Finalists Announced for Coveted TD Canadian Children's Literature Awards



    Two prestigious $20,000 prizes celebrate the most distinguished
    English and French-language Canadian children's books of the year

    MONTREAL, Aug. 6 /CNW/ - The Canadian Children's Book Centre and TD Bank
Financial Group are proud to announce 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.
    "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," said 
Frank McKenna, Deputy Chair and Literacy Champion, TD Bank Financial Group.
"In recognition of their good work, we have set up a children's literature
award that is among Canada's most prestigious literary prizes. We're giving
back to our homegrown talent by awarding them with a $20,000 cash prize so
they can continue to follow their dreams and author children's books that
inspire us all."
    This year's nominated titles will captivate the hearts and imaginations
of children and adults everywhere. Readers will be introduced to characters
such as the young Sherlock Holmes and the crime-ridden streets of 1867
inner-city London; 11-year-old Elijah, the first African Canadian child to be
born into freedom in Buxton, Ontario, a settlement for runaway slaves; and a
young girl named Kate who is fraught with jealousy after being selected by
artist John Singer Sargent to be a model for a painting.
    "At the Canadian Children's Book Centre we encourage the reading, writing
and illustrating of Canadian books for young readers, and what better way to
do that than to recognize rising authors with a highly regarded award such as
the TD Canadian Children's Literature Award," said Charlotte Teeple, Executive
Director, The Canadian Children's Book Centre. "We are proud to be joining
efforts with TD on this exciting journey to reward our talented Canadian
children's authors."
    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 at a gala at The
Carlu in Toronto on November 6, 2008.

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

    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 2008 English jury members were Maya Munro Byers, owner, Livres Babar
Books, Montreal; Theo Heras, Children's Literature Resource Collection
Specialist, Lillian H. Smith Library, Toronto Public Library; Dr. Dave
Jenkinson, Professor Emeritus, Faculty of Education, University of Manitoba;
Ron Jobe, Professor Emeritus, Faculty of Education, University of British
Columbia; and Norene Smiley, author, Pugwash, Nova Scotia.

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

    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..."

    The 2008 French jury members were Charlotte Guérette, professeure
retraitée-associée à l'Université Laval, Québec (Québec); Pascale Grenier,
bibliothécaire Espace jeunes, responsable du Centre québécois en littérature
pour la jeunesse - Direction des services à la clientèle Bibliothèque et
Archives nationales du Québec, Montréal (Québec); Manon Richer, chargée de
cours en littérature jeunesse et spécialiste en littérature jeunesse, Montréal
(Québec); Céline Rufiange, enseignante ressource en lecture et collaboratrice
à la revue Lurelu, Montréal (Québec); Nathalie Tremblay, libraire jeunesse à
la Librairie Alire, Longueuil (Québec).

    The winner of the French-language award will be announced at a gala at
the Canadian Centre for Architecture in Montreal on October 29, 2008.

    About The Canadian Children's Book Centre

    The Canadian Children's Book Centre (CCBC) is a national, not-for-profit
organization, founded in 1976 to encourage, promote and support the reading,
writing and illustrating of Canadian books for young readers. The CCBC's
programs, publications and resources help teachers, librarians, booksellers
and parents select the very best for young readers. For more information visit
www.bookcentre.ca.

    TD Community Giving: Making a Difference Together

    Children's health, literacy and education, and the environment are the
three main areas of focus for community giving at TD. Flagship programs within
these areas include: TD Children's Hospital Fund; TD Friends of the
Environment Foundation; TD Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup; TD Canadian
Children's Book Week; TD Canada Trust Scholarships for Community Leadership;
and the TD Summer Reading Club. With support from customers and employees, TD
is also involved with a host of national, regional and local causes benefiting
diversity, arts and culture and other community programs. In 2007, TD donated
$33 million to more than 2,000 organizations across Canada.





For further information:

For further information: Charlotte Teeple, Executive Director, The
Canadian Children's Book Centre, (416) 975-0010, charlotte@bookcentre.ca;
Matthew Cram, TD Bank Financial Group, (416) 983-1514, matthew.cram@td.com;
Jill Quinn, GCI Group on behalf of TD and the CCBC, (416) 486-5906,
jquinn@gcigroup.com


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