Top Canadian Children’s Book Awards announced

Most of the time I love living on the west coast of Canada.  I usually don’t mind being out of the publishing hubbub except when it comes to things like the annual Canadian Children’s Book Centre gala where a host of Canadian children’s book awards for 2011 were announced in Toronto.   At times like this, I so wish that Toronto were closer so that I could attend, see friends and colleagues in the book business, and especially to witness the best of children’s books being recognized.

Here are this year’s winners.  Congratulations to the winners and the finalists.

. . . . . . . . .


Plain Kate Written by Erin Bow (Kitchener, ON) Scholastic Canada for ages 11
and up

“Plain Kate is a triumph of imagination. With astonishing skill, Erin Bow
creates the world of Kate, whose talents as a wood carver mark her as a
witch. The fascinating, intricate plot bravely explores the wrenching
complexities of cruelty and of love. Bow’s prose is at once lyrical and
raw, and her characters are indelible. This is a book that will be read for

MARILYN BAILLIE PICTURE BOOK AWARD ($20,000) Sponsored by A. Charles Baillie

I Know Here Written by Laurel Croza (Markham, ON) Illustrated by Matt James
(Toronto, ON) Groundwood Books for ages 5-7

“An authentic, personal voice captivates from the first line, in this
leave-taking from a beloved childhood home. The centre of this child’s
universe is a trailer camp in the northern wilderness, rendered in all its
details with brilliant harmony between Croza’s affecting, naturalistic
words and James’s evocative, childlike paintings… Running throughout are
bittersweet emotions, wonderfully narrated, that all will recognize.”

by the Fleck Family Foundation

Case Closed! Nine Mysteries Unlocked by Modern Science Written by Susan
Hughes (Toronto, ON) iIllustrated by Michael Wandelmaier (Toronto, ON) Kids Can Press for ages

“A perfect combination of science, story and history, compellingly
presented by Susan Hughes who shows with absorbing detail how modern science
can shed new light on some of mankind’s most beguiling mysteries… The book
is replete with colourful graphic illustrations, maps, photographs and
fascinating forensic notes to intrigue the curious child as well as adults…
An exciting and entertaining read.”

Sponsored by the Canadian Children’s Book Centre’s Bilson Endowment Fund

The Glory Wind Written by Valerie Sherrard (Miramichi, NB) Fitzhenry &
Whiteside for ages 11 and up

“A very moving portrayal of both small town life and friendship… Sherrard
beautifully conveys the small-mindedness and prejudice of the town, and the
subsequent consequences… The Glory Wind effectively depicts life during the
1940s, but still manages to be a modern story that resonates with
contemporary readers… It did everything for me that a good novel should do
– it made me smile, it made me angry, it brought me to tears.”

JOHN SPRAY MYSTERY AWARD ($5,000) Sponsored by John Spray

The Agency: A Spy in the House Written by Y.S. Lee (Kingston, ON) Candlewick Press for ages 13 and up.

“In A Spy in the House Lee has got Victorian London right; this is what
Dickens’ world really smelled like, literally and morally… Interesting
and unique, Mary Quinn is a strong character who can think on her feet… I
loved this book from the first line to the very last… A great read for a
young adult of any age… It worked from beginning to end.”

THE CANADIAN CHILDREN’S BOOK CENTRE The Canadian Children’s Book Centre is
a national, not-for-profit organization and registered charity founded in
1976 to promote, support and encourage the reading, writing and illustrating
of Canadian books for children and teens. With book collections and
extensive resources in five cities across Canada, the CCBC is a
treasure-trove for anyone interested in Canadian books for young readers.
For more information, please visit

1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Jose Antonio
    Oct 06, 2011 @ 11:52:17

    Congratulations to all the winners. These are lovely publications.


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