News and Announcements

The end of summer and the beginning of autumn saw some notable developments in the world of children’s books, particularly in Canada.

It is a great delight to announce that The Deakin Review’s namesake, Dr. Andrea Deakin, is one of the joint recipients of the 2011 Claude Aubry Award. Conferred every two years by the Canadian chapter of the International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY), the Claude Aubry Award recognizes distinguished service within the field of children’s literature. Dr. Deakin, founder of the Deakin Newsletter (which this Review succeeds), is a prolific reviewer, collector, and critic of children’s literature, whose work has greatly enriched the study and appreciation of the genre.

Also receiving the Claude Aubry Award is Chantal Vaillancourt. A resident of Longuiel, Quebec and a longtime promoter of children’s reading, Ms. Vaillancourt was instrumental in creating the Toup'tilitou reading program in daycare centres across Quebec. Her more recent work with the Canadian Children’s Book Centre sees her coordinating the French-language TD Canadian Children’s Literature Award and managing the French-language component of TD Children’s Book Week.

No mention of the TD Canadian Children’s Literature Award -- as well as the other awards administered by the Canadian Children’s Book Centre -- can pass without mention of this year’s winners. This October, five titles received these prestigious honours.

The CCBC will also be administering a new award this coming year: the Monica Hughes Award for Science Fiction and Fantasy.

In other award news, the International Research Society for Children’s Literature (IRSCL) conferred its prestigious 2011 Award on Picturing Canada: a History of Canadian Children’s Illustrated Books and Publishing. Written by Gail Edwards and Judith Saltman, Picturing Canada has already garnered significant accolades, offering as it does a unique survey of Canadian illustrated works and picture books. The 2011 IRSCL Award confirms the work’s status as a significant contribution to the study of children’s literature.

Amid these celebrations, however, the world of children’s literature also lost a major talent. Joanne Fitzgerald, Governor General’s Award-winning illustrator, passed away on August 14, at the age of 55. Fitzgerald’s distinctive style, with its gentle colour palette and cheerful, cartoon-like characters, made picture books such as Plain Noodles, Emily’s House, and Doctor Kiss Says Yes perennial favourites among young readers.