Tuesday, April 2, 2013
After I finished writing "Oy, Feh, So" I just knew that Gary Clement had to be the illustrator. I've known Gary for nearly twenty-five years and I figured that it was about time he did something worthwhile. Other than the previous book we did, that is. Gary agreed--after all, what else did he have to do other than his daily cartoon for 'The National Post,' the art for his next show at Loop Gallery, his freelance work, etc. etc. And he did such a wonderful job that the pictures alone make me laugh. * The story is a homage to my aunts and uncles, and great aunts and uncles, and their visits to our house when I was a kid. * Here are some early reviews: "Very funny."-- Publisher's Weekly. "You don't have to be Jewish to find this one funny." -- Booklist. "Fagan has hit on a universal theme and pulls off a charming read. A great book for reading aloud."--CM Magazine. "Priceless"--Canlit for Little Canadians.
Thursday, March 28, 2013
'Mr. Zinger's Hat' received the Jean Throop Award at a ceremony in Toronto last night. Cary Fagan and illustrator Dusan Petricic shared the $2,000 award, given out by the Municipal Chapter of Toronto IODE. Previous winners include Barbara Reid,Ken Oppal, and Dennis Lee. Meant to encourage the publication of books for children between the ages of six and twelve, the award is given annually to authors and/or illustrators who are judged to contribute to children's reading. Dwight Throop, husband of the late Jean Throop, presented the award.
Tuesday, March 5, 2013
Danny is the practical one in his family, the kid who--or so everyone says--lacks the creative talent of his parents and brothers. One day he comes home to discover that his parents have sold the house, given away the dog, and are planning to fulfill their dreams by living in different places (his father to become an opera singer in New York City, his mother to bake cheesecakes in Banff). His response? To run. Angry Danny runs out of the house, down the block, and keeps going until he crosses a construction site and falls into a very deep hole. Waiting to be rescued, Danny discovers his survival skills and makes a very unlikely friend...." Danny, Who Fell in a Hole," the new novel, will be published in April. Here are some early reviews: "[A] funny and sweet tale about learning to embrace change and appreciating what one has." --Publishers' Weekly. "A quirky existential adventure for thoughtful readers." --Kirkus Reviews. **** [four stars] "A thoroughly engrossing short tale, this book is typical Fagan: fantastical yet familiar, timeless, and with just the right touch of sentiment and seriousness. A great read-aloud tale." --CM Magazine.
Saturday, February 2, 2013
Thought I'd mention that there's a profile of me in the new edition of the 'Canadian Children's Book News.' Thanks to CCBN for considering me a worthy subject. And no, that handsome gentleman on the cover isn't me. Oh yes, I might also mention that 'Mr. Zinger's Hat' has just been named an Ontario Library Association Best Bets 2012, a selection of the year's 'top Canadian' books for kids. A tip of my own hat to the OLA!
Thursday, December 6, 2012
For some time I have wanted to bring back into print several of my earlier titles. Two of them were published by houses that went bankrupt, something that happens all too often in Canadian publishing. Others have simply gone out of print. A couple of publishers wanted to pick them up but other pressing financial crises swept those plans away. And so after much hemming and hawing I have finally taken the plunge. My own publishing operation, Big Wheel, has just released three ebooks--two novels and a book of stories that have been among my best reviewed titles. And the good thing is that I am able to offer them for a mere $4.99 each, half or a third of what they would usually cost. The books are available on all readers so if you're looking for a good book (can I say that about my own work?) at a good price, fire up your Kindles, your Kobos, your Nooks, your ipads, and your laptaps
The end of the year brings out the need for list-making. And this year a couple of books have made it onto year end lists. The new picture book, "Mr. Zinger's Hat," appears on the Toronto Public Library First and Best List, an annual short-list of books recommended for parents to read to their kids. Thank you, TPL. And the short-story collection "My Life Among the Apes" can be found on Open Book Toronto's Holiday Reading Guide 2012. It certainly is nice to be noticed by your own city.
Saturday, December 1, 2012
I keep meaning to write about my experience over the years as a (very) small press publisher, but that longer piece will have to wait. For now, let me invite you to the launch of Sandra Alland's "Naturally Speaking." The publisher is Espresso Books, the chapbook imprint of paperplates books. The editor for this one has been Rebecca Comay; Bernard Kelly did the design; and I am handbinding the 150 copies in paper wrappers. (Together, we three are the three-headed beast that makes up Espresso.)