Sunday, April 25, 2010


Last night was the BC Book Prize gala. It was awesome, and the food was sooo good, but the best thing of all was being in a huge room full of people where everyone there loves books as much as you do.

I was honored to be asked to announce one of the awards. Several people asked me to post my comments. Here they are.

I'm honored to have been asked to present the Christie Harris Illustrated Children’s Literature Prize, supported by Kate Walker & Co. and awarded to author & Illustrator of picture books, picture book stories, illustrated non-fiction books. This is a relatively recent prize, and is particularly important because it divides the awards into two categories whereas previously there was only one; meaning books for babies were weighed against books for teens. Harris, considered the matriarch of Canadian Children's Literature in English, knew how important stories were for children. In her 94 years she wrote 20 books for young people & I am fortunate to have been able to call her a friend. She often began her stories with "I bide the time..."

One of the best ways to support books for children is to buy a book for a child. If you don't have children in your life, you can always donate a book to a school in your community.

Here are the nominees in the category Of illustrated books for children.

Bubble Homes and Fish Farts by Fiona Bayrock, illustrated by Carolyn Conahan, published by Charlesbridge is a creative, innovative and entertaining take on thematic science for young children supported by illustrations that illuminate and compliment the text. Read it for a whole new take on gas.

Ella’s Umbrellas 
by Jennifer Lloyd, illustrated by Ashley Spires and published by Simply Read Books is delightful and the perfect picture book to cheer up young readers on a drizzly day with a rhythmic text, bright illustrations and a message that speaks of good turns rewarded.

Maggie Can’t Wait by Frieda Wishinsky, illustrated by our own Dean Griffiths from here on The Island and published by Fitzhenry & Whiteside is a child centric story built around the conflicting emotions children sometimes experience when a new sibling arrives. The illustrations admirably capture the emotional range of the characters in a way that make them jump off the page.

On My Walk 
by Kari-Lynn Winters, illustrated by Christina Leist
 and published by Tradewind Books is a celebration of sounds heard by a boy, his mom and his dog on a walk. It’s told with onomatopoeic flare with the story complimented and extended by the illustrations.

Vanishing Habitats by Robert Bateman with Nancy Kovacs, illustrated by Robert Bateman and published by Scholastic Canada / Madison Press is a hopeful, engaging environmental science book for the young that does not sugarcoat the extent or significance of habitat loss. It is visually stunning, making it all the more powerful in it's message.

...and the winner is Maggie Can't Wait by Frieda Wishinski and Dean Griffins. Frieda was unable to attend but Dean is here to accept.

I only wish I could share Dean's acceptance speech here with you. It was very very moving.

1 comment:

Kari-Lynn said...

Thanks Sheryl.
Great speech.
All the best to you.