Celebrating Children’s Literature in Vancouver

Reading Lights logo designed by Lee Edward Fodi

Next year, Vancouver will be celebrating children’s literature created by local writers with a series of plaques that will be displayed on lamp posts around the city. The project, called Reading Lights, is a new literacy initiative that will feature excerpts of stories and poems from published children’s literature, along with the associated illustrations. The 24” x 7” plaques will be permanent installations and will be placed near parks, playgrounds, schools, and libraries to spark spontaneous encounters with books from the province of British Columbia.

The project is starting with excerpts from picture books, and may expand to involve books for older readers in the future. I haven’t written any picture books, so I wasn’t able to apply for the project—but I did design the logo. (Not my best work, but I had to basically do it squeezed between trips to Korea and Thailand this year!)

In any case, the picture book authors to be featured have now all been chosen. I’m thrilled that many of them are my friends and colleagues. The full list of chosen authors is below, and we should start seeing the plaques pop up next year!

To get an idea of what Reading Lights will be like, check out this similar project in Vancouver called Literary Landmarks.


Norman, Speak
Written by Caroline Adderson 
Illustrated by Qin Leng
Groundwood Books

Stanley At Sea
Written by Linda Bailey
Illustrated by Bill Slavin
Kids Can Press

Pussy Cat, Pussy Cat, Where Have You Been?
Written by Dan Bar-el
Illustrated by Rae Mate
Simply Read Books

Crocodiles Play!
Written by Robert Heidbreider
Illustrated by Rae Mate
Tradewind  Books

Written by Kallie George
Illustrated by Genevieve Cote
Simply Read Books

Watch me Grow!: A Down-to-Earth Look at Growing Food in the City.
Written by Deborah Hodge
Photographed by Brian Harris
Kids Can Press

I Heard My Mother Call My Name
Written by Nancy Hundal
Illustrated by Laura Hernandez
Harper Collins

The Red Bicycle: The Extraordinary Story of One Ordinary Bicycle.
Written by Jude Isabella
Illustrated by Simone Shin
Kids Can Press

Emma And The Silk Train
Written by Julie Lawson
Illustrated by Paul Mombourquette
Kids Can Press

Ankylosaur Attack
Written by Daniel Loxton
Illustated by Daniel Loxton and Jim W.W. Smith
Kids Can Press

School Days Around the World
Written by Margriet Ruurs 
Illustrated by Alice Feagan
Kids Can Press

Abby’s Birds
Written by Ellen Schwartz
Illustrated by Sima Elizabeth Shefrin
Tradewind Books

If … A Mind-Bending New Way of Looking at Big Ideas and Numbers
Written by David Smith
Illustrated by Steve Adams
Kids Can Press

Binky The Space Cat
Written and illustrated by Ashley Spires
Kids Can Press

Written by Tiffany Stone
Illustrated by Jori van der Linde
Simply Read Books

Grumpy Bird 
Written and illustrated by Jeremy Tankard 

Suki’s Kimono
Written by Chieri Uegaki
Illustrated by Stephane Jorisch
Kids Can Press

Little You
Written by Richard Van Camp
Illlustrated by Julie Flett
Orca Books

How To Build Your Own Country
Written by Valerie Wyatt
Illustrated by Fred Rix
Kids Can Press


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