Each year, the Canada Council for the Arts honours the best books in Canadian literature with the Governor General’s Literary Awards. This year, we have four finalists in Children’s Literature, two in text and two in illustrations. Huge congratulations to our authors and illustrators!
Children’s Literature – Text
Written by Dan Bar-el
Illustrated by Tatjana Mai-Wyss
Hardcover | 240 Pages | Ages 7-10
“Animal Farm meets The Great Escape…. The result is purely delightful, as are Tatjana Mai-Wyss’s appropriately vintage-looking spot illustrations. The short first-person passages help move the story along, ending with a comedy-of-errors that culminates in Audrey happily living out her days at an animal sanctuary. Bar-el manages to gently and thoughtfully introduce kids to the concept of the abattoir while also underscoring that a farm’s very purpose is producing food. At its heart, Audrey (cow) encourages kids to think even as it entertains – the mark of wonderful children’s literature.” – Starred Review, Quill & Quire
We Are All Made of Molecules
Written by Susin Nielsen
Hardcover | 256 Pages | Ages 12 and up
“Drama, humour, poignancy, and suspense are rarely found in such perfect proportions as in Governor General’s Literary Award–winner Susin Nielsen’s new novel about a teen odd couple forced together in a blended family situation…We Are All Made of Molecules is chockablock with timely and weighty issues, yet it feels feather-light thanks in large part to some truly funny writing. Teens will be so busy turning pages they won’t even realize they’re thinking. This is stellar, top-notch stuff.” – Starred Review, Quill & Quire
Congratulations to the other finalists in this category: Darren Groth for Are You Seeing Me?, Caroline Pignat for The Gospel Truth, and Emil Sher for Young Man with Camera.
Children’s Literature – Illustrated Books
The Good Little Book
Written by Kyo Maclear
Illustrated by Marion Arbona
Hardcover | 40 Pages | Ages 5-9
“Maclear steers clear of ‘reading is good for you’ and focuses instead on a boy’s affection for a dearly loved object and sorrow at its loss. But with the affection is something more subtle, a celebration of the comfort of rereading, of having a favourite book that’s the only book for you. And Arbona’s art works well at aiding and abetting that play of imagination and feeling. Cockeyed perspectives, vivid colours and comic, surreal scenes show how dynamic, how animated, the love for a favourite story can be. Funny and thoughtful.” – The Toronto Star
Bug in a Vacuum
Written by Mélanie Watt
Hardcover | 96 Pages | Ages 5-9
“In a story heady and intellectually ambitious enough for a jaded adult, yet suited to a child’s down-to-earth appetites, a wide-eyed fly gets vacuumed up. Trapped, it goes through the five stages of grief … each first depicted by Watt as a funny retro product like bug spray…. There’s a journey, yes, into the light, but it’s a happy ending that may just prompt sheer joy at the simple fact of being alive.” – The New York Times
Congratulations to the other finalists in this category: Andy Jones and Darka Erdelji for Jack, the King of Ashes, JonArno Lawson and Sydney Smith for Sidewalk Flowers, and John Martz for A Cat Named Tim and Other Stories.
Go online to discover the year’s best books and their authors, illustrators and translators, on the new interactive GG website. Follow the conversation on Twitter through @CanadaCouncil and by using the hashtag #GGbooks. Like the GGs on Facebook for all the latest updates.
The winners of the 2015 Governor General Literary Awards will be announced on Wednesday, October 28 at 6:30 am.