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March 2015

Celebrating Outstanding Books for Young People with Disabilities at the Bologna Children's Book Fair

March 30, 2015 | Deb | Comments (0)

Bologna Children’s Book FairEvery spring in Italy, in a vast indoor space that rivals the size of the Colosseum, the Bologna Children’s Book Fair brings together thousands of people with a passion for children’s publishing. This year’s fair, which begins on March 30, 2015 and runs for four action-packed days, is hosting writers, illustrators, publishers, booksellers, and librarians from over 70 countries, all eager to share their expertise and ideas with others.

Inside BolognaNoisy, vibrant, and supercharged with lots of caffeinated enthusiasm -- there's nothing like the Bologna fair. It's where brand-new children’s books are shown off, important publishing deals are negotiated, innovative projects (think apps, digital storytelling and more) are launched, and the best of recently-published books for children are feted and recognized for their imaginative achievements.

At a press conference held today at the fair, Sharon Moynes and Leigh Turina of the Toronto Public Library spoke about a list of books that is currently receiving lots of buzz: The 2015 IBBY Outstanding Books for Young People with Disabilities, a biennial selection of 50 titles published around the world that are for and about children and young people with disabilities. IBBY is, of course, the acronym for "The International Board on Books for Young People."

2015 IBBY Selection of Outstanding Books for Young People with DisabilitiesLeigh is the lead librarian for The IBBY Collection of Books for Young People with Disabilities housed at the Toronto Public Library. She highlighted some of the titles that were recently selected for this prestigious list, including the following three books from Japan, the Netherlands and France. The catalogue of the 2015 Outstanding Books, which includes all the annotations shown below, is hot-off-the-press and available at the IBBY stand at the fair. The catalogue will also be digitized and available online in the near future.



Tenji tsuki sawaru ehon: Sawaru meiro [Touch picture book with Braille: Mazes by touch] designed by Junko Murayama. Shogakukan, Inc.

Mazes spread
Eleven mazes showcase what can be accomplished with bright colours, eye-catching patterns and lines of Braille in this innovative and entertaining book. Children use their fingers to follow paths made of Braille lines while avoiding breaks in the lines and routes that lead to dead ends. Printed on durable cardstock, the mazes range from basic to complex; each maze has a clearly-marked start and finish. The mazes will appeal to a wide variety of puzzle players: children with vision loss who are already familiar with Braille; children who are just starting to use and read Braille; and children with low vision. Puzzle players without any vision loss will also benefit as they gain a practical hands-on understanding of what it is like to read Braille by running their fingers over the raised dots. A distinctive aspect of this book – it has been printed on one large sheet of cardstock – makes it possible for all the pages to be unfolded, laid out together and enjoyed by several children simultaneously.

Planet Willi [Willi’s planet] written and illustrated by Birte Müller. Klett Kinderbuch Verlag GmbH. 

Planet Willi

Author and illustrator Birte Müller draws on her own experiences as the mother of a son with Down syndrome in this picture book about a young boy with special needs who stands out from everyone else. Willi has strong reactions to the commonplace sights and situations he encounters; for the people around him, especially those who don’t know him, it is as if Willi comes from another planet. Bold, energetic illustrations done in a primitive, child-like style depict the world that Willi finds himself in: a busy place full of exciting, scary and confusing things. Willi’s family are always close by and clearly happy to be with him; at times, however, their faces reveal the inevitable confusion, dismay and fatigue that they feel while being in Willi’s company. Readers who look closely at the artwork will notice that Willi sometimes uses sign language to communicate with his family. These signs, along with others, appear on the book’s endpapers.

Une feuille, un arbre [A leaf, a tree] written and illustrated by Bruno Gibert. Albin Michel Jeunesse.

Une feuille

How does a leaf resemble a tree? In what ways are an atom and the solar system alike? Can a puddle ever appear to be a lake? This arresting book features 23 pairs of similar-looking objects and shows the connections that exist between the members of each pair. Changes in scale, perspective and context are used with great effectiveness to influence the way readers view the objects and the relationship between them. The bold graphic style of the artwork and the minimal text in the form of identifying labels make this book accessible to a wide range of readers including children who have developmental or learning disabilities. With its high contrast artwork, this book will be of interest to children with low vision; it is also suitable for sharing with a group.

* * * * *

Interested in learning more about The IBBY Collection of Books for Young People with Disabilities? You can find out more by clicking on the IBBY logo below:

Ibby logo

Yonge Street Line, the First in Canada

March 30, 2015 | Ann | Comments (6)

More Yonge Street Subway images from
Photo courtesy of Toronto Public Library. March 30, 1954 opening ceremonies outside Davisville station.

Yonge Street is one of the longest streets in the world.  Holed up underneath, the first subway line in Canada hummed with anticipation.  On Tuesday, March 30, 1954, the passengers (shown above) embarked on their first historic ride from Davisville Station to Union Station.  

Prior to this momentous day, Yonge Street was designed with an earlier period in mind when horse-drawn carriages rolled along at a slower pace.

 Great Western Railway Station; Freight Offices Yonge Street, east side, north of Esplanade East in 1873 from the TPL Digital Archive

Photo courtesy of the Digital Archive from The Toronto Public Library

With the turn of the twentieth century, this street became the main passageway through the city.  

As more businesses established their storefronts along this street, traffic congestion increased.  Larger and wider vehicles, including the public transit cars, jockeyed for travel space.  Speeds during rush hour could grind down to a standstill.  

Even pedestrian traffic filled the sidewalks with little room to maneuver. This situation showed a dire need for an alternative way to move people around the city quickly and easily.  Canada's First Subway.  Why a Subway?

Courtesy of the City of Toronto Archives. November 18, 1941 Series 71, Item 15073. Looking north on Yonge Street from Granby Street, showing rush hour congestion.

Proposals were held at the turn of the twentieth century to create a subway line to run underneath Yonge Street.  The social and economic changes from the First World Warthe Great Depression, and the Second World War affected the first half of the century to thwart this undertaking.  

After the Second World War ended, the city looked forward to a brighter future.  On January 1, 1946, a majority of voters approved the building of a new subway line.  On September 8, 1949, subway construction went underway underground.  And the rest is history.

Here is the original 1954 map of this monumental subway line:

Yonge Street Subway Line in 1954
TTC Subway Map courtesy of the City of Toronto Archives: TTC Ephemera

For comparison, this is the current 2015 subway map.  

There are many interesting and noteworthy resources available online on the Toronto Transit Commission, Yonge Street, and the history of Toronto.  Have a glance through these written articles and vintage images:

  1. Toronto Subway Project is a summary of Jay Young's (2012) dissertation on, “Searching for a Better Way: Subway Life and Metropolitan Growth in Toronto, 1942-1978." The full dissertation is electronically available from this website.  
  2. Before the TTC from is an incredible 'blast from the past' on how public transit operated prior to the arrival of the Toronto Transit Commission. 
  3. The TTC story:  the first 75 Years is an article written by Mike Filey offering a preview to his book (listed below) by the same name.  Filey has written more titles on the City of Toronto that are available from the library.  
  4. TTC free Wi-Fi now available Bloor to Union Station was published on Friday, November 28, 2014 in The Toronto Star and written by , Transportation Reporter.  Passengers may freely pass the time accessing the Internet on their digital devices while waiting for their trains to arrive.
  5. Subway Milestones - Expansion is an article from The Archives of Ontario.  The TTC subway system has expanded over time from 1959 to 2002.  See how the other subway lines including the University, the Bloor/Danforth, the Scarborough RT, and the Sheppard lines came into being.
  6. Images of the Toronto Transit Commission from TPL Pinterest provides a beautiful archive of images, flyers, maps, and other ephemera pertaining to the TTC.
  7. Pictures of Yonge Street from The Digital Archive are available in the public domain and provided from our library website.  
  8. Tunnels: A short guide to Toronto’s nether regions from The Toronto Star was written by  , Staff Reporter, and published on Friday, February 27, 2015.  There are several hidden tunnels lying within this city.  Some are fabricated stories, some may be haunted, and some were used in past movie sets.
  9. Vintage Toronto is located on Facebook and provides images of, "the road, the people, and the architecture," across the city.  The page was started on January 12, 2012 but the images go as far back as the mid-1800s.  Every day new entries are added and visitors share their own personal insights to these vintage images.  


The North York Central library has a good selection on these topics.  Come visit the library and browse through our local history collection.  

Transit in Toronto: The Story of the Development of Public Transportation in Toronto, from Horse Cars to a Modern, High Speed Subway System The Yonge Street story: an account of letters, diaries, and newspapers, 1793-1860 by F. R. Berchem The TTC story: the first seventy-five years by Mike Filey Mind the doors please: the story of Toronto and its streetcars by Larry Partridge
Opportunity road: Yonge Street, 1860 to 1939 by F. R. Berchem Toronto streetcars serve the city by Kenneth C. Springirth 200 years Yonge: (2nd ed) a history by Ralph Magel Toronto: biography of a city by Allan Gerald Levine

Tour the sights in the Canadiana Department for more information on Yonge Street in North York local history.  Visit the department and meet Henry, The Golden Lion, who is a resident of this great street and used to stand above the entrance to The Golden Lion Hotel


Toronto Digital Archive:  Reverend Thomas W. Pickett on veranda of Golden Lion Hotel
Henry, in all his majestic glory. Photo courtesy of The Toronto Public Library


If you have a personal story about Yonge Street you would like to share, the Toronto Public Library released an interactive online exhibit in 2013 called, youryongestreet.  You can upload audio files, pictures, videos and stories as well as browse other people's submissions.  Some contributions may be included as part of our TPL Digital Archive.  

youryongestreet is an interactive online exhibit of people, places and events along the world’s longest street. It brings together stories, documents, maps, photographs, oral histories, and videos to create a living history.


As many commuters will agree, the subway system remains a crucial and speedy way to travel through the City.  The Yonge Street Line may have opened up faster travel through the heart of the City in 1954, future projects are currently underway (and some will hope for a possible subway extension to Square One in Mississauga) to make the TTC an even more accessible way to get around.

Has Poetry Kicked the Bucket?

March 27, 2015 | Maureen | Comments (19)

In 2013, a Washington Post headline asked, “Is poetry dead?” A few weeks later, an answer seemed to come from the UK newspaper, The Independent: “Poetry is dying. Actually, it’s pretty dead already…”  Another nail seemed to be hammered into poetry's coffin with this article title: "Poetry is dead. What the hell happened?" (PiD magazine) As the librarian responsible for the Canadian poetry collection at North York Central Library, I’d just like to say that reports of poetry’s death have been greatly exaggerated.

Poets today rarely, if ever, attract the readership that popular fiction writers do. Still, poetry continues to be written, quoted, loved. If I were banished to a desert island for a year and could bring only one book, I’d choose a fat poetry anthology over fiction (even though I adore fiction.) If I was offered a swap -- my fat poetry book for a sack of fiction -- I’d refuse. With all that spare time on my hands on the island, I'd glut myself on poetry, I'd swallow it whole, memorizing it, furnishing my mind palace with a tyger, tyger burning bright, and a Jabberwock with eyes of flame. Christina Rossetti's little goblin men tramping down the glen would have a place there, too. (Rossetti's poem "Goblin Market" really makes me hungry. See the first verse of this trippy poem at the bottom of this post, if you want to know why.)

Don't get the idea I'm trying to twist your arm to get you to read poetry, even though April is National Poetry Month. Let poetry speak for itself. You decide if poetry deserves to die.

We have hundreds of poetry books at North York Central Library -- the biggest circulating collection in the Toronto Public Library system. All the poetry books you could ever want to tuck into your backpack and read lying in a Toronto park on a sunny day, or rattling to work in the tin can poetically known as “the rocket." People may not realize that poetry comes in eBook format, too, which is why I feature only eBook and eAudiobook poetry below, available in Overdrive, which you can access via the Toronto Public Library webpage. (Look for the "Downloads & eBooks" tab.)

Popular Poetry

Aimless Love - Billy Collins Dog Songs - Mary Oliver The Poetry of Robert Frost
Oh Pray My Wings Are Gonna Fit Me Well - Maya Angelou Annabel Lee - Edgar Allan Poe The Spell of the Yukon and Other Verses - Robert W Service

Poetry Anthologies

The Knopf National Poetry Month Collection The Griffin Poetry Prize 2014 Anthology The Nation's Favourite Poems

Canadian Poetry

Book of longing -- Leonard Cohen The dream world -- Alison Pick Morning in the burned house -- Margaret Atwood

American Poetry

Pleasures of the damned -- Charles Bukowski Collected poems 1947-1997 -- Allen Ginsberg Ariel -- Sylvia Plath

Children's Poetry

Pizza, pigs and poety  -- Jack Prelutsky Alligator pie -- Dennis Lee Dirty beasts -- Roald Dahl

Classic Poetry

The Odyssey -- Homer Shakespeare's Sonnets -- William Shakespeare

Paradise Lost -- John Milton


Here's the first verse of Goblin Market by Christina Rossetti (1830-1894). See if you crave fruit after reading it!

Morning and evening
Maids heard the goblins cry:
“Come buy our orchard fruits,
Come buy, come buy:
Apples and quinces,
Lemons and oranges,
Plump unpeck’d cherries,
Melons and raspberries,
Bloom-down-cheek’d peaches,
Swart-headed mulberries,
Wild free-born cranberries,
Crab-apples, dewberries,
Pine-apples, blackberries,
Apricots, strawberries;—
All ripe together
In summer weather,—
Morns that pass by,
Fair eves that fly;
Come buy, come buy:
Our grapes fresh from the vine,
Pomegranates full and fine,
Dates and sharp bullaces,
Rare pears and greengages,
Damsons and bilberries,
Taste them and try:
Currants and gooseberries,
Bright-fire-like barberries,
Figs to fill your mouth,
Citrons from the South,
Sweet to tongue and sound to eye;
Come buy, come buy.”

Free Science Events in Toronto for April 2015

March 26, 2015 | Jeannette | Comments (0)

The Science and Technology Department of North York Central Library compiles a monthly calendar of free science and applied science events in Toronto. Applied science includes health, gardening, pets and food; all subjects found in the department's collection. Here is the April calendar (PDF).

April's highlights include:

  • April 9: Epigenetics: A New Frontier, human epigenomes is the 'instructions' which tell the DNA whether to make skin cells or blood cells or other body parts. In this talk, the speaker will introduce the topic and the data and outline some of the challenges.
  • April 14: Debunking the Top Cancer Myths, leading experts from Sunnybrook's Odette Cancer Centre will discuss the myths relating to colorectal cancer, breast cancer and prostate cancer.
  • April 25: 6th Annual Black Diabetes Expo, presented by the Canadian Diabetes Association and its Caribbean Diabetes Chapter, this educational event brings together products, resources, speakers and experts to show how you can help prevent and manage diabetes while improving your overall health.

The Toronto Public Library also offers many free science and applied science events:

April's highlights include:

  • April 1: Common Misconceptions About the Universe: From Everyday Life to the Big Bang, at Bloor/Gladstone branch. A fun introduction to astronomy by learning and "correcting" common misconceptions about the universe, from everyday life to space aliens, black holes and the birth of the universe - the Big Bang. No science background needed.
  • April 9: Mental Health 101, at Eatonville branch. Presented by Reconnect Mental Health services, this information session will review the current mental health system and where we have come from. An overview of mental illnesses and treatments will be described as well as supports available and how to access services.
  • April 14: Music to Better Your Health: Ideas from a Music Therapist, at Annette Street branch. Research increasingly shows that music has positive effects on our physical and emotional health. This evening will provide an information session about music therapy, followed by an interactive workshop exploring ways everyone can use music to improve their health and well-being.
  • April 22: Rosetta: Deciphering the Language of Comets, at North York Central Library. In November 2014, the world witnessed the first time man landed a spacecraft on a comet. How did we get there? What will we learn? Highlights from one of the most exotic places ever visited with Sebastian Daemgen.
  • April 25: iMovie for Beginners, at Fort York branch. An introduction to using iMovie on the Mac. Basic video editing techniques will be taught like using transitions and titles, adding audio and a soundtrack, cutting and splicing, and using the timeline.

Can't attend a program or want to read more about the topics covered? Try some of these titles:

Epigenetics  Cancer  The African American guide to living well with diabetes  The universe

Complete mental health  Music therapy  Comets  IMovie

Superior Customer Service Is A Game Changer!

March 20, 2015 | Kathryn | Comments (0)

HeelsA recent article in Canadian Business magazine talked about the arrival of Nordstrom's department store to the Canadian market. The American retailer--famous for its extensive shoe department--has already set up shop in Calgary, Ottawa and Vancouver. The focus of the story was Nordstrom's amazing (we're talking AMAZING) attention to customer service. The article cautioned other high-end Canadian retailers that the store's  "gobsmackingly extraordinary service will make it tough to beat". 

This fascinating article, written by Carol Toller, explains that Nordstrom employees will do whatever it takes to keep customers happy, including cheerfully taking back damaged returns and carrying purchases to customers' cars. There's even a report that a customer successfully returned a set of tires in Anchorage, Alaska, despite the fact that Nordstrom doesn't sell tires! 

All of this got me thinking that it's so important for businesses to provide outstanding customer service if they want to gain an edge over their competition. I looked through the collection of books in the business department at the North York Central library and realized that, for the price of a library card (FREE!), business owners can access a lot of information on the topic.

The first resource I recommend (not surprisingly!) is The Nordstrom Way To Cusomer Service TheNordstromWay
. Originally written in 1995 by Robert Spector, the book has been updated several times. The 2012 edition gives practical advice--based on the store's strategies--that will help any business become the Nordstrom of its industry.  

Thumbing through other books on the topic I realized that providing amazing service to people doesn't have to cost a fortune. In fact, many of the suggestions don't cost anything at all: smile; call the customer by name; be a good listener;  value diversity in your client base; never argue with a customer; and if you don't know the answer to a question, find out and get back to the person.

Obviously not every strategy is going to be cost-free, but in many cases the price of losing a customer (and potentially other customers through word-of-mouth ) may be a steeper price to pay!     

For information on the theme of customer service, check out the many titles available through the library--in conventional or on-line formats. Here's a sampling:

  HiddenPowerOfYourCustomersPeopleLoveYou  CustomerIsBotheringMe  CustomerServiceAPracticalApproach

CustomerSignsYourPaycheck CustomerRules  CustomerService3.0SuperstarCustomerService

Sea Otters Holding Hands

March 20, 2015 | Jeannette | Comments (4)

Sea otters holding hands
By Joe Robertson [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Did you know sea otters hold hands? I didn’t. I recently discovered this insanely adorable fact through a colleague. She asked me the same question. Then told me to look it up online. Instantly, I fell in love with the images of sea otters holding hands that popped up on my screen.

Sea otters spend most of their time in the water. They eat, sleep, hunt, mate and give birth in the water. To prevent themselves from floating away in the swirling sea while they sleep, sea otters often entangle themselves in forests of kelp or giant seaweed to provide anchorage. This is also the reason why they hold hands. They do so in order to prevent themselves from drifting away from the group.

This little known fact went viral when a video of two sea otters holding hands from the Vancouver Aquarium was uploaded online. Within 2 weeks, the video had one million views. As of today, there are over 20 million views. If you haven’t seen the video, you can watch it below.

The Vancouver Aquarium also has a live webcam of the sea otters exhibit. You can watch what the sea otters are up to, as they eat, swim and play. You may even catch them holding hands!

As cute as they are, like all livings thing, there is a dark side to sea otters. They were seen raping, and in the process killing, juvenile harbor seals off the coast of California.

To learn more about sea otters and otters, here are some books from the library:

The nature of sea otters  Otter  Otter country  Otters - Ecology, behaviour and conservation

The library also has DVDs about sea otters.

I hope you enjoy seeing these cute little sea otters holding hands as much as I did. Do you know any interesting facts about animals? If you do, please share them below.


Homelessness In Canada

March 16, 2015 | Emoke | Comments (14)

Healing homeRecently, I attended a training session on homelessness which opened my eyes to the topic and the actions that we must take as a society to put an end to this unfortunate and inhumane social issue. The speaker was Stephen Gaetz, a Professor at the Faculty of Education at York University and the Director of the Canadian Observatory on Homelessness and the Homeless Hub. He is also the President of Raising the Roof, a leading Canadian charity that focuses on long term solutions to homelessness.

Here are some facts that I learned from his lecture (statistics are rough estimates):

  • Over 235,000 Canadians experience homelessness in a year
  • 35,000 people a night are homeless
  • 47.5% are single adult men (25-55 years old)
  • Living on the streets is unsafe for women as family violence is a major reason women are homeless
  • Youth 16-24 years old make up 20% of the homeless population. The causes are unique and include abuse, low income from minimum wage jobs and lack of affordable housing
  • In Toronto, 18% of homeless are Aboriginal
  • New Canadians are a growing homeless population

Homelessness as a Problem:

  • Society created the homelessness problem
  • High paying jobs are disappearing
  • Incomes have declined at the same time as increasing housing prices
  • There is a focus on tax credits in Canada - instead of spending more directly on childcare for instance
  • Reductions in welfare payments
  • Wages haven't kept up with inflation
  • From 1980s-1990s, the government reduced spending on affordable housing to balance the budget
  • National investment in housing decreased (including rental)
  • Rise in homelessness in 1990s was a result of shifts in government policy

Causes of Homelessness

  • Family conflict, job loss, accidents (disability), mental health and addiction
  • Racism, discrimination and homophobia 
  • Patients that are discharged from hospitals without any support or guidance
  • Less rehabilitation programs

Myth: people choose to be homeless - most leave home (or a desperate situation) not because they want to but due to a violent situation, sexual abuse, etc.

  • When they leave, they lose everything: family, natural supports, friends and guidance from relatives
  • Health worsens- mental health impacted, depression, disease, nutritionally vulnerable
  • Addictions follow to “numb the pain”
  • Sexual exploitation arises especially for women on the streets that need to make some money
  • Gangs and criminal involvement increases - for self-protection and to feed a drug habit
  • Homeless are victims of crime as whatever little they own is stolen on the streets, shelters, etc.
  • 38% of young homeless women were sexually assaulted in the past year

Canadian Response to Homelessness should be:

Emergency Response
Housing and Supports

  • We have come to rely on emergency services too much
  • What we really need are prevention and housing supports
  • Alberta - is way ahead of Ontario on homelessness as they have a provincial strategy to end homelessness
  • Medicine Hat has virtually ended homelessness as the city has invested in affordable housing

Ending Homelessness

What is Toronto Public Library Doing:

  • Toronto Public Library has partnered with Toronto Public Health and the City of Toronto’s Streets to Homes to launch a pilot program. The program is currently available two days per week at Toronto Reference Library and Yorkville branch
  • Toronto Public Health nurses help people connect to health resources for mental health and addiction
  • Nurses rove around these branches, checking in with security and librarians about what help is needed

Bookmobile Outreach to Family Shelters

  • Bookmobile outreach and storytimes at Toronto shelters serve women with children
  • Staff register library cards for kids and residents enabling them to borrow books from the bookmobile for extended loan periods
  • Shelter residents don’t get fines and can return books in their shelter


The Toronto Reference Library will also have a program in April with Stephen Gaetz as part of their Thought Exchange programming :


For more information about this important issue, please see the following books, which can be borrowed from the Toronto Public Library:

Homelessness & Health in Canada  Youth work  Homelessness  Homelessness, housing and the experiences of mental health consumer-survivors

Almost home  Homeless  Children living in transition  Homelessness comes to school


Home safe. Toronto a documentary

Crowe, Cathy, 1952-; MacDonald, Laurel; Sky, Laura; Strong, Phil

Year/Format: 2009, DVD, 1 videodisc (96 min.)

Additional reading:

Youth homelessness in Canada: implications for policy and practice

Housing first in Canada: supporting communities to end homelessness

The State of Homelessness in Canada 2014  (PDF)

Canadian Opera Company Talk: The Barber of Seville

March 13, 2015 | Muriel | Comments (2)

Canadian Opera Company Talk:

The Barber of Seville

Tuesday, April 14, 2015 at 7:00 p.m.

North York Central Library Auditorium

The Barber of Seville

Wayne Gooding, editor of Opera Canada magazine, examines
the different ways Rossini's riotous romp has been translated
to the stage from its premiere in 1816 up to the present day. 
Special attention will be given to Els Comediants' new COC production which opens the 2015 spring season.

Please call 416-395-5639 to register for this free program.

  Rossini         The Barber of Seville Sheet Music  Giacchino Rossini The Reluctant Hero

The Barber of Seville Opera Guide       Il Barbiere di Siviglia       Il Barbiere di Siviglia 2


Be sure to visit NAXOS, the online music library available through Toronto Public Library, and listen to great music spanning medieval to modern - classical, jazz, electronic, world music and more, and find expert educational content.  


Introducing...The 2015 IBBY Outstanding Books for Young People with Disabilities!

March 11, 2015 | Deb | Comments (4)

IBBY logoEvery two years, the International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY) chooses outstanding books for and about children and young people with disabilities. This biennial selection draws attention to books published around the world, in an extensive variety of languages and formats, that address special needs and situations and which encourage inclusion at every level.

BuchFor this outstanding selection, 159 books from 27 countries -- including Russia, Argentina, Sweden and Japan -- were submitted. Of these books, 50 were chosen as outstanding works.

Books selected as 2015 outstanding titles are featured in a print catalogue that will be launched at this year’s Bologna Children's Book Fair in Italy on March 30th. The 2015 catalogue will also be digitized and available online.

Outstanding titles become part of The IBBY Collection of Books for Young People with Disabilities. Consisting of 4000 multilingual books, this one-of-a-kind collection is located in Canada at North York Central Library, part of the Toronto Public Library system.


IBBY Collection Toronto Public Library


2015 IBBY Outstanding Books for Young People with Disabilities

Ajja & Bajjas ramsor
Ajja & Bajjas ramsor [Rhymes for you with Pippa & Boo]
by Elvira Ashby. Illustrated by Karin Holmström. Hatten förlag.


Moa åker på läger [Moa goes to camp] by Ann Gomér. Illustrated by Cecilia Höglund. Landskrona vision AB.


Mil Orejas [A thousand ears] by Pilar Gutiérrez Llano. Illustrated by Samuel Castaño Mesa. Tragaluz Editores SAS.


Maja spelar innebandy [Maja plays floorball] by Camilla Larsson. Illustrated by Gunvor Ekström. Specialpedagogiska skolmyndigheten (SPSM).


Storie con la CAA 3. Tre IN-book per bambini di 3-6 anni [Stories with AAC, volume #3. Three IN-book for children from 3 to 6 years] by Elena Magni et al. Illustrated by Laura Constanzi and Roberto Introzzi. Edizioni Centra Studi Erickson S.p.A.


Off to the Park! by Child’s Play. Illustrated by Stephen Cheetham. Child’s Play (International) Ltd.


Les Wa-Wa [The toilets] by Laure Constantin. Illustrated by Cécile Gay. Les Doigts Qui Rêvent.


Dongurami Semo Nemoga Moyeoseo [Circle, triangle, and rectangle] by Meong Sun Jung. Illustrated by Su Ji Park. Braille Publishing Co., Ltd.


Malyshi v zooparke [Little ones at the zoo] by Samuil Marshak. Illustrated by Evgeniy Charushin. “Illustrated Books for Blind Children” Foundation.

Mon premier ABC brailleMon premier ABC Braille [My first Braille ABC]
written and  illustrated by Caroline Morin. Association Mes Mains en Or.


Tenji tsuki sawaru ehon: Sawaru meiro [Touch picture book with Braille: Mazes by touch] designed by Junko Murayama. Shogakukan, Inc.


Stir It Up! Recipes & Techniques for Young Blind Cooks by National Braille Press. Illustrated by Janet Malone. National Braille Press.


Out-of-Sight Science Experiments: for grades 2-5 by Lillian A. Rankel and Marilyn D. Winograd. Illustrated by National Braille Press. National Braille Press.


Mushi [Insects] design and tactile adaptation by Volunteers from Fukinoto Bunko, Nuno Group. Fukinoto Bunko.


Klaus Vogel and the Bad Lads by David Almond. Illustrated by Vladimir Stankovic. Barrington Stoke.


La maglia del nonno [Grandpa’s Shirt] by Gabriella Genisi. Illustrated by Eleonora Marton. Biancoenero Edizioni srl.


Tamtarams [Rumpety-tumpety-rhymes] by Elvira Ashby. Illustrated by Karin Holmström. Hatten förlag.


Rompecabezas [Puzzle] written and illustrated by Diego Bianki. Pequeño editor.

Il libro cricetoIl libro criceto [The hamster book]
written and illustrated by Silvia Borando. Minibombo.


Une feuille, un arbre [A leaf, a tree] written and illustrated by Bruno Gibert. Albin Michel Jeunesse.


Shh! We Have a Plan written and illustrated by Chris Haughton. Walker Books.


To lak laky, ya Darkoub [Are you a stork or a woodpecker?] written and illustrated by Ali Khodaee. Institute for the Cultural Development of Children and Young People/Kanoon.


Saku, spesiaali lapsi [Saku, a special kid] by Marianne Kulmala. Illustrated by Kirsi Tapani. Aivoliitto ry.


How To written and illustrated by Julie Morstad. Simply Read Books.


Sandoicchi itadakimasu [Let’s make a sandwich] written and illustrated by Shimako Okamura. Poplar Publishing Co.


Splash of RedA Splash of Red: The Life and Art of Horace Pippin by Jen Bryant. Illustrated by Melissa Sweet. Alfred A. Knopf.


Recinto Gris [Gray Enclosure] by Ledicia Costas. Illustrated by Antonio Seijas. Edicións Xerais de Galicia.


Freddie and the Fairy by Julia Donaldson. Illustrated by Karen George. Macmillan Children’s Books.


Maggot Moon by Sally Gardner. Hot Key Books.


Are You Seeing Me? by Darren Groth. Woolshed Press/Random House.


Mallko y papá [Mallko and Dad] written and illustrated by Gusti. Editorial Océano.


Look the Bird is SingingKijk, de vogel zingt [Look, the bird is singing] by Bente Jonker. Illustrated by Moniek Peek. De Vier Windstreken.


Liever dan lief [Sweeter than sweet] by Bente Jonker. Illustrated by Moniek Peek. De Vier Windstreken.


Mimi a Líza [Mimi and Liza] written and illustrated by Katarina Kerekesová et. al. Vydavatel’stvo Slovart.


Noi [Us] by Elisa Mazzoli. Illustrated by Sonia MariaLuce Possentini. Corso Bacchilega editore.


Emily Included by Kathleen McDonnell. Second Story Press.


Writing with Grace: A Journey beyond Down syndrome by Judy McFarlane. Douglas & McIntyre.


Temple Grandin: How the Girl who Loved Cows Embraced Autism and Changed the World by Sy Montgomery. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.


Planet WilliPlanet Willi [Willi’s planet] written and illustrated by Birte Müller. Klett Kinderbuch Verlag GmbH.


Roses are Blue by Sally Murphy. Illustrated by Gabriel Evans. Walker Books Australia Pty Ltd.


Victor et Philomène [Victor and Philomène] by Claire Renaud. L’école des loisirs.


O Stephenie Hawkingu, Czarnej Dziurze i myszach podpodłogowych [On Stephen Hawking, a black hole and undermice] by Katarzyna Ryrych. Illustrated by Elżbieta Chopna. Wydawnictwo Literatura.


Lola e io [Lola and I] by Chiara Valentina Segré. Illustrated by Paolo Domeniconi. Camelozampa snc.


Le Garçon de I’intérieur [The boy from the inside] by Benoît Sévérac. Syros.


Max the Champion by Sean Stockdale and Alexandra Strick. Illustrated by Ros Asquith. Frances Lincoln Children’s Books.


Ai-chan no iru kyoshitsuAi-chan no iru kyoshitsu [In the classroom with Ai-chan] written and photographed by Masaki Takakura. Kaisei-sha.


The Unlikely Hero of Room 13B by Teresa Toten. Doubleday Canada.


Paperboy by Vince Vawter. Delacorte Press.


A Time to Dance by Padma Venkatraman. Nancy Paulsen Books.


Dingdingdangdang [Dingding and Dangdang] by Cao Wenxuan. Illustrated by Liu Zhenjun. China Children’s Press & Publication Group.


Your custom home

March 6, 2015 | Carolyn | Comments (0)

Do you dream about your forever home - a home so perfectly suited to your needs that you'll never move again? Lots of people do. But finding the perfect home in the perfect location can be a pretty daunting task. No wonder many people decide to build their dream homes.

Custom building allows you to incorporate features that meet your current and future needs and reflect your values:

On Thursday March 26 the North York Central Library is presenting a workshop on Custom Home Building. Real estate professional Ed Frezza, who built his first custom home in 2014, will demystify the home building process. He will speak about topics including design, securing permits, costing the project and hiring a general contractor and trades. This informal presentation based on Frezza's own project will outline the steps involved in the custom build process.

Whether you're thinking of building your dream home or looking at building a house as an investment opportunity, in this workshop you'll learn more about the custom home building process.

Location: Room 1, North York Central Library, 5120 Yonge Street     

Date: Thursday March 26

Time: 7:00 pm


Here are some of the books, magazines and DVDs about home design and building available at Toronto Public Library branches:


Dwell (available as a print magazine and an eMagazine)

Welcome to North York Central Library. We're one of the City's most welcoming spaces, open to all for study, research, relaxation and fun.

Our extensive digital and print collections, programs and services are yours to use, borrow and explore. Expert staff are always on hand to help. Meet us in person or join us online.