A highly regarded Canadian book award started in 1971 in honor of Amelia Frances Howard Gibbon (right)who was the creator of the first Canadian children's picture book. Given by the Canadian Association of Children's Librarians (CACL), this annual award is presented to the illustrator of an outstanding children's book published during the previous calendar year. The illustrator must be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident of Canada and the book must be suitable for children up to age fourteen and be published in Canada.
Dušan Petričić, Mattland by Hazel Hutchins and Gail Herbert. Toronto: Annick Press, 2008.
A Bear in War/Illustrated by Brian Deines (Key Porter)
A Pocket Can Have a Treasure in It/Illustrated by Deirdre Betteridge (Annick)
Chester’s Back!/Illustrated by Melanie Watt (Kids Can Press)
Jenneli’s Dance/Illustrated by Chris Auchter (Theytus)
Naomi’s Tree/Illustrated by Ruth Ohi (Fitzhenry and Whiteside)
Out of the Deeps/Illustrated by Nicolas Debon (Orca)
Shin Chi’s Canoe/Illustrated by Kim LaFave (Groundwood)
Sir Reginald’s Logbook/Illustrated by Matt Hammill (Kids Can Press)
Thing Thing/Illustrated by Nicolas Debon (Tundra)
2008 Amelia Frances Howard-Gibbon Illustrator’s Award Winner
Chester, written and illustrated by Mélanie Watt (RIGHT), published by Kids Can Press in 2007, is the winner. Mechanimals, written and illustrated by Chris Tougas (Orca Book Publishers) and My New Shirt, illustrated by Dušan Petričić and written by Cary Fagan (Tundra Books) are the honour books.
Chester, written and illustrated by Mélanie Watt, is a hilarious tale of a self-centred, sarcastic and artistic eponymous feline. In making its decision, committee members called the book inventive and fresh, laugh out loud funny, and thoroughly enjoyable. They also raved about Chester’s high “kid appeal”.
Watt’s superb use of line and composition delivers a unique interactive book wherean enormous calico cat trades escalating verbal and visual assaults with his illustrator and a resourceful mouse. Chester suffers a humiliating episode with a pink tutu but, of course, has the last laugh. Or does he?
Honourable mention goes to Chris Tougas, writer and illustrator of Mechanimals. Committee members were drawn to the invigorating action, and the imaginative and inventive storyline. Mechanimals depicts a farmer who sees his life’s work destroyed in a tornado, leaving a mound of seemingly unusable junk metal. With his “can do” recycling spirit, the farmer welds together worker chick-bots, a cow-bot (complete with a chocolate milk dispenser) and ultimately a charming flying pig-bot which triumphantly transports the farmer to the moon. This book celebrates the power of perseverance, survival and a positive attitude.
Honourable mention also goes to My New Shirt illustrated by Dušan Petričić and written by Cary Fagan. From the title page’s illustration, with a stiff white shirt strangling a boy with enormous ears, the reader knows that surprises and humour await. Committee members commented on the great layout and the impressive integration of illustration, text and story. Here is a family story, getting bigger and better with each telling, that hilariously illustrates the universal situation of receiving an unwanted gift.
Ben's Bunny Trouble, illustrated by Daniel Wakeman & Dirk van Stralen (Orca Book Publishers)
Birds of Prey - An Introduction, illustrated by Robert Bateman with Nancy Kovacs (Scholastic/Madison Press)
Chester, illustrated and written by Mélanie Watt (Kids Can Press)- Winner
Grumpy Bird, illustrated and written by Jeremy Tankard (Scholastic Press)
I am Raven, illustrated by Andy Everson, written by David Bouchard (MTW Publishers)
Lickety-Split, illustrated by Dušan Petričić, written by Robert Heidbreder (Kids Can Press)
Marja's Skis, illustrated by Jirina Marton, written by Jean E. Pendziwol (Groundwood Books/House of Anansi Press)
Mechanimals, illustrated and written by Chris Tougas (Orca Book Publishers)- Honor Book
My New Shirt, illustrated by Dušan Petričić, written by Cary Fagan (Tundra Books)- Honor Book
Painted Circus, The: P.T. Vermin Presents a Mesmerizing Menagerie... illustrated and written by Wallace Edwards (Kids Can Press)
Pink, illustrated by Luc Melanson, written by Nan Gregory (Groundwood Books/House of Anansi Press)
Montreal based illustrator, Mélanie Watt (right), has won the Amelia Frances Howard Gibbon Illustrator's Medal for 2007 for her book Scaredy Squirrel the latest in a line of delightful books that have won the prize going back to 1971.
Scaredy Squirrel never leaves his nut tree. It's way too dangerous out there. He could encounter tarantulas, green Martians or killer bees. He's prepared for danger with his antibacterial soap, Band-Aids, and parachuchute. But what happens when he's suddenly forced out of his tree?! A rare funny book about fear. Ages 4-up.
Mélanie describes Scaredy Squirrel as "the nutty adventure of a neurotic squirrel who faces his fears of the unknown. Sounds like a wonderful analogy for the lives that many of us lead. Go the Squirrels!
Born: August 20, 1975. Trois-Rivieres, QC
Family: Ernesto Cadenas
Mélanie Watt of Montréal, Quebec, began working on her first children's book "Leon the Chameleon" while enrolled in the graphic design program at the Université du Québec a Montréal. "Leon the Chameleon" is a story about being different that also explores the concept of complementary colors. It has been published in other languages such as French, German, Czech and Hebrew. For her second picture book, Mélanie illustrated "Where does a Tiger-Heron spend the night? (Kids Can Press, 2002) written by Margaret Carney, a book of poems about birds. This inspired her to observe and learn more about these interesting creatures. Mélanie has currently finished her box set of 5 concept books "Learning with animals" (Kids Can Press, fall 2003). In this collection, kids will learn the Alphabet, Numbers, Colors, Shapes and Opposites with the help of 70 different animals. Apart from her passion for creating children's books, Mélanie shares other interests like interior design, arts, crafts and music.
Augustine Kids Can Press, 2006
Scaredy Squirrel Kids Can Press, 2006
BEARCUB and MAMA, Author: Sharron Jennings, Kids Can Press, 2004
LEARNING WITH ANIMALS, Kids Can Press, 2003; (5 concept books) Alphabet, Colors, Shapes, Numbers and Opposites.
Where Does A Tiger-Heron Spend The Night? (Kids Can Press, Spring 2002), 32 p. Hardcover (with flaps) Author: Margaret Carney
Leon The Chameleon (Kids Can Press, Spring 2001) 32 p. Hardcover / Paperback
|2009||Dušan Petričić, Mattland by Hazel Hutchins and Gail Herbert. Toronto: Annick Press, 2008.|
|2008||.Mélanie Watt Chester. Toronto: Kids Can Press, 2007.|
|2007||Mélanie Watt Scaredy Squirrel. Toronto: Kids Can Press, 2006|
|2006||Leslie Elizabeth Watts The Baabaasheep Quartet. Markham, ON: Fitzhenry & Whiteside, 2005.|
|2005||Wallace Edwards Monkey Business. Toronto: Kids Can Press, 2004.|
|2004||Bill Slavin Stanley’s Party by Linda Bailey. Toronto: Kids Can Press, 2003.|
|2003||Pascal Milelli The Art Room by Susan Vande Griek. Toronto: Groundwood Books/Douglas & McIntyre, 2002.|
|2002||Frances Wolfe Where I Live. Toronto: Tundra Books, 2001.|
|2001||Laura Fernandez and Rick Jacobson The Magnificent Piano Recital by Marilynn Reynolds. Victoria: Orca Book Publishers, 2000.|
|2000||Zhong-Yang Huang The Dragon New Year by David Bouchard. Vancouver: Raincoast Books, 1999.|
|1999||Kady MacDonald Denton A Child's Treasury of Nursery Rhymes . Toronto: Kids Can Press, 1998.|
|1998||Barbara Reid The Party. Richmond Hill, ON: North Winds Press, 1997.|
|1997||Harvey Chan Ghost Train by Paul Yee. Toronto: Groundwood Books, 1996|
|1996||Karen Reczuch Just Like New by Ainslie Manson. Toronto: Groundwood Books, 1995.|
|1995||Barbara Reid Gifts by Jo Ellen Bogart. Richmond Hill, ON: North Winds Press, 1994.|
|1994||Leo Yerxa Last Leaf First Snowflake To Fall. Toronto: Groundwood Books, 1993.|
|1993||Paul Morin The Dragon's Pearl by Julie Lawson. Toronto: Oxford University Press, 1992.|
|1992||Ron Lightburn Waiting for the Whales by Sheryl McFarlane. Victoria: Orca Book Publishers, 1991.|
|1991||Paul Morin The Orphan Boy by Tololwa Mollel. Toronto: Oxford University Press, 1990.|
|1990||Kady MacDonald Denton Til All The Stars Have Fallen, ed. by David Booth. Toronto: Kids Can Press, 1989.|
|1989||Kim LaFave Amos's Sweater by Janet Lunn. Toronto: Groundwood Books, 1988.|
|1988||Marie-Louise Gay Rainy Day Magic. Toronto: Stoddart Publishing, 1987.|
|1987||Marie-Louise Gay Moonbeam on a Cat's Ear. Toronto: Stoddart Publishing, 1986.|
|1986||Ken Nutt Zoom Away by Tim Wynne-Jones. Toronto: Groundwood Books, 1985.|
|1985||Ian Wallace Chin Chiang and the Dragon's Dance. Toronto: Groundwood Books, 1984.|
|1984||Ken Nutt Zoom at Sea by Tim Wynne-Jones. Toronto: Groundwood Books, 1983.|
|1983||Lindee Climo Chester's Barn. Montreal: Tundra Books, 1982.|
|1982||Heather Woodall Ytek and the Arctic Orchid by Garnet Hewitt. Vancouver: Douglas & McIntyre, 1981.|
|1981||Douglas Tait The Trouble With Princesses by Christie Harris. Toronto: McClelland and Stewart, 1980.|
|1980||Laszlo Gal The Twelve Dancing Princesses by Janet Lunn. Toronto: Methuen, 1979.|
|1979||Ann Blades Salmon for Simon by Betty Waterton. Vancouver: Douglas & McIntyre, 1978.|
|1978||Elizabeth Cleaver The Loon's Necklace by William Toye. Toronto: Oxford University Press, 1977.|
|1977||Pam Hall Down By Jim Long's Stage by Al Pittman. St. John's: Breakwater Books, 1976.|
|1976||William Kurelek A Prairie Boy's Summer. Montreal: Tundra Books, 1975.|
|1975||Carlo Italiano The Sleighs of My Childhood/Les Traineaux de Mon Enfance. Translated by René Chicoine. Montreal: Tundra Books, 1974.|
|1974||William Kurelek A Prairie Boy's Winter. Montreal: Tundra Books, 1973.|
|1973||Jacques de Roussan Au-delà du Soleil /Beyond the Sun. Montreal: Tundra Books, 1972.|
|1972||Shizuye Takashima A Child in a Prison Camp. Montreal: Tundra Books, 1971.|
|1971||Elizabeth Cleaver The Wind Has Wings. Compiled by Mary Alice Downie and Barbara Robertson. Toronto: Oxford University Press, 1968.|