Annal: 2013 Governor General's Literary Award for Children's Literature – Illustration

Results of the Governor General's Literary Award in the year 2013.

Book:Northwest Passage (Stan Rogers)

Northwest Passage

Stan Rogers, Matt James

For hundreds of years explorers attempted to find the Northwest Passage—a route through the islands of Canada’s north to the Pacific Ocean and Asia. Others attempted to find a land route. Many hundreds of men perished in the attempt until finally, in 1906, Roald Amundsen completed the voyage by ship. Today, global warming has brought the interest in the passage back to a fever pitch as nations contend with each other over its control and future uses.

The historic search inspired Canadian folk musician Stan Rogers to write “Northwest Passage,” a song that has become a widely known favorite since its 1981 release. It describes Stan’s own journey overland as he contemplates the arduous journeys of some of the explorers, including Kelsey, Mackenzie, Thompson and Franklin. The song is moving and haunting, a paean to the spirit of the explorers and adventure, and to the beauty of the vast land and icy seas. …[more]

Book:The Dark (Lemony Snicket)

The Dark

Lemony Snicket, Jon Klassen

Lazlo is afraid of the dark. It hides in closets and sometimes sits behind the shower curtain, but mostly it lives in the basement. One night, when Lazlo’s nightlight burns out, the dark comes to visit him in his room. “Lazlo,” the Dark says. “I want to show you something.” And so Lazlo descends the basement stairs to face his fears and discover a few comforting facts about the mysterious presence with whom all children must learn to live.

Beautifully rendered with sympathy and wit, this first collaboration between Snicket and Klassen offers a fresh take on a universal childhood experience.

Book:How To (Julie Morstad)

How To

Julie Morstad

This imaginative ‘how to’ book explores whimsical ways of doing a host of different tasks, including ‘how to wonder’,  ‘how to see the breeze’, and ‘how to be brave’.  With text and images by award-winning illustrator Julie Morstad, this book will be beloved by all ages. How to read this book? That is up to you!

Book:Miss Mousie's Blind Date

Miss Mousie's Blind Date

Tim Beiser, Rachel Berman

A charming story about self-acceptance, and love lost and found, told through the eyes of a dear little mouse, and her possibly-not-so-handsome suitor, Mole. Charmingly illustrated, cleverly told, the message is timeless, and the illustrations endearing.

Book:Oy, Feh, So?

Oy, Feh, So?

Cary Fagan, Gary Clement

Every Sunday Aunt Essy, Aunt Chanah, and Uncle Sam drive up in the old Lincoln for the afternoon. They plop themselves down in the living room, and no matter what anyone says their response is always the same—“Oy,” “Feh,” “So?” One afternoon the three children try to provoke a different reaction. They fake a robbery, produce a terrifying child-eating dragon, and pretend to be kidnapped by space invaders, but their aunts and uncle remain unimpressed. In exasperation the children take to mocking them, and soon they are all laughing so hard they’re practically crying.

Cary Fagan’s characteristically dry humor and Gary Clement’s witty illustrations perfectly depict a family with loveable quirks in this story that is sure to become a favorite.

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