Canadian Children's Literature Awards

The Canadian Children's Book Centre and TD Bank Financial Group have announced the finalists of the 2008 TD Canadian Children's Literature Awards for the most distinguished books of the year. This annual award recognizes excellence in Canadian children's literature with $20,000 for the most distinguished book written in English and $20,000 for the most distinguished book written in French.

All books, in any genre, written by a Canadian for children ages one through 12 were eligible for the awards. Entries were judged on the quality of the text and illustrations and the book's overall contribution to literature. 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.

The English-language finalists for the 2008 TD Canadian Children's Literature Award, with jury comments, are:

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

"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
By Kenneth Oppel
HarperCollins Publishers

"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
By Christopher Paul Curtis
Scholastic Canada

"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
By Shane Peacock
Tundra Books

"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!
By Frieda Wishinsky
Illustrated by Marie-Louise Gay
Groundwood Books

"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!"

The French-language finalists for the 2008 TD Canadian Children's Literature Award, with jury comments, are:

Chester
Texte et illustrations de Mélanie Watt
Editions Scholastic

"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
Texte de Badiâa Sekfali
Illustrations de Jean-Marie Benoit
Editions Les 400 coups

"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 oeuvres d'art."

Le Mur
Texte d'Angèle Delaunois
Illustrations de Pierre Houde
Editions de l'Isatis

"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
Texte de Danielle Simard
Illustrations de Geneviève Côté
Editions Les 400 coups

"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 coeur de ce magnifique album."

Un cadeau pour Sophie
Texte de Gilles Vigneault
Illustrations de Stéphane Jorisch
Editions La montagne secrete

"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..."

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