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Finalists announced for 2010 Canadian Children's Book Centre Awards

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Toronto (July 15, 2010) ― The Canadian Children’s Book Centre (CCBC) is pleased to announce the finalists for the 2010 TD Canadian Children’s Literature Award, Prix TD de littérature canadienne pour l’enfance et la jeunesse, Marilyn Baillie Picture Book Award, Norma Fleck Award for Canadian Children’s Non-Fiction and Geoffrey Bilson Award for Historical Fiction for Young People.

The winners of the English-language awards will be announced at an invitation-only gala event at The Carlu in Toronto on November 9, 2010. The winners of the Prix TD de literature canadienne pour l’enfance et la jeunesse will be announced at an invitation-only gala event at the Canadian Centre for Architecture in Montreal on November 2, 2010. Overall, $110,000 in prize monies will be awarded.

This year’s nominated titles will captivate the hearts and imaginations of children and adults everywhere. Among the finalists are stories introducing readers to dragons, pirates and a delicious bug; a cozy, neighbourhood grocery store; an endearing pig and bunny who both struggle with self-acceptance; holocaust survivors and their engrossing personal stories; a small town haunted by the paranormal; a young Sherlock Holmes on the streets on Victorian London; and a bratty bully and the sister-duo who put her in her place.

The books on these shortlists exemplify some of the best work by Canadian authors and illustrators. The Canadian Children’s Book Centre is proud to share these titles with you.

. . . .

Sponsored by TD Bank Financial Group

The Dragon SeerDragon Seer
Written by Janet McNaughton (St. John’s, NL)
HarperCollins Publishers
for ages 11 and up
“A beautifully written, magical fantasy that brings ancient history to life… this Celtic fantasy is imbued with a mythological history mixing Vikings, dragons and dragon seers… with well-drawn characters and page-turning plot, McNaughton delivers a gem rarer than a shining dragon’s egg.”

Home FreeHome Free
Written by Sharon Jennings (Toronto, ON)
Second Story Press
for ages 10 – 13
Home Free is a fantastic contribution to Canadian children’s literature… Jennings convincingly creates an authentic child’s point of view and perceptions in this dramatic coming-of-age narrative imbued with the power of language, words, and emotions.”

The Hunchback AssignmentsThe Hunchback Assignments
Written by Arthur Slade (Saskatoon, SK)
HarperCollins Publishers
for ages 11 and up
“Slade sets this first novel of a fantasy series in the genre of steampunk, a darkly disturbing Victorian parallel universe with a focus on mechanical invention, steam power, and underworld politics and cabals… The novel’s characters are grotesque and dramatic… the tone is grippingly suspenseful.”

A Thousand Years of PiratesA Thousand Years of Pirates
Written and illustrated by William Gilkerson (Mahone Bay, NS)
Tundra Books
for ages 10 – 14
“A beautifully illustrated treasure trove of information… Chronicles the history of piracy from the time of the Vikings to the present day… This clear and compelling cross-over [history] for all ages includes not only biographical and dramatic narratives, but also the rarely-told sordid and sad details of piracy.”

Watching JimmyWatching Jimmy
Written by Nancy Hartry (Toronto, ON)
Tundra Books
for ages 11-13
Watching Jimmy is a masterful exploration of the impact a young girl’s voice can have when she is supported by adult allies… A suspenseful novel of loyalty, determination and compassion… Hartry creates a memorable portrayal of the secret subculture of childhood… A profound and powerful story.”

JURY MEMBERS: Nancy Cohen, Children's Librarian, Moncton Public Library; Dr. Dave Jenkinson, Professor Emeritus, Faculty of Education, University of Manitoba; Josiane Polidori, Head, Children's Literature, Library and Archives Canada; Judith Saltman, Associate Professor, School of Library, Archival and Information Studies, and Chair, Master of Arts in Children’s Literature Program, University of British Columbia; Dr. Michelle Superle, Part-time Instructor, Children's Studies Program, York University and Vice President of IBBY Canada.

. . . .

Sponsored by TD Bank Financial Group

Comme toiComme toi!
Written and illustrated by Geneviève Côté (Montreal, QC)
Éditions Scholastic
for ages 2 and up
« S’enviant un et l’autre, Cochon et Lapin décident d’interchanger leur personnalité… Cet album procure un enthousiasme communicatif. Riche en émotions soutenues par un esthétisme aux lignes claires, dépouillé d’extravagance et extrêmement éloquent, il arrive à faire ressentir avec justesse et doigté la sensibilité des tout-petits. Des astuces de l’illustration empreintes d’humour aux effets rythmiques du texte. »

Le geraniumLe géranium
Written by Mélanie Tellier (Montreal, QC)
Illustrated by Melinda Josie (Toronto, ON)
Éditions Marchand de feuilles
for ages 5 and up
« Cet élégant album est une véritable célébration à la vie et à ses détours féconds. Un album riche en référents culturels qui prennent assises sur des illustrations connotant une époque révolue, évoquant l’aventure et le voyage. Ambassadeur d’une ouverture d’esprit, l’originalité du récit tient dans la poésie d’un langage aux sonorités profondes liée à la finesse des sous-entendus. »

Monsieur LeloupMonsieur Leloup
Written and illustrated by Philippe Béha (Montreal, QC)
Éditions Fides
for ages 3 and up
« Aidé de ses acolytes, dignes représentants des personnages puisés à même quelques contes classiques, l’auteur-illustrateur s’amuse à ridiculiser ce grand méchant loup en l’exposant à des situations burlesques. Ce conte réinventé, aux illustrations loufoques et colorées, au scénario simple et efficace, propose une morale digne des classiques qui l’ont inspiré. Il saura plaire aux petits comme aux grands. »

Rêver à l'envers, c'est encore rêverRêver à l'envers, c'est encore rêver
Written by Guy Marchamps (Trois-Rivières, QC)
Illustated by Marie-Claude Favreau (Montreal, QC)
Soulières éditeur
for ages 5 and up
« Ce recueil de poésie vivifiant donne envie de lire à voix haute, juste pour le plaisir d’en faire ressortir les sonorités chantantes, à la façon d’un rap pour enfants. Tirés d’observations du quotidien à hauteur d’enfants, les poèmes qui le composent demeurent toujours à leur portée et traduisent bien leur imaginaire espiègle. La complicité entre le texte et les illustrations propose une joyeuse combinaison de rires toute en clins d’œil. »

Venus d'ailleursVenus d'ailleurs
Written by Angèle Delaunois (Montreal, QC)
Photography by Martine Doyon (Montreal, QC)
Éditions Hurtubise
for ages 6 and up
« Né d’un projet communautaire rassembleur, ce documentaire est une voix de plus pour chanter l’enrichissante diversité que représentent les nouveaux arrivants : des enfants de l’immigration prennent la parole, sous la plume enveloppante de l’auteure, pour s’inscrire dans la société québécoise. Une pensée pour le pays d’origine, à jamais vivant dans leur être, une autre pour la vie maintenant, une identité en devenir. Les inspirantes photographies créent une ambiance chaleureuse et riante. »

JURY MEMBERS: Todd Kyle, Children’s Book Specialist and Librarian; Danielle Marcotte, Children’s Books Consultant; Brigitte Moreau, school librarian; Benoit St-Aubin, Bookseller; Danielle Vaillancourt, Children’s Literature Specialist and storyteller.

. . . .

Sponsored by A. Charles Baillie

The Delicious BugThe Delicious Bug
Written and illustrated by Janet Perlman (Montreal, QC)
Kids Can Press
for ages 4 and up
“This playful combination of graphic style and picture book humorously explores friends in conflict over a...delicious bug!... The stylishly integrated comic-strip details and hilarious plot turns bring fabulous contemporary flair to a timeless tale… An engaging story with an amusing resolution.”

Me and YouMe and You
Written and illustrated by Geneviève Côté (Montreal, QC)
Kids Can Press
for ages 2 – 6
“Côté's dynamic, enchanting art is full of ingenious ideas and highly endearing images, which raise her classic exploration of childhood identity to starry heights… The art and lucid text contribute to the story with an equally bouncy lightness bound to delight any reader… A warm and gentle tale to reassure little ones that they are special just the way they are.”

Our Corner Grocery StoreOur Corner Grocery Store
Written by Joanne Schwartz (Toronto, ON)
Illustrated by Laura Beingessner (Toronto, ON)
Tundra Books
for ages 4 – 8
“In this endearing book, the grocery store is the cornerstone of the neighbourhood, a place where people come together in the daily act of living… A vivid slice of life packed with sensory delights, neighbourly warmth, and children's pleasures... Beingessner's detailed illustrations overflow with charm, brilliantly capturing the sights, sounds and gentle emotions of this busy and completely satisfying day.”

Timmerman Was HereTimmerman Was Here
Written by Colleen Sydor (Winnipeg, MB)
Illustrated by Nicolas Debon (Saint-Denis, France)
Tundra Books
for ages 4 – 8
Timmerman Was Here tells a suspenseful story using a compelling narrative voice… The heroine's simple, eloquent first-person narrative grabs the reader from the opening lines, while the artist's exquisite, softly lit images flow effortlessly across the pages with affecting beauty… A truly memorable book.”

You're Mean Lily JeanYou're Mean, Lily Jean
Written by Frieda Wishinsky (Toronto, ON)
Illustrated by Kady MacDonald Denton (Peterborough, ON)
Scholastic Canada
for ages 3 – 8
“This appealing picture book deals with the dynamics of friendship, empowering children to break the cycle of bully behaviour… Wishinsky's meticulously crafted dialogue is so authentic each word rings true, while Denton's superlative illustrations are comically brilliant and perfectly expressive.”

JURY MEMBERS: Mariella Bertelli, storyteller and Head Librarian, Spadina Branch, Toronto Public Library; Sheba Meland, Children's Publishing and Editorial Consultant; Janis Nostbakken, Children's Media Specialist.

. . . .

Sponsored by the Fleck Family Foundation

Adventures on the Ancient Silk RoadAdventures on the Ancient Silk Road
Written by Priscilla Galloway (Toronto, ON) with Dawn Hunter (Toronto, ON)
Annick Press
for ages 10 and up
“An exquisite, informative and delightful account of the history behind China's famed Silk Road…. Chock full of fascinating visuals… With an eye-catching layout, accessible text and a fresh take on history, this book will engage readers of all ages.”

Born to WriteBorn to Write: The Remarkable Lives of Six Famous Authors
Written by Charis Cotter (Toronto, ON)
Annick Press
for ages 9 and up
“This fascinating compilation of author biographies brings to life six beloved authors spanning different time periods and genres… Fascinating and intriguing information with superb visual accompaniments… Each short biography reads like fiction.”

Follow That MapFollow That Map! A First Book of Mapping Skills
Written and illustrated by Scot Ritchie (Vancouver, BC)
Kids Can Press
for ages 4 – 7
“A unique, child-friendly approach to the basics of map reading… The text and art present an everyday subject with humour and clarity… The picture book format, along with bright and lively illustrations, makes this challenging topic fun to learn.”

A Thousand Years of PiratesA Thousand Years of Pirates
Written and illustrated by William Gilkerson (Mahone Bay, NS)
Tundra Books
for ages 10 – 14
“The combination of strong storytelling and beautiful artwork and design make this an appealing book for children of all ages… Unparalleled in the presentation of pirate history… Gilkerson successfully weaves together fascinating tales to bring life and context to these adventurers of the high seas.”

Whispers from the GhettosWhispers from the Ghettos
Written by Kathy Kacer (Toronto, ON) and Sharon E. McKay (Kilbride, ON)
Puffin Canada
for ages 12 and up
“An inspiring and authentic presentation of the lives of Holocaust survivors who survived the atrocities committed during WWII and lived to tell their stories… These engrossing personal stories are touching, heart-breaking and ultimately full of hope and renewal... An emotionally and highly engaging read from two master authors.”

JURY MEMBERS: Julia Beck, Research and Library Consultant; Mala Dayal, teacher-librarian, Peel District School Board; Wendy Mason Geoghegan, Children's Specialist, Indigo Books; Rachel Seigel, Selection Manager, S&B Books; Frieda Wishinsky, author of Please, Louise!, winner of the 2008 Marilyn Baillie Picture Book Award.

. . . .

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

Bitter, SweetBitter, Sweet
Written by Laura Best (Springfield, NS)
Nimbus Publishing
for ages 10 and up
“A beautifully crafted novel set in 1948 in Nova Scotia told by Pru, a young girl trying to keep her siblings together after their father abandons them and their mother dies… Best has masterfully created a sense of time and place… The characters are thoughtfully developed and their relationships to each other skilfully described.”

Written by John Wilson (Lantzville, BC)
Key Porter Books
for ages 13 and up
“An action-packed novel… Wilson takes up one of the classic situations of historical novels: two young friends make different life choices and find themselves on opposite sides in a great historic conflict… Vividly characterized, skillfully plotted, and set against a warmly evoked historical landscape.”

Written by Barbara Haworth-Attard (London, ON)
for ages 13 and up
“This gripping novel is a fascinating mix of genres: paranormal, crime thriller, historical fiction and a gentle romance… The characters are believable, the setting ominous, and the reader is kept guessing right to the very end of the story. Haworth-Attard has revealed a small town community where superstition and fear of the unknown combine with terrifying circumstances to create suspicion between neighbours and friends”

Vanishing GirlVanishing Girl
(The Boy Sherlock Holmes, Book 3)
Written by Shane Peacock (Baltimore, ON)
Tundra Books
for ages 9 and up
“The sinister side of Victorian London comes to life on the pages of Vanishing Girl... Both its aristocratic society and dark underbelly are perfectly described… Beautifully written and fast-paced… Peacock delves into the young mind of one of the best-known characters in literature… The story is well-plotted, with plenty of action, adventure and plot twists.”

Watching JimmyWatching Jimmy
Written by Nancy Hartry (Toronto, ON)
Tundra Books
for ages 11-13
“A short, but powerful coming-of-age novel... Hartry has created memorable characters, carefully weaving family relationships tinged by fear and guilt... This is a moving – and fast-moving – story, alive with the fears and uncertainties of life in Canada soon after the Second World War… A thoughtful read.”

JURY MEMBERS: Merle Harris, storyteller and author; Christopher Moore, author; Kimberly Sutherland-Mills, Children's and Teen Services Librarian, Kingston Frontenac Public Library; Gail de Vos (chair) , storyteller and professor, School of Library and Information Studies, University of Alberta.

. . . .

The TD Canadian Children’s Literature Award was established in 2005 to honour the most distinguished book of the year for children aged 1 to 12. Entries are judged on the quality of the text and illustrations and the book’s overall contribution to literature. All books for children, in any genre, written by a Canadian, are eligible for the award. The winning book receives $25,000 and an additional $10,000 is divided amongst the honour books. The publisher of the winning book receives $2,500 for promotional purposes.

The Marilyn Baillie Picture Book Award honours excellence in the illustrated picture book format, for children aged 3 to 8. Charles Baillie, retired Chairman and CEO of TD Bank Financial Group, is delighted to give the prize in his wife Marilyn’s name. As an award-winning children’s book author and an early learning specialist, Marilyn is involved in and passionate about children’s literature. The winning book receives $20,000.

The Norma Fleck Award for Canadian Children’s Non-Fiction was established by the Fleck Family Foundation in 1999 to recognize Canada’s exceptional non-fiction books for young people. The award honours Norma Fleck (1906-1998), who inspired a deep love of reading in her children and grandchildren. Dr. James Fleck, who initiated the award, is the son of Norma Fleck. The winning book receives $10,000.

The Geoffrey Bilson Award was established in 1988 in memory of the respected historian and children's author, Geoffrey Bilson. The $5,000 prize is awarded annually to the Canadian author of an outstanding work of historical fiction for young people. In 2005, the Bilson Endowment Fund was created to support this award. If you wish to contribute to this fund, please contact the CCBC.

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 www.bookcentre.ca.

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For more information, please contact:

Charlotte Teeple
Executive Director
The Canadian Children’s Book Centre
40 Orchard View Blvd., Suite 101
Toronto, Ontario M4R 1B9
Tel: 416.975.0010 ext. 226
Fax: 416.975.8970