Mélanie Watt Wins National Children's Book Award

VANCOUVER, Feb. 26 /CNW/ - Keith Mitchell, chair of the BC Achievement Foundation announced today that Montreal-based author and illustrator Mélanie Watt is the recipient of the third Time To Read: BC Achievement Foundation Award for Early Literary for her illustrated children's book Chester.

"We congratulate Mélanie Watt for her selection as the 2009 recipient of the Time to Read Award and for her contribution to encouraging the joy of reading among young learners in Canada through her writing and illustrating," said Mitchell.

The Time to Read Award is a national award recognizing Canadian authors and illustrators of books suitable for kindergarten students. The author and illustrator are awarded a total cash prize of $15,000. For this third award, a copy of Chester will be provided to elementary schools in British Columbia. The Time to Read Award was developed in partnership with BC's Ministry of Education.

Publishers from across Canada nominated 60 illustrated children's books for the award. The independent jury panel - Janet Delgatty, Library Manager, Qualicum Beach; Sarah Guilmant-Smith, Coordinator of Library Services, Surrey School District; Kathryn Shoemaker, children's author and lecturer, UBC's Department of Language and Literacy Education; and Phyllis Simon, co-owner of Vancouver Kidsbooks - cited Chester for its rich illustrations, engaging characters, playful tone, and original style.

Chester is a story that relies on an imaginative storytelling device that pits the author against her lead character.

The BC Achievement Foundation is an independent foundation established and endowed by the Province in 2003 to celebrate excellence in community service, arts, enterprise and the humanities.

For more information on the Time to Read Award, please visit www.bcachievement.com.

SOURCE BRITISH COLUMBIA ACHIEVEMENT FOUNDATION

For further information: For further information: Media contact: Nora Newlands, Executive Director, British Columbia Achievement Foundation, Tel: (604) 618-6949, Email: info@bcachievement.com

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