MONTREAL, Nov. 6, 2012 /CNW Telbec/ - Following a suspenseful few weeks, the 2012 TD Canadian Children's Literature Award was given to La saison des pluies written by Mario Brassard and illustrated by Suana Verelst. The author and illustrator were presented with a $25,000 prize at the eighth annual awards ceremony held at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts on November 6, 2012. The event was co-organized by TD Bank Group and the Canadian Children's Book Centre (CCBC).
The jury was won over by this moving tale of a seven-year-old boy dealing with the death of his father. The book tackles the issue of death and ends with a glimmer of hope. From the very the first page, the reader is caught up in the drama that upends the main character's life. The grieving process in the book is expressed through the child's own words, to a heart-breaking effect. The accompanying illustrations expressively depict his confusion and despair.
"Reading ignites the imaginations of young readers while fostering their personal development. Supporting and encouraging quality children's literature is to invest in our youth, who are the future of our society," said Christine Marchildon, Senior Vice-President, Branch Banking and Chair, Quebec Market TD Bank Group. "This poignant work tackles a complex and delicate subject in a heartfelt and straightforward way."
La saison des pluies was selected from among the following finalists:
- L'amélanchier, written by Denis Côté and illustrated by Anne Sol (published by Planète Rebelle).
- Lapin-Chagrin et les jours d'Elko, written by Sylvie Nicolas and illustrated by Marion Arbona ( published by Éditions du Phoenix, initial publication at Éditions Trampoline).
- Le monde de Théo, written by Louis Émond and illustrated by Philippe Béha (published by Éditions Hurtubise).
- Mots doux pour endormir la nuit, written by Jacques Pasquet and illustrated by Marion Arbona (published by Planète Rebelle).
"The quality of the works submitted is undeniable. We would like to congratulate all of the finalists and applaud La saison des pluies for winning the 2012 Canadian Children's Literature Award," said Charlotte Teeple, Executive Director of the Canadian Children's Book Centre. "This touching work, which also won the Prix jeunesse des libraires 2012, leaves no one unmoved and deals with a difficult subject exceptionally well."
The jury's selection criteria included the quality of the writing and illustrations, the overall literary contribution and the work's impact on young readers. To be eligible, works must be original French Canadian publications in any genre, for youth aged 0 to 12 years old. A $25,000 prize will also be presented to an English Canadian work to be announced at the awards ceremony on November 21, 2012.
This year, the prestigious jury was made up of Michel Clément, Education Consultant; Danièle Courchesne, teacher; Rosette d'Aragon, Children's Literature Program Developer; Susane Duchesne, Book Seller and President of Ibby Canada; and Claude Simard, retired professor.
About the author
Mario Brassard was born in the town of Sainte-Flore in the Mauricie region of Quebec. After completing his literary studies, he embarked on a professional writing career. A born poet, his first two volumes were met with critical acclaim and won a number of awards. As he continued to hone his poetic skills, he made his entry into the field of children's literature, releasing two novels published by Soulières Éditeur, including La saison des pluies. He now devotes himself to writing full-time at his home in Notre-Dame-de-Lourdes.
About the illustrator
Suana Verelst was born in Belgium and studied drawing and painting before settling in Canada. She studied art history, fine arts and graphic design in Montreal. She has illustrated various children's books in Quebec, the United States, Belgium and France and has received many awards for her outstanding work. A number of her illustrations have been featured in leading exhibitions.
About the Canadian Children's Book Centre
The Canadian Children's Book Centre is a national non-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 and extensive resources in five cities across Canada, the CCBC is a treasure trove for anyone interested in Canadian books for young readers. For further information, please visit www.bookcentre.ca/programmes.
TD Community Giving
The 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 2011, TD donated over $66 million to support community organizations in Canada, the United States and the United Kingdom. In Canada, TD focuses on education and financial literacy, opportunity creation for young people and the environment. For further information, please visit http://www.td.com/corporate-responsibility/.
SOURCE: TD Bank Group