Index
Welcome
The Project
The Team
Resources
  Print
Video
Internet
Awards DB

Award Descriptions

  • THE ALCUIN SOCIETY AWARD FOR EXCELLENCE IN BOOK DESIGN
    The Alcuin Society Award for Excellence in Book Design was established in 1981 to recognize excellence in the field of book design. It is the only national award to recognize the achievements of Canada's book designers. The society bestows annual awards in a number of categories, including: Limited Edition, Pictorial, Poetry, Prose Fiction, Prose Non-Fiction, Prose Non-Fiction Illustrated, Reference, and Children's.

    In each category, a number of prizes can be awarded each year. The year's winner receives the First Prize, and runner-ups include, Second Prize, Third Prize and Honourable Mention titles, if applicable. In the Children's category, each of these awards is given to the designer of a Canadian children's book title.

    Every year, a panel of expert judges meets to examine the aspects of each nominated title. Award criteria include the overall quality and presentation of the book, as well as the specific work of the book designer. For a title's design to be considered, it must be the sole work of a Canadian book designer. The book's design is considered in relation to its intended audience, and the subject matter portrayed. Specifically, the successful use of elements such as colour, type, illustration and photography are also evaluated. As well, the overall quality of the book and its physical presentation (including binding, covering and appearance) are considered.

    The Alcuin Society presents these awards at an annual ceremony held in Vancouver, British Columbia. Prizes are awarded to books published during the previous calendar year, and the award is named for the year of publication. Therefore, a book published in 2004, would be eligible for the 2004 Alcuin Society Award for Excellence in Book Design, which would be presented to the winners in 2005.

    Any book published in Canada during the applicable year of publication is eligible for award submission. Most of the previous awards have been given to English-language titles, however, a number of French-language titles have also won the award. As they are the exception, rather than the rule, these French titles have been included in this database of primarily English titles.
  • THE AMELIA FRANCES HOWARD-GIBBON ILLUSTRATOR'S AWARD
    The Amelia Frances Howard-Gibbon Illustrator's Award is one of a number of awards presented by the Canadian Library Association Book Awards Program. The goals of the award include the promotion of reading and literacy, as well as excellence in Canadian book illustration.

    The Amelia Frances Howard-Gibbon Award, given annually by the Canadian Association of Children's Librarians (CACL) of the Canadian Library Association (CLA), is presented to the illustrator of an outstanding children's book published during the previous calendar year. The award is named for the year that it is presented. Therefore, a book published in 2004, would receive the 2005 Amelia Frances Howard-Gibbon Award.

    A committee of librarians from the CACL makes the selection, and the presentation takes place at the annual meeting of the CLA in June. The illustrator must be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident of Canada, the book must be suitable for children up to age fourteen, and be published in Canada. The award is a silver medal. Although there is only one award winner, honour books can also be selected from the shortlist each year.

    A book's illustrations are the primary consideration for bestowal of an award, although the relationship of the text to the illustrations is also a concern. The illustrations must convey the artist's intent, and further the story presented by the author. The artistic merit of the illustrations is evaluated both in terms of design and use of the chosen medium. As well, the overall presentation of the work and its accessibility to its intended audience are considerations.
  • THE ANN CONNOR BRIMER AWARD
    The Ann Connor Brimer Award is presented annually by the Nova Scotia Library Association (NSLA). Since 1999, the NSLA has worked with the Writer's Federation of Nova Scotia in the promotion of Atlantic writers through this award. The award is presented to the author of an English-language fiction or non-fiction children's book which has made an outstanding contribution to children's literature in Atlantic Canada. The winning author receives $1000. To be eligible, the author must be living in Atlantic Canada at the time of nomination.

    Books published in the two years prior to the award are considered, as long as they are suitable for children up to the age of 15 and are still in print. Therefore, the 2004 Ann Connor Brimer Award was presented in May 2004, for books published between November 15, 2002 and October 15, 2003. Only one title from the shortlist is selected for an award.
  • CANADA COUNCIL PRIZES / GOVERNOR GENERAL'S LITERARY AWARDS
    In 1975, the Canada Council for the Arts established English and French-language prizes to be awarded annually to the best children's books by Canadian writers and illustrators. In 1987, the Canada Council Prizes were renamed The Governor General's Literary Awards.

    Each year, the Governor General's Literary Awards are given in both adult and children's sections. The children's literature section includes the best English-language and the best French-language book in both of the categories of Children's Literature (text) and Children's Literature (illustration). (Note that only the English-language titles have been included in this database).

    The winning author or illustrator receives $15,000 and a specially crafted copy of the winning book. Publishers of winning titles receive a $3,000 grant for the promotion of the prize-winning book, and non-winning finalists each receive $1,000.

    The award is given for literary and artistic excellence. The panel of judges is appointed by The Canada Council, and includes writers, critics and other book professionals. The Children's Literature prizes are presented each year along with the other Governor General's Literary Awards.

    All books for young people written, translated or illustrated by a Canadian citizen are eligible, whether published in Canada or abroad. Children's picture books must be at least 24 pages long. Books published in the previous one or two years are eligible for entry if they fall within the specified date ranges. For example, in the year 2004, English-language books published between September 2003 and September 2004 for were eligible for the 2004 Governor General's Literary Awards. The finalists are announced each year in October, and the award-winners are announced in November.
  • CANADIAN LIBRARY ASSOCIATION BOOK OF THE YEAR FOR CHILDREN AWARD
    The Canadian Library Association Book of the Year for Children Award is one of a number of awards presented by the Canadian Library Association (CLA) Book Awards Program. Through their award program, the CLA aims to promote literacy, as well as reward excellence in Canadian book writing and illustration.

    CLA's Canadian Association of Children's Librarians (CACL) presents the award annually to the author of an outstanding English-language children's book published during the previous calendar year. The award is named for the year in which it is presented. Therefore, a book published in 2004 would receive the 2005 CLA Book of the Year for Children Award. The award is presented each year at the CLA annual conference in June.

    The author of the winning title receives a $750 cash prize and a leather-bound copy of the book. There is only one winner selected each year, but honour books are also chosen from the shortlist, if applicable.

    Selection is made by the CLA Book of the Year for Children Award Committee with input from the membership. The book's text is the primary consideration for bestowal of an award. Any type of creative writing can be eligible for the award, including fiction, poetry, folklore and anthologies. To be eligible, the book must also be suitable for children up to age fourteen and have been published in Canada by an author who is a Canadian citizen or permanent resident of Canada.
  • CHRISTIE HARRIS ILLUSTRATED CHILDREN'S LITERATURE PRIZE
    The first Christie Harris Illustrated Children's Literature Prize was awarded in 2003. The award is part of the British Columbia Book Prize Program, and was established to create a new category in the area of children's books. There are now two children's book awards in the program: the Sheila A. Egoff Children's Literature Prize (for non-illustrated works), and the Christie Harris Illustrated Children's Literature Prize (for illustrated works).

    The Christie Harris Illustrated Book Prize is awarded to British Columbia or Yukon writer, for a book published anywhere in the world. The winning title receives a $2000 prize, which is equally split between the book's author and illustrator. Short-listed titles are listed as finalists.

    The annual award is given to an English-language book published in the previous calendar year, and named for the year of the award ceremony. For example, a book published in 2003, would win the 2004 Christie Harris Illustrated Children's Literature Prize.

    To be considered a book may be either a picture storybook, or an illustrated non-fiction book for children. Either the author or the illustrator (or both), must have been living in B.C. or the Yukon for three of the five years leading up to the award. Members of the West Coast Book Prize Society (the administrators of the award) decide upon the winning title.
  • ELIZABETH MRAZIK-CLEAVER AWARD
    The Elizabeth Mrazik-Cleaver Award is an annual award that recognizes artistic talent in a Canadian picture book. It is named for Elizabeth Mrazik-Cleaver, one of Canada's first and foremost children's illustrators, and the original donor for the award.

    The award is administered by a committee of three members of the Canadian section of the International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY). The recipient is a Canadian illustrator of a picture book published in Canada in English or in French during the previous calendar year. The sole award-winner receives a $1000 prize and a commemorative scroll. The title of each year's prize is the year in which the book was published, and it is announced the following spring. Therefore, a book published in 2004 would receive the 2004 Elizabeth Mrazik-Cleaver Award, in the spring of 2005.

    The book must be a first edition and contain original illustrations. All genres are considered: fiction, non-fiction, poetry, folk and fairy tales. The quality of the book's illustrations is the primary concern in its selection, although the text and illustrations must complement one another. The illustrations are evaluated according to design considerations (line, colour, composition) and the successful use of the medium or other techniques. Finally, the book must appeal to its intended audience, and have a narrative element. On occasion, this award has been given to a French-language title. As this is the exception, rather than the rule, these titles have been included in the database.
  • IBBY HONOUR LIST
    IBBY (The International Board on Books for Young People) is a non-profit organization representing an international network of people committed to providing children with books of significant literary and artistic merit. IBBY-Canada was established in June of 1973, to promote Canadian children's literature within Canada and internationally.

    Every two years each National Section of IBBY's member countries selects two recently published books (one for text and one for illustration) that are representative of the best in children's literature from each country. Books awarded a place on the IBBY Honour List must be considered suitable for international publication, as the award contributes to IBBY's mission to increase international understanding through children's literature.

    In 1999, IBBY-Canada also began nominating a book in the translation category (English to French or French to English). Thus, in Canada, the following four categories can be awarded: English Language Text, French Language Text, Illustration, and Translation (French-to-English or English-to-French). (Note that only the English-language titles have been included in the database).

    A committee appointed by IBBY-Canada selects the Canadian Honour List books. There is no submission process, and no shortlist for the award. Committee members receive feedback and suggestions from the Canadian Children's Book Centre, Communication-Jeunesse and Library and Archives of Canada, in the selection of eligible titles. Books selected for the IBBY Honour List, receive an Honour List Diploma. After receiving their award, five parallel sets of the books are circulated internationally by IBBY, to various conferences and books fairs.

    The IBBY Honour List is named for the year in which it is presented, with selections considered from the years leading up to the award. For example, the 2004 IBBY Honour List titles include books published in the years 2001, 2002 and 2003.
  • INFORMATION BOOK AWARD
    Sponsored by the Children's Literature Roundtables of Canada, the Information Book Award is given to an outstanding information book written for young people from ages 5-15 years. It is administered by a national committee based in Vancouver.

    To be eligible, books must have been written in English, by a Canadian citizen or landed immigrant, and have been published by a Canadian press. As of 1997, the award is given to both author and illustrator, if applicable. The winning book receives a $500 prize, to be split between the two parties. As well, both author and illustrator receive award certificates. Each year, one title is also selected from the shortlist as an honour book.

    The Information Book Award is awarded to titles published in the previous calendar year, and named for the year in which the award is given. For example, a book published in 2003 would receive the Children's Literature Roundtables of Canada 2004 Information Book Award.

    All information and non-fiction books are eligible to be considered for the award with the exception of poetry, plays, folklore and textbooks. For example, subjects include: cultural, concept, life cycle, science, biography, history and geography. Individual titles from a series will also be considered. The books are evaluated on the basis of the quality of their text, illustrations, design and format. Features specific to information books are considered, such as the quality of the index and glossary, thorough coverage of the subject, accuracy of facts and the writer's perspective (including sensitivity to cultural and social bias and stereotype). Other, more general criteria are also used, such as the clarity of text and illustrations, approach to the subject matter, format and design of the book, and success in reaching the intended audience.
  • THE IODE BOOK AWARD, MUNICIPAL CHAPTER OF TORONTO
    Since 1974, the Municipal Chapter of Toronto's International Order of the Daughters of the Empire (IODE) has presented an award intended to encourage the publication of books for children between the ages of 6 and 12 years. The winning title receives an award and a cash prize of $1000. Only one winning title each year is selected from the shortlist.

    The IODE Book Award, Municipal Chapter of Toronto, was established in co-operation with the Toronto Public Library Board, and is awarded annually. Books that have been created by a Canadian author or illustrator residing in the Toronto area are eligible for the award. To be considered, a title must also have been published in Canada.

    The award is given to a book published during the previous calendar year, and named for the year of publication, but awarded at a ceremony that takes place in the following spring. For example, a book published in 2003 would be awarded the 2003 IODE Book Award, Municipal Chapter of Toronto, in March of 2004.

    The award is given to the author and/or illustrator of a book judged to as a valuable contribution to children's literacy. It is chosen by a Committee that is appointed by the Municipal Chapter of Toronto, IODE. Selection criteria include the overall quality of the book, its contribution to children's literacy and reading, and whether or not the title includes Canadian content.
  • THE NATIONAL CHAPTER OF CANADA IODE VIOLET DOWNEY BOOK AWARD
    In 1985, through the generosity of a former member, the late Mrs. Violet Downey, the National Chapter of Canada IODE established The National Chapter of Canada IODE Violet Downey Book Award. The award is given to an English-language book published in Canada and written by a Canadian. The winner of this annual award is given a $3000 prize.

    The award is given to a book published in the previous calendar year, and named for the year of the award. For example, a book published in 2003, would receive the 2004 National Chapter of Canada IODE Violet Downy Book Award, presented in May of 2004.

    To be eligible for consideration, a book must have at least 500 words of text, and be appropriate for children ages 13 and under. All genres are considered, with the exception of fairytales, anthologies and adaptations. Works with Canadian content are preferred. The winning title is chosen from the shortlist by a panel of six judges, including at least 2 recognized specialists in the field of children's literature. If applicable, the award may be divided between two individuals.
  • MARILYN BAILLIE PICTURE BOOK AWARD
    Established in 2006 by retired TD Bank Financial Group CEO, Charles Baillie, the Marilyn Baillie Picture Book Award celebrates excellence in Canadian English-language illustrated children's books. The award is named for Mrs. Marilyn Baillie, a children's book author and early literacy advocate.

    To be eligible, books must have a Canadian author and illustrator, and be an original Canadian publication. A variety of genres are considered (fiction, non-fiction, poetry), but books must be aimed at an audience of three to six years olds. Only original stories are considered, with fairytale or folktale retellings not eligible. Works are considered as a whole, and must successfully incorporate text, illustrations and design.

    The award is managed by the Canadian Children's Book Centre, and is presented annually in November. To be considered, books must have been published in the previous calendar year. For example, the 2006 Marilyn Baillie Picture Book Award will be awarded to a book published in 2005. The winning picture book is chosen by a jury of experts in the field of children's literature (librarians, booksellers, reviewers, authors, illustrations, teachers etc.) and receives a $10,000 prize.
  • McNALLY ROBINSON BOOK FOR YOUNG PEOPLE AWARD
    The McNally Robinson Award was established in 1995 to celebrate the best in Manitoba writing and publishing. The award was divided into two categories, Younger and Older, in 1997. It is administered by the Manitoba Writer's Guild and sponsored by McNally Robinson Booksellers. The winning author is each category receives a $2500 award, funded by McNally Robinson Booksellers.

    Each award is given to a book published during the calendar year prior to the awards ceremony, and is named for the year in which it was published. For example, a book published in 2003, would win the 2003 McNally Robinson Book for Young People Award, presented in an awards ceremony in April 2004. In previous years there has been some discrepancy in the dating of this award. During some years, the younger category award was deferred, and it appears books published in either of the two years prior to the awards ceremony were considered for the award. For example, in the year 2000, the award was deferred to 2001, resulting in the winning title of the 2001 McNally Robinson Book for Young People Award, being awarded to a book published in 2000.

    In each category, the award is given to the title with the best writing, as evaluated by the awarding body, and the book must have been written in English by a living Manitoba writer. To be eligible, writers must have been living in the province for at least 3 of the previous five years, and at least one of the two immediately preceding the award. If a title has two authors, both must meet these requirements. All genres, with the exception of textbooks, dictionaries, encyclopedias etc. are eligible for the award.
  • THE MR. CHRISTIE'S BOOK AWARD
    The Mr. Christie's Book Awards were established to celebrate and encourage excellence in Canadian children's literature and publishing, while promoting a love of reading. The awards have been discontinued, with the last awards bestowed in 2004.

    Initially awards were given in the categories of text and illustration for books written in French and in English, for a total of four awards. In 1993 the categories for text were divided into two categories: Books for Ages 8 and under and Books for Ages 9 to 14, to increase the number of awards to six. In 1994 the number of age groups was expanded to three (young children, 7 years and under; middle readers, 8-11 years; and young adults, 12-16 years). In addition, it was decided that books should be judged on their content of text and illustration combined, i.e. Best Children's Book for each age group in each official language. Six awards of $7,500 each were given until 2004. Winning titles were affixed with the Mr. Christie's Book Award Gold Seal, and the short-listed titles received the Silver Seal. (Note that only English-language titles have been included in the database).

    Each year, the awards were given to books published in the previous calendar year, and named for the year of publication. Therefore, a book published in 2003 would have received a 2003 Mr. Christie's Book Award, presented in 2004. The award was given to the author of the book, or split between the author and illustrator, if applicable.

    To be eligible, books must have been written by a Canadian citizen or permanent resident of Canada at the time of publication. There were two judging panels, one for each language (English and French), that were comprised of experts in the field of children's literature, or a related field. The panel members were appointed by Kraft Canada Inc. Books were judged on their overall quality and merit, and their positive impact on readers, both intellectually and emotionally. A winning title would inspire a reader's imagination and reflect on the experiences childhood. It would also further a child's understanding of their environment and the world at large.
  • NORMA FLECK AWARD FOR CHILDREN'S NON-FICTION
    The Norma Fleck Award was established in 1999 to honour its namesake, Norma Marie Fleck, and to promote Canadian non-fiction books for young people. It is administered by the Canadian Children's Book Centre. The $10,000 Norma Fleck Award, one of Canada's most prestigious literary prizes, is awarded annually in the fall to an English-language title. $5,000 in marketing funds is also allocated to promote the finalists, an amount that is matched by the books' publishers. Before and after the winner is announced, these funds are used to promote the short-listed titles, raising their profile and readers' awareness of them.

    The Norma Fleck Award is chosen by a jury of experts in the field of children's literature that is selected by the Canadian Children's Book Centre. Each year, the jury is made up of at least three individuals, chosen from the following professions: teacher, librarian, reviewer and bookseller. The winning title receives the award, which is given to the author, unless 40% or more of the text area is composed of original illustrations. In this case, the award is divided equally between author and illustrator. Each year, five titles are short-listed. One receives the award, and four receive the designation of honour book.

    Eligible books may have been published in the year prior to the award, or the year of the award, providing they fall into the specified date range. For example, the 2004 Norma Fleck Award for Canadian Children's Non-Fiction, was awarded to a book published between May 1, 2003 and April 30, 2004.

    To be considered for the award, titles must have been written and illustrated by Canadian citizens or landed immigrants. Books in the following categories are eligible for the award: Culture and the Arts, Science, Biography, History, Geography, Reference, Sports, Activities and Pastimes. Titles are evaluated according to three sets of criteria; Excellence, Breadth and Depth of Information and Presentation. Winning titles will present a new subject or an old subject in a new way, with high-quality, engaging language and illustrations (if applicable). The successful integration of text and illustrations is a key consideration. As well, the information contained in the book must be accurate and respectful of the subjects it discusses. Finally, the overall aesthetic quality of the book is assessed.
  • R. ROSS ANNETT AWARD FOR CHILDREN'S LITERATURE
    The annual R. Ross Annett Award was established in 1982 to encourage and celebrate excellence in writing for children, by Alberta authors. It is named after Alberta writer R. Ross Annett, and is part of the Writer's Guild of Alberta's, Alberta Book Awards program. Each year, the author of the winning title receives a $500 cash prize, and leather-bound copies of their book. The age category for the R. Ross Annett Award alternates each year, from younger (picture books) to older (chapter books). Only one winning title in each category is selected from the shortlist each year.

    Usually, the award is given to a book published during the preceding year, and named for the year of the awards ceremony. For example, a book published in 2003 would win the 2004 R. Ross Annett Award for Children's Literature. There have been some inconsistencies with the dating for this award. For example, there was change in 1993-1994 which caused a gap in the dates. As well, there are often exceptions to the publication date rules. For example, in 2002, picture books published in 2002 were accepted. In 2003, chapter books published in 2002 and 2003 were accepted. In subsequent years, books in the applicable category may be published in either of the two preceding years.

    To be eligible, books must have been written by an author who had been living in Alberta for at least twelve of the eighteen months prior to the award. Evaluation criteria are not strict, and judgements are left to the knowledge and expertise of the jury.
  • SHEILA A. EGOFF CHILDREN'S LITERATURE PRIZE
    The Sheila A. Egoff Children's Literature Prize was established in 1987. It is part of the British Columbia Book Prize Program, which is funded by the B.C. government, and supported by the B.C. Library Association. Originally, it honoured a variety of children's literature, both novels and illustrated books. However, with the creation of the Christie Harris Illustrated Children's Literature Prize in 2002, the prize was split into two categories: Non-illustrated, and Illustrated. The Sheila A. Egoff Prize now honours the author of a novel or non-fiction book, for children or teens, that is non-illustrated. The winner receives a $2000 prize, and the short-listed titles are listed as Finalists.

    The annual award is given to an English-language book published in the previous calendar year, and named for the year of the award ceremony. For example, a book published in 2003, would win the 2004 Sheila A. Egoff Children's Literature Prize.

    The author of the book must be a B.C./Yukon resident or have lived in B.C. or the Yukon for three of the five years previous to the award. There is no stipulation on the publication location. Members of the West Coast Book Prize Society (the administrators of the award) decide upon the winning title.
  • TD CANADIAN CHILDREN'S LITERATURE AWARD
    The TD Canadian Children's Literature Award was established in 2004, to celebrate excellence in Canadian children's literature. It is administered by the Canadian Children's Book Centre, and is timed to coincide with the national TD Canadian Children's Book Week.

    Each year the award goes to two grand prize winners, one English title and one French title. Additional prizes are awarded to honour books chosen from the shortlist in each of the two languages. Grand prize winners each receive a $20,000 prize. Each year the honour book titles share a total prize of $20,000, equally awarded to a total of eight possible titles (4 in each language). The award is split equally between the author and illustrator, if applicable. In addition, the publishers of the two winning titles also receive $2500 each to assist in the book's promotion. (Note that only English-language titles have been included in the database).

    To be eligible, books must be original works, with a Canadian author and illustrator (if applicable), and first published in the country. Books of any genre, intended for children under the age of 14, are considered. The award is given to a book published during the previous calendar year, and named for the year in which it was received. For example, a book published in 2004 would win the 2005 TD Canadian Children's Literature Award.

    The winning title in each language is decided upon by a panel of five judges, which selects what it considers the most distinguished book of the year. Criteria used in their decision-making process include both the quality of the text and illustrations, as well as the title's impact on Canadian children's literature. The theme and content of the work, as well as the presentation and accuracy of the information it contains are also considered.
  • Return