IBBY Canada (International Board on Books for Young People, Canadian section) is pleased to announce that Julie Morstad has won the 2018 Elizabeth Mrazik-Cleaver Picture Book Award for Bloom, written by Kyo Maclear, published by Tundra Books. The winner receives $1,000. The jury also selected two honour books from the list of ten finalists: Africville, illustrated by Eva Campbell and written by Shauntay Grant; and Deep Underwater, written and illustrated by Irene Luxbacher.
Julie Morstad is an acclaimed illustrator and author who lives with her family in Vancouver, BC. She has written and illustrated many children’s books including Today, How To and The Wayside. Her beautiful illustrations can be found in When Green Becomes Tomatoes, written by Julie Fogliano; Julia, Child, written by Kyo Maclear; the critically acclaimed Swan: The Life and Dance of Anna Pavlova, written by Laurel Snyder; and When I Was Small and This Is Sadie, both written by Sara O’Leary.
In selecting Bloom as the winner, the jury commented:
Julie Morstad presents a riot of colour in Bloom, with flowers and fashion leaping from the page and bringing designer Elsa Schiaparelli and her talents to life. Morstad’s illustrations are as refined and creative as the subject of her book, and beautifully convey the message of empowerment from Kyo Maclear’s text. A dazzling and elegant work that is sure to enchant the imagination of young readers.
About the two honour books, the jury said:
Africville, illustrated by Eva Campbell and written by Shauntay Grant (Groundwood Books)
Eva Campbell brings Africville to life using vibrant colours and immersive compositions. Her rich oil and pastel illustrations create a warm and vivid world, inviting readers to become part of this historic community and experience it fully.
Deep Underwater, written and illustrated by Irene Luxbacher (Groundwood Books)
Irene Luxbacher presents a kaleidoscope of colours, objects, shifting currents and patterns, creating an ocean filled with mystery, magic and fantastical creatures. Her wondrous illustrations will both soothe and fascinate readers.
The jury for the 2018 Elizabeth Mrazik-Cleaver Canadian Picture Book Award was comprised of jury chair Camilia Kahrizi, former Marketing and Website Coordinator for the Canadian Children’s Book Centre; Carol-Ann Hoyte, school librarian, children’s poet and editor; and Merle Harris, library technician, author, storyteller and literacy advocate.
IBBY Canada’s Elizabeth Mrazik-Cleaver Picture Book Award, established in 1985, honours one of Canada’s pre-eminent book illustrators. Elizabeth Mrazik-Cleaver left funds in her will to annually recognize outstanding artistic talent in Canadian picture books; the winner receives $1,000.
IBBY, the International Board on Books for Young People (www.ibby.org), was founded in 1953. It is a network of organizations in 79 countries committed to bringing books and children together. IBBY Canada, started in 1980 (www.ibby-canada.org), is a volunteer organization promoting quality Canadian children’s literature nationally and internationally.
— Emma Sakamoto
Promotions Officer, IBBY Canada