Thursday, 29 March 2012

Saskatchewan Book Awards

On February 16, 2012, the shortlists for the annual Saskatchewan Book Awards were announced at the University of Regina.

Saskatchewan is the only province in Canada that has a provincially-focused book award program i.e., one representing Saskatchewan's writing and publishing contributions. With an impressive community of over 300 authors and 75 book publishers, Saskatchewan has much to celebrate and promote.

Established in 1993 by the joint efforts of the Saskatchewan Writers’ Guild, the Saskatchewan Publishers Group and the Saskatchewan Library Association, the Awards have grown from four to fourteen, although the specific awards vary year to year.

This year, the Saskatchewan Book Awards announced its short lists in thirteen award categories:

  • Scholarly Writing Award
  • First People’s Writing Award
  • Saskatoon Book Award
  • Regina Book Award
  • Award for Poetry
  • First Book Award
  • Children’s Literature Award
  • Fiction Award
  • Non-fiction Award
  • Book of the Year Award
  • First People’s Publishing Award
  • Publishing in Education Award
  • Award for Publishing
Congratulations to all nominees.  As we are CanLit for LittleCanadians, we'd like to honour those nominated for the Children's Literature Award:
  • Adele Dueck, Racing Home (Coteau)
  • Leah M. Dorion; Rita Flamand, trans., Relatives with Roots: A Story About Métis Women’s Connection to the Land (Gabriel Dumont Institute)
  • Alison Lohans, Picturing Alyssa (Dundurn)
  • Anne Patton, Full Steam to Canada: A Barr Colony Adventure (Coteau)
  • Judith Silverthorne, The Secret of the Stone Circle (Coteau)
  • Alison Uitti, First Days: Night Movies (Hear My Heart Books)
I'd also like to recognize those children's and YA titles that have been nominated for other Saskatchewan Book Awards.
For the Saskatoon Book Award:
  • Beverly Brenna, Waiting for No One (Red Deer Press)
For the Regina Book Award:
  • Alison LohansPicturing Alyssa (Dundurn Press)
For the Fiction Book Award:
  • Arthur SladeEmpire of Ruins: The Hunchback Assignments III (HarperCollins Canada)
For the Publishing in Education Award:
  • Penny Draper, Ice Storm: Disaster Strikes #6 (Coteau)

The Saskatchewan Book Awards will be presented on April 28, 2012 at a gala ceremony in Regina.

Red Cedar Book Award 2011/2012 nominees

Also known as B. C.'s Young Readers' Choice Awards, the Red Cedar Book Award Program is a readers' choice program for British Columbia students in Gr. 4 - 7.

Each fall, two short-lists of nominated titles are announced: one for fiction, and one for information books. To be included in the program, a book must have been:

  • written by and illustrated by a Canadian citizen or landed immigrant who has lived in Canada for at least two years; 
  •  published two calendar years before the nomination date; 
  • published by a recognized publisher and available in print; 
  • recognized by other reviewers of Canadian children’s literature; and  
  • recognized as being of general interest to students in Gr. 4 - 7.
Children vote in the month of April and the winners are announced annually in May. 

Information (or Non-Fiction) Category

Out of This World: The Amazing Search for An Alien Earth  
by Jacob Berkowitz
Kids Can Press

100% Pure Fake  
by Lyn Thomas
Kids Can Press

How to Build Your Own Country  
by Valerie Wyatt
Kids Can Press

Hoaxed! Fakes & Mistakes in the World of Science  
Editors of Yes Magazine
Kids Can Press

Whispers from the Ghettos  
by Kathy Kacer
Puffin Canada

Big Train: The Legendary Ironman of Sport, Lionel Conacher 
by Richard Brignall

It's A Snap! George Eastman's First Photograph  
by Monica Kulling
Tundra Books

Animal Aha! Thrilling Discoveries in Wildlife Science 
by Diane Swanson
Annick Press

Pharaohs and Foot Soldiers: One Hundred Ancient Egyptian Jobs You Might Have Desired or Dreaded
by Kristin Butcher
Annick Press

Fighting for Gold: The Story of Canada's Sledge Hockey Paralympic Gold
by Lorna Schultz Nicholson

The Insecto-files: Amazing Insect Science and Bug Facts You'll Never Believe
by Helaine Becker
Maple Tree Press

Learn to Speak Music  
by John Crossingham
Owlkids Books

Charlie: A Home Child's Life in Canada  
by Beryl Young
Key Porter

You Are Weird! Your Body's Peculiar Parts and Funny Functions 
by Diane Swanson
Kids Can Press

Kaboom! Explosions of All Kinds
by Gillian Richardson
Annick Press

Fiction Category

Faery Rebels: Spell Hunter  
by R. J. Anderson
Walking Backward  
by Catherine Austen
Orca Books
A Desperate Road to Freedom: The Underground Railroad Diary of Julia May Jackson  
by Karleen Bradford
Scholastic Canada
After the Fire  
by Becky Citra
Orca Books
The Prince of Neither Here Nor There  
by Seán Cullen
The Ship of Lost Souls  
by Rachelle Delaney
The Dread Crew: Pirates of the Backwoods  
by Kate Inglis

Wanting Mor  
by Rukhsana Khan
Groundwood Books
by Gordon Korman
Scholastic Canada

Timothy and the Dragon's Gate 
by Adrienne Kress
Scholastic Canada

 The Giant-Slayer  
by Iain Lawrence
Delacorte Books for Young Readers

Rex Zero the Great Pretender 
by Tim Wynne-Jones
Groundwood Books

Thursday, 22 March 2012

Atlantic Book Awards

Every March, the Atlantic Book Awards Society announces the shortlists of nominated titles for its nine different book prizes.  Then, in May, the Atlantic Book Awards and Festival, which comprises of numerous free events in all Canadian Atlantic provinces, culminates with an awards ceremony.

To get more information about the Atlantic Canada Book Awards, go to

The nine Atlantic Book Awards are:
  • Ann Connor Brimer Award for Children’s Literature
  • APMA Best Atlantic-Published Book Award, sponsored by Friesens
  • Dartmouth Book Award for Non-fiction in Memory of Robbie Robertson, presented by the Kiwanis Club of Dartmouth
  • Democracy 250 Atlantic Book Award for Historical Writing
  • Jim Connors Dartmouth Book Award (Fiction), presented by Boyne Clarke
  • Lillian Shepherd Memorial Award for Excellence in Illustration
  • Margaret and John Savage First Book Award
  • Newfoundland and Labrador Book Award for Fiction
  • The Bruneau Family Children’s/Young Adult Literature Award

For the 2012 Atlantic Book Awards nominees, emphasizing those for young readers go to CanLitforLittleCanadians 2012 Atlantic Book Award nominees

Monday, 19 March 2012

International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY)

International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY) Canada administers 3 National Awards and submits nominations for 3 International Awards


Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award
Hans Christian Andersen Awards
IBBY Honour List
IBBY Asahi Reading Promotion Award

Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award

The Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award (named for the beloved author of Pippi Longstocking) is the world's largest prize (SEK 5 million; well over $750 000 US)  for children's and young adult literature.  Even more mind-boggling is the fact that the Swedish government fully funds this award which is administered by the Swedish Arts Council.

The 2012 Award recipient(s) will be announced on March 20, 2012 at Vimmerby, Sweden (birthplace of Lindgren) and broadcast at the Bologna Children's Book Fair and at

Congratulations to Brian Doyle, Jean Little and Michel Noël for being nominated as Canada's 2012 children's author candidates for this extraordinary award.

The winner of the 2011 Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award was Shaun Tan of Australia.

Hans Christian Andersen Award

As this blog's Awards Page states, the International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY) Canada submits nominations for IBBY's International Awards, one of which is the Hans Christian Andersen Award. This award is given to a living author and illustrator whose work has made a significant and meaningful contribution to children's literature.  On their website, IBBY maintains that the
"...Hans Christian Andersen Award is the highest international recognition given to an author and an illustrator of children's books." (1)

The 2012 Canadian nominees for this award are author Tim Wynne-Jones and illustrator Stéphane Jorisch.

Tim Wynne-Jones
Tim Wynne-Jones' writing can range from playful to tragic, but always with richness of imagination and heartfelt voice.  And, because his body of work is so extensive, I can only list those titles with which I am familiar and that's still a fair chunk:

Picture Books
Zoom Away (Douglas & McIntyre, 1991)
Zoom Upstream (Douglas & McIntyre, 1993)
The Last Piece of Sky (Douglas & McIntyre, 1993)
Pounce de Leon (Red Deer Press, 2008)

Short Story Collections
Lord of the Fries (Douglas & McIntyre, 1999 )
The Book of Changes (Groundwood, 1994)

Rex Zero, King of Nothing (Groundwood, 2007)
Rex Zero, The Great Pretender (Groundwood, 2009)
Rex Zero and the End of the World (Groundwood, 2006)
The Uninvited (Candlewick, 2009) 
The Thief in the House of Memory (Groundwood, 2004) 
The Boy in the Burning House (Douglas & McIntyre, 2000) 
The Maestro (Groundwood, 1996) 
Stephen Fair (Douglas & McIntyre, 1999)
Blink and Caution (Candlewick, 2011)

Stéphane Jorisch 
Stéphane Jorisch's detailed illustrations are produced using water colour, gouache and pen and ink, and have earned him the Governor-General's Literary Award for Children's Illustration in 2004 and 2008.

Books in which his illustrations can be enjoyed include:
My Father Knows the Names of Things by Jane Yolen (Simon & Schuster, 2010)
Mélanie Lapierre by Bertrand Gauthier (La courte échelle, 2010)
Rosie and Buttercup by Chieri Uegaki (Kids Can Press, 2008)
Mon pyjama et moi by Lucie Papineau (Dominique et compagnie, 2008)
The Owl and the Pussycat by Edward Lear (Kids Can Press, 2007)
Suki's Kimono by Chieri Uegaki (Kids Can Press, 2003)
As for the Princess?: a folktale from Quebec by Stéphane Jorisch (Annick, 2001)
Oma's Quilt by Paulette Bourgeios (Kids Can Press, 2001)

The Hans Christian Andersen Award will be announced March 19, 2012. 

(1) Retrieved from on November 30, 2011.
(2) Image retrieved from on November 30, 2011.
(3) Image retrieved from on November 30, 2011.

Monday, 12 March 2012

The Willow Awards 2011/2012 Nominees


Established in 2001, the Saskatchewan Young Readers' Choice (SYRCA) awards, the Willow Awards, encourage reading by nominating a variety of Canadian titles in three categories.  Young readers can participate in the reading programs through their schools and public libraries, selecting their favourite from one list.  The Willow Awards are truly conferred according the choices of Saskatchewan's young readers.

This year's lists of nominated titles were announced last year.  Since then, young readers have enjoyed reading exceptional Canadian books, anticipating their voting day next week.

The three Willow Awards i.e., Shining Willow, Diamond Willow and Snow Willow are detailed below, along with the nominated titles.

The Shining Willow Award winner is selected from those books written for youngest readers, those in Kindergarten to Grade 3.

The 2011/2012 Shining Willow nominees are:

Clever Rachel
by Debby Waldman, illustrated by Cindy Revell
Orca Books

• Fred and Pete at the Beach
by Cynthia Nugent
Orca Books

• Giraffe and Bird
by Rebecca Bender
Dancing Cat Books

• The Imaginary Garden
by Andrew Larsen, illustrated by Irene Luxbacher
Kids Can Press

• In Front of My House
by Marianne Dubuc
Kids Can Press

• The King’s Taster
by Kenneth Oppel, illustrated by Steve Johnson and Lou Fancher

• The Little Hummingbird
by Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas
Greystone Books/D & M Publishers

• Timmerman Was Here
by Colleen Sydor, illustrated by Nicolas Debon
Tundra Books

• Viola Desmond Won’t be Budged
by Jody Nyasha Warner, illustrated by Richard Rudnicki
Groundwood Books

• Willow’s Whispers
by Lana Button, illustrated by Tania Howells
Kids Can Press

The Diamond Willow Award winner is selected from those books written for readers of Grades 4 to 6.

The 2011/2012 Diamond Willow nominees are:

• After All, You're Callie Boone
by Winnie Mack
Scholastic Canada

Animals That Changed The World
by Keltie Thomas
Annick Press

Fatty Legs
by Christy Jordan-Fenton and Margaret Pokiak-Fenton, illustrated by Liz Amini-Holmes
Annick Press

The Gargoyle In My Yard
by Philippa Dowding

The Midnight Curse
by L. M. Falcone
Kids Can Press

The Odds Get Even
by Natale Ghent

by Maureen Fergus
Kids Can Press

Stolen Child
by Marsha Forchuk Skrypuch
Scholastic Canada

Tumbleweed Skies
by Valerie Sherrard
Fitzhenry & Whiteside

Walking Backward
by Catherine Austen
Orca Books

The Snow Willow Award winner is selected from those books written for readers in Grades 7 to 9.

The 2011/2012 Snow Willow nominees are:

• Dear George Clooney, Please Marry My Mom
by Susin Nielsen
Tundra Books

Free As A Bird
by Gina McMurchy-Barber

A Hare In The Elephant's Trunk 
by Jan L. Coates
Red Deer Press

by Barbara Haworth-Attard

Home Truths
by Jill MacLean
Dancing Cat Books

No Safe Place
by Deborah Ellis
Groundwood Books

• Puppet  
by Eva Wiseman
Tundra Books

by Holly Bennett
Orca Books

Thunder Over Kandahar
by Sharon E. McKay
Annick Press

The Worst Thing She Ever Did
by Alice Kuipers
HarperTrophy Canada

We look forward to the announcement of the winners at the end of April. Good luck to all nominees.

Hackmatack Children's Choice Book Award 2011/2012 nominees

Another Canadian young readers' book award?  You bet!

If you're a young reader, 9 to 12 years of age, living in Atlantic Canada, then you're fortunate to be able to share your favourite reading with others through the annual Hackmatack Children's Choice Book Award literary program.  This program, designed to promote literacy and Canadian books, provides four lists of ten nominated titles annually: English Fiction, English Non-Fiction, French Fiction and French Non-Fiction.  Nominations are announced in the spring with reading taking place from September to March, voting before April, and then announcement of the winning titles in April or May. 

Young readers will soon be voting for their favourite reads from the 2011-2012 nominations (see lists below) with the winners announced at a ceremony on April 27, 2012 in Moncton, New Brunswick.

The Adventures of Jack Lime
by James Leck

The Dread Crew: Pirates of the Backwoods
by Kate Inglis

The Gnome’s Eye
by Anna Kerz

Kayak Combat
by Eric Howling

Libby’s Got the Beat
by Robert Rayner

Jacob Two-Two on the High Seas
by Cary Fagan

Prisoner of Dieppe: World War II
by Hugh Brewster

Pit Pony  
by Joyce Barkhouse

Tumbleweed Skies
by Valerie Sherrard

Zach & Zoe: Bully and the Beagle
by Kristin Butcher
Animals That Changed the World
by Keltie Thomas

Canada from Above
by Heather Patterson

Canada’s Wars: An Illustrated History
by Jonathan Webb

Don’t Touch That Toad & Other Strange Things Adults Tell You
by Catherine Rondina

Fatty Legs: A True Story
by Christy Jordan-Fenton and Margaret Pokiak-Fenton

Case Closed?
by Susan Hughes

The Hilarious History of Hockey
by Helaine Becker

Highway of Heroes
by Kathy Stinson

New Brunswick Kids Cook
By Marilyn Lohnes

Wild Ones
by Paddy Muir

Bienvenue à Rocketville
par Danielle Boulianne

Catastrophe en Guadeloupe
par Camille Bouchard

Le combat des caboches
par Marie Beauchamp

L’étrange affaire du 413
par Nadya Larouche

Les livres mènent loin!
par Emilie Boucher

Du soccer extrême
par François Gravel

Le projet Persée
par Sophie Bérubé

Livreur express
par Véronique Drouin

Ton journal intime Zone Frousse
par Richard Petit

Vlad et moi et les nids-de-poule
par Brigitte Huppen
L’astronomie facile et amusante
par Jean-Pierre Urbain

Le cheval
par Sylvie Roberge et Jacques Pasquet

Citron bleu et zeste de carotte
par Céline Malepart

Marco Polo
par Johanne Ménard

Les Marmottes
par Alain Bergeron; Sampar; Michel Quintin

Julie Payette
par Christine Ouin et Louise Pratte

Le petit livre des affaires dégueulasses
par Stéphanie C. Dubois

Mon premier livre de contes du Canada
par Corinne De Vailly

Secrets des fleurs de bord de routes
par Marie D’Amours

par Melvin Gallant

The 2012-2013 Hackmatack Children's Choice Book Award nominations will be announced this spring.

Friday, 9 March 2012

CBC Bookie Awards 2012

In 2011, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) introduced the CBC Bookie Awards as an opportunity for readers to choose their favourite Canadian reads published the previous year.  Based on the selections of the well-read CBC personnel from CBC Books, Canada Reads, Writers & Company, The Next Chapter, as well as recommendations from the public, five titles in each of ten categories are nominated.  Readers then have several weeks to cast their votes online (only once per category per day).  Winners are announced the following week, in April.

The ten categories, which include two international ones, for which books are nominated are:
  • Literary Fiction
  • Non-Fiction
  • Poetry
  • Thriller, Mystery or Crime
  • Science Fiction, Fantasy or Speculative Fiction
  • Young Adult
  • Graphic Novel or Comic Book
  • Short Story Collection
  • International Fiction
  • International Non-Fiction
This year's CBC Bookies Awards nominees were announced March 8, 2012 with voting taking place online before 11:59 p.m. ET of Saturday, March 31.  The winners will be announced at a CBC Twitter Chat (#CanLit) on Thursday, April 5.

The one category relevant to CanLit for LittleCanadians is the Young Adult category.  The finalists for this category are:

Blink and Caution
by Tim Wynne-Jones
Candlewick Press

The Gathering
by Kelley Armstrong
Doubleday Canada

No Ordinary Day
by Deborah Ellis
Groundwood Books

This Dark Endeavour: The Apprenticeship of Victor Frankenstein
by Kenneth Oppel
HarperCollins Canada

by Alan Cumyn
Groundwood Books/House of Anansi Press

Use this CBC Bookies link to cast your vote(s) for your favourites in the Young Adult category, but only until the end of March 31, 2012.  (The ballot below is as it appears on the CBC Bookies website)

BC Book Prizes

The BC Book Prizes are annual literary awards selected by the West Coast Prize Society for writers and illustrators who are British Columbia or Yukon residents (or have lived there for three of the last five years).  Established in 1985, the BC Book Prizes take submissions until the end of January deadline, announcing their shortlists in the award-ravaged month of March.  The award-winning books and authors/illustrators are announced at a Book Prize Soirée in May in Vancouver.  The logo of the BC Book Prizes and the book seals for short-listed and winning titles  was created from BC artist, Roy Henry Vickers's work, Eagle Full Circle (1982).

Here are the seven categories for the BC Book Prizes:
  • Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize

  • Hubert Evans Non-Fiction Prize

  • Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize

  • Roderick Haig-Brown Regional Prize

  • Sheila A. Egoff Children’s Literature Prize

  • Christie Harris Illustrated Children’s Literature Prize

  • Bill Duthie Booksellers’ Choice Award

An additional award, the Lieutenant Governor's Award for Literary Excellence, which recognizes BC writers who have contributed to the development of literary excellence there, is also presented at the Book Prizes Gala. Finalists are announced in March.

The two BC Book Awards dedicated to books for young readers are:

Sheila A. Egoff Children’s Literature Prize
Awarded to the author of novels, including chapter books, aimed at juveniles and young adults, as well as non-fiction books for children (including biography) which have not been highly illustrated.
Christie Harris Illustrated Children’s Literature Prize
Awarded to the author and illustrator of picture books, picture story books, and illustrated non-fiction books

Winners are announced in May.