The finalists for the 2020 Governor General's Literary Award for young people's literature — illustrated books
Here are the finalists for the 2020 Governor General's Literary Award for young people's literature — illustration.
The Governor General's Literary Awards are one of Canada's oldest and most prestigious literary prizes.
The awards, administered by the Canada Council for the Arts, are given in seven English-language categories: fiction, nonfiction, poetry, young 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 will receive $25,000. The winners will be announced on June 1, 2021.
The young people's literature — illustrated books category was assessed by Catherine Austen, Cary Fagan and Shenaaz Nanji.
Get to know the young people's literature — illustration finalists below.
I Talk Like a River is a picture book about a young boy who has trouble communicating and is feeling lost and alone. His father takes him for a walk by the river, where he helps him find his voice.
I Talk Like a River is for ages 4-8.
Jordan Scott is a poet from Comox Valley, B.C. His books include Slit, Blert, Decomp, which was co-authored by Stephen Collis, and Night & Ox. Scott was awarded the 2018 Latner Writers' Trust Poetry Prize, which is given annually to a mid-career poet. I Talk Like a River is his first children's book.
Sydney Smith is an illustrator from Nova Scotia. The books he has illustrated include Sidewalk Flowers by JonArno Lawson and Town is by the Sea, written by Joanne Schwartz. He wrote and illustrated the picture book Small in the City, which won the 2019 Governor General's Literary Award for young people's literature — illustration.
Our Little Kitchen is a picture book that features a neighbourhood with colourful characters who come together in the kitchen to share a meal. Our Little Kitchen is a celebration of food, community and laughter.
Our Little Kitchen is for ages 4-8.
Jillian Tamaki is an award-winning illustrator. In 2014, Tamaki received the Governor General's Literary Award for her work in This One Summer, written by her cousin and graphic novelist Mariko Tamaki. They also collaborated on Skim. Her other books include the comics SuperMutant Magic Academy and Boundless and the picture book They Say Blue.
Swift Fox All Along is a picture book about a young girl connecting with her Mi'kmaq family, culture and identity. When Swift Fox is first introduced to her family, she feels like she doesn't belong. But she soon realizes she's not alone in feeling like an outsider and learns to embrace her identity.
Swift Fox All Along is for ages 4-7.
Rebecca Thomas is a Mi'kmaw writer living in Nova Scotia. She was the Halifax poet laureate from 2016 to 2018. She is also the author of the children's book I'm Finding My Talk, which is a poem responding to the iconic Rita Joe poem I Lost My Talk and the poetry collection I place you into the fire.
Maya McKibbin is a two-spirited Ojibwe, Yoeme and Irish illustrator and filmmaker. Swift Fox All Along is her first picture book.
The Barnabus Project features a secret underground lab, genetically engineered creatures and a story about freedom. Barnabus and his friends live in this lab but they are deemed imperfect and might never see the outside world. But Barnabus yearns to be free and decides that it's time for he and his imperfect friends to make the perfect escape.
The Barnabus Project is for ages 5-9.
Eric Fan and Terry Fan are brothers and frequent collaborators on children's books. Their books include The Night Gardener and Ocean Meets Sky. They also illustrated The Darkest Dark by Chris Hadfield.
Devin Fan is an artist, poet and youth worker. The Barnabus Project is his first children's book and marks the first time all three brothers have written and illustrated a picture book together.
In Weekend Dad, Naseem Hrab writes and Frank Viva illustrates what happens when parents separate and how children adapt to having two homes.
Weekend Dad is for ages 3-7.
Hrab is a writer and storyteller from Toronto. She is the author of Ira Crumb Makes a Pretty Good Friend and Ira Crumb Feels the Feelings.
Viva is an illustrator from Toronto. He is also the author of numerous children's books, including Sea Change, Outstanding in the Rain and Young Frank, Architect.