On the Trapline by David A. Robertson and Julie Flett wins $50K TD Canadian Children's Literature Award

The award recognizes the best Canadian book for readers up to age 12 in any genre and is the biggest of its kind in the country. $116,00 in prize money was awarded across eight categories at the Canadian Centre for Children's Book Centre Awards on Sept. 29, 2022.

The prize is the biggest children's book award in Canada

On the Trapline is a picture book by David A. Robertson, left, and Julie Flett. (Tundra Books, Amber Green)

On the Trapline, a picture book written by Swampy Cree writer David A. Robertson and illustrated by Cree Métis artist Julie Flett, won the $50,000 TD Canadian Children's Literature Award at the Canadian Centre for Children's Book Centre Awards on Sept, 29.

The award recognizes the best Canadian book for readers up to age 12 in any genre and is the biggest of its kind in the country. 

On the Trapline tells the story of a young boy who flies north with his Moshom — his grandfather — to the trapline his family used when his grandpa was growing up. The boy imagines what life was like then and how it's both different and similar to his life now. 

"On the Trapline is a remarkable achievement that brings together the work of two brilliant Canadian talents to create not simply an appealing tale, but a work of art," the jury said in a press release.

On the Trapline also won the 2021 Governor General's Literary Award for young people's literature — illustrated books.

Flett won the same award in 2020 for her picture book Birdsong, which she both wrote and illustrated.

Robertson has published more than 20 books across a variety of genres including novels, children's books and memoir. His most recent books are the novel The Theory of Crows, the YA series The Misewa Saga and the memoir Black Water. The Winnipeg-based writer also won the 2021 Freedom to Read Award.

Flett has illustrated several picture books including Richard Van Camp's Little You and We Sang You Homeand Monique Gray Smith's My Heart Fills with Happiness

LISTEN | David A. Robertson discusses On the Trapline with Shelagh Rogers:

David Robertson talks to Shelagh Rogers about his new kids book, On The Trapline.

The Canadian Centre for Children's Book Centre gives out eight awards for Canadian Children's Books. The total prize purse for 2022 was $116,000. The awards ceremony was held as part of the 2022 Toronto International Festival of Authors programming.

YA fantasy writer Xiran Jay Zhao won two of the awards for their debut novel Iron Widow: the $5,000 Amy Mathers Teen Book Award and the $5,000 Arlene Barlin Award for Science Fiction and Fantasy. This year marked the first time the Arlene Barlin Award for Science Fiction and Fantasy was given out.

Iron Widow is set in the world of Huaxia where boys pair up with girls to operate transforming robots named Chrysalises, a teen girl named Zetian offers herself up as a concubine-pilot and takes on the mantle of an Iron Widow. 

The other new award given out was the $3,500 David Booth Children's and Youth Poetry Award, which recognizes poetry written for children and young adults. The winner was author Sheree Fitch and illustrator Carolyn Fisher, for their picture book Summer Feet.

Summer Feet is a tongue-twisting picture book for ages four to eight that celebrates all the things summer has to offer, including barefoot days, bonfires and dances in the rain. 

Fitch is the author of several children's books, including Mabel Murple, and young adult novels, like The Gravesavers. She received the Vicky Metcalf Award for Literature for Young People in 2000. While Fitch is known for her work in children's literature, she has also authored poetry books, including the 1993 collection In This House Are Many Women, and novels for adults, including Kiss the Joy as it Flies.

Fisher has illustrated seven books, also authoring two of them. Her credits include illustrating Weeds Find a WayGood Night, World and now Summer Feet.

Christian Allaire is a Vogue fashion and style writer and author of The Power of Style. (Sara Lecappelain)

Ojibway writer Christian Allaire took home the $10,000 Norma Fleck Award for Canadian Children's Non‐Fiction for his nonfiction book The Power of Style.

The Power of Style highlights the need for diversity and representation in fashion — and examines topics such as cosplay, make-up, hijabs and hair to show the intersection of style, culture and social justice over the years.

Allaire won Canada Reads 2022, when he championed the novel Five Little Indians by Michelle Good. Allaire is a Vogue writer from Nipissing First Nation. The Power of Style is his first book.

LISTEN | Christian Allaire discusses the power of personal style:

When Christian Allaire was growing up on the Nipissing First Nation in Ontario, he didn’t see himself or his Indigenous culture represented in the fashion magazines and television shows that inspired him. Now, Allaire is Vogue’s fashion and style writer, and he’s on a mission to change the conversation about BIPOC representation through his work. He spoke with Tom Power about his new book, The Power of Style: How Fashion and Beauty Are Being Used to Reclaim Cultures.

Julie Morstad's Time is a Flower won the $20,000 Marilyn Baillie Picture Book Award. Time is a Flower is a picture book for ages three to seven that playfully explores the nature of time. 

Morstad is an artist based in Vancouver. Her other books include TodayHow To and This is Sadie, written by Sara O'Leary.

Leslie Gentile's middle-grade novel Elvis, Me, and the Lemonade Stand Summer won the $5,000 Jean Little First-Novel Award.Elvis, Me, and the Lemonade Stand Summer is set in the 1970s and is about Truly Bateman, a young girl who believes that Elvis Presley is still alive and lives next door on her reserve on Vancouver Island. 

Gentile is an author and singer-songwriter based on Vancouver Island.

Second Chances by Harriet Zaidman won the $5,000 Geoffrey Bilson Award for Historical Fiction for Young People. Second Chances is set in the 1950s, during the worst polio outbreak in Winnipeg history. Thirteen-year-old Dale must confront his father when he learns his father rejected the polio vaccine and his younger brother contracts a severe case of the disease.

Zaidman is an author and former teacher librarian from Winnipeg.

The French-language awards will be given out on Nov, 16, 2022. Facilitated by Communication-Jeunesse, the French awards are worth $62,500.

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