Governor General's Literary Awards

1998 Nominees: Children's Literature Categories

The Children's Literature Web Guide

The Canada Council announced its nominees for the annual Governor General's literary awards in these and other (adult) categories on Wednesday October 20, 1998

The winners were announced on Tuesday, 17 November 1998.

*Canada Council Press Release
*Complete List of Winners

English Language Children's Literature -- Text:

*Gayle Friesen, Janey's Girl (Kids Can Press; distributed by University of Toronto Press) (ISBN 1-55074-461-5 - bound; ISBN 1-55074-463-1 - paperback)

Claire and her mother Jane travel to a farm where Jane grew up, but Claire has never been to a place where the family truths lie - truths that Claire learns and her mother must finally face. Friesen has written a beautiful story of love and sacrifice where redemption is afforded when the piano music returns.

*Julie Johnston, The Only Outcast (Tundra Books; distributed by Canbook) (ISBN 0-88776-441-X)

The Only Outcast is a sensitively evoked coming-of-age story set during the summer of 1904. Julie Johnston's exquisite prose captures the flavour of a golden summer when a young man balances on the cusp of manhood.

*Janet Lunn, The Hollow Tree (Alfred A. Knopf Canada; distributed by Random House of Canada) (ISBN 0-394-28074-1)

Phoebe Olcott, the heroine of The Hollow Tree, is a fifteen-year-old girl caught up in the American Revolutionary War. In 1777 she sets off on a harrowing journey through the wilderness to deliver a message to the British in Canada. The author's crystal-clear language captures the period speech and setting perfectly.

*Janet McNaughton, Make or Break Spring (Tuckamore Books/Creative Book Publishing; distributed by H.H.Marshall Limited, General Distribution Services) (ISBN 1-895387-93-0)

Newfoundland in the spring of 1945. Evelyn McCallum competes for a scholarship named for her father while clinging to the hope that he may yet return safely from the war. Make or Break Spring is a compelling, well-crafted tale of forgiveness and change; of the need to move on and forge new relationships.

*Sarah Withrow, Bat Summer (Groundwood Books/Douglas & McIntyre; distributed by University of Toronto Press) (ISBN 0-88899-351-X - bound; ISBN 0-88899-352-8 - paperback)

Terence is bored with his conventional life until he meets Lucy, an extraordinary girl who claims she is a bat. Her increasingly dangerous fantasy transforms them both. A remarkable first novel about the recognition of the shadowy forces in young peoples' lives.

English Language Children's Literature -- Illustration:

*Victor Bosson, The Fox's Kettle, text by Laura Langston (Orca Books Publishers; distributed by General Distribution Services) (ISBN 1-55143-130-0)

Victor Bosson's accomplished computer illustrations enhance this original tale. His sumptuous evocation of traditional Japanese art is enlivened with a whimsical touch.

*Harvey Chan, Music for the Tsar of the Sea, text by Celia Barker Lottridge (Groundwood Books/Douglas & McIntyre; distributed by University of Toronto Press) (ISBN 0-88899-328-5)

Harvey Chan's masterful use of colour and composition takes the reader to another time and place. His powerful interpretation of elemental forces creates a lasting impression.

*Zhong-Yang Huang, The Great Race, text by David Bouchard (Raincoast Books; distributed by the publisher) (ISBN 1-55192-090-5)

Zhong-Yang Huang's haunting images of a land before time began have a mythic quality. The race advances dramatically through a brilliant orchestration of light, landscape and character.

*Stéphane Jorisch, The Village of a Hundred Smiles and Other Stories, text by Barrie Baker (Annick Press; distributed by Firefly Books) (ISBN 1-55037-522-9 - bound; ISBN 1-55037-535-0 - paperback)

With soft colours and delicate lines, Stéphane Jorisch has brought a village to life. His skilful ability to capture gesture and humour extends the text and engages the reader.

*Kady MacDonald Denton, A Child's Treasury of Nursery Rhymes (Kids Can Press; distributed by University of Toronto Press) (ISBN 1-55074-554-9)

Children will be drawn into this lovingly rendered treasury and rewarded by Kady MacDonald Denton's quick wit and sly humour. Readers of all ages will be delighted by her fresh approach to these classic rhymes.

French Language Children's Literature -- Text:

*Angèle Delaunois, Variations sur un même «t'aime» (Éditions Héritage; distributed by les Messageries A.D.P.) (ISBN 2-7625-8782-4)

This collection of short stories captures our interest with varied themes, from passionate love to heartbreak to tenderness. The tone rings true, the writing is rich without being artificial. A moving work.

*Guy Dessureault, Lettre de Chine (Éditions Pierre Tisseyre; distributed by Diffusion du Livre Mirabel) (ISBN 2-89051-662-8)

In her travels between Quebec and China, between her adoptive mother and her biological mother, Catherine lives through the emotional intensity of rediscovery, tenderness and separation. This novel weaves plot, characters and style harmoniously and powerfully.

*Daniel Mativat, Terreur sur la Windigo (Éditions Pierre Tisseyre; distributed by Diffusion du Livre Mirabel) (ISBN 2-89051-668-7)

In this novel, fantasy is written into our culture, into the world of logging camps, legends of the forest and the winter. The dramatic tension builds inexorably, in a skilful combination of mystery and terror.

*Danielle Rochette, La Fugue d'Antoine (Éditions Pierre Tisseyre; distributed by Diffusion du Livre Mirabel) (ISBN 2-89051-679-2)

Antoine, the hero of the story, lives in Louisbourg in 1744. Suddenly, he is propulsed into the 20th century. Our interest is sustained by Antoine's reactions to the realities of modern life, and the author successfully combines several genres: suspense, detective novel, fantasy and historical fiction.

*Hélène Vachon, Le Cinéma de Somerset (Éditions Héritage; distributed by les Messageries A.D.P.) (ISBN 2-7625-8625-9)

In the wake of a misunderstanding, a young schoolboy with a fertile imagination leads us into an adventure filled with humour and unexpected twists and turns. The highly original subject is treated stylishly and skilfully.

French Language Children's Literature -- Illustration:

*Stéphane Poulin, Petit zizi, text by Thierry Lenain (Éditions Les 400 coups; distributed by Diffusion Dimedia) (ISBN 2-921620-16-2)

The quality and presentation of the illustrations make for a very lively album that is filled with humour and tenderness.The strong compositions, with their imaginative angles and perspectives and close-ups combine with an attention to detail to make a book that is irresistible.

*Pierre Pratt, Monsieur Ilétaitunefois, text by Rémy Simard (Annick Press; distributed by Diffusion Dimedia in Quebec and by Firefly Books for the rest of Canada) (ISBN 1-55037-545-8 - bound and ISBN 1-55037-544-X - paperback)

The masterful design and strong moods lead us into a tale touched with humour. Pratt works magic with atmosphere and colour, and marvellously illustrates an amusing story.

*Alain Reno, Un tartare pour le bonhomme Sept Heures, text by Alain Reno (Éditions Les 400 coups; distributed by Diffusion Dimedia) (ISBN 2-921620-19-7)

The quality of the illustrations underscores the disquieting, occasionally frightening aspects of the story. The choice of page design, sometimes simple and sometimes complex, keeps the reader surprised from beginning to end of the tale.

*Yayo, Le Chasseur d'arc-en-ciel, text by Yayo (Éditions Les 400 coups; distributed by Diffusion Dimedia) (ISBN 2-921620-30-8)

We are captivated by the artist's poetry, sensitivity and ability to say so much in a few strokes. A fertile imagination that children will relate to instantly; he travels in time and space in a unique and fresh way.

Tuesday, November 17, 1998
Canadian Book Awards from:
The Children's Literature Web Guide

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