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Looking at ourselves, Looking at others:
Multiculturalism in Canadian children’ picture books in English

Paper Presented to the History of the Book in Canada’
Open Conference for Volume III (1918-2000)
by Gail Edwards and Judith Saltman, University of British Columbia

We begin by asking a series of questions. What do Canadian children see when they open a Canadian picturebook? Do they see themselves and their environment re flected in the illustrations? What is it about Canadian picturebooks that is unique to this country and its evolving identity? Can the changing construction of social reality in Canadian picture books be linked to government policies on multiculturalism and to the development of a distinctly Canadian children’s book industry?

From its nineteenth century beginnings, Canadian children’s literature has been closely linked to the land, to an imaginative sense of place. Canada’s first children’s books of the Victorian period were entirely rooted in the physical dimensions of the Canadian wilderness--its dangers, challenges, and awesome beauty--and were engaged in finding the human place in it.

The narrative tropes of survival in the wilderness gave way in the early twentieth century to children’s novels of domestic realism, like Anne of Green Gables, (1) in which the particular physical and social attributes of a rural area are bound together: character becomes linked with place. It was only in the 1950s and 1960s that indigenous children’s publishing slowly developed in Canada. Writers of realistic children’s and young adult novels like Farley Mowat, in Lost in the Barrens (2) and James Houston explored the power of the Canadian North in outdoor adventure survival stories, in which the harsh environment becomes not just the setting but a narrative actor, a motivator of action and a determinant of plot. Houston drew on his deep knowledge of the North to dramatise the clash of cultures in the conflict between traditional ways of life and EuroCanadian attitudes and values. His illustrations for Ghost Paddle (3) carefully present a recreation of life on the Northwest Coast, informed by his exploration of Haida and Tsimshian cultural artifacts. These works were illustrated novels, rather than picturebooks in which image and text interact to form a whole greater than the sum of its parts. (4)

The opportunities for children’s book authors to publish within Canada developed slowly. One of the first attempts to create a distinctively Canadian genre occurred in the mid 1960s, when William Toye of Oxford University Press became committed to the encouragement of indigenous Canadian children’s literature. Toye and the illustrator Elizabeth Cleaver collaborated on a series of publications that were among the first full colour Canadian picturebooks. Cleaver drew on the rich artistic tradition of Canada’s aboriginal peoples to shape her collage images to complement Toye’s retelling of First Nations stories. (5)

The Toye-Cleaver collaboration was in part a deliberate response to a suggestion by Sheila Egoff for a Canadian centenary year project. Egoff, who was a member of the founding faculty of the University of British Columbia’s School of Librarianship, a distinguished Canadian children’s literature critic, and the first full-time tenured professor of children’s literature in Canada, had repeatedly lamented the lack of distinctly Canadian picturebook editions of Native legends, similar to those already published in the United States. She suggested to Toye that the body of anthropological literature held by the National Archives was a rich textual source for Canadian picturebooks for Canadian children. (6)

These early picturebooks explicitly drew on Canadian themes and images, while at the same time suggesting that Aboriginal peoples lived in the distant past of folktales, rather than being part of the Canadian societal present, which in the 1960s continued to be portrayed as predominantly EuroCanadian. This view of a White, EuroCanadian society was challenged by changes to Canada’s immigration requirements in 1966, the release of the Royal Commission on Biculturalism and Bilingualism in the late 1960s, The Official Languages Act of 1969, and the 1971 Liberal government’s policy on multiculturalism, subsequently enshrined in federal legislation. (7) By 1971, approximately one-quarter of all Canadians were neither English nor French in origin, and Canadian urban centres became culturally heterogeneous. (8) Federal multicultural policies shaped a new vision of Canada, in which immigrants to Canada are encouraged to retain their heritage cultural traditions and ethnic identity and language, even as they are supported in their engagement with a new local, regional, and national life. (9) The discourse of Canada as a vertical mosaic in which ethnocultural groups collaborate in Canadian society, while simultaneously preserving their distinctive cultural characteristics, has deeply influenced Canadian children’s literature.

Although the 1970s saw the crisis in Canadian publishing after the sale of Ryerson Press to the American publisher McGraw-Hill, and the Ontario Royal Commission on Book Publishing, the decade was a time of growth in the children’s book industry. (10) The period saw the founding of the Canadian Children’s Book Centre and Communication Jeunesse, the appointment of a director to the children’s literature service of the National Library of Canada, the organisation of the first conferences on children’s literature held in Canada, the founding of CCL: Canadian Children’s Literature--a bilingual critical peer-reviewed journal, the increased presence of Canadian publishers seeking rights sales and co-publication opportunities at the Bologna international children’s book fair, and the establishment of numerous book awards, and children’s literature festivals, such as Canadian Children’s Book Week, which organised and sponsored author tours. (11) The mission of many of these organisations and events was the promotion and critical evaluation of Canadian children’s literature, which in turn focused increased interest in the question of how, exactly, the regional and ethnocultural identities of Canadian children were represented in the books that they read.

The development in the early 1970s of small, feminist, nationalist, multicultural Canadian publishing houses like Tundra Books, Kids Can Press, Annick Press, and Groundwood Books, that focused exclusively on distinctly Canadian children’s book publishing meant that for the first time, English-speaking Canadian children had access to picturebooks that deliberately reflected the evolving model of Canadian society as explicitly multicultural. Many of these publishing houses began on shoestring budgets, funded by government youth and Local Initiatives Project grants, with minimal resources available for production, publication and marketing, but with an unshakable belief in their mission to produce distinctly Canadian books for children.

Throughout the 1970s and 1980s, Canadian children’s books gradually moved from the previous emphasis on wilderness and historical adventure, and became more urban and contemporary in their narrative focus, reflecting the life of the majority of Canadians. These new stories dramatized the protagonist’s identity within a group, and their struggle to integrate into the wider Canadian society. Two of Canada’s pioneer picturebook author/illustrators in the 1970s, Ann Blades and William Kurelek, were among the first to explore the theme of identity and multiculturalism. Blades’s books speak to the variety and regionalism of Canadian life, beginning with the story of a Northern British Columbian Mennonite girl in Mary of Mile 18. (12) Kurelek’s memories of a Ukrainian-Canadian childhood spent on a Manitoba dairy farm in the 1930s in A Prairie Boy’s Winter (13) form a visual autobiographical memoir that considers, in a historical context, what it is like to grow up in the Canadian mosaic, what a Canadian identity means for a child in relation to diverse cultural heritages.

Blades and Kurelek were published by Montreal’s Tundra Books which devotedly pursued a uniquely regional series of picturebooks and alphabet books defining geographical and cultural territories across Canada. (14) Sing Lim’s West Coast Chinese Boy (15) published by Tundra in 1979, explores the racism and oppression that Lim experienced growing up in Vancouver’s Chinatown. Ted Harrison’s oil paintings in his 1982 A Northern Alphabet (16) depict Native, Inuit and White adults and children enacting their daily round against a wild arctic background of psychedelic shape and neon colour--a mental and spiritual evocation of the north in the Canadian imagination.

Tundra’s publications celebrated the ethnocultural diversity of Canadian society, framed within the publisher, May Cutler’s vision of “Canadian Children’s Books as Works of Art” that could compete in the international marketplace. This vision of diversity was echoed in a far more modest way by the early publications of Kids Can Press, which explicitly promoted an overtly didactic, multicultural view of Canadian society in its alphabet and counting books. Kids Can Count (17) by Angela Wood, with a text in English, French, Chinese, Italian and Greek, was an early attempt to respond to the educational demand for multilingual texts, an experiment that has since disappeared in most Canadian children’s publishing. Similarly, Wood’s illustrations to Yvonne Singer’s Little Miss Yes Miss (18) were a deliberate and intentional attempt to create a Canadian multicultural picturebook. For other publishers, the quest to present multicultural stories was undercut by what critics call the “food, festivals, and fun” approach to multiculturalism--simplistic, well-intentioned, but having a tendency to reinforce hierarchies of difference. The illustrations by Ron Berg for Shelley Tanaka’s Michi’s New Year (19) present the protagonist as a prim doll-like character, feeding into stereotypes of Asian women as doll-like and passive.

Other picturebooks of the period, while celebrating cultural diversity, were open to charges of misappropriation of voice and misrepresentation of culture. Ian Wallace’s ground-breaking Chin Chiang and the Dragon’s Dance, (20) published in 1983, realistically depicted the life of a young boy living in a contemporary Chinese-Canadian community. Wallace’s sensitivity to the nuances of his story, however, was questioned by several critics, who noted that it was impossible for Chin Chiang to learn the steps to the Dragon’s Dance from an elderly woman, as women traditionally did not participate as dragon dancers. In response, Wallace stated that the decision to use a female mentor was a conscious and informed decision that placed the narrative within a feminist framework, a decision that was arrived at jointly by Wallace and his publisher Patsy Aldana. A decade later, amid the fierce debate about cultural copyright and appropriation of voice within Canadian publishing and among the members of Writer’s Union of Canada, Aldana would state that she now would publish culturally-specific children’s books only if they were created by members of the originating cultural community. (21)

Turning to the 1990s, it is possible to explore issues of region, place, land and ethnocultural identity in the picturebooks produced by the many regional publishers that have developed across the country. Picturebooks from British Columbia are primarily non-urban stories, set in the near past, and for the most part, in towns, islands, and farms outside the cities. Sue Ann Alderson has written a series of west coast texts that explore the sense of belonging in a new country. Alderson’s turn of the century A Ride for Martha (22) tells of the friendships and loyalty among the children of a multi-ethnic community, made up of Coast Salish peoples, Scottish immigrants, and freed African-American slaves, and is true to Saltspring Island’s complex socio-cultural history.

Paul Yee’s Roses Sing on New Snow: A Delicious Tale (23) is set at the turn of the 20th century, weaving together traditional Chinese culture and life in an identifiably west-coast urban setting. Harvey Chan’s witty illustrations locate the story in time and place: some of his characters wear the traditional queue of braided hair and Western-style suits while moving through a world of telephone poles and false-fronted stores, enroute to meeting the Emperor of China’s overseas representative. The illustrations also quietly remind us that ethnocultural diversity is not a new feature of Canadian life, that Chinese settlers have a long and rich history in British Columbia.

In the 1990s, there has been an explosion of prairie picturebooks of various genres--alphabet books, historical, and contemporary stories. Jo Bannatyne-Cugnet’s A Prairie Alphabet (24) brings a contemporary sensibility in its depiction of an extended web of children, parents, and family held in the embrace of the prairie world and their ethnocultural communities. Yvette Moore’s hyperrealist illustrations celebrate the fullness of life when labour and play are deeply engaged with the land.

There are only a few picturebooks for English readers that represent Quebec society and culture. From the 1970s on, Tundra Book’s initiatives in bilingual editions and separate French and English editions of some of its picturebook list introduced Quebec to English speaking Canadian children, a practice also adopted by Scholastic Canada and Stoddart Kids, which have published simultaneous English and French editions of selected Canadian picturebooks. As well, many Quebecois illustrators work with English language publishers, and there are a small number of noted Quebecois author/illustrators, such as Marie-Louise Gay, who publish in both languages.

The series of Quebec rural stories, written as seasonal memoirs by Roch Carrier have achieved significant popularity in English Canada. The small Quebec village of Ste. Justine in the 1940s is the setting for The Hockey Sweater (25) and its three sequels, which use the changing seasons and triumphs and follies of child sports as a structural framework and symbolic device. The stories are rich with adult allusions to social history, cultural climate, the tension between the French and English communities, and the central position of the Catholic church in the community.

Carrier’s adult-child perspective on regionalism shifts from sophisticated adult comprehension to the rawness of the child’s awareness. This is also part of the textual dynamic in the Maritime The Mummer’s Song (26) by Bud Davidge. The text is a poem designed to accompany the Celtic Christmas folk tradition of Newfoundland mummering, when strange folk in outlandish costumes revel from house to house. A celebration of this folk custom, originally from England and Ireland, the picturebook begins with the safe security of the grandmother’s outport speech, colourful and warm, defining the experience for her grandsons. Ian Wallace’s surreal drawings of horse-headed, antler-helmeted, and cross-dressed people show the ambivalence felt by the children to this wild night of ritual and disguise.

The Celtic folk belief of mummering, still alive in contemporary Newfoundland, and the dynamic linking of memory, place, and history, are paralleled by the mythic imagery and regionalism of the Arctic North in Inuit author Michael Kususgak’s Northern Lights: The Soccer Trails. (27) Kusugak sets most of his picturebook texts in the 1950s of his childhood in Repulse Bay, a small Inuit community of only 100 people, at the north end of the Hudson Bay within the Arctic Circle. His strong sense of place and culture shapes his depiction of a close-knit community. In this sombre work he explores Inuit folk belief in the context of death and loss, and the continuity of memory, love, and regional community across time and space. Vladyana Krykorka’s illustrations for Kusugak’s work, however, introduce a problematic tension. Her vision of Arctic life is at one and the same time acutely observed, and sentimentalized. Despite the authenticity of her carefully researched depictions of place and the customs of her Inuit subjects, her illustrations for Kusugak’s Baseball Bats for Christmas (28) are close cousin’s of Ron Berg’s illustrations for Michi’s New Year: a Eurocentric outsider’s view of culture that is at odds with the original Inuit voice of the text.

Other Canadian picturebooks that tell aboriginal stories are more coherent in their interplay of picture and text. In What’s the Most Beautiful Thing That You Know About Horses, (29) Cree illustrator George Littlechild creates remarkable artwork for the text by Richard Van Camp of the Dogrib Nation. The multimedia nature of Littlechild’s art parallels the call and response, question and answer rhythms of the text, in which Van Camp explores his own reactions, and those of his family and friends to the question that forms the title of his book. The vibrancy of the indigenous communities in the North West Territories are captured in this imaginative collaboration between author and illustrator.

The development of aboriginal publishing houses with explicit programs of publishing Native writers and illustrators have significantly disrupted the sentimentalised victimization model that relegated First Nations narratives to a dying folkloric past. The aboriginal owned and managed Theytus Books in Penticton, and Pemmican Publications in Winnipeg, a publishing house dedicated to promoting Metis culture and heritage have published picturebooks that expand the vision of Native life and culture. Don Monkman’s illustrations for Joseph McLellan’s Nanabosho Steals Fire, (30) one of a series of stories by McLellan about Nanabosho the Ojibwa trickster, utilises a clever framing device to distinguish between the black-and-white present day of the storyteller, and the sepia toned past of the story, a visual rendering of the interfusion of oral and textual that Blanca Schorcht spoke of on Thursday.

Other writers and illustrators have explored their life stories before coming to Canada. Song Nan Zhang’s A Little Tiger in the Chinese Night: An Autobiography in Art (31) tells the story of his life in pre- and post-revolutionary China. Zhang’s remarkable draughtsmanship brings to life the social dislocation of the Cultural Revolution, the uncertainty of the future that he faced, and his final decision to make Canada his home after the events of Tienanmin Square.

Some Canadian picturebooks have moved beyond the exploration of cultural traditions and celebrations of diversity to create works in which multiculturalism is implicit--a recognition of the reality of diversity in Canadian society. Nancy Hundal’s Puddle Duck, (32) with illustrations by Stephen Taylor is a warm, reassuring story for young children about the loss of a favourite toy. Nowhere in the story is the racial identity of the family discussed--it is not a story explicitly about African-Canadian family life, but a story of family life, in which the particular family is African-Canadian. Janet Wilson’s illustrations for Jo Ellen Bogart’s Daniel’s Dog (33) similarly present a vision of implicit multiculturalism. (34)

Finally, a very few recent Canadian picturebooks move beyond multiculturalism to directly address injustice through an antiracist stance. (35) Antiracism moves beyond being non-biased to actively intervene, challenge and counter both the personal and institutional behaviours that perpetuate oppression. Antiracism sees racist practices of marginalization, exclusion and devaluation not as errors of history but as products of power relations. (36) Jim McGugan’s Josepha: A Prairie Boy’s Story (37) is a powerful indictment of Othering--the process by which groups identify those who belong and those who are different, are Other, are “not like us.” The outsider, Josepha, is an early twentieth century immigrant, who experiences harassment, bullying and exclusion in his one-room prairie schoolhouse because of his age, size, language, and obvious poverty. Similarly, Paul Yee’s dark and disturbing Ghost Train explores the brutal treatment and untimely deaths of Chinese railway workers during the construction of the rail link across Canada. (38)

It is perhaps ironic to conclude the paper by noting the gradual diminuation of distinctive Canadian vocabulary, spelling, images, and geographic placenames in picturebooks published in the 1990s. The economic realities of copublication, the international sale of Canadian books to foreign publishers, and current policies of direct distribution into the United States has disrupted the deliberate conscious decisions on the part of explicitly nationalistic Canadian writers, illustrators, editors and publishers to recreate the diversity of Canadian experiences on the printed page. For example, Sue Ann Alderson notes that she was asked to change the term “mountain lion” in Ida and the Wool Smugglers to cougar--mountain lion is a distinctly Canadian term, cougar is the preferred term in America, and her publisher assumed that while Canadian children would read American terms without difficulty, American children would reject textual products with unfamiliar vocabulary. The phenomenal popularity of Paulette Bourgeois and Brenda Clark’s Franklin, (39) the anthropomorphic and highly marketable turtle, who operates as a pre-school bibliotheraputic counselling service, neatly avoids the issue of multicultural diversity. Through Bourgeouis and Clark’s creation of Franklin, the deliberately adorable and nontheatening turtle every-child, whose non-human form is infused with completely human attributes, difficult questions of ethnocultural identity are sidestepped. Franklin may be the Great Canadian Turtle, but it is rather depressing to note that he is second only to “Anne of the Red Hair” as an internationally recognized Canadian children’s book character.

We are still in the early stages of our research project, and have much work to do to further explore the complexities of the interaction of publishers, funding agencies, and government policy in the creation of the Canadian children’s book industry. What we can say with certainty is that Canadian picturebooks since their beginnings in the 1970s have mapped an intentionally Canadian geographic reality in their stories and images of regional life and a culturally diverse society. Living within the complex multicultural reality of Canadian society and the profound regionalism of Canadian geography, the picturebook creators appear to have tapped into a deep well of emotional response to the history, myths, traditions, and regional realities of Canada’s land and peoples.




1. Lucy Maude Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables (Boston: Page, 1908).

2. Farley M. Mowat, Lost in the Barrens, ill. by Charles Geer (Boston and Toronto: Little, 1956).

3. James Houston, Ghost Paddle: A Northwest Coast Indian Tale (New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1972).

4. Of course, the majority of children’s book authors from this early period were primarily publishing their works in London, Boston, or New York. See Sheila Egoff and Judith Saltman, The New Republic of Childhood: A Critical Guide to Canadian Children’s Literature in English (Toronto: Oxford University Press, 1990), chapter 11, “Canadian Publishing for Children and How It Grew.” See also H. Pearson Gundy, Book Publishing and Publishers in Canada Before 1900 (Toronto: The Bibliographic Society of Canada, 1965); H. Pearson Gundy, “The Development of Trade Book Publishing in Canada,” in Royal Commission on Book Publishing: Background Papers (Toronto: The Queen’s Printer, 1972); and George L. Parker, The Beginnings of the Book Trade in Canada (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1985).

5. William Toye, The Mountain Goats of Temlaham, ill. by Elizabeth Cleaver (Toronto: Oxford University Press, 1969);. William Toye, How Summer Came To Canada, ill. by Elizabeth Cleaver (Toronto: Oxford University Press, 1969); William Toye, The Loon’s Necklace ill. by Elizabeth Cleaver (Toronto: Oxford University Press, 1977); William Toye, The Fire Stealer ill. by Elizabeth Cleaver (Toronto: Oxford University Press, 1979.

6. Sheila Egoff interview with Judith Saltman.

7. For a concise description of changes to Canada’s immigration policies in the 1960s, see Valerie Knowles, Strangers at Our Gates: Canadian Immigration and Immigration Policy, 1540-1990 (Toronto and Oxford: Dundurn Press, 1992).

8. Kogila A. Moodley, “Multicultural Education in Canada: Historical Development and Current Status,” in Handbook of Research on Multicultural Education, ed. James A Banks and Cherry A. McGee Banks (New York: Macmillan Pbulsihing USA, 1995), 802-803.

9. For an exploration of the historical background of the Canadian mosaic ideology, see Evelyn Kallen, Ethnicity and Human Rights in Canada 2d ed. (Toronto: Oxford University Press, 1995), 168-177.

10. See Judith Saltman, Modern Canadian Children’s Books (Toronto: Oxford University Press, 1987), chapter 1, “The Writing and Publishing of Canadian Children’s Books.”

11. Saltman, Modern Canadian Children’s Books, 5-7.

12. Ann Blades, Mary of Mile 18 (Montreal: Tundra, 1971).

13. William Kurelek, A Prairie Boy’s Winter (Montreal: Tundra, 1973).

14. For a discussion of May Cutler and Tundra Books, see Greg Maruszeczka, “May Cutler: Publishing Picture Books, The View From Tundra,” CM 21, no. 2 (1993): 42-43.

15. Sing Lim, West Coast Chinese Boy (Montreal: Tundra, 1979).

16. Ted Harrison, A Northern Alphabet, designed by Dan O’Leary (Montreal: Tundra, 1982).

17. Angela Wood, Kids Can Count (Toronto: Kids Can Press, 1976).

18. Yvonne Singer, Little-Miss-Yes-Miss, ill. by Angela Wood (Toronto: Kids Can Press, 1976).

19. Shelley Tanaka, Michi’s New Year, ill. by Ron Berg, designed by Michael Solomon (Northern Lights. Toronto: Peter Martin Associates, 1980).

20. Ian Wallace, Chin Chiang And The Dragon’s Dance, A Groundwood Book (Toronto and Vancouver: Douglas and McIntyre, 1985).

21. For the appropriation of voice debate see, for example, Scott Anderson, “Bread and Races: Writers’ Union, Divided Over Writing Thru Race Conference, Tries to Get Down to Business,” Quill and Quire 60, no. 7 (1994): 21; Libby Scheier, “Writing Authentic Voices: The Writers’ Union and Anti-Racism,” Fuse Magazine 14, nos. 1-2 (1990): 14-15; Marlene Nourbese Philip, “Gut Issues in Babylon: Racism and Anti-Racism in the Arts,” Fuse Magazine 12, no. 5 (1989): 13-26; Brian Fawcett, “Notes From the Inner Circle,” Books in Canada 18, no. 6 (1989): 2-3; Marlene Nourbese Philip, “Disappearing Debate, Or, How the Discussion of Racism Has Been Taken Over By the Censorship Issue,” This Magazine 23, no. 2 (1989): 19-24.

22. Sue Ann Alderson, A Ride for Martha, ill. by Ann Blades, A Groundwood Book (Toronto and Vancouver: Douglas and McIntyre, 1993).

23. Paul Yee, Roses Sing on New Snow: A Delicious Tale, ill. by Harvey Chan, designed by Michael Solomon and Harvey Chan, A Groundwood Book (Toronto and Vancouver: Douglas & McIntyre, 1991).

24. Jo Bannatyne-Cugnet, A Prairie Alphabet, ill. by Yvette Moore, designed by Dan O’Leary (Montreal: Tundra, 1992).

25. Roch Carrier, The Hockey Sweater, ill. by Sheldon Cohen (Montreal: Tundra, 1984).

26. Bud Davidge, The Mummer’s Song, ill. by Ian Wallace, A Groundwood Book (Toronto and Vancouver: Douglas and McIntyre, 1993).

27. Michael Arvaarluk Kusugak, Northern Lights: The Soccer Trails, ill. by Vladyana Krykorka, designed by Vladyana Krykorka (Toronto: Annick Press, 1993).

28. Michael Arvaarluk Kusugak, Baseball Bats For Christmas, ill. by Vladyana Krykorka (Toronto: Annick, 1990).

29. Richard Van Camp, What’s the Most Beautiful Thing You Know About Horses? ill. by George Littlechild (San Franciso: Children’s Book Press, 1998).

30. Joseph McLellan, Nanabosho Steals Fire, ill. by Don Monkman (Winnipeg: Pemmican, 1990).

31. Song Nan Zhang, A Little Tiger In The Chinese Night: An Autobiography in Art, designed by Dan O’Leary (Montreal: Tundra Books, 1993).

32. Nancy Hundal, PuddleDuck, ill. by Stephen Taylor (Toronto: HarperCollins, 1995).

33. Jo Ellen Bogart, Daniel’s Dog, ill. by Janet Wilson (Richmond Hill, Ont.: Scholastic, 1990).

34. However, not all booksellers find a ready market for multicultural children’s books. See Anita Lahey, “But Will It Sell: Mainstream Retailers Shy Away From ‘Minority’ Books,” Quill and Quire 66, no. 5 (2000): 1, 17.

35. The small feminist publishers SisterVision, Second Storey Press have produced explicitly anti-racist picturebooks. For a brief discussion of racism in Canadian publishing, see May Lui, “Racism in Canadian Publishing Does Exist,” Quill and Quire 66, no. 6 (June 2000): 13.

36. For a discussion of antiracist pedagogy, see Leslie G. Roman, “White is a Color!: White Defensiveness, Postmodernism, and Antiracist Pedagogy,” in Race, Identity, and Representation, ed. Cameron McCarthy and Warren Chrichlow (New York: Routledge), 1993, 279-378; and George J. Sefa Dei, “Critical Perspectives in Antiracism: An Introduction,” Canadian Review of Sociology and Anthropology 33, no, 3 (1996): 247-267.

37. Jim McGugan, Josepha: A Prairie Boy’s Story, ill. by Murray Kimber, designed by Kunz and Associates, Northern Lights Books for Children (Red Deer: Red Deer College Press, 1994).

38. Paul Yee, Ghost Train, ill. by Harvey Chan, designed by Michael Solomon, A Groundwood Book (Toronto and Vancouver: Douglas & McIntyre, 1996).

39. Paulette Bourgeois, Hurry Up Franklin, ill. by Brenda Clark (Toronto: Kids Can, 1989). For an examination of the Franklin phenomenon, see Rebecca Wigod, “Turtle-Mania,” Homemaker’s Magazine 36, no. 3 (2001): 17; John Lorinc, “Striking It Green,” Quill & Quire 64, no. 2 (1998): 1, 16-18; Diane Turbide, “Million-Dollar Turtle,” Macleans 108, no. 50 (1995): 50-51.

Gail Edwards

Judith Saltman