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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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‘Too soon to celebrate’ Ottawa’s low case count, says Etches

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Ottawa Public Health (OPH) logged just 11 new cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday, the lowest daily total since Sept. 1.

Because of the lag between testing and reporting, the low number could simply reflect low turnout at the city’s testing sites on weekends — all month, new case counts have been lower on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. 

During a virtual news conference Tuesday, the city’s medical officer of health Dr. Vera Etches said she doesn’t read too much into a single day’s report.

“I don’t think we can make too much of 11. Actually, it could be a lot higher tomorrow — I would expect that, on average,” she said. “It’s too soon to celebrate.”

Provincewide, public health officials reported 1, 249 new cases Tuesday.

OPH also declared 62 cases resolved Tuesday, lowering the number of known active cases in the city to 462. Two more people have died, both in care homes currently experiencing outbreaks, raising the city’s COVID-19 death toll to 361. 

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Santa Claus isn’t coming to Ottawa’s major malls this year

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Santa Claus may still be coming to town this Christmas, but he won’t be dropping by any of Ottawa’s major malls, thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic.

On Friday, Cadillac Fairview said Santa won’t be making an appearance at any of its 19 malls across Canada, including Rideau Centre in downtown Ottawa. On Tuesday, Bayshore and St. Laurent shopping centres confirmed they, too, are scrapping the annual tradition.

“Due to the evolution of the situation in regards to COVID-19, we have made the difficult decision to cancel our Santa Program and Gift Wrap Program this year,” Bayshore spokesperson Sara Macdonald wrote in an email to CBC.

Macdonald said parent company Ivanhoé Cambridge cancelled all holiday activities “due to the rising number of COVID-19 cases across the country.”

Macdonald said families that had already booked an appointment to visit Santa will receive an email with more information.  

Virtual visits with Santa

Rideau Centre said based on customer research and discussions with public health officials, its North Pole is going online this year.

“Children will be able to have a private chat with Santa,” said Craig Flannagan, vice-president of marketing for Cadillac Fairview. “You’ll also be able to join a 15-minute storytime with Santa over Facebook Live.” 

At Place d’Orléans Shopping Centre, visitors are invited to take a “selfie with Santa” — actually, a life-size cutout of Santa Pierre, the man who’s been playing Santa at the east end mall for years.

“We understand that this is not ideal, but in lieu of this tradition we will be doing what we can to maintain and encourage holiday cheer,” according to a statement on the mall’s Facebook page.

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Ottawa Bylaw breaks up two large parties in Ottawa over the weekend

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OTTAWA — Ottawa Bylaw is investigating social gatherings of more than 10 people in private homes across Ottawa last weekend.

Mayor Jim Watson tells Newstalk 580 CFRA that Ottawa Bylaw broke-up two house parties over the weekend, with 20 to 25 people at each party.

“That’s the kind of stupidity that angers me, that’s where the bulk of the transmissions are taking place, if we exclude the tragedy of the long-term care homes; it’s these house parties with unrelated people,” said Watson on Newstalk 580 CFRA’s Ottawa at Work with Leslie Roberts.

“The message doesn’t seem to be getting through, particularly to some young people who think they’re invincible.”

In a statement to CTV News Ottawa, Bylaw and Regulatory Services Director Roger Chapman says, “There are still ongoing investigations from this past weekend that could result in charges.”

Chapman says recent investigations led to two charges being issued for social gatherings of more than 10 people in a private residence in contravention of the Reopening Ontario Act.

“In one case, up to 30 individuals were observed attending a house party in Ward 18 on Oct. 24,” said Chapman.

“The second charge was issued following a house party in Ward 16 on Oct. 31, where up to 16 individuals were observed to be in attendance.”

The fine is $880 for hosting an illegal gathering.

Alta Vista is Ward 18, while Ward 16 is River Ward.

Ottawa Bylaw has issued 24 charges for illegal gatherings since the start of the pandemic.

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