Thursday 19 November 2015

2015 TD Canadian Children's Literature Awards: Winners announced

Last night, a spectacular youngCanLit celebration was held at The Carlu in Toronto.  It was the 2015 TD Canadian Children's Literature Awards and it was grand.  Hosted by the Canadian Children's Book Centre and the TD Bank Group and emceed by Shelagh Rogers from CBC Radio One's The Next Chapter, the TD Canadian Children's Literature Awards honoured a plethora of youngCanLit authors and illustrators and shared those honours with their peers and a multitude of publishers, publicists, literacy experts, librarians, teachers and bloggers who sang their praises.

The evening started with the presentation of the Fan Choice award, young readers' selection from the finalists for the TD Canadian Children's Literature Award.  The winner, presented by the darling seven-year-old Nora Julia Vukadinovic from Calgary, was

Any Questions? 
Written and illustrated by Marie-Louise Gay
Groundwood Books

Then the winners of other eight major children's book awards were announced (though the winner of the Prix TD de littérature canadienne pour l’enfance et la jeunesse had been awarded last week in Montreal).

Congratulations to the following winners
(as well as the finalists from which the winners were chosen!

TD Canadian Children’s Literature Award ($30,000) Sponsored by TD Bank Group

The Night Gardener
Written by Jonathan Auxier
Puffin Canada

Prix TD de littérature canadienne pour l’enfance et la jeunesse ($30,000) Sponsored by TD Bank Group

Written and illustrated by Marianne Dubuc
Comme des géants

Marilyn Baillie Picture Book Award ($20,000) Sponsored by A. Charles Baillie

Nancy Knows
Written and illustrated by Cybèle Young
Tundra Books

Norma Fleck Award For Canadian Children's Non-Fiction ($10,000) Sponsored by the Fleck Family Foundation

Why We Live Where We Live
Written by Kira Vermond
Illustrated by Julie McLaughlin
Owlkids Books

Geoffrey Bilson Award for Historical Fiction for Young People ($5,000) Sponsored by the Canadian Children’s Book Centre’s Bilson Endowment Fund

Dance of the Banished
Written by Marsha Forchuk Skrypuch
Pajama Press

John Spray Mystery Award ($5,000) Sponsored by John Spray of Mantis Investigation Agency

Written by William Bell
Doubleday Canada

Monica Hughes Award for Science Fiction and Fantasy ($5,000)  Sponsored by HarperCollins Canada

The Night Gardener
Written by Jonathan Auxier
Puffin Canada

Amy Mathers Teen Book Award ($5,000) Sponsored by Amy Mathers' Marathon of Books

What We Hide
Written by Marthe Jocelyn
Tundra Books

I've already said it, but this was a spectacular evening of celebrating youngCanLit but it was a great chance for people-watching for the who's who in Canadian children's literature.  Although I was only able to speak with a handful of illustrious authors and illustrators, I saw the following in attendance, in no particular order:  Kenneth Oppel, Marsha Forchuk Skrypuch, Caroline Pignat, Sigmund Brouwer, Bill Swan, Wesley King, Nancy Hartry, Lesley Livingston, Adrienne Kress, Wallace Edwards, Gisela Sherman, Sylvia McNicoll, Gillian Chan, Patrick Bowman, Vikki VanSickle, Eric Walters, Matt James, Don Cummer, Marina Cohen, Deborah Kerbel, Jan Dolby, Marthe Jocelyn, Jess Keating, Marie-Louise Gay, Cybèle Young, Rona Arato, Kathy Stinson, Peter Carver, E. K. Johnston, Hugh Brewster, Eugenie Fernandes, Cary Fagan, Natalie Hyde, Kari-Lynn Winters, Lena Coakley, Anne Laurel Carter, Teresa Toten, Karen Krossing, Karen Patkau, Patricia Storms...but there were 600 people there so I've undoubtedly missed a few hundred!

If you're interested in youngCanLit, become a member of the Canadian Children's Book Centre and you too will get an invite to this event and be able to participate in its workshops and such, as well as receive copies of its publications Canadian Children's Book News and Best Books for Kids & Teens.  Maybe I'll see you next year! (And many thanks to those lovely people who came up and introduced themselves to me.  It was a pleasure making the acquaintance of more lovers of youngCanLit!)

Wednesday 11 November 2015

2015 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 winner of the Information Book Award for 2015 was just announced on Saturday from the following ten 2015 Information Book Award Finalists announced earlier in the year:

Any Questions? 
by Marie-Louise Gay
Groundwood Books

A Brush Full of Colour: The World of Ted Harrison
by Margriet Ruurs & Katherine Gibson
Pajama Press

Do You Know Komodo Dragons? 
by Alain M. Bergeron, Michel Quintin, and Sampar
Illustrated by Sampar
Translated by Solange Messier
Fitzhenry & Whiteside

Dreaming in Indian: Contemporary Native American Voices
Edited by Lisa Charleyboy and Mary Beth Leatherdale
Annick Press

Not My Girl
by Christy Jordan-Fenton and Margaret Pokiak-Fenton
Illustrated by Gabrielle Grimard
Annick Press

The Rat
by Elise Gravel
Tundra Books

Shapes in Math, Science and Nature: Squares, Triangles and Circles
by Catherine Sheldrick Ross
Illustrated by Bill Slavin
Kids Can Press

Take Shelter: At Home Around the World
by Nikki Tate and Dani Tate-Stratton
Orca Book Publishers

Tastes Like Music: 17 Quirks of the Brain and Body
by Maria Birmingham
Illustrated by Monika Melnychuk

We All Count: A Book of Cree Numbers
by Julie Flett
Native Northwest

And the winner of the 2015 Information Book Award is...

A Brush Full of Colour: The World of Ted Harrison
by Margriet Ruurs and Katherine Gibson
Pajama Press
40 pp.
All ages
September, 2014

Reviewed here

Though the winner was announced on November 6, 2015, the award will be presented Wednesday January 27, 2016 at the VCLR’s Celebrate Event: A Celebration of Award Winning BC Children’s Authors and Illustrators.

Congratulations to all!

Monday 9 November 2015

2015 Vicky Metcalf Award for Children's Literature awarded

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 November 3, 2015 at the Writers' Trust Awards event at the Glen Gould Studio in Toronto.

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 2015 winner 

of the Vicky Metcalf Award for Literature for Young People


Jan Thornhill

whose non-fiction repertoire has entertained and educated children for almost thirty years.  Among her finest books are the following award-winning and -nominated titles, including her two most recent which I've reviewed on CanLit for LittleCanadians:

Kyle Goes Alone 
Reviewed here

Winter’s Coming: A Story of Seasonal Change

Is This Panama? A Migration Story

Who Wants Pizza?: The Kids' Guide to the History, Science and Culture of Food
Maple Tree Press

This is My Planet: The Kids' Guide to Global Warming
Maple Tree Press

I Found a Dead Bird: A Kids' Guide to the Cycle of Life and Death
Maple Tree Press

Over in the Meadow 
Maple Tree Press

The Rumor: A Jakata Tale from India

Before & After: A Book of Nature Timescapes
National Geographic Children's Books

Wild in the City 
Maple Tree Press

Folktails: Animal Legends From Around the World
Maple Tree Press

A Tree in the Forest 
Maple Tree Press

The Wildlife 123: A Nature Counting Book

The Wildlife ABC: A Nature Alphabet Book

Check out Jan Thornhill's website at  to read more about her books, life and other details.

Monday 2 November 2015

Hamilton Literary Awards: Finalists announced for 2015

The finalists for the 22nd Annual Hamilton Literary Awards, presented by the Hamilton Arts Council of Hamilton, Ontario, were announced last week and I'm thrilled to see a number of great youngCanLit that has been reviewed (and sadly some that I haven't read yet) on CanLit for LittleCanadians.

The following awards will be presented on December 8, 2015 at Theatre Aquarius' Dofasco Centre for the Arts:

• Hamilton Arts Council Literary Award for Poetry (sponsored by Judy Marsales Real Estate Brokerage);
• Hamilton Arts Council Literary Award for Fiction (sponsored by A Different Drummer Books);
• Hamilton Arts Council Literary Award for Non-Fiction (sponsored by Bryan Prince Booksellers); and
The Kerry Schooley Award (sponsored by the Hamilton Spectator).

Those titles of youngCanLit which have been nominated include:

For the Hamilton Arts Council Literary Award for Fiction

The White Oneida
by Jean Rae Baxter
Ronsdale Press

Reviewed here

For the Kerry Schooley Award

Revenge on the Fly
by Sylvia McNicoll
Pajama Press

Reviewed here

Check out the details about the Awards ceremony, including tickets, at

2015/2016 Stellar Book Award: British Columbia's Teen Readers' Choice Award nominees

From this month on until April, BC teens (ages 13-19) will reading, reviewing and discussing their reading at school and public libraries, all with the aim of selecting a winner of the Stellar Book Award. The Stellar Award is British Columbia's Teen Readers' Choice Award.

Here are this year's outstanding set of nominees:

Blue Gold
by Elizabeth Stewart
Annick Press

The Death of Us
by Alice Kuipers
HarperTrophy Canada

Reviewed here

Don't Even Think About it
by Sarah Mlynowski
Random House

Dreaming in Indian: Contemporary Native American Voices
ed. by Lisa Charleyboy and Mary Beth Leatherdale
Annick Press

The Mirk and Midnight Hour
by Jane Nickerson
Knopf Books for Young Readers

Moon at Nine
by Deborah Ellis
Pajama Press

Reviewed here

Rabbit Ears
by Maggie DeVries
HarperCollins Canada

Reviewed here

The Rule of Three
by Eric Walters

Reviewed here

Straight Punch
by Monique Polak
Orca Book Publishers

by Kim Firmston

To This Day: For the Bullied and the Beautiful
by Shane Koyczan
Annick Press

Reviewed here

by Caroline Pignat

Voting will take place online between April 18 and 22, 2016.