Shortlist announced for 2017 Elizabeth Mrazik-Cleaver Canadian Picture Book Award

IBBY Canada is pleased to announce the shortlist for the 2017 Elizabeth Mrazik-Cleaver Picture Book Award.

The winner and honour books will be announced online on Tuesday, April 10, at 10:00 a.m.

The jury reviewed over 135 books, and this high number of submissions is a testament to the quality and artistry of Canadian picture books published in 2017. For their originality, impressive synthesis between art and text, and skilful portrayal of children’s experiences, we would like to recognize these five illustrators on the shortlist.

Dépareillés, illustrated by Geneviève Després and written by Marie-Francine Hébert (Les editions de la Bagnole, 2017)

Després has a particular talent for strong double-page spreads, contrasting the little girls’ emotions by showing Rose under a half-sunny, half-cloudy sky, and Blanche with a great sorrow in her heart under a sinister sky.

Stolen Words, illustrated by Gabrielle Grimard and written by Melanie Florence (Second Story Press, 2017)

With her signature soft, sensitive illustrations, Gabrielle Grimard portrays the grandfather and the little girl’s experiences through many finely illustrated emotions: joy, incomprehension, gentleness, sadness and redemption.

When the Moon Comes, illustrated by Matt James and written by Paul Harbridge (Tundra Books, 2017)

James’s illustrations are magnificent, an excellent marriage between bright and dark colours. He evocatively captures the sense of waiting for the perfect moment when the ice will finally be ready for that first hockey match on the pond.

A Pattern for Pepper, written and illustrated by Julie Kraulis (Tundra Books, 2017)

What an original book. … Kraulis gently guides us in a fictional story that verges on documentary.

Town Is by the Sea, illustrated by Sydney Smith and written by Joanne Schwartz (Groundwood Books, 2017)

Smith seduces us from the first spread … Throughout the picture book, he juxtaposes bright and dark pages to reveal the contrast between life outside and inside of the mine.

The jury for the Elizabeth Mrazik-Cleaver Canadian Picture Book Award was comprised of jury chair Lyne Rajotte, school librarian and board member for the Corporation of Professional Librarians of Quebec; Camilia Kahrizi, former Marketing and Website Coordinator for the Canadian Children’s Book Centre; and Carol-Ann Hoyte, school librarian, children’s poet and editor.

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.

More information is available here.