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Great Companions

As fascinating as books themselves (and oh, are books ever fascinating) are the connections between books, the curious ways in which books inform and echo each other, creating strange synergies completely outside of their authors' purview. In celebration of these connections, we've made great pairings of recent Canadian books of note, creating ideal literary companions. 

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All About Abodes

Home, by Carson Ellis, and A View from the Porch, by Avi Friedman 

Carson Ellis's smash-hit picture book explores the meaning of home as it considers all kinds of homes—a ship, a shoe, a home on the moon?—and shares the same preoccupations as Avi Friedman's new collection of essays. 

About Home: 

Influential artist Carson Ellis makes her solo picture-book debut with a whimsical tribute to the many possibilities of home.

Home might be a house in the country, an apartment in the city, or even a shoe. Home may be on the road or the sea, in the realm of myth, or in the artist’s own studio. A meditation on the concept of home and a visual treat that invites many return visits, this loving look at the places where people live marks the picture-book debut of Carson Ellis, acclaimed illustrator of the Wildwood series and artist for the indie band the Decemberists.

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Notes from a Children's Librarian: Books on Home

Our Children's Librarian columnist, Julie Booker, brings us a new view from the stacks every month.

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In 1997, when Hong Kong was transferred from Britain back to the People’s Republic of China, the school where I worked had an influx of Chinese families determined to make Canada their home. One five-year-old boy arrived on October 31st, to a parade of ghosts and monsters. He spent the day, refusing to move, tears streaming down his face, occasionally emitting a howl heard round the school. How could this possibly be his new home?

Robert Munsch's book, From Far Away (age 4–7), also written by Saoussan Askar and illustrated by Michael Martchenko, deals with a similar situation, except the protagonist has the added layer of immigrating from war-torn Beirut. It’s told in the form of a letter to a Reading Buddy. This is the beauty of Munsch. His stories come out of real kids' lives.

Whether transitioning to a new location or determining to stay in one place, the desire for stability is common to all these picture books about home.

The Boy in the Att …

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Esi Edugyan on Dreaming of Elsewhere

Writing about belonging is not a simple task. In her new book, Dreaming of Elsewhere: Observations on Home, Esi Edugyan chooses to intertwine fact and fiction, objective and subjective in an effort to find out if one can belong to more than one place, if home is just a place or if it can be an idea, a person, a memory, or a dream. How “home” changes, how it changes us, and how every farewell carries the promise of a return. Readers of Canadian literature, armchair travellers, and all citizens of the global village will enjoy her explorations and reflections, as we follow her from Ghana to Germany, from Toronto to Budapest, from Paris to New York.

We are pleased to grant you a sneak preview of this new book by the winner of the 2011 Scotiabank Giller Prize.

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Book Cover Dreaming of Elsewhere

"Not-belonging is so often rooted in difference that we forget, sometimes, that it can be rooted in similarities as well. I remember being in a large plaza of shops in Accra before our journey north to Kumasi. In the dusty, unpaved lot I saw, against the far stalls, two tall pale figures. They were blonde. Sewn into their backpacks were two tiny red maple leaves.“Look,” I said to my brother, and pointed.

After just three days in Ghana, a glimpse of white skin—so much a part of my home landscape, a p …

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