We had two very successful book launches for the beautiful and moving picture book A Bear In War this past weekend- one in Ottawa at the Canadian War Museum and the other in Kleinburg at the McMichael Canadian Art Collection, which is the one I attended.What a great event! There were readings by the two authors, Stephanie Innes (who is the great-granddaughter of Lawrence Rogers, the father in the book who was killed at the battle of Passchendaele) and Harry Endrulat. The book's illustrator Brian Deines had brought along many of his stunning original oil paintings from the book. He also created a display that showed the progress of how the paintings were created from the original concept, through rough sketches, to the finished product. As part of the 'Family Sunday' program run by the gallery, kids were able to make their own little Teddy bears, so there were many little ones there for the reading with their new little toys in tow. The Canadian War Museum had graciously arranged for Teddy to be transported from Ottawa for the event. I knew he was going to be there, but I must admit that I walked right by him at first. Teddy is much smaller than I had originally thought- no bigger than my hand! In the Q&A period after the reading, one of the first questions from the audience was 'What happened to Teddy's legs?'. Well, the answer is they were lost during the war. Teddy is a veteran of the First World War too- he was kept in the Lawrence Roger's uniform pocket during much of the war and one of Lawrence's letters home mentions that Teddy's legs were falling off. I've included a few photos of the event- the art display, Teddy, and the authors and illustrator with 'Teddy' in his display case.
The book has had some great coverage over the past few days, with mentions/features in The Globe and Mail, The Montreal Gazette (this article actually features TWO Dewey Diva Picks- A Bear in War and one of Janet's picks, The Unknown Soldier by Linda Granfield), The Mississauga News, the Just One More Book Podcast (coverage of Ottawa launch at Canadian War Museum) and Savvy Mom.ca
So onto the giveaway portion of this posting! I had three copies of A Bear In War signed by the authors and illustrator at the event, so a few lucky blog readers (sorry- in Canada only) can win a copy of this lovely book to keep for themselves, their school or library! Please send me an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org with 'A Bear in War' as the subject to enter. You must also provide the full mailing address of your school or library to be eligible. I'll collect entries until 9:00 a.m. EST Friday November 21st and will randomly select the winners. Good luck!