Annal: 2012 Governor General's Literary Award for Children's Literature – Illustration

Results of the Governor General's Literary Award in the year 2012.

Book:Virginia Wolf (Kyo Maclear)

Virginia Wolf

Kyo Maclear, Isabelle Arsenault

Vanessa’s sister, Virginia, is in a “wolfish” mood—growling, howling and acting very strange. It’s a funk so fierce, the whole household feels topsy-turvy. Vanessa tries everything she can think of to cheer her up, but nothing seems to work. Then Virginia tells Vanessa about an imaginary, perfect place called Bloomsberry. Armed with an idea, Vanessa begins to paint Bloomsberry on the bedroom walls, transforming them into a beautiful garden complete with a ladder and swing “so that what was down could climb up.” Before long, Virginia, too, has picked up a brush and undergoes a surprising transformation of her own. Loosely based on the relationship between author Virginia Woolf and her sister, painter Vanessa Bell, Virginia Wolf is an uplifting story for readers of all ages.

Book:Big City Bees

Big City Bees

Maggie de Vries, Renné Benoit

For city kids like Sophie and Matthew, growing pumpkins is a big thrill. But they’re worried. They know they need bees to make their pumpkins grow, but will the bees find their garden? Are there even bees in the city?

So one day, Grandpa and the children set out to look for bees. They arrive downtown just in time to see something amazing: a buzzing ball of bees hovers from the branch of a nearby tree. And high on the terrace of a towering hotel are four brightly coloured beehives!

For Matthew and Sophie, this is the beginning of an exciting adventure. All summer they tend their plants, eagerly watching as their seeds sprout and turn into shoots, then vines and leaves. But they’re still worried. Will the bees come when they’re needed?

Finally, the golden pumpkin flowers appear among the leaves. The female flowers will be open for just one day, and Matthew and Sophie arrive at the garden early in the morning to wait and watch. Will the bees arrive in time to pollinate the plants?

Book:House Held Up by Trees

House Held Up by Trees

Ted Kooser, Jon Klassen

From Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Ted Kooser and rising talent Jon Klassen comes a poignant tale of loss, change, and nature’s quiet triumph.

When the house was new, not a single tree remained on its perfect lawn to give shade from the sun. The children in the house trailed the scent of wild trees to neighboring lots, where thick bushes offered up secret places to play. When the children grew up and moved away, their father, alone in the house, continued his battle against blowing seeds, plucking out sprouting trees. Until one day the father, too, moved away, and as the empty house began its decline, the trees began their approach. At once wistful and exhilarating, this lovely, lyrical story evokes the inexorable passage of time—and the awe-inspiring power of nature to lift us up.

Book:In the Bag! Margaret Knight Wraps it Up

In the Bag!: Margaret Knight Wraps it Up

Monica Kulling, David Parkins

Tundra’s Great Idea Series is comprised of biographies of inventors for early readers. The third book in the series introduces the fascinating Margaret Knight. Known as Mattie, she was different from most American girls living in 1850. She loved to make things with wood and made the best kites and sleds in town. Her father died when she was only three, and by the time she was twelve, she was working at the local cotton mill alongside her two older brothers. One day, she saw a worker get injured by a shuttle that had come loose from the giant loom, and the accident inspired her to invent a stop-motion device. It was the first of her many inventions.

Margaret Knight devoted her life to inventing, and is best known for the clever, practical, paper bag. When she died in 1914, she had ninety inventions to her name and over twenty patents, astounding accomplishments for a woman of her day. Monica Kulling’s easy-to-read text, peppered with lots of dialogue, brings an amazing, inspiring woman to life.

Book:Picture a Tree

Picture a Tree

Barbara Reid

“Picture a tree—what do YOU see? Picture a tree, from every season, and from every angle. These wondrous beings give shade and shelter. Now look again. Look closer. The possibilities are endless.”

In this gorgeous new picture book, Barbara Reid brings her vision, her craft, and her signature Plasticine artwork to the subject of trees. Each page is a celebration, and you will never look at trees in quite the same way again.

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