TD honours excellence in children's literature

-TD Bank Group announces the finalists for the 10th annual TD Canadian Children's Literature Awards; winner of the $30,000 prize to be announced on November 6 in Toronto-

TORONTO, Sept. 3, 2014 /CNW/ - From beloved characters to exciting adventures, books have played a role in childhood memories. According to recent research from TD Bank Group, more than half of Canadian adults (53%) remember their favourite book and a further one-third have even purchased it for someone else as a gift.

It is evident that introducing books at a very young age can make an impact and have a lasting impression. Together, the Canadian Children's Book Centre and TD Bank Group will be hosting the annual TD Canadian Children's Literature Awards, which recognizes the many Canadian authors and illustrators behind such books. In addition to a number of awards presented yearly by the Canadian Children's Book Centre, the TD Canadian Children's Literature Award grants a $30,000 prize, the biggest in Canadian children's literature.  

"Books have a wonderful power to transport us to new and exciting worlds," says Frank McKenna, Deputy Chair, TD Bank Group. "And that is why TD is proud to support children's literacy, and the Canadian authors and illustrators that spark the imagination of the next generation of young readers."

In the poll, when asked why a particular book was their favourite, the top responses from Canadians were that the children's book captivated their imagination (57%), or they liked the characters (52%), the topic or subject (31%), and the pictures (29%).

"These awards are an opportunity to recognize the wonderful Canadian authors and illustrators and the contribution they make to Canadian literature," says Charlotte Teeple, Executive Director, Canadian Children's Book Centre. "They put thoughts, ideas, wishes and dreams onto paper, and inspire children to read and imagine. We congratulate all of the finalists and anticipate seeing their books on families' bookshelves for years to come."

In addition to receiving this coveted award, finalists also have the opportunity to win the TD Canadian Children's Literature Fan Choice Award. Young people across Canada are encouraged to vote for their favourite book online at CBCBooks.ca, starting on September 18, 2014. One lucky voter will be selected to win a trip to Toronto to meet their favourite author/illustrator and to present the award at the TD Canadian Children's Literature Award gala event in Toronto.

This year's finalists include inspiring, evocative and beautifully illustrated picture books, featuring stories about brothers sharing a tree house, a young boy drawn to the music of a violinist, and a beautiful lullaby of a northern winter's night. For older readers, two titles tackle difficult issues such as obsessive-compulsive disorder and the plight of homosexual men during the Holocaust.  

TD Canadian Children's Literature Award Finalists:

Branded by the Pink Triangle
Written by Ken Setterington (Toronto, ON)
Second Story Press
In Branded by the Pink Triangle, Ken Setterington brings a unique perspective to holocaust literature and history, and makes it accessible for young readers. His story reveals the truth of the horrors inflicted on men because of their sexual orientation, and shares moments of great human compassion, giving hope for a world of acceptance and inclusion. Ken is a true storyteller, able to seamlessly incorporate first hand narratives with points of crucial information, creating a book that is not only important, but necessary. For ages 11+.

In the Tree House
Written by Andrew Larsen (Toronto, ON)
Illustrated by Dušan Petričić (Toronto, ON)
Kids Can Press
An evocative and heartwarming picture book of the expanding gulf between two brothers as they grow up and one of them abandons the tree house they had previously cherished. In the Tree House explores the meaning of community, the intricacies of sibling relationships, and the connections that can be formed when everyday distractions fade away. Readers of all ages will find this stunning combination of Andrew Larsen's prose and Dušan Petričić's illustrations to be both comforting and enlightening. For ages 5-10.

The Man with the Violin
Written by Kathy Stinson (Rockwood, ON)
Illustrated by Dušan Petričić (Toronto, ON)
Annick Press
Text and illustration dance together in this beautiful story which celebrates the importance of seeing the wonder that surrounds us each day. In an age when people are bombarded with noise and distraction from every angle, one small child finds joy and inspiration in the music of a street corner violinist. Dušan Petričić's stylish illustrations, highlighted with bursts of colour, are a perfect complement to Kathy Stinson's narrative. For ages 5+.

Once Upon a Northern Night
Written by Jean E. Pendziwol (Thunder Bay, ON)
Illustrated by Isabelle Arsenault (Montreal, QC)
Groundwood Books
This elegant story by Jean E. Pendziwol is filled with muted and magical illustrations by Isabelle Arsenault, highlighting the soft and charming landscape of a quiet northern night. Snowfalls and playful animals populate the pages, giving young readers a visual feast to go along with the spare and poetic language describing each scene. Readers will feel the need to tip-toe through the book, afraid to break the peaceful spell of the north. This is a perfect nightly read-aloud that will comfort and delight children and adults alike. For ages 4- 7.

The Unlikely Hero of Room 13B
Written by Teresa Toten (Toronto, ON)
Doubleday Canada
When Adam joins a support group for kids with obsessive-compulsive disorder, he finds a community of friends who help him navigate his world. Author Teresa Toten has created a compelling and delightful cast of characters who provide the reader with a chance to experience the world through a different lens and shows us that we all experience the world in our own unique way. Toten's solid and poignant writing keeps things from getting too dark, but also never shies away from the sometimes unsettling parts of growing up and moving forward. For ages 11+.

This year marks the 10th anniversary of the TD Canadian Children's Literature Awards. The selected grand prize winner will receive $30,000 for the most distinguished book written in English on November 6 at the gala in Toronto.  

Finalists for the TD Canadian Children's Literature Award for French-language works have also been selected and the winner will be announced at a gala in Montreal on October 28, 2014, where the francophone winner will also receive $30,000.

A total of $20,000 will also be awarded to honour books. Since 2004, TD has honoured 18 English and French authors/illustrators with this prestigious award, and committed over $14 million to support children's literacy programs like this.

Join the online conversation by following #TDreads.

About the TD Canadian Children's Literature Awards
All books, in any genre, written by a Canadian and for children ages 1 through 12 are eligible. In the case of a picture book, both the author and the illustrator must be Canadian. Only books published in Canada are eligible for submission. There will be five judges for both the English-language award and the French-language award. In finding the two most distinguished books of the year, the judges will, in their deliberations, consider only the individual book and not the entire body of work by an author nor whether the author has previously won the award.

About the TD Children's Literature Poll
TD Bank Group commissioned Research House Inc. to conduct an online survey of 1,099 Canadians aged 18 and older. Responses were collected between August 1 and 5, 2014.

TD Community Giving
TD Bank Group invests in communities in order to effect positive change in the places where it operates and where its clients and employees live and work. In 2013, TD donated over $74.7 million to support community organizations in Canada, the United States and the United Kingdom. In Canada, TD focuses on education and financial literacy, creating opportunities for young people and the environment. For further information, please visit www.td.com/corporateresponsibility

About 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, programs and services 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

SOURCE: TD Bank Group

For further information: or to arrange an interview please contact: Karen Williams / Jessica Squibb, Paradigm Public Relations, 416-413-5195 / 416-413-5201, kwilliams@paradigmpr.ca / jsquibb@paradigmpr.ca; Amanda Tran, TD Bank Group, 416-983-7212, amanda.tran@td.com


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