The winner of the 2015 IODE Jean Throop Book Award has been announced: Lindsay Mattick, author of Finding Winnie: The True Story of the World’s Most Famous Bear, published by HarperCollins.
In Finding Winnie, a mother tells her young son the story of his great-great-grandfather, veterinarian Harry Colebourn, who, on his trip east to join his regiment during World War I, rescued an orphaned bear cub and named her Winnie, after his hometown Winnipeg. Colebourn took Winnie to England, and ultimately gave her to the London Zoo, where she received frequent visits from the young Christopher Robin, son of writer A.A. Milne. Christopher Robin named his own stuffed bear in her honour, and Milne went on to create the children’s classic, Winnie-the-Pooh and its sequels.
Mattick is the great-granddaughter of Harry Colebourn, and the book is dedicated to her son Cole, who was named after his great-great-grandfather. With charming, expressive illustrations by American illustrator Sophie Blackall, Finding Winnie is a delightful presentation of an important Canadian tale, and a moving testament to the value of family history and storytelling.
Since 1974, the Municipal Chapter of Toronto IODE has presented an award intended to encourage excellence in Canadian children’s literature. Previous IODE Jean Throop Book Award winners include Dennis Lee, Barbara Reid, Kenneth Oppel, Dušan Petričić and Cybèle Young. As a result of the disbandment of IODE Toronto in 2013, the award is now administered by IODE Ontario. The value of the annual award is $2,000.
Presentation of the award will take place on April 23rd at the IODE Ontario Provincial Annual Meeting in Hamilton.
For further information, please contact:
Mary K. Anderson, Chair
IODE Jean Throop Book Award Committee
45 Frid Street, Suite 9
Hamilton, ON L8P 4M3