Sunday, 31 March 2013

2012 Information Book Award finalists and winner

The Children's Literature Roundtable is a group of authors, editors, publishers, parents, teachers, librarians, booksellers and readers who come together to talk, promote, and enjoy children's literature.  First started in 1977 in Edmonton, the Canadian Children's Literature Roundtables have chapters in Edmonton, Calgary, Vancouver, Victoria, Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal, Fredericton, Saint John, Winnipeg, Lethbridge, Grand Prairie and Kamloops. 

First presented in 1987, the Information Book Award is a children's non-fiction award, presented by the Children’s Literature Roundtables of Canada and administered by its Vancouver chapter, for an English non-fiction book that, 
"arouses interest, stimulates curiosity, captures the imagination, and fosters concern for the world around us"

The following 5 finalists for the 2012 Information Book Award were announced in October:

Beyond Bullets: A Photo Journal of Afghanistan
by Rafal Gerszak with Dawn Hunter
Annick Press

Biomimicry: Inventions Inspired by Nature
by Dora Lee
Illustrations by Margot Thompson
Kids Can Press

Kamakwie: Finding Peace, Love, and Injustice in Sierra Leone
by Kathleen Martin
Red Deer Press

by Susan Vande Griek
Illustrated by Karen Reczuch
Groundwood Books

A Walk on the Tundra
by Rebecca Hainnu and Anna Ziegler
Illustrated by Qin Leng
Inhabit Media

The winning title was presented on February 23, 2013 at the Vancouver Childrenʼs Literature Breakfast Event featuring author and illustrator Oliver Jeffers.

The winner of the 2012 Information Book Award

by Susan Vande Griek with illustrations by Karen Reczuch
from Groundwood Books

Selected Honor Books for this award are:

Beyond Bullets                                      Biomimicry
A Photo Journal of Afghanistan          Inventions Inspired by Nature
by Rafal Gerszak with Dawn Hunter     by Dora Lee 
Annick Press                                          Illus. by Margot Thompson
                                                               Kids Can Press

Monday, 18 March 2013

The White Ravens 2013

Every year, the Internationale Jugendbibliothek (International Youth Library / IYL) selects recently published books considered noteworthy due to their universal theme and/or their exceptional and often innovative artistic and literary style and design. These international books are given the premium label of the White Raven.

This year, 250 titles in over 30 languages from 50 countries, including six books of youngCanLit, have been deemed worthy of designation as White Ravens 2013.  Congratulations to the following youngCanLit books for inclusion on this auspicious list.

The Gargoyle at the Gates 
by Philippa Dowding
Dundurn Press

188 pp.
Ages 10+
Loneliness – Friendship – Kidnapping – Rescue


Night Sky, Wheel Ride 
by Sheree Fitch
Illustrated by Yayo
Tradewind Books

32 pp.
Ages 4+
Funfair – Big wheel – Courage

A Good Trade 
by Alma Fullerton
Illustrated by Karen Patkau
Pajama Press

32 pp.
Ages 6+
Uganda – Civil War – Country life – Humanitarian aid


My Book of Life by Angel
by Martine Leavitt
Groundwood Books / House of Anansi Press

246 pp.
Ages 14+
City – Child prostitution – Drugs – Addiction – Escape – Murder

Virginia Wolf
by Kyo Maclear
Illustrated by  Isabelle Arsenault
Kids Can Press

32 pp. 
Ages 6+
Siblings – Depression – Painting – Imagination

The Lynching of Louie Sam
by Elizabeth Stewart

Annick Press

288 pp.
Ages 14+

Washington Territory/1884 – Settler – Murder – Scapegoat – First Nations

2013 Manitoba Book Awards' nominees announced

On March 14, 2013, the Manitoba Writers' Guild and the Association of Manitoba Book Publishers announced the 2013 nominees for the Manitoba Book Awards. 

The Manitoba Book Awards are presented in the following thirteen categories:
  • Aqua Lansdowne Prize for Poetry / Prix Lansdowne de poésie
  • Best Illustrated Book of the Year / Meilleur livre illustré de l’année
  • Manuela Dias Book Design of the Year / Prix Manuela-Dias de conception graphique en édition
  • Eileen McTavish Sykes Award for Best First Book
  • Carol Shields Winnipeg Book Award / Prix littéraire Carol-Shields de la ville de Winnipeg
  • Michael Van Rooy Award for Genre Fiction
  • Margaret Laurence Award for Fiction
  • Alexander Kennedy Isbister Award for Non-Fiction / Prix Alexander-Kennedy-Isbister pour les études et essais
  • John Hirsch Award for Most Promising Manitoba Writer
  • Mary Scorer Award for Best Book by a Manitoba Publisher / Prix Mary-Scorer pour le meilleur livre par un éditeur du Manitoba
  • McNally Robinson Book for Young People Award
  • Younger Category (n.b. no nominees this year)
  • Older Category
  • McNally Robinson Book of the Year
The awards will be presented at the Manitoba Book Awards gala, on Sunday April 28th at the West End Cultural Centre and hosted by Ismaila Alfa.  Doors open at 7:15 p.m., with the ceremony beginning at 8:00 p.m.  If I was fortunate enough to live near Winnipeg, I'd be delighted to attend this event which is free and open to the public.

As I always do like to focus on the awards for younger readers, I've included the short-listed nominees for the Best Illustrated Book of the Year and the McNally Robinson Book for Young People Award.

Best Illustrated Book of the Year
 (n.b. only the first book could be considered a book for young readers)

7 Generations: A Plains Cree Saga
by David Alexander Robertson
Illustrations by Scott B. Henderson
Design by Relish New Brand Experience
Published by Highwater Press, an imprint of Portage & Main Press

Imagining Winnipeg: History through the Photographs of L. B. Foote
by Esyllt W. Jones
Design by Doowah Design
Published by University of Manitoba Press

Mike Grandmaison’s Prairie and Beyond
Photographs by Mike Grandmaison
Design by Jamis Paulson
Published by Turnstone Press

Romulus + Remus: Issue 1 
Written, Illustrated, and published by Scott Ford

McNally Robinson Book for Young People Award

In the Older Category:

7 Generations: A Plains Cree Saga
by David Alexander Robertson
Published by Highwater Press, an imprint of Portage & Main Press

The Green-Eyed Queen of Suicide City 
by Kevin Marc Fournier
Published by Great Plains Teen Fiction

The Last Song 
by Eva Wiseman
Published by Tundra Books

Find more details on this year's nominees at the Manitoba Writers' Guild.

Saturday, 16 March 2013

Cooperative Children's Book Center Choices 2013

Each year, the Cooperative Children's Book Center (CCBC, but not to be confused with the Canadian Children's Book Centre), a non-circulating research and study library of the School of Education at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, prepares a list of the best books published the previous year. In 16 categories, the best books are selected, including more than several titles with Canadian origins.  (n.b. I've included two books by Jon Klassen, a Canadian living in the USA and Christopher Paul Curtis who has dual citizenship.)

Please help celebrate the inclusion of these books in the Cooperative Children's Book Center Choices 2013 lists.

In the Categories of:
  • Science, Technology and the Natural World
  • Seasons and Celebrations
  • Folklore, Mythology and Traditional Literature
  • Historical People, Places and Events

Last Airlift: A Vietnamese Orphan’s Rescue from War
by Marsha Forchuk Skrypuch
Pajama Press

  • Biography and Autobiography
  • Contemporary People, Places and Events
Kids of Kabul: Living Bravely Through a Never -Ending War
by Deborah Ellis
Groundwood Books

  • Understanding Oneself and Others
  • The Arts
  • Poetry
  • Concept Books
  • Picture Books for Babies, Toddlers, and Preschoolers
  • Picture Books for School-Age Children

Extra Yarn
by Marc Barnett
Illustrated by Jon Klassen
Balzer + Bray / HarperCollins

The Flute
by Rachna Gilmore
Illustrated by Pulak Biswas
Tradewind Books
This is Not My Hat
by Jon Klassen
Candlewick Press

When I Get Older: The Story Behind “Wavin’ Flag”
by K'naan
Illustrated by Rudy Gutierrez
Tundra Books

Virginia Wolf
by Kyo Maclear
Illustrated by Isabelle Arsenault
Kids Can Press

The Matatu
by Eric Walters
Illustrated by Eva Campbell
Orca Book Publishers

  • Books for Beginning Readers
  • Books for Newly Independent Readers
  • Fiction for Children
The Mighty Miss Malone
by Christopher Paul Curtis
Wendy Lamb Books / Random House

  •  Fiction for Young Adults
My Name is Parvana
by Deborah Ellis
Groundwood / House of Anansi Press
My Book of Life by Angel
by Martine Leavitt
Margaret Ferguson Books / Farrar Straus Giroux
The complete listing of all titles can be found at

Congratulations to all Canadian authors, illustrators and publishers honoured with inclusion on this list!

Friday, 15 March 2013

2013 BC Book Prizes' Nominees announced

This week the West Coast Book Prize Society announced the finalists for the 2013 BC Book Prizes.  Prizes will be awarded in the following seven categories:
  • Fiction 
  • Non-Fiction 
  • Poetry 
  • Regional 
  • Children's Literature 
  • Illustrated Children's Literature 
  • Booksellers' Choice 
There is also the Lieutenant Governor's Award for Literary Excellence which is announced separately at the BC Book Prize Soirée in April.
Nominees for all the awards can be found at

The nominees for the 2 children's awards are provided here:

 Sheila A. Egoff 
 Children’s Literature Prize 

Supported by the BC Library Association
Glen Huser, Sheryl McFarlane, Pam Withers

Middle of Nowhere
by Caroline Adderson
Groundwood Books

Reviewed here

Mimi Power and the I-Don’t-Know-What
by Victoria Miles
Tradewind Books

The Prisoner of Snowflake Falls
by John Lekich
Orca Book Publishers

Reviewed here

The Reluctant Journal of Henry K. Larsen
by Susin Nielsen
Tundra Books

Reviewed here

by Rachel Hartman
Doubleday Canada

 Christie Harris Illustrated 
 Children’s Literature Prize 

Supported by Ampersand Inc. and Kate Walker
Dianna Bonder, Marguerite Ruurs, Yukiko Tosa

Gift Days
by Kari-Lynn Winters
Illustrated by Stephen Taylor
Fitzhenry & Whiteside

Reviewed here

Hey Canada!
by Vivien Bowers
Illustrated by Milan Pavlovic
Tundra Books

Maggie’s Chopsticks
by Alan Woo
Illustrated by Isabelle Malenfant
Kids Can Press

Rainbow Shoes
by Tiffany Stone
Illustrated by Stefan Czernecki
Tradewind Books

What’s Up, Bear?: A Book About Opposites
by Frieda Wishinsky
Illustrated by Sean L. Moore
Owlkids Books



The 28th Annual BC Book Prizes awards gala will be held on Saturday, May 4 at Government House in Victoria. Gala tickets include a sit down dinner and an open bar and will be available for purchase online on the BC Book Prize website beginning March 19th. For more information, please visit