|Paul the Pigeon|
Okay, so someone listed Paul on Goodreads. I'm not sure who, but I'm pretty pleased about it. (Thanks!) Especially considering that the Goodreads community is currently giving Paul the Pigeon 5 full stars. Out of a possible 5. Really. (Okay, so there's only two ratings so far. But whatever, it counts.) Thanks, Goodreads! And thanks five-star givers!!!
Okay, so every year the Ontario Library Association puts together a list of their top ten Best Bets -- their favourite Canadian kids' books in a variety of categories, including picture books. And for 2015, Paul the Pigeon made the list!!!
Part of the Ontario Library Association’s mandate is to help promote and recognize Canadian materials, and as such, the Best Bets Committee -- a group of librarians from Ontario who are all OLA members -- read and evaluate as many Canadian titles as they can get their hands on, focusing their evaluation on audience, literary merit, appeal, and style. And here's a little of what they had to say:
"After extensive reading and lots of discussion, the Ontario Library Association’s Best Bets committee has finalized our lists and have prepared our Top Ten titles as well as some Honourable Mentions for each of our categories . . . I wanted to pass along my congratulations that your book “Paul the Pigeon” has made this year’s Best Bets top ten list. And, as an extra note - this is the first time EVER that a self-published title has made the list!! I am so very happy that someone on our committee was able to find your book . . . Congratulations again – we really loved your book!"
The best part? They're going to send me stickers for the front of the book. Seriously. I get fancy stickers.
Thanks to Patti at Parentbooks, a lovely independent bookstore with a focus on resources for parents, educators, and specialists. They've got a beautiful bright storefront on Harbord that's packed with great titles . . . and they've just taken a chance on carrying Paul the Pigeon (!)
You really should stop in.
So . . . today our faithful postman dropped off his usual assortment: bills, flyers, festive cards from far-flung Aunties . . . and the Canadian Transit Heritage Foundation's quarterly publication, The Bulletin. And this season's Library Shelf pick turned out to be none other than Paul the Pigeon! Turns out they like Paul so much, they gave him an entire quarter of a page. I'm not even kidding. Thanks transit guys!!!
So, yesterday was the June pop-up market in Mimico's go-to venue, Placebo Space. Part of the City of Toronto's Cultural Hotspot initiative, the market gives local artisans a chance to connect with their community (okay, so I don't actually live there. But as a kid I was an every-other-weekend New Torontonian, so I guess they thought it counted.) Despite ridiculous amounts of rain, it was still a great day -- and so very lucky that it was an indoor extravaganza.
An extra shout-out to On Twenty Ninth with her so-bad-they're-good, silkscreened neighbourhood tees . . . why should Parkdale get all the great shirts???
Today was the Barns Art Market at the Wychwood Barns . . . and Paul and I got to be there! I got *great* farmer's market goodness and chatted to so very many truly fine folks: parents, teachers, gardeners, Little Free Library purveyors . . . it really did feel like the entire community came out. So very many thanks to everyone who added a copy of Paul the Pigeon to their bookshelves -- and especially to those who plan to pass the book along!!!
Check out the High Park Nature Centre's latest tweet -- about Paul the Pigeon, of course.
Thanks for the hype, Jon! The feeling is *entirely* mutual.
It's official: at A Novel Spot on the Kingsway, Paul the Pigeon was the 2nd best seller for the month of April!!!
And the month of May? Paul made their top ten bestsellers list again, coming in at a whopping 4th place!!!
Those guys have been going like crazy, raising so very much hype. They really are just amazing. Thank you so much, guys.
It was great day out at Garden Avenue PS's annual funfair. Annika Dunklee (author of My Name is Elizabeth and Me, Too!) and I were under the author's tent, reading stories, chatting to kids and their parents . . . and adding to an already-successful event!
Thanks to Eli and Non-Stop-Natasha for legworking our part!
Go Garden parents!
This Saturday, May 16th, I was privileged enough to join the great folks from the Canadian Peregrine Foundation, in the Wild Birds Unlimited store in Etobicoke. There was a peregrine, a great horned owl, some incredibly engaged birders . . . and me (signing copies of Paul the Pigeon, of course!) It was a wonderful day, topped only by a session with Cheyenne, one of the most beautiful birds I've ever seen. Thanks so much to Jim and Linda for inviting me into their (incredibly) community oriented store!
On May 2nd I was at the wonderful independent bookstore A Novel Spot, where I got to meet some really great customers, listen to the most knowledgeable staff (ever!) help folks choose from a(n incredibly) curated collection of books, and learn from a couple of other pretty amazing authors. I even got a nametag that says "Author" on it . . . and all in one morning!
Thankyouthankyouthankyou to Sarah for asking me to come along.
Here's a link to their Twitterfeed. I'll be starting my own twitter madness soon, I swear it.
This time around, I was lucky enough to do a workshop with Mrs. Vasic's kindergarten class at Regal Road PS. Let me tell you: there are some super-smart kids at that school, and oh boy do they love to laugh (they may just have been my best audience *ever*). This time around, I got to hang out with groups of four or five, showing them some of my neat computer tricks, and seeing all the great stories they're working on themselves. Thanks, guys, for showing off your stuff!
The fantastic children's bookstore Ella Minnow is now stocking Paul the Pigeon on their shelves. That's pretty great.
They also took the time to give me some really informed feedback, which is *invaluable*. I appreciate it so very much.
Now, folks in the East end of the city can buy Paul, too!
Three Grade One classes at Rose Avenue PS came together today to hang out with Paul the Pigeon. This time, I incorporated some movement: we made faces, we impersonated pigeons, we even managed to squeeze out of our subways, just in the nick of time! We had so much fun. (Many thanks to Lynda at Theatre Direct for the tips and ideas.)
Much thanks also to their teachers who not only invited me in, but who were so supportive and enthusiastic -- I would go back, any time!
Best kid comment of the day?
Me: "Do any of you guys see pigeons in your neighbourhood? Do you like to watch them?"
Little boy in the back: "I like it when they dance."
That kid and I? On the saaame page.
Saturday was the Craftadian show at the International Centre. Paul and I had a booth. It was a day-long show made short by talking to so many great people, from all over the province (!) Seriously. Nippissing, Niagara Falls, Owen Sound, Perth, London, Cambridge, Thorold . . . I just kept being amazed that people had come so far.
Thanks to Toby at the Merchant's Mill who went back to Prince Edward County with a bunch of my greeting cards, soon-to-be for sale in her neat little artisan shop!
It's so great to meet other people who get your aesthetic.
It was a great night. I had a table next to some other extremely talented authors. So very many kids came out and showed their support, and so many parents were incredibly enthusiastic.
Thanks to Ms. Cox for organising the whole shebang. She's the most amazing librarian ever!
You can now pick up a copy of Paul the Pigeon at Wild Birds Unlimited (Etobicoke chapter)! Jim and Linda took some time out of their busy bird-banding schedule to add some copies to their store. Thanks guys.
In the first year of filling a feeder, we got more than 30 species in our little Toronto backyard, including woodpeckers and hawks and even an owl (!)
But so far? Not a single pigeon.
Because they're so smart. And so engaged with the world. And you can do so much higher-concept stuff with them.
This time, it was Ms. Childs' class at Garden Avenue PS. We workshopped all morning long, and their cartoons were super. I was pretty much blown away . . .
Thanks everyone for inviting me in . . . and thanks for hanging out with Paul the Pigeon !
I had a great workshop with the kids in Mrs. Bell's grade 1 class at Garden Ave PS today. I heard some amazing comments and I saw some pretty impressive animal drawings . . . it was a morning well spent!
Today, Paul and I spent time with Ms. Chawla's grade 4/5s at Garden Avenue PS. We talked about the making of the book, I showed them some paintings and some computer stuff, and they worked on drawing their very own cartoon.
And? They demonstrated some mad art skills.
Thanks for a great morning, guys.
I got to spend this morning with all of the kindergarten kids at Garden Avenue PS -- first, with the kids in Mrs. Irving-Harry's class, then with Mrs. Murray and Ms. Swail's classes combined. We did a little reading, we talked about the great books they're working on, we talked favourite colours and how much we like to laugh. We even talked about Paul the Pigeon just a little.
Those guys made for an amazing audience and I felt sooooo welcome.
Thanks guys, for taking some time out of your day to hang out!
A few of the Centro Clinton daycare classes came together this morning to hang out with me (and with Paul, of course). We had a blast.
Thanks to their teachers for including me in their Reading Wednesday, and thanks most especially to the kids for so many great comments!
And . . . to the JK/Skers who paid such great attention when I walked them through the entire Paul process: thanks for doing so much great painting with me!
Those kids? Seriously awesome.
The kids in Mrs. Harding's class at Clinton Avenue PS invited me to read Paul to them. Thanks guys!
It was a little hard to put that pigeon out there for the very first time.
But it was great! Like, really, really.
And now they want me to go in and show them how I painted the images.
As if they even needed to ask.
Copyright Jane Mullis. All Rights Reserved.