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Groundwood Books celebrates a milestone anniversary

This year, Toronto-based publisher Groundwood Books celebrates its 45th anniversary. In the late 1970s, Patricia Aldana, founder of the children’s publisher, recognized that there were few Canadian publishers who specialized in children’s books. It was clear to her that Canadian children needed to see themselves in the books they were reading at home and at school – books that were for the most part imported from the United States and the United Kingdom. Along with a core staff of Kelly Mitchell, Shelley Tanaka, and Michael Solomon, she set out to make this mission a reality with an inaugural list in 1978 that included A Salmon for Simon by Betty Waterton and Ann Blades, as well as Brian Doyle’s debut novel Hey, Dad!

With a dedicated team of eight people across editorial, design, marketing, and publicity that still includes Solomon and Tanaka – and others in sales, rights, and production – Groundwood now publishes 30–40 titles per year spread across three seasons (winter, spring/summer, and fall). “The mission today is an extension of Patsy’s original vision,” says Karen Li, publisher of Groundwood Books. “To publish brave, beautiful, high-quality children’s literature that authentically reflects the diversity of our readership.”


Michael Solomon, Shelley Tanaka, and Fred Horler: Ricky Lima