Giraffe and Bird wins the 2012 OLA Blue Spruce Award!
Dancing Cat Books is thrilled to announce that Giraffe and Bird by Rebecca Bender has won the 2012 Ontario Library Association Blue Spruce Award!
Giraffe and Bird, author/illustrator Rebecca Bender’s first book, was announced winner of the OLA Blue Spruce Award May 15, 2012, at the Festival of Trees at Harbourfront in Toronto — by one of the book’s own young readers. Bender accepted the award in front of a cheering crowd of teachers, librarians, and students, all delighted to see their favourite picture book come out on top.
Giraffe and Bird, a story about these two species who discover, amidst their bickering, how much they need each other, is “an excellent beginning to what, hopefully, will be a long career in authoring and illustrating picture books.” (CM Magazine). Giraffe and Bird was also shortlisted for the 2011 CBA Libris Award for Children’s Picture Book of the Year, and was a finalist for the 2011 SYRCA Shining Willow Award.
Rebecca Bender began her drawing career at 5 years old, honing in mostly on animal characters. Before long she put words to her pictures, inspiring stories and more pictures. When she grew up she attended the Ontario College of Art and Design, graduated in 2003, and was awarded an OCAD medallion for illustration. She then took on graphic design jobs in greeting cards and publishing, which lead to art directing many educational children’s books and youth graphic novels.
The Blue Spruce Award, one of the seven reading programs offered by The Forest of Reading in conjunction with the Ontario Library Association (OLA), goes to a recently-published Canadian picture book for Ontario children from kindergarten to grade two. The Forest of Reading is Canada’s largest recreational reading program. Over 250,000 readers participate every year from their schools or libraries.