The finalists for the 2018 Governor General's Literary Award for young people's literature — illustrated books

The 2018 Governor General's Literary Awards will be awarded to books in seven English-language categories, each featuring five finalists. The winners will be announced on Oct. 30, 2018.
The winners of the 2018 Governor General's Literary Awards will be announced on Oct. 30, 2018. (Canada Council for the Arts/CBC)

Here are the finalists for the 2018 Governor General's Literary Award for young people's literature — illustrated books.

The Governor General's Literary Awards are one of Canada's oldest and most prestigious prizes. The awards, administered by the Canada Council for the Arts, are given in seven English-language categories: fictionnonfictionpoetryyoung people's literature — text, young people's literature — illustration, drama and translation. Seven French-language awards are also given out in the same categories.

Each winner receives $25,000. The winners will be announced on Oct. 30, 2018.

You can see the finalists in all seven categories here.

Africville by Shauntay Grant, illustrated by Eva Campbell

Africville is a picture book written by Shauntay Grant (top) and illustrated by Eva Campbell. (Groundwood,, Brian Geary)

Shauntay Grant and Eva Campbell tell the story of Africville through the eyes of a young girl visiting for the annual Africville Reunion/Festival. She brings her family's stories to life by imagining brightly painted houses on the hillside and visiting the sundial in the park where her great-grandmother's name is carved. Africville was home to a vibrant Black community in Halifax, N.S. for more than 150 years, but never received basic city services and was demolished in the 1960s.

Ocean Meets Sky by Eric Fan & Terry Fan

Eric Fan (left) and Terry Fan are award-winning illustrators based in Toronto. (

In Ocean Meets Sky — the follow-up to their stunningly illustrated The Night Gardener Terry Fan and Eric Fan tell the story of a young boy named Finn who sets out on an adventure to find the mythical place where the ocean meets the sky. 

Go Show the World by Wab Kinew, illustrated by Joe Morse

Go Show the World is a children's book written by Wab Kinew and illustrated by Joe Morse. (Courtesy of Penguin Random House)

This rap-song-turned-picture-book by politician Wab Kinew and Joe Morse celebrates Indigenous leaders in the U.S. and Canada. Some of the figures mentioned include Crazy Horse, Net-no-kwa, former NASA astronaut John Herrington and Montreal Canadiens goalie Carey Price.

They Say Blue by Jillian Tamaki

They Say Blue is Jillian Tamaki's first picture book. (Groundwood, Reynard Li)

A vibrant picture book by Jillian TamakiThey Say Blue is an exploration of colour told from the perspective of a curious and inquisitive little girl. The beautiful book explores questions like how can water be blue and black and clear at the same time? In 2014, Tamaki won a Governor General's Literary Award for her work illustrating the graphic novel This One Summer, which was written by her cousin, Mariko Tamaki

At the Pond by Werner Zimmermann

At the Pond is a picture book by Werner Zimmermann. (

Werner Zimmermann explores the natural wonders of a pond in this picture book. Gold fish swim, water lilies blossom, a heron flies and frogs and water striders make their way across the water in Zimmermann's stunningly painted illustrations.


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