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Ottawa author Liliana Hoton Releases Inspirational Little Cricky Children’s Book

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Writers get excited when their books are translated to other languages. This is because writers want their works widely read. Lots of novels have been translated but only few children’s book has enjoyed similar favour. Little Cricky, originally written by Domnita Georgescu-Moldoveanu recently got translated to English by Liliana Hoton and Miruna Nistor.  The interesting part is that Little Cricky is a story in verse, and the versification shows in the English translation as well.

Domnita Georgescu-Moldoveanu left her country during the time of communism to settle in France. It was there that she wrote the majority of her works notwithstanding she was a member of the Writer’s Union from Romania. Until her demise in Paris in 2013, she tried a whole lot of genre, from news to poems to novels to children’s tales. Upon her death, her sister, Natalia Georgescu-Moldoveanu, who lives in Ottawa, continued to extend her legacy by continuing to publish her books.

The treasures on the pages of Little Cricky

The book is about the journey of little cricket in search of his violin that was stolen by the winter wind. Every page of Little Cricky holds a unique feeling for children. This beautiful book is able to transport children through a diverse emotional journey: anger, anticipation, expectation, joy, love, and sadness. These feelings are what little children recall with fondness later in life. Childhood is an important time in life and Little Cricky is one of the beautiful books that evoke strong feelings and adds value to this stage of life.

 ‘Never give up’ isthe priceless lesson reechoed on every page of the book. No doubt, everyone needs this reminder as we sail through the stormy waters of life, particularly children. Little Cricket also extols other universal values like courage, friendship, happiness, loyalty, passion, and the beauty of the soul.

Comparing Little Cricky to other children books

It wouldn’t come as a surprise to have Little Cricky shortlisted for the TD Canadian Children’s Literature Award. No doubt, this is the most coveted award in Canadian children’s literature with a prize of $50,000. The shortlisted stories have one thing in common besides being written for kids of up to 12 years; they evoke more than a single emotion, which is the case with Little Cricky.

One of the books shortlisted for the 2018 award was Nokum Is My Teacher, written by David Bouchard and illustrated by Allen Sapp. Like Little Cricky, the boy in this book had a taste for adventure. The boy asks his Nokum (grandmother) a lot of questions about what life outside their community feels like. For the boy, it became a struggle between fitting into life and respecting tradition, just as for Little Cricky it is a struggle to be without his violin.

Little Cricky also has a lot in common with Little You, written by Richard Van Camp illustrated by Julie Flett,which reminds us about the strengths and vulnerabilities of beings small, and about the childlike innocence that makes us dare to be someone great. Little You also talks about the power of having the support of family and community from a tender age and about the importance of being loved unconditionally, the same issues that Little Cricky touches along the story. Other children’s book on the 2018 award list are How Raven Stole the Sun, Fatty Legs, and Sometimes I Feel Like a Fox– All having an animal as the main character, just like Little Cricky has insects as protagonists. Which also makes it an insects mini-dictionary for kids. Little Cricky is currently available at Agora Books and you would definitely want to add it to your reading list.

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Record one million job losses in March: StatCan

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OTTAWA — More than one million Canadians lost their jobs in the month of March, Statistics Canada is reporting. The unemployment rate has also climbed to 7.8 per cent, up from 2.2 percentage points since February.

Canada’s national statistics agency released its monthly Labour Force Survey on Thursday, using March 15 to 21 as the sample week – a time when the government began enforcing strict guidelines around social gatherings and called on non-essential businesses to close up shop.

The first snapshot of job loss since COVID-19 began taking a toll on the Canadian economy shows 1.1 million out of work since the prior sample period and a consequent decrease in the employment rate – the lowest since April 1997. The most job losses occurred in the private sector and among people aged 15-24.

The number of people who were unemployed increased by 413,000, resulting in the largest one-month increase in Canada’s unemployment rate on record and takes the economy back to a state last seen in October, 2010.

“Almost all of the increase in unemployment was due to temporary layoffs, meaning that workers expected to return to their job within six months,” reads the findings.

The agency included three new indicators, on top of the usual criteria, to better reflect the impact of COVID-19 on employment across the country.

The survey, for example, excludes the more commonly observed reasons for absent workers — such as vacation, weather, parental leave or a strike or lockout — to better isolate the pandemic’s effect.

They looked at: people who are employed but were out of a job during the reference week, people who are employed but worked less than half their usual hours, and people who are unemployed but would like a job.

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Employee at Ottawa’s Amazon Fulfillment Centre tests positive for COVID-19

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OTTAWA — An employee who works at Amazon’s fulfillment centre on Boundary Road in Ottawa’s east-end has tested positive for COVID-19.

Amazon says it learned on April 3 that an associate tested positive for novel coronavirus and is currently in isolation. The employee last worked at the fulfillment centre on March 19.

Two employees told CTV News Ottawa that management informed all employees about the positive test in a text message over the weekend.

In a statement to CTV News Ottawa, Amazon spokesperson Jen Crowcroft wrote “we are supporting the individual who is recovering. We are following guidelines from health officials and medical experts, and are taking extreme measures to ensure the safety of employees at our site.”

The statement also says that Amazon has taken steps to further protect their employees.

“We have also implemented proactive measures at our facilities to protect employees including increased cleaning at all facilities, maintaining social distance in the FC.”

CTV News Ottawa asked Amazon about the timeline between when the company found out about the positive COVID-19 case and when employees were notified.

In a separate email to CTV News Ottawa, Crowcroft said “all associates of our Boundary Road fulfillment centre in Ottawa were notified within 24 hours of learning of the positive COVID-19 case.”

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Ottawa facing silent spring as festivals, events cancelled

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This is shaping up to be Ottawa’s silent spring — and summer’s sounding pretty bleak, too — as more and more concerts, festivals and other annual events are cancelled in the wake of measures meant to slow the spread of coronavirus.

The province has already banned gatherings of more than five people, and on Monday officials announced city parks, facilities and services will remain shut down until the end of June, nor will any event permits be issued until at least that time.

“This leaves us with no choice but to cancel the festival this year,” Ottawa Jazz Festival artistic director Petr Cancura confirmed Monday.

This was to be the festival’s 40th anniversary, and organizers announced the lineup for the June 19-July 1 event the day after Ottawa’s first confirmed case of COVID-19. 

The Toronto and Montreal jazz festivals had already pulled the plug because of similar restrictions in their cities, so Cancura said the writing was on the wall.

“We have a few contingency plans to keep connecting with our audience and working with our artists,” Cancura said.

People holding tickets to the 2020 festival can ask for a refund or exchange for a 2021 pass.

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