The finalists for the 2021 Governor General's Literary Award for young people's literature — illustrated books

The $25,000 prizes recognize the best Canadian books of the year. The winners will be announced on Nov. 17, 2021.

The $25,000 prizes recognize the best Canadian books of the year

The finalists for the 2021 Governor General's Literary Award for Young people's literature — illustrated books. (Canada Council for the Arts/CBC)

Here are the finalists for the 2021 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 literary prizes. 

The prizes, administered by the Canada Council for the Arts, are awarded 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 will receive $25,000. The winners will be announced on Nov. 17, 2021.

 The young people's literature — illustrated books category was assessed by Kyrsten Brooker and Catherine Hernandez.

You can see the finalists in all seven categories here.

Get to know the young people's literature — illustrated books finalists below.

Mii maanda ezhi-gkendmaanh / This Is How I Know by Brittany Luby, illustrated by Joshua Mangeshig Pawis-Steckley, translated by Alvin Ted Corbiere & Alan Corbiere

This Is How I Know is a picture book by Brittany Luby (left) and Joshua Mangeshig Pawis-Steckley. (Groundwood Books)

This Is How I Know is a vibrant story poem about an Anishinaabe child, her grandmother and a look at the wonders and beauty of the natural world.

This Is How I Know is for ages 3 to 7.

Brittany Luby is an academic and children's book author. She is the great-granddaughter of Chief Kawitaskung, an Anishinaabe leader who signed the North-West Angle Treaty of 1873. 

Joshua Mangeshig Pawis-Steckley is an Ojibway multidisciplinary artist from Ontario, whose family is from Wasauksing First Nation.

Alvin Ted Corbiere and Alan Corbiere are Anishinaabe from M'Chigeeng First Nation. The father and son duo translated the Anishinaabemowin text for the book.

On the Trapline by David A. Robertson, illustrated by Julie Flett

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

David A. Robertson and Julie Flett of award-winning picture book When We Were Alone fame team up again for On the Trapline. The picture book is a celebration of Indigenous culture and fathers and grandfathers as it tells the generational story of a boy and his grandfather.

On the Trapline is for ages 4 to 8.

Robertson is an author and graphic novelist based in Winnipeg. The multi-talented writer of Swampy Cree heritage has published 25 books across a variety of genres, including the graphic novels Will I See? and Sugar Falls, a Governor General's Literary Award-winning picture book called When We Were Aloneillustrated by Julie Flett, and the YA book Strangers.

Flett is a Cree Métis author, illustrator and artist. Flett has illustrated several picture books including Little YouMy Heart Fills with HappinessWe Sang You Home and BirdsongBirdsong was a finalist for the 2019 Governor General's Literary Award for young people's literature — illustration.

Out into the Big Wide Lake by Paul Harbridge and Josée Bisaillon

Out into the Big Wide Lake is a picture book by Paul Harbridge, left, and Josée Bisaillon. (Tundra Books)

Out into the Big Wide Lake is a picture book about love, independence and empowerment. It's about a young girl with Down syndrome who learns more about confidence, facing fears and enjoying nature after a trip to her grandparents who live in a lakeside home. 

Out into the BigWide Lake is for ages 4 to 8.

Paul Harbridge is a Toronto-based author and illustrator originally from Muskoka. He is also the author of the picture book When The Moon Comes, which was was named a finalist for the Governor General's Literary Award for Young people's literature — illustrated books and the 2018 TD Canadian Children's Literature Award and it won the Marilyn Baillie Picture Book Award at the 2018 award ceremony. 

Josée Bisaillon is a children's book writer and illustrator of more than 30 books. She's been nominated for the Governor General's Literary Award for young people's literature — illustration three times before: in 2019 for Le pelleteur de nuages, in 2010 for Le funambule and in 2008 for The Emperor's Second Hand Clothes. Some of her other books include Leap!, written by JonArno Lawson, and the award-winning book The Snow Knows, written by Jennifer McGrath. Bisaillon lives with her family just outside of Montreal.

The Library Bus by Bahram Rahman, illustrated by Gabrielle Grimard

The Library Bus is a picture book by Bahram Rahman, top right, illustrated by Gabrielle Grimard, bottom right. (Pajama Press)

The Library Bus is a picture book that documents and highlights the plight of children in war torn countries across the world. It's the story of a girl named Pari. It's her first day as Mama's library helper on the library bus — a travelling vehicle with no seats but chairs, tables and shelves of books for people to read. Pari is excited to hand out notebooks and pencils at the villages when the bus visits the refugee camp, but a bit nervous as well. The Library Bus is about the power of language, literacy and the strength of women and girls wanting a better future.

The Library Bus is for ages 5 to 8.

Bahram Rahman is an Ontario-based author and activist who was born in Kabul and grew up during the civil war and the Taliban regime. Rahman came to Canada as a refugee in 2012 and wrote The Library Bus, his debut picture book, to highlight the barriers to education faced by millions of children across the world. 

Gabrielle Grimard is an author and illustrator from Quebec. She wrote and illustrated the picture books Lila and the Crow and Nutcracker Night and illustrated the books Stolen Words by Melanie Florence and The Magic Boat by Kit Pearson and Katherine Farris.

The Wind and the Trees by Todd Stewart

The Wind and the Trees is a picture book by Todd Stewart. (Owlkids)

The Wind and the Trees is a picture book about the wonders of nature. It's about a small pine seedling who gains wisdom and knowledge thanks to a nearby tree. As the tiny pine tree grows, the older tree speaks about the heavy wind that blows through the forest. The young tree learns about nature, wisdom and loss.

The Wind and the Trees is for ages 4 to 8.

Todd Stewart is a Montreal illustrator, children's book author and screen printer. The Wind and the Trees is his first picture book.

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