Seuls by Paul Tom and Mélanie Baillairgé wins the 2023 Prix TD de littérature canadienne pour l’enfance et la jeunesse!
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Montreal (November 6, 2023)—Communication-Jeunesse (CJ) and the Canadian Children's Book Centre (CCBC) are pleased to announce that the 2023 Prix TD de littérature canadienne pour l’enfance et la jeunesse has been awarded to Seuls, written by Paul Tom, illustrated by Mélanie Baillairgé and published by Éditions la courte échelle. The prize, supported by TD Bank Group, offers $50,000, which the author and illustrator share, while their publisher receives $2,500 for promotional purposes. An additional $10,000 is shared between the creators of the four remaining finalists for their contribution to Canadian children's literature.
A short interview with Paul Tom and Mélanie Baillairgé was produced for the video which unveils the winning title. A recording of the ceremony is available on CJ’s YouTube channel, as well as on Bibliovideo, the CCBC’s YouTube channel.
"Thank you to Paul Tom and Mélanie Baillairgé, who deserve this prestigious award for such a touching and necessary story, and thanks also to Éditions la courte échelle for publishing this work and submitting it to this year’s Prix TD," said Stéphane Masquida, Executive Director, Communication-Jeunesse. “Congratulations as well to the creators of the four finalist titles and their publishers, who skillfully explore diverse themes and forms in French-language children’s literature in this country.”
Communication-Jeunesse and the Canadian Children’s Book Centre would like to thank TD Bank Group for offering the largest literary prize for creators of French-language children's literature in Canada.
“At TD, it's always an honour for us to support children's authors and illustrators who help pass on the love of reading to children," says Sylvie Demers, President, Quebec Division, TD Bank Group. “I would like to extend my warmest congratulations to Paul Tom and Mélanie Baillairgé, winners of the 2023 Prix TD de littérature canadienne pour l’enfance et la jeunesse for Seuls. Moving and poignant, this book sheds light on the reality of these young people—sometimes still children—who find refuge in this country without their families, and how it brings out the strength and resilience in them. Bravo!"
“Congratulations to Paul Tom and Mélanie Baillairgé,” says Urve Tamberg, President of the CCBC’s Board of Directors. “Seuls begins with a powerful dedication: To the children who come here. To the parents who stay there. This unforgettable book features three relatable characters who hail from three different places: Iran, Uganda and Burundi. As we follow the realistic and harrowing journeys of Afshin, Alain and Patricia as they arrive in Canada, they are indeed alone. Yet they are also comforted by old family memories and helpful new people they meet. These reflections and connections light a spark of hope just when everything seems dark and unknown. Each year, more than 400 minors arrive alone in Canada requesting refugee status. Seuls should be recommended reading, not just for young people, but for anyone who wishes to understand the traumatic experience of a child who immigrates without a parent, and the courage and resiliency that are born because of it. Stunningly illustrated and written in a raw-yet-engaging voice, this poignant book is unputdownable.”
A total of $62,500 in prize money was awarded today. Two weeks ago, the CCBC celebrated the winners of their English-language prizes. The highlight of the evening was debut author Kim Spencer winning all three prizes for which her novel, Weird Rules to Follow, was nominated for—the Jean Little First-Novel Award, the Geoffrey Bilson Award for Historical Fiction of Young People and the TD Canadian Children’s Literature Award. Carey Newman and Kirstie Hudson’s The Witness Blanket won the 25th Norma Fleck Award for Canadian Children’s Non-Fiction. Acclaimed author-illustrator Matthew Forsythe won the Marilyn Baillie Picture Book Award for Mina, and debut novelists Zoulfa Katouh and Deborah Falaye were awarded the Amy Mathers Teen Book Award and the Arlene Barlin Award for Science Fiction and Fantasy—Katouh for As Long as the Lemon Trees Grow and Falaye for Blood Scion.
Congratulations to Paul Tom and Mélanie Baillairgé and to all the finalists of the Prix TD!
Watch the video unveiling of the 2023 Prix TD winner here.