnival, Lizzy knows she can skate the lead. But Lizzy's dreams are shattered when she is cast as a lowly tree. She valiantly perseveres, and on the day of the show, Lizzy spontaneously leads the other "trees" in a performance no one will ever forget! Young readers will love this spunky heroine who overcomes her setbacks with imagination and humor and discovers her own special way to shine.
Big Ben by Sarah Ellis; Kim LaFave (Illustrator)Shining Willow Nominee Who says little brothers can't do anything? Poor Ben. He's the little one--the youngest and smallest. His sister Robin is a big kid in grade five; his brother Joe is a big kid in grade two. Ben's just a little kid in preschool. He can't swim, he can't use chopsticks, he can't even see out the car window. And worst of all, today is report card day. More than anything, Ben wants to bring home a report like Robin's and Joe's. But there are no report cards in preschool. Guess what? Ben is about to discover that sometimes there are report cards--at home, written by older siblings! He's about to get his very own report, grading him on all the activities that little brothers do best. Beloved children's author Sarah Ellis has followed up her acclaimed picture book debut, Next Stop! (2000) with this irresistible tale of siblings who, every once in a while, remember what it was like to be the little one. Kim La Fave's always-empathetic characters inhabit a child's world with just the right touch of humor and joy. A perfect book for preschoolers, younger siblings and beginner readers.
Caribou Song by Tomson Highway; John Rombough (Illustrator)Joe and Cody are young Cree brothers who follow the caribou all year long, tucked into their dog sled with Mama and Papa. To entice the wandering herds, Joe plays his accordion and Cody dances, whirling like a young caribou. They are so busy playing and dancing, they don't hear the rumble of the caribou. Bursting from the forest, ten thousand animals fill the meadow. Joe is engulfed; he can barely see Cody a few yards away. Their parents seem to have disappeared. And yet what should be a moment of terror turns into something mystical and magical, as the boys open their arms and their hearts to embrace the caribou spirit. Written in English with Cree translations
Emma's Cold Day by Margriet Ruurs; Barbara Spurll (Illustrator)Canadian Children's Book Centre Starred Our Choice Selection, 2002 Mr. Christie Book Award - Silver Seal, 2001 Emma, the plucky but foolish cluck, is back and about to demonstrate one more time that being a chicken is not all it's cracked up to be. In her latest escapade, Emma is one game hen with a big problem. It's the middle of winter and the chicken coop is freezing. Determined to find out how the other farm animals weather the weather, Emma sets off on a snowy trek that almost ends in flaky, feathery disaster. Along the way she provides plenty of laughs and, once more, unwittingly saves the day.
It's Raining, It's Pouring by Andrea Spalding; Leslie Elizabeth Watts (Illustrator)Little Girl means what she says and has the resources to get results. Not one to mope away the day watching the rain pour down, Little Girl struggles into her boots, raincoat and fire fighter's helmet, gets out the ladder and heads for the clouds. Old Man is a giant who lives in the clouds and controls the weather. He does, indeed, have ""a cold in his head."" Worse, he has no loving person to tend to him. Little Girl know just how to set things right. Back at home, with a little help from her mom, she gathers together her very own cure for the common cold. Now all the remains is to get Old Man out of bed and the sun back into the sky.
M Is for Maple by Mike Ulmer; Melanie Rose (Illustrator)Whether sharing the stories of Anne of Green Gables and Terry Fox, or revealing Canada's importance in growing grain that feeds the world, "M is for Maple" is a shining tribute to Canada. From British Columbia to Newfoundland, this Canadian alphabet book shares our nation's symbols, history, people and culture. In clever rhymes and informative text, author Mike Ulmer shares the unique details of Canada. Illustrator Melanie Rose has captured the beauty and splendor of Canada, from the Northern Lights to brave Mounties and the beautiful cities of Toronto, Victoria, and Quebec. Destined to become a national classic, "M is for Maple" is a treasure for Canadians young and old.
Call Number: Children's Collection, Floor 1, FC 58 .U44 2001
Publication Date: 2001-06-19
No Two Snowflakes by Sheree Fitch; Janet Wilson (Illustrator)Blue Spruce Reading Program nominee Pearson Canada Readers' Choice Award nominee Ruth Schwartz Award nominee 2002 Amelia Frances Howard Gibbon nominee 2002 CCBC Our Choice 2002 "What is snow?" Araba, a Ghanaian child, asks her Canadian pen pal. The response unfolds as a letter in poetry, rich in lyricism and in what author Sheree Fitch would call "lipslipperiness." Janet Wilson's glowing pastel illustrations revel in all the sensory experiences, the color, associated with the cold white stuff. Through the asking and the telling, two children reach halfway around the world and touch one another. Renowned Canadian poet and performer, Sheree Fitch has won many awards for her thirteen books of poetry for children, including the Mr. Christie's Book Award for There Were Monkeys in My Kitchenand the Vicky Metcalf Award for a Body of Work Inspiring to Children. A Goodwill Ambassador for UNICEF Canada, Sheree wrote a collection of poems, If You Could Wear My Sneakers,to highlight the rights of children as declared by the United Nations. In recent years, she has been a visiting author in Belize, Mexico, Bhutan, Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania. Janet Wilson is a multi-award-winning illustrator whose work has graced many children's books. Her notable titles include Selina and the Bear Paw Quilt and In Flander's Fields. Sarah May and the New Red Dress (Orca, 1998) and Me and Mr. Mah (Orca, 1999) were Canadian Library Assocation Honour Books.
Oma's Quilt by Paulette Bourgeois; Stephane Jorisch (Illustrator)The time has come for Emily's grandmother to move. But it's hard to leave her house on Maple Street, filled as it is with a lifetime of cherished memories. At the retirement home, Oma complains about everything, from flowers in the hallway to crooked bowling lanes! Emily wants to see Oma happy again, but she doesn't know what to do. At home, Emily and her mother begin to sort through Oma's possessions. They find ribbons, lace, curtains and blankets. Surrounded by the faded fabrics, Emily now knows the perfect way to keep Oma's memories by her side -- by stitching a one-of-a-kind patchwork quilt! Spirited illustrations enhance this uplifting story about lives in transition and the threads of memory that hold them together.