|Our host for the evening, Garvia Bailey of CBC radio|
By Lena Coakley
There was much excitement in the Canadian children’s book community Wednesday night as attendees of the Canadian Children’s Book Centre’s annual gala gathered at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Toronto to hear the announcement of six prestigious children’s book awards, including Canada’s most lucrative, The TD Children’s Literature Award, and the first-ever Monica Hughes Award for Science Fiction and Fantasy.
In one of the evening’s two big surprises, Anna Porter, board member of the Canada Council for the Arts, took the podium to award one of Queen Elizabeth’s prestigious Diamond Jubilee Medals to children’s author Marilyn Baillie “for her commitment to children’s literacy, for her award winning picture books, for her sponsorship of the children’s book award in her name, and for her passionate support of the children’s book community.”
|TD Canadian Children’s Book Award winner, Trilby Kent with TD Canada Trust President & CEO, Tim Hockey|
In another surprise, Tim Hockey, President & CEO of TD Canada Trust revealed during the ceremony that the TD Canadian Children’s Literature Award will be increasing its cash award from $25,000 to $30,000, making it the largest cash prize for a children’s literature award in Canada.
The winners were:
TD Canadian Children’s Literature Award ($30,000)
Marilyn Baillie Picture Book Award ($20,000)
Norma Fleck Award for Canadian Children’s Nonfiction
Geoffrey Bilson Award for Historical Fiction for Young People ($5,000)
John Spray Mystery Award ($5,000)
Monica Hughes Award for Science Fiction and Fantasy ($5,000)
Also honoured was the book chosen for the TD Grade One Book Giveaway, I’ve Lost My Cat by Philippe Béha. By the end of this month, this book will have been given free to over half a million Canadian children.
was born in Milford, Connecticut and grew up on Long Island. In high
school, creative writing was the only class she ever failed (nothing was
ever good enough to hand in!), but, undeterred, she went on to study
writing at Sarah Lawrence College.
She became interested in young adult literature when she moved to Toronto, Canada, and began working for CANSCAIP, the Canadian Society of Children’s Authors, Illustrators and Performers, where she eventually became the Administrative Director. She is now a full-time writer living in Toronto.