– Canadian author Melanie Florence and illustrator François Thisdale awarded top honour and the $30,000 prize for excellence in children’s literature –

TORONTO, November 18, 2016 – TD Bank Group and the Canadian Children’s Book Centre awarded Toronto-based author Melanie Florence and Quebec-based illustrator François Thisdale the 12th annual TD Canadian Children’s Literature Award for their book, Missing Nimâmâ. Florence and Thisdale will take home the $30,000 top prize – one of the largest of its kind in Canadian children’s literature. Author Kenneth Oppel also received the TD Fan Choice Award as voted on by young readers from September 19 to October 30, 2016. As part of the award, Oppel received a $5,000 prize for his book, The Nest.

“Instilling a joy of reading in children promotes imagination, creativity, and strong literacy skills. These books about friendship, courage and compassion help a young generation of readers learn about the world through new and diverse perspectives,” says Frank McKenna, Deputy Chair, TD Bank Group. “We’re thrilled to recognize these authors and illustrators through the 2016 TD Canadian Children’s Literature Award. Melanie and François deliver a compelling story and TD is privileged to honour their work.”

A powerful and emotional story, Missing Nimâmâ follows an orphaned indigenous child as she experiences important milestones in life after her mother’s disappearance. From her first day of school to her first date and her wedding to first child, the spirit of her mother watches over her. Told in alternating voices of a mother and her child, the book is a free-verse story of love, loss and acceptance.

“The finalists have published a collection of timeless stories young readers will enjoy for years to come,” says Charlotte Teeple, Executive Director, Canadian Children’s Book Centre. “Beautifully illustrated and thoughtfully written, we are extremely pleased to support these talented authors and illustrators.”

In recognition of their exceptional contribution to Canadian children’s literature, TD also awarded $10,000 to be shared among the four remaining finalists:

That Squeak
Written by Carolyn Beck
Illustrated by François Thisdale

The Wolf-Birds
Written and illustrated by Willow Dawson

A Year of Borrowed Men
Written by Michelle Barker
Illustrated by Renné Benoit

The Nest
Written by Kenneth Oppel

Five outstanding French-language books were also celebrated at a gala in Montreal on November 1, 2016. The award for the most distinguished French-language book of the year was presented to author Jacques Goldstyn for his book L’Arbragan.

About the TD Canadian Children’s Literature Awards

Now in its 12th year, the TD Canadian Children’s Literature Awards celebrates excellence in children’s literature by rewarding the best literary work by Canadian authors. Sponsored by TD, and administered by the Canadian Children’s Book Centre in association with the CBC, it is one of the largest prizes in children’s book awards. All books, in any genre, written and illustrated by Canadians and published in Canada for children are eligible. Each book is judged on the quality of the text and illustrations, in addition to its overall contribution to Canadian children’s literature. Since the program started in 2004, 120 books have been honoured through the TD Canadian Children’s Literature Award in both official languages. Visit tdreads.com for more information.

About The Canadian Children’s Book Centre

The Canadian Children’s Book Centre is a national, not-for-profit organization founded in 1976. We are dedicated to encouraging, promoting and supporting the reading, writing and illustrating of Canadian books for young readers. Our programs, publications, and resources help teachers, librarians, booksellers and parents select the very best for young readers. The Canadian Children’s Book Centre reaches well over half a million people each year, and we’re still growing; for more information, please visit www.bookcentre.ca. 

For further information or to arrange an interview please contact:

Sheri Papps / Nicole McRonney-Apaw

Paradigm Public Relations

416-413-5207 / 416-413-5114

spapps@paradigmpr.ca / nmcronney-apaw@paradigmpr.ca

Stefanie Marotta
TD Bank Group