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Read Up On It is available in PDF format [PDF 836 KB].
A Message from the Librarian and Archivist of Canada
Young people of all ages enjoy poetry. Very small children take delight in repeating the nursery rhymes learned at home, during library activities or, later, at kindergarten. And poetry is a boon to school-age children: it allows them to learn new vocabulary, have fun playing word games, participate in poetry competitions and exercise their memories by learning verses by heart. This literary genre also appeals to teenagers, who sometimes write poems themselves, using the form as a way of expressing their ideas, moods and emotions while drawing upon their linguistic and imaginative resources. Adolescents need to read and express their emotions, and poetry often plays an important role in their lives.
Something of a poetry revival is currently taking place in Canadian children's literature - both English and French. By making Canadian poetry for young people the focus of the 2004-2005 edition of Read Up On It, Library and Archives Canada is paying tribute to the important contribution made by Canadian poets who write for children and teenagers, and to the discernment of those who publish poetry for children and youth.
Read Up On It, published annually by Library and Archives Canada, offers a selection of Canadian books for young people. The books are chosen for first readers, children and teens, as well as for their parents and other adults - volunteers or teachers - who read to small children. Since the selection introduces high-quality publications that can be shared by children, parents and grandparents, it can serve as an invaluable tool both for enhancing family and community literacy levels and for strengthening bonds between the generations. Read Up On It also aims to promote Canadian authors and illustrators and encourage the reading of children's literature.
This year's cover features an image by award-winning artist Stéphane Poulin, honoured many times over for his densely coloured, brilliantly imaginative and uniquely expressive illustrations. The picture is taken from the book Vieux Thomas et la petite fée, written by Dominique Demers and published by Dominique et compagnie.
Made possible by the support of numerous partners and sponsors, including the Canadian Library Association (CLA) and the Association pour l'avancement des sciences et des techniques de la documentation (ASTED), Read Up On It is distributed to some 40,000 teachers, librarians and parents eager to keep young readers up to date. We are also grateful to other organizations for their help, including the Canadian Federation of University Women, Office Depot Inc., the Canadian Children's Book Centre and Communication-Jeunesse. We are proud that the Canadian National Institute for the Blind (CNIB) has been assisting us for a number of years in selecting books in alternative formats designed for children and parents who are visually impaired. We offer our sincere thanks to all these organizations.
And to all those who allow themselves to be transported to the boundless land of poetry, moved by the power of the word - Bon Voyage!