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JonArno Lawson's A Hobo's Crowbar: Excerpts

Cover Hobo's Crowbar

JonArno Lawson's first book since his internationally acclaimed award-winning Sidewalk Flowers is a collection of poetry, Hobo's Crowbar, with woodcut illustrations by Alec Dempster, a collection of poems brimming with whimsical wordplay, rollicking rhymes, and funny, profound, occasionally contrarian life lessons for children of all ages.

We are pleased to feature an excerpt here. 


Image Spunky Dunker

Spunky Dunker

There was a spunky dunker who swept across the flux
she floated in the flotsam

and trudgened in her tux

Shouts from the shore

Had her turning about

where wrathful officers hollered her out

Her peace was disturbed

So as smooth as a trout

She disappeared under the ducks. 


Image Under a Billboard

Under a Billboard at Bathurst and Eglinton

Under a billboard at Bathurst and Eglinton
Using nothing but my eyes

I bought some clouds—

Because they were bi …

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The Chat, with GGs Winners Sydney Smith and JonArno Lawson

In our final interview of the Governor General’s special edition of The Chat, we speak to JonArno Lawson and Sydney Smith, joint winners of the 2015 English-language Governor General’s Award for Children’s Literature (Illustrated), for Sidewalk Flowers.


JonArno Lawson is the author of several award-winning books of poetry for children and adults, and is a four-time winner of the Lion and the Unicorn Award for Excellence in North American Poetry. He has been most inspired in his work by his own children, and received a Chalmers Fellowship Award in 2007 to research children’s lap and bouncing rhymes cross-culturally in different communities across Toronto. Born in Hamilton, Ontario and raised nearby in Dundas, JonArno Lawson now lives in Toronto.

Sydney Smith. Photo Credit- D. Edwards

Sydney Smith discovered his love of children’s illustration while studying drawing and printmaking at NSCAD University in Halifax. Some of his first experiences illustrating children’s books were for the new editions of Sheree Fitch’s older books (Mabel Murple, There Were Monkeys in My Kitchen, and …

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On Our Radar

"On Our Radar" is a monthly 49th Shelf series featuring books with buzz worth sharing. We bring you links to features and reviews about great new books in a multitude of genres from all around the Internet.


Red Jacket, by Pamela Mordecai

Reviewed by Dana Hansen in Quill & Quire: 

"The first novel from Jamaican-born poet, short-story writer, and scholar Pamela Mordecai is a deliberately paced, trenchant story of one woman’s coming of age on the fictional Caribbean island of St. Chris, and her difficult journey away from the security and familiarity of her loving home to find a place for herself in the wider world...

Despite being thematically heavy, Red Jacket is an accomplished, intelligent novel. It is to be savoured for its multiple layers of meaning and—especially—its richness of language."

Read the whole review

And don't miss Pamela Mordecai's "Novels of the Caribbean" list from last month.


Born to Walk, by Dan Rubinstein

Reviewed by Zsuzsi Gartner in The Globe and Mail

"From a group walk in Glasgow meant to boost mental health, and a pilgri …

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