Shortlist announced for 2017 Elizabeth Mrazik-Cleaver Canadian Picture Book Award


IBBY logo final march 11IBBY Canada is pleased to announce the shortlist for the 2017 Elizabeth Mrazik-Cleaver Picture Book Award. The winner and honour books will be announced online on Tuesday, April 10, at 10:00 a.m.

The jury reviewed over 135 books, and this high number of submissions is a testament to the quality and artistry of Canadian picture books published in 2017. For their originality, impressive synthesis between art and text, and skilful portrayal of children’s experiences, we would like to recognize these five illustrators on the shortlist.



Illustrated by Geneviève Després
Written by Marie-Francine Hébert
(Éditions de la Bagnole, 2017)
Després has a particular talent for strong double-page spreads, contrasting the little girls’ emotions by showing Rose under a half-sunny, half-cloudy sky, and Blanche with a great sorrow in her heart under a sinister sky.

Pattern for Pepper

A Pattern for Pepper
Written and illustrated by Julie Kraulis
(Tundra Books, 2017)
What an original book. … Kraulis gently guides us in a fictional story that verges on documentary.


Stolen Words
Illustrated by Gabrielle Grimard
Written by Melanie Florence
(Second Story Press, 2017)
With her signature soft, sensitive illustrations, Gabrielle Grimard portrays the grandfather and the little girl’s experiences through many finely illustrated emotions: joy, incomprehension, gentleness, sadness and redemption.

Town Is by the Sea

Town Is by the Sea
Illustrated by Sydney Smith
Written by Joanne Schwartz
(Groundwood Books, 2017)
Smith seduces us from the first spread… Throughout the picture book, he juxtaposes bright and dark pages to reveal the contrast between life outside and inside of the mine.

When the Moon Comes

When the Moon Comes
Illustrated by Matt James
Written by Paul Harbridge
(Tundra Books, 2017)
James’s illustrations are magnificent, an excellent marriage between bright and dark colours. He evocatively captures the sense of waiting for the perfect moment when the ice will finally be ready for that first hockey match on the pond.

The jury for the Elizabeth Mrazik-Cleaver Canadian Picture Book Award was comprised of jury chair Lyne Rajotte, school librarian and board member for the Corporation of Professional Librarians of Quebec; Camilia Kahrizi, former Marketing and Website Coordinator for the Canadian Children’s Book Centre; and Carol-Ann Hoyte, school librarian, children’s poet and editor.

IBBY Canada’s Elizabeth Mrazik-Cleaver Picture Book Award, established in 1985, honours one of Canada’s pre-eminent book illustrators. Elizabeth Mrazik-Cleaver left funds in her will to annually recognize outstanding artistic talent in Canadian picture books; the winner receives $1,000.

IBBY, the International Board on Books for Young People , founded in 1953, represents an international network of people committed to bringing books and children together. IBBY Canada is one of over 70 national sections worldwide. IBBY Canada, founded in 1980, is a volunteer organization promoting quality French and English Canadian children’s literature nationally and internationally.

For more information, please contact:

Emma Sakamoto
Promotions Officer, IBBY Canada