TD Canadian Children’s Literature Award

On October 28, 2004 the Canadian Children’s Book Centre and the TD Bank Group announced the establishment of a brand-new annual, children’s book award, the TD Canadian Children’s Literature Award for the most distinguished book of the year. “Distinguished” is defined as marked by conspicuous excellence and/or eminence, individually distinct and noted for significant achievement with excellence in quality.

All books, in any genre, written by a Canadian and for children ages 1 through 12 are eligible. In the case of a picture book or graphic novel, both the author and the illustrator must be Canadian. Only books published in Canada are eligible for submission.

The grand prize is $50,000 for the most distinguished book written in English and $50,000 for the most distinguished book written in French. In addition, there is a total of $20,000 awarded for honour books ($10,000 in English and $10,000 in French). The winning publishers each receive $2,500 for promotion and publicity purposes.

In finding the two most distinguished books of the year, the judges will, in their deliberations, consider only the individual book and not the entire body of work by an author nor whether the author has previously won the award.

Criteria and Submission Information


In identifying the most distinguished book of the year, each judge shall consider the following criteria for excellence:

  • Quality of the text or storyline (in the case of a wordless book) and illustrations (if present).
  • Interpretation of the theme or concept.
  • Presentation of information including accuracy, clarity and organization.
  • Appropriateness of style and presentation.
  • Books should have distinguished qualities in all of the elements pertinent to it, such as interpretation of theme and concept.
  • Book must be self-contained and not dependent on other media for its enjoyment.
  • Book should have been written for a child audience and should achieve excellence of presentation.
  • Each book is to be considered as a contribution to literature.
  • The popularity of a book and didactic intent are not to be considered.
Eligibility Requirements:
  • Books must be published between January 1 and December 31, 2020.
  • Both the author and illustrator (if applicable) must be Canadian citizens or permanent residents of Canada.
  • Only books published in Canada are eligible for submission. Copyright page/CIP data must reflect this.
  • New editions or re-issues of previously published books are not eligible for submission.
  • First Canadian editions of books previously published or simultaneously published by non-Canadian publishers are eligible for submission provided they are published between January 1 and December 31, 2020. Copyright page/CIP data must reflect this.
  • All genres of books (i.e., picture books, fiction, non-fiction and poetry), written for young people up to age 12, are eligible for consideration. Teen/young adult books are not eligible for submission. For teen/YA fiction, see Amy Mathers Teen Book Award. For teen/YA non-fiction, see Norma Fleck Award for Canadian Children’s Non-Fiction.
  • Books must be in English.
  • Translations are eligible, provided the French edition wasn’t already submitted to the Prix TD de littérature canadienne pour l’enfance et la jeunesse during its eligible year. In the case of simultaneous publication, the publisher holding the original rights takes precedence over the other. Please contact for details.
  • In the case of translations, the translator must be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident of Canada.
  • Books being submitted for consideration must be original works.
  • Books based on traditional stories will be considered if the book is the result of original research and the retelling and interpretation are the writer’s own.
  • Short story collections by more than one author are not eligible.
  • Books written as part of a series or published in serial form will be judged as separate entries and must function as a ‘stand-alone’ story.
  • Books based on recorded songs are not eligible for submission.
  • The award is only for books in the printed format, as distinct from digital (i.e., eBooks) and audio visual formats.
  • Books in manuscript form are not eligible.
  • All books must have an ISBN.
  • Self-published books are eligible for submission provided they have a valid ISBN.
Publisher and creator expectations prior to submission:
  • Publishers agree to pay the $25 non-refundable submission fee per title per award.
  • If a book is shortlisted, the publisher, author and illustrator may be asked to participate in a series of events highlighting and promoting the shortlisted author and illustrator, in addition to the award celebration.
  • The CCBC is unable to assume the costs for travel and accommodation. It is our hope that publishers will assist the award winner(s) with providing the resources for attending the in-person awards ceremony (should we be able to hold an in-person event) or for creating an acceptance speech video of appropriate quality should the creator(s) be unable to attend an in-person event.
  • Publishers agree to prepare and encourage their authors and illustrators to participate in all reasonable publicity associated with the award: interviews, readings, appearances, etc.
  • The winning publisher agrees to use the $2,500 awarded to them to promote/advertise the winning title.
  • Publishers agree to have the TD Canadian Children’s Literature Award seal on copies of the shortlisted titles and the winning title. Seals will be provided to the publisher by the CCBC.
Submission Information:

The submission deadline was March 1, 2021. We are no longer accepting submissions.

General Inquiries:

If you have any questions regarding eligibility or the award in general, please contact Meghan Howe at 416.975.0010 ext. 3 or

Award Recipients

For the full list of finalists and winners, please click here.

Year Detail Recipient
2020 English language Julie Flett. Birdsong. Vancouver: Greystone Kids, 2019.
2020 French language Jacques Goldstyn. Les étoiles. Montreal: Éditions de la Pastèque, 2019.
2019 English language Heather Smith. Ebb & Flow. Toronto: Kids Can Press, 2018.
2019 French language Stéphanie Boulay. Anatole qui ne séchait jamais. Illustrated by Agathe Bray-Bourret. Montreal: Éditions Fonfon, 2018.
2018 English language Joanne Schwartz. Town Is by the Sea. Illustrated by Sydney Smith. Toronto: Groundwood Books, 2017.
2018 French language Marianne Dubuc. Le chemin de la montagne. Varennes, QC: Comme des géants, 2017.
2017 English language Jan Thornhill. The Tragic Tale of the Great Auk. Toronto: Groundwood Books, 2016.
2017 French language Larry Tremblay. Même pas vrai. Illustrated by Guillaume Perreault. Montreal: Éditions de la Bagnole, 2016.
2016 English language Melanie Florence. Missing Nimâmâ. Illustrated by François Thisdale. Aurora, ON: Clockwise Press, 2015.
2016 French language Jacques Goldstyn. L’arbragan. Montreal: Éditions de la Pastèque, 2015.
2015 English language Jonathan Auxier. The Night Gardener. Toronto: Puffin Canada, 2014.
2015 French language Marianne Dubuc. L’autobus. Montreal: Comme des géants, 2014.
2014 English language Kathy Stinson. The Man with the Violin. Illustrated by Dušan Petricic. Toronto: Annick Press, 2013.
2014 French language Andrée Poulin. La plus grosse poutine du monde. Montreal: Bayard Canada, 2013.
2013 English language Polly Horvath. One Year in Coal Harbour. Toronto: Groundwood Books, 2012.
2013 French language Michel Noël. À la recherche du bout du monde. Montreal: Éditions Hurtubise HMH, 2012.
2012 English Language Trilby Kent. Stones for My Father. Toronto: Tundra Books, 2011.
2012 French Language Mario Brassard. La saison des pluies. Illustrated by Suana Verelst. St-Lambert, QC: Soulières éditeur, 2011.
2011 English Language Erin Bow. Plain Kate. Toronto: Scholastic Canada, 2010.
2011 French Language Linda Amyot. La fille d’en face. Montreal: Leméac éditeur, 2010.
2010 English Language Arthur Slade. The Hunchback Assignments. Toronto: HarperCollins Publishers, 2009.
2010 French Language Mélanie Tellier. Le géranium. Illustrated by Melinda Josie. Montréal: Éditions Marchand de feuilles, 2009.
2009 English Language Nicola I. Campbell. Shin-chi’s Canoe. Illustrated by Kim LaFave. Toronto: Groundwood Books, 2008.
2009 French Language Anne Villeneuve. Chère Traudi. Montreal: Éditions Les 400 coups, 2008.
2008 English Language Christopher Paul Curtis. Elijah of Buxton. Toronto: Scholastic Canada, 2007.
2008 French Language Gilles Vigneault. Un cadeau pour Sophie. Illustrated by Stéphane Jorisch. Montreal: Éditions La montagne secrète, 2007.
2007 English Language Sarah Ellis. Odd Man Out. Toronto: Groundwood Books, 2006.
2007 French Language André Leblanc. L’Envers de la chanson : des enfants au travail 1850-1950. Montreal: Les éditions Les 400 coups, 2006.
2006 English Language Pamela Porter. The Crazy Man. Toronto: Groundwood Books, 2005.
2006 French Language François Gravel. David et le salon funéraire. Illustrated by Pierre Pratt. St-Lambert, QC: Dominique et compagnie, 2005.
2005 English Language Marthe Jocelyn. Mable Riley: A Reliable Record of Humdrum, Peril, and Romance. Toronto: Tundra Books, 2004.
2005 French Language François Barcelo. Le nul et la chipie. Illustrated by Anne Villeneuve. St-Lambert, QC: Soulières Éditeur, 2004.