Thursday 21 November 2013

2013 Vicky Metcalf Award for Children's Literature winner announced

The prestigious Vicky Metcalf Award for Children's Literature, an annual $20,000 prize awarded to an outstanding author of a body of work in children's literature, was presented last night at the
Writers' Trust Awards event at the Glen Gould Studio in Toronto.  Emceed by Jared Bland, books editor at The Globe & Mail, the Writers' Trust Awards honoured writers in six categories:
  • Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize
  • Writers’ Trust of Canada/McClelland & Stewart Journey Prize
  • Writers’ Trust Engel/Findley Award
  • Matt Cohen Award: In Celebration of a Writing Life
  • Writers’ Trust Distinguished Contribution Award, and
  • Vicky Metcalf Award for Literature for Young People.
Administered by the Writers' Trust of Canada since 2002 and sponsored by the Metcalf Foundation, the Vicky Metcalf Award is the only one of the six that goes to a writer of children's literature.

Now I'm pleased to announce that

the 2013 winner 
of the Vicky Metcalf Award for Literature for Young People

Barbara Reid

Barbara Reid is known for her amazing plasticene illustrations which have adorned others' books as well as her own text. 

Check out Barbara Reid's website at to read more details about her artwork and writing life, and for the full citation with regards to her award at the Writers' Trust of Canada website.

Wednesday 13 November 2013

2013 Governor General Literature Award winners announced!

Today, the Canada Council for the Arts announced the winners of the prestigious Governor General Literary Awards for 2013 including those in the two (English) Children's categories.

Congratulations to all the award winners and nominees for being recognized for their contributions to enriching our collection of phenomenal youngCanLit.

This year's winners in the two (English) Children's categories are: 

For Children’s Text:

The winner is 
Teresa Toten 
for her book  

The Unlikely Hero of Room 13B
Doubleday Canada/Random House of Canada
255 pp.
Ages 14+
August, 2013

The Unlikely Hero of Room 13B by Teresa Toten is a transformative, high-energy novel that vibrates with the creativity of both the writer and main character. Adam struggles with OCD (obsessive‑compulsive disorder) and a troubled family life. His group therapy becomes an unlikely source of love and friendship. A powerful story with brilliant language and unexpected moments of humour. 
(Jury comments retrieved from

For Children’s Illustration:

The winner is
Matt James 

for his book  

Northwest Passage
Text by Stan Rogers
Illustrated by Matt James
Groundwood Books
56 pp.
All ages
September 2013

Matt James’s unique illustrations set our imaginations soaring as they steer us through Stan Rogers’ famous ballad, Northwest Passage. The ink and acrylic paintings explode with raw effects and vivid colour, sometimes settling to small ice-blue vignettes. Each page is descriptive of the search that obsessed much of the world for hundreds of years.
(Jury comments retrieved from

Wednesday 23 October 2013

2013 TD Canadian Children's Literature Awards: Winners announced!

Tonight, the Canadian Children's Book Centre and TD Bank Group presented the 2013 CANADIAN CHILDREN'S LITERATURE AWARDS at the Carlu in Toronto. A spectacular reception preceded the awards ceremony at which six awards were presented. (Le Prix TD de littérature canadienne pour l’enfance et la jeunesse will be presented next week  in Montreal.)
Hosted by CBC's Shelagh Rogers, the program began with addresses by Frank McKenna, Deputy Chair of TD Bank Group and Todd Kyle, President of the Canadian Children's Book Centre and an announcement of the TD Grade One Book Giveaway.

Boy Soup
by Loris Lesynski
Illustrated by Michael Martchenko
Annick Press

Annually, TD sponsors a Canadian picture book giveaway for all children in Grade One in Canada.  This year the selection that will be distributed to fortunate children in Canada will be Boy Soup by author Loris Lesynski and illustrator Michael Martchenko. 

Then the following book award winners were announced:

TD Canadian Children's Literature Award
  • $30,000 Award
  • Sponsored by TD Bank Group 
  • Presented by Tim Hockey, President and CEO of TD Canada Trust

One Year in Coal Harbour
Written by Polly Horvath
Groundwood Books
Ages 9-13

     Marilyn Baillie Picture Book Award   
  • $20,000 Award
  • Sponsored by A. Charles Baillie
  • Presented by Marilyn Baillie

Mr. Zinger’s Hat
Written by Cary Fagan
Illustrated by Dušan Petričić
Tundra Books
Ages 4-8

Norma Fleck Award For Canadian Children's Non-Fiction
  • $10,000 Award
  • Sponsored by the Fleck Family Foundation
  • Presented by Quinn Fleck and David Fleck


Kids of Kabul: Living Bravely Through a Never-Ending War
Written by Deborah Ellis
Groundwood Books
Ages 11+

Geoffrey Bilson Award for Historical Fiction for Young People
  • $5,000 Award
  • Sponsored by the Canadian Children’s Book Centre’s Bilson Endowment Fund
  • Presented by  Todd Kylie

The Lynching of Louie Sam
Written by Elizabeth Stewart
Annick Press
Ages 12+

John Spray Mystery Award
  • $5,000 Award 
  • Sponsored by John Spray, President, Mantis Investigation Agency
  • Presented by John Spray

The Lynching of Louie Sam
Written by Elizabeth Stewart
Annick Press
Ages 12+

Monica Hughes Award for Science Fiction and Fantasy
  • $5,000 Award  
  • Sponsored by HarperCollins Canada
  • Presented by Adrienne Hughes

Written by Rachel Hartman
Doubleday Canada
Ages 14+


New this year:
The TD Canadian Children's Literature Fan Choice Award 
was presented by fan Annaka Leib from Qu'appelle, Saskatchewan to 

One Year in Coal Harbour
Written by Polly Horvath
Groundwood Books
Ages 9-13

Congratulations to these winners and all the finalists for having their youngCanLit recognized as the exceptional reads that they are.

The celebration began with hors-d'oeuvres, drink, chatting, introductions, and ended with champagne, desserts, and congratulations, all to the accompaniment of magical company.  Amongst the hundreds of guests I spoke to, recognized, or remembered were the following authors and/or illustrators: Marsha Forchuk Skrypuch, Elizabeth Stewart, Rachel Hartman, Monica Kulling, Bill Swan, Jennifer Lanthier, Dušan Petričić, Stephanie McLellan, Tara Anderson, Gillian Chan, Loris Lesynski, Michael Martchenko, Rebecca Bender, Richard Scrimger, Kevin Sylvester, Natalie Hyde, Shane Peacock, Ken Setterington, Catherine Rondina, Mahtab Narsimhan, Hugh Brewster, Nancy Hartry,  Rona Arato, Jocelyn Shipley, Karen Krossing, Evan Munday, Nancy Runstedler, Vikki VanSickle, Deborah Kerbel, and Barbara Reid.  And it was delightful to meet and chat with so many Canadians passionate about youngCanLit, including publishers, publicists, editors, book sellers, teachers, librarians, literacy specialists and children's lit advocates.  The TD Canadian Children's Literature Awards Celebration is an event I always enjoy, with its richness of words, conversation, appreciation, camaraderie, and encouragement.  

Thanks to the TD Bank Group and the Canadian Children's Book Centre for hosting such a wonderful Canadian event.

Tuesday 15 October 2013

2014 Forest of Reading® Nominees: Le Prix Tamarac et Le Prix Peuplier

This listing completes the posting of the nominees for the Ontario Library Association's 2013-2014 Forest of Reading® awards.  The two categories and three award programs for French language readers are included here. 

Amandine adore la cuisine
par Diya Lim

Attention, j'arrive! (BiBop)
par Raymond Parent

L'attaque des hommes ailés
par Alain M. Bergeron
Illustré par Sampar
Michel Quintin

La légende de Sarila
par Nicholas Aumais

Le chien rouge (Vic @ votre secours)
par Sylvie Bilodeau
Illustré par Sampar

Le livre du manuscrit à la librairie
par Sylvie Roberge
Illustré par Michel Noël
Dominique et compagnie

Le monde fabuleux de Monsieur Fred
par Lili Chartrand
Illustré par Gabrielle Grimard

Marguerite la petite sorcière qui n'était pas une bonne méchante
par Normand Renaud
Illustré par Lesley St-Amour
Normand Renaud

Mercredi jour de fête
par Danielle Simard

Sacrilège en Inde
par Camille Bouchard

À la découverte de l'Ontario français
par André Poulin

Aveux de l'autre (pas si grand) méchant loup
par Catherine Girard-Audet

Bruno et la malédiction
par Marc Couture
Editions du Phoenix

La société secrète C.D.G.
par Hélène Rompré
Pierre Tisseyre

Lapin-chagrin et les jours d'Elko
par Sylvie Nicolas
Illustré par Marion Arbona

Le trésor de Zofia
par Mireille Villeneuve

Mingan, mon village
Les éditions de la Bagnole 

Mon serpent est gentil mais…tellement disparu!
par Carole Tremblay

Une fille à l'école des gars
par Maryse Peyskens
Dominique et compagnie

Une sale affaire de dentifrice
par Alexandre Côté-Fournier

Charlotte partout!
par Mireille Messier
Illustré par Benoit Laverdière
Les éditions de la Bagnole 

La malédiction des petits pois
par Lili Chartrand
Illustré par Annie Rodrigue

Les chasseurs de trésors
par Alain M. Bergeron
Illustré par Julie Cossette

Les pierres d'Emma
par Anne Renaud
Illustré par Leanne Franson

Les trésors de M. Monsieur
par Geneviève Côté
Editions Scholastic

Martine et Maurice
par Éric Péladeau
Illustré par Thomas Gibault
Les éditions de la Bagnole 

Mes amis ont des petits défauts mais…
par Diane Noiseux
Illustré par AnneMarie Bourgeois

Monsieur Chausson
par Bellebrute

Thomas, prince professionnel
par Valérie Fontaine
Illustré par Fil

Une mouche, un chat et une patate
par Céline Malépart

Remaining nominees are listed here: