Children's Picture Book Finalists for the Governor General’s Literary Awards

October 9, 2015 | Sharanja T.

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Each year, the Governor General’s Literary Awards (the GGs) honour the best in Canadian literature. The finalists for the children's illustration category were released earlier this week. Copies of these books can be borrowed from the library. 

Here are the five finalists from the children's illustration category:  

A Cat Named Tim and Other StorieA Cat Named Tim and Other Stories by John Martz.

This collection of comics features different characters and their adventures from Tim's world. From 

a cat painting on the ceiling to a happy pig couple waiting months for the bus, there's a lot of see and explore.


This book is illustrated wonderfully in John's signature cartoon-character style. Lucky for us, John Martz is our current Illustrator-in-Residence. During his residency, John will be presenting workshops, art activities and undertaking portfolio reviews for adults, teens and children at our Northern District Branch


Bug in a vacuumBug in a Vacuum by Mélanie Watt. This is a wonderful picture book that explores the five stages of grief through the perspective of a bug who unfortunately gets sucked up by a vacuum. The illustrations are big, bold and beautiful.
Jack, the king of ashesJack, the King of Ashes by Andy Jones, illustrated by Darka Erdelji. This is a story about Jack, who sets out on an adventure that includes many things - including sneaky robbers, a search for a princess and a royal wedding. This book is filled with colourful and whimsical illustrations. A more detailed review can be found here.
Sidewalk FlowersSidewalk Flowers by JonArno Lawson, illustrated by Sydney Smith. This is an absolutely beautiful illustrated wordless picture book about the story of a little girl who collects wildflowers, while her father pays little attention. It is about the importance of small things, small gestures, and how they can transform the ordinary. When you read this book, the pictures give you the feeling of wanting to go and pick flowers yourself.
We're very excited that author JonArno Lawson and illustrator Sydney Smith will be visiting North York Central Library next month to discuss their book Sidewalk Flowers. Program details can be found hereJonArno Lawson is also one of authors part of the Sophie's Studio Writing Workshops. JonArno will be running workshops at the Thorncliffe branch.
The good little bookThe Good Little Book by Kyo Maclear, illustrated by Marion Arbona. As a librarian, I have a soft spot for books about the impact of books. I tend to love them a bit more. In this book, a little boy starts reading with great reluctance, but slowly gets carried away with the story and begins to love his book. His book soon becomes a good friend, until one day, it is lost. This is a story that warms your heart and makes you want to hold your books a little tighter.
With such great stories in the running, it's hard to tell which book will be chosen. Let's wait and see. The finalists for other categories, including children's text category can be viewed here (PDF). The winner will be announced on October 28.
Which book would be your choice?