A Book for Every Youngster

Picture this. I’m having breakfast (last week), listening, as usual, to CBC Radio. Andy Barrie is interviewing a bookseller and children’s author because it’s Canadian Children’s Book Week. After a few minutes, after several American titles have been mentioned, I grumble to my husband, “You’d think one of them could name a Canadian title.” (I tend to grumble a fair bit some mornings.)

Then Andy Barrie asks his guests (Eleanor Lafave and Sylvia McNicoll) to “name the book that will always be a classic that you would always recommend to a small child.” And Eleanor says, “Red Is Best“. I do my best to ignore the fact Andy Barrie doesn’t know the book and manage to feel a little less grumbly.

Listen to the whole interview yourself. Eleanor and Sylvia mention some other worthwhile books you may or may not know.

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Kathy Stinson is the author of the classic Red Is Best and the award-winning The Man with the Violin. Her wide range of titles includes picture books, non-fiction, young adult fiction, historical fiction, horror, biography, series books, and short stories. She has met with her readers in every province and territory of Canada, in the United States, Britain, Liberia, and Korea. She lives in a small town in Ontario.

Kathy Stinson


  1. Sylvia McNicoll on November 29, 2009 at 5:22 am

    You feel grumbly too when you travel an hour and a half on the go train each way for a seven minute interview of which five is the host talking about old chestnuts like Curious George which wasn't what the pre-interview was about. Eleanor and I had a better chat afterwards over coffee. We hope at least the three Canadian titles we could squeeze in sold a couple of copies.

  2. Kathy Stinson on November 29, 2009 at 8:17 am

    At least the interview gave Children's Book Week some pretty high-profile media attention. And I suspect that talk of titles many people would be familiar with probably helped, in the end, to draw listeners in to what else you and Eleanor were saying. I hope next time Andy might lead the conversation toward how valuable the Book Week tours are in terms of exciting kids all over Canada about reading good books (especially Canadian books!) and about writing stories of their own, too. In the meantime, I hope your writing is going well.

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