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Le générique du Bulletin
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January/February 2003
Vol. 35, no. 1
ISSN 1492-4676

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"Inside the Adventure"

Josiane Polidori, Research and Information Services

For the second consecutive year, the Library and Archives of Canada hosted school children as part of the TD Canadian Children's Book Week in November. The event, a collaboration between Communication-Jeunesse (for the francophone component) and the Canadian Children’s Book Centre (for the anglophone part), included author readings, storytelling sessions, book exhibitions and a fabulous tour by authors and illustrators.

The theme chosen for this year was "Inside the Adventure." Through reading, children can venture into unknown lands, discover legends and stories of travel or fantasy. Last November 6, author Mireille Villeneuve chose to visit the Library and Archives of Canada as the National Capital Region stop on her tour. Mireille Villeneuve, who has written many novels, including Clovis et Mordicus, La Perruque de Monsieur Lanoix and Mille millions de misères, visited with Grade six students from Franco-Jeunesse. Before meeting her, the students read her books in class, under the supervision of teachers Monique Fink and Johanne Larocque. They listened attentively to the author and showed an inquisitive spirit worthy of the great explorers.

The young students took part in a literary game of collective creation under the leadership of Mireille Villeneuve, who is known for her very creative novels that portray a whimsical and tender universe. The author had them work on the basic outline of a novel, asking them to choose a place, characters and a plot. Ideas burst forth from everywhere during a very well orchestrated brainstorming session.

The teamwork resulted in the following: a novel entitled Les Aventures d’un petit minister, starring a small, clumsy prime minister with a deep voice. Adding to his miseries, he’s an orphan who changes into a different historical character each time he trips over something, which leads to perilous situations when performing his duties. The little prime minister lives on a hill. Mystery… During one of these unfortunate episodes, the object upon which he stumbles will reveal to him the identity of his parents. Mystery… Of course, this suspense novel with a political flavour has not yet been written, but the students of Franco-Jeunesse have created the intrigue and the main character thanks to lots of imagination and excellent team spirit.

We hope many other young readers will likewise discover the pleasure of reading, and even writing!