14 2015

Much-loved New Brunswick book launched across Canada through Bienvenue à la maternelle

December 14th 2015
On November 25th, the publishing house Bouton d’or Acadie and The Learning Partnership welcomed New Brunswick educators and government dignitaries at L’École Les Éclaireurs in Fredericton to celebrate the beloved children’s book Bonjour la rivière. The inclusion of Bonjour la rivière in the Bienvenue à la maternelleMC program means that, for the first time, a New Brunswick book will soon be travelling from coast to coast.
The Honourable Jocelyne Roy Vienneau, Lieutenant Governor of New Brunswick, and the Honourable Serge Rousselle, Minister of Education and Early Childhood Development, joined author of Bonjour la rivière, Denise Paquette at the celebration, which included a family orientation session for parents and their children to actively explore the resources that are being made available to them.

Colombe Robichaud-Smith, Program Manager for New Brunswick’s Bienvenue à la maternelleMC program said that the book will appeal to children from different communities. “We were looking for a specific kind of book,” she said, “A pictured, soft cover literary book, whose subject could be used to teach natural sciences. A book that all Canadian families can relate to, in their day-to-day life, and in a very inclusive way. Bonjour la rivière satisfies these criteria, and the fact that it has been published by a Maritime publishing house is a great source of pride for all of us!”

John Howard, National Program Manager for Bienvenue à la maternelleMC and Welcome to KindergartenTM, underlined these sentiments: “The inclusion of Bonjour la rivière is an important part of our ongoing program efforts to honour and share rich cultural activity that continually emerges from regions across the country. It has been a great pleasure to partner with New Brunswick’s Bouton d’or Acadie and bring some of their francophone cultural gifts to the national stage.”

Bonjour la rivière had previously been published in 2006. As part of a collection of four, it features two curious and lovable children, Lea and Laurent. Lea and Laurent are immersed in discovering their natural environment and the pleasure of outdoor activities.

“Over the years, the book hasn’t aged”, said Marie Cadieux, Director at Bouton d’or Acadie. “Only the cover has been redesigned to enhance Denise Bourgeois’ illustrations. The author, Denise Paquette, had nothing to change, not even a comma! Ms. Paquette is a multifaceted artist, who has published several children books with Bouton d’or Acadie. She does remarkable illustrator work, as well. The popularity of Dis dix dinosaures (written by Gaetane Pinet) testifies to this! Dis dix dinosaures and those shimmering dinosaurs have been selected by The Learning Partnership for distribution in the New Brunswick Bienvenue à la maternelleMC kits, as well. To have two different books, selected in the same year, is something we are very proud of!”

Founded in Moncton, in 1996, Bouton d’or Acadie specializes in francophone children’s literature and is the only Canadian French publishing house outside of Quebec. It also publishes several multilingual books (trilingual French, English and Mi’gmaw books, for instance). It has projects to publish English and bilingual books.

According to Marie Cadieux: “The ‘rediscovery’ of a title like Bonjour la rivière by The Learning Partnership is building a bridge between the publishing house’s recent past and a bright, optimistic future. We felt valued and validated, for sure! We have always believed that our books could be enjoyed everywhere, not only in the Acadian communities of the Maritime… That’s why we want to emphasize this nation-wide partnership that allows us to share the talent of NB-based artists.”

“While the new Cultural Policy of this province, including its section on Book Policy, is changing the New Brunswick literary world in a good way,” continued Ms. Cadieux, “we want to underline how the purchase of a large amount of our books by a national organization benefits this momentum, and is part of our current efforts to strengthen, not only the local economy, but our cultural and social development, here in New Brunswick.”