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Finalists Announced for TD Canadian Children’s Literature Awards

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On August 6 in Montreal, the Canadian Children's Book Centre and TD Bank Financial Group announced the finalists for the 2008 Canadian Children's Literature Awards. Annual awards of $20,0000 each are given to the most distinguished children's book written in English and the most distinguished children's book written in French.

The awards recognize Canadian talent and the importance of children's literature. Frank McKenna, Deputy Chair and Literacy Champion, TD Bank Financial Group states, "Starting to read at an early age is an important first step in living a happy and healthy life. That's why children's authors are so important – they help introduce the wonderful world of reading to young Canadians."

The winner of the English-language award will be announced in Toronto on November 6, 2008. The winner of the French-language award will be announced in Montreal on October 29, 2008.

English-language finalists for the 2008 TD Canadian Children’s Literature Award (with jury comments):

  • Carnation, Lily, Lily, Rose: The Story of a Painting (Kids Can Press), by Hugh Brewster with paintings by John Singer Sargent

    "An outstanding information book... Beautifully written and produced, with a fine balance of illustration, biographical and historical detail and insight into the creative process, all through the viewpoint of a child whose humanity makes it true."

  • Darkwing (HarperCollins Publishers), by Kenneth Oppel

    "Darkwing continues Oppel’s reputation for creating textured, engrossing animal societies that win generations of fans. The exceptional writing is filled with descriptive details, emotive connotations and visual sightings that give a richly plotted, fact-filled glimpse into this prehistoric world."

  • Elijah of Buxton (Scholastic Canada), by Christopher Paul Curtis
  • "Tears of laughter and sadness commingle as Curtis immerses readers in the daily happenings of the nineteenth century Ontario community of Buxton whose inhabitants are slaves who have escaped from the United States. This novel engagingly and dramatically brings to life a little known segment of Canadian history."

  • Eye of the Crow: The Boy Sherlock Holmes, His First Case (Tundra Books), by Shane Peacock

    "Historical fiction at its finest! The plot, speculating on the childhood adventures of Sherlock Holmes, is well-constructed, fast paced and embedded with details. Superb characterization is accompanied by witty dialogue and the author’s love of vivid descriptive words."

  • Please, Louise! (Groundwood Books), by Frieda Wishinsky, Illustrated by Marie-Louise Gay

    "A gem of a picture book delighting in the warm relationship between brother and younger sister. Lively watercolours explode across the pages adding detail and humour to the powerful simplicity of the text. The words sing as they are read!"

French-language finalists for the 2008 TD Canadian Children’s Literature Award (with jury comments):

  • Chester (Éditions Scholastic), texte et illustrations de Mélanie Watt

    "Cet album humoristique est d’un concept innovateur. Chester le chat, personnage prétentieux et taquin, se joue de son auteure-illustratrice afin de ravir à la souris le rôle principal de l’histoire. Ce livre comporte une magnifique mise en abîme où… les souris gagnent!"

  • Farouj le coq (Éditions Les 400 coups), texte de Badiâa Sekfali, illustration de Jean-Marie Benoit

    "Ce conte, issu de la tradition arabo-berbère, nous transporte dans l'intemporalité. Le récit avec une grande délicatesse et limpidité transmet de nombreuses valeurs; le respect d’autrui, la persévérance, la détermination, la bonté, la sincérité et la foi en un monde meilleur. Les illustrations de couleurs chaudes sont de véritables œuvres d'art."

  • Le Mur (Éditions de l’Isatis), texte d’Angèle Delaunois, illustrations de Pierre Houde

    "Ce conte moderne a une portée universelle. Il permet de voir la naissance et l’absurdité d’un conflit ainsi que les conséquences qui en découlent, pour soi et pour les autres. Les illustrations arrivent à transmettre, avec une luminosité touchante, l’hostilité que l’on retrouve dans le récit. L’ensemble permet de saisir comment une peccadille peut devenir un mur d’incompréhensions."

  • La Petite rapporteuse de mots (Éditions Les 400 coups), texte de Danielle Simard, illustrations de Geneviève Côté

    "Cet album tout en finesse raconte une histoire de tous les jours. Le thème difficile de la maladie d’Alzheimer est rarement présent dans la littérature jeunesse, mais l’est par contre de plus en plus dans la vie actuelle. Le texte, sensible et touchant, est porté par des illustrations évanescentes comme les mots dans la bouche de la grand-mère, elles savent à merveille transmettre les émotions. La complicité intergénérationnelle règne au cœur de ce magnifique album."

  • Un cadeau pour Sophie (Éditions La montagne secrete), texte de Gilles Vigneault, illustrations de Stéphane Jorisch

    "Une histoire réaliste tout en poésie, aux couleurs de bord de mer. Le texte et les illustrations s’harmonisent en une véritable ode à l’enfance et à la vie. Un cadeau pour tous. Ce livre transmet le sens de la continuité, l’importance de se souvenir, la valeur que peut avoir un cadeau...."

Visit the Canadian Children's Book Centre (CCBC) website to read more about the Canadian Children's Literature Awards.

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