The Canadian Library Association / Association canadienne des bibliothèques has announced the 2015 recipients of its three children’s book awards: the Amelia Frances Howard-Gibbon Illustrator’s Award, the Young Adult Book Award and the Book of the Year for Children Award. Below are the winners.
CLA 2015 Amelia Frances Howard-Gibbon Illustrator’s Award
Illustrated and written by Marie-Louise Gay
Published by Groundwood Books
Any Questions? is a celebration of the power and occasionally chaotic fun of the creative process. Gay applies her signature use of watercolour to the topic. Each page pops with energy and draws the reader deeper into the wild world of the imagination. Lines and colour are loosely applied. Images are iterative and sometimes incomplete. The placement of images is casual, as if the artist is experimenting. The result is less a story book, than it is a sort of prompt. Gay, while ostensibly opening a window into her creative process, offers a book that seeks to inspire children to create their own worlds. Any Questions? is from start to finish an exceptional artistic package that will reward repeated readings. Gay shows in this book her ability to push the edges of the picture book genre. Marie-Louise Gay is a past winner of the Amelia Frances Howard‐Gibbon Illustrator’s Award.
Honourable mention goes to Dolphin SOS (Tradewind Books), illustrated by Julie Flett, and written by Roy Miki & Slavia Miki. Dolphin SOS is the story of a community coming together to rescue a pair of dolphins trapped in ice. Flett uses her unique style to bring out the drama and tension of the story. The artwork is gracefully and gently rendered. Among the many works considered this year, Flett’s is deserving of special mention.
CLA 2015 Young Adult Book Award
This One Summer
Written by Mariko Tamaki
Illustrated by Jillian Tamaki
Published by Groundwood Books
This One Summer is a graphic novel about the last summer of childhood; when tweens start to see things in a new light. A tactful and fun foray into the first conversations about sexuality and curiosity about the lives of older teens. The reader glimpses the more mature subject matter through the parents and store clerks, while the protagonists experience the awkward but wonderful stage of not fully understanding what’s going on. The text and art are seamless; a fantastic collaboration. A true example of a graphic novel with substance.
CLA 2015 Book of the Year for Children Award
The Night Gardener
Written by Jonathan Auxier
Published by Penguin Canada.
When orphaned Irish siblings Molly and Kip arrive to work as servants at a creepy, crumbling English manor house, they discover that the house and its inhabitants are not what they seem. Soon the siblings are confronted by a mysterious stranger and the secrets of the cursed house will change their lives forever. A spell-binding and chilling tale about courage, loyalty and the power of stories.
“The Jury universally loved this masterful and harrowing tale from this tremendously talented author,” commented Rachel Seigel, Chair of the 2015 jury. Filled with memorable characters, atmospheric drawings and creepy settings, readers will find this thrilling story impossible to put down.
For more information, please visit the Canadian Library Association website.