Category Archives: Governor General’s Literary

Stand On The Sky

Twelve-year-old Aisulu is an expert equestrienne who loves to ride horses across the mountains. She is one of the Kazakh people of Mongolia, who are nomads and androcentric. It goes against all tradition for her to train eagles. But because her brother is disabled and he and their parents have to travel to a hospital in a faraway big city, she is left with her aunt and uncle and she secretly starts caring for an orphaned baby eagle. She becomes an Eagle Hunter. The setting for this animal-friendship story is unique and fascinating. A glossary of Kazakh and Arabic words and phrases, a list of characters, and an author’s note help readers gain a better understanding of Mongolia and nomadic culture. mjw
Title: Stand On The Sky
Author: Erin Bow
Publisher
: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. New York
Copyright
: 2019
Original Language
: English
ISBN
: 978-1-328-55746-9
Hardcover pages
: 336
Age range
: 9-14
Genre
: Fiction
Book setting
: Kazakh nomads in Mongolia
Author’s ethnicity
: Canadian
Author’s residence
: Ontario, Canada
Awards
: 2019 Governor General’s Literary Award
Subjects
: Asia, Birds, Eagles, Horses, Mongolia, Mountains, Nomads, Wildlife

Inkling

Ethan’s dad is a comic artist with writer’s block and Ethan has a graphic novel project at school that is giving him trouble.  When an ink blot from his dad’s sketchbook comes to life, it makes quite an impact on Ethan’s family and friends.  This is a funny and interesting story.  How can an ink blot be such a lovable character? mjw
Title: Inkling
Author: Kenneth Oppel
Illustrator
: Sydney Smith
Publisher
: Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers
Copyright
: 2018
Original Language
: English
ISBN
: 978-1-5247-7282-6
Hardcover pages
: 256
Age range
: 8-12
Genre
: Fiction
Author’s ethnicity
: Canadian
Author’s residence
: Toronto
Illustrator’s ethnicity
: Canadian
Illustrator’s residence
: Toronto
Awards
: Both author and illustrator have won the Governor General’s Award for Children’s Literature. The illustrator has won the Kate Greenaway Award.
Subjects
: Books, Creativity, Drawing, Humor

Colette’s Lost Pet

Colette is new to the Mile End neighborhood of Montreal. She wants to make friends, but doesn’t know what to talk about. She invents a problem: she has lost her pet parakeet named Marie Antoinette. Her fib escalates a bit out of control and a neighborhood-wide search party is assembled. Do her new friends really believe her or is it just more fun to pretend? Artwork rendered in pencil, watercolor, and ink with digital coloration depicts Montreal’s urban setting. The text is hand-lettered. mjw
Title: Colette’s Lost Pet
Author: Isabelle Arsenault
Illustrator
: Isabelle Arsenault
Publisher
: Random House, New York
Copyright
: 2017
Original Language
: English
ISBN
: 978-0-553-53659-1
Hardcover pages
: 48
Age range
: 3-7
Genre
: Picture Book
Book setting
: Montreal
Author’s ethnicity
: Canadian
Author’s residence
: Montreal
Illustrator’s ethnicity
: Canadian
Illustrator’s residence
: Montreal
Awards
: Author/illustrator has won Canada’s Governor General’s Literary Award for Children’s Literature three times
Subjects
: Birds, New experiences, Pets

The Sandwich Thief

The Sandwich ThiefMarin’s parents are foodies who pack him delicious, healthy sandwiches graced with his mom’s homemade mayonnaise. On Monday, at lunchtime, his ham, cheddar, and kale sandwich is missing, so he starts an investigation of the potential thieves. All week, his sandwiches disappear and he identifies more suspects – classmates, teachers, the janitor, and even the school principal. Eventually, his mother comes up with a way to find out who’s behind the missing sandwiches. The comic-style panels and sequential art, done entirely in orange, red, and black, with speech balloons, and the font, which is based on the illustrator’s handwriting, make this lunchtime crime drama engaging and entertaining. mjw
Title: The Sandwich Thief
Author: Andre Marois
Illustrator
: Patrick Doyon
Publisher
: Chronicle Books, San Francisco, California
Copyright
: 2016
Original Language
: French
Translator
: Taylor Norman
Original Title
: Le Voleur de sandwichs
Original Publisher
: Les Editions de la Pasteque
Original Copyright
: 2013
ISBN
: 978-1-4521-4659-1
Hardcover pages
: 160
Age range
: 7-9
Genre
: Fiction
Author’s ethnicity
: French
Author’s residence
: Canada
Illustrator’s ethnicity
: Canadian
Illustrator’s residence
: Canada
Awards
: Governor General’s Literary Award for Illustrated Children’s Literature – French Language
Subjects
: Comics, Detective stories, Graphic novels. Lost articles, Mystery, Sandwiches, Schools, Stealing, Thieves

Alpha

alphaAlpha, Bravo, Charlie . . . The NATO phonetic alphabetic was adopted in 1956 and is used by various emergency services, including firefighters, police, the military, and the Red Cross, as a way to communicate clearly and precisely in urgent situations. Each spread features a colorful watercolor, gouache, and pencil illustration on the right and the word printed in large block letters on a white page on the left. The illustrations are quite sophisticated in this nontraditional ABC book. A black derby represents “Charlie” (Charlie Chaplin). A red plastic Monopoly piece defines “hotel.” O portrays a beautiful evening gown (Oscar de la Renta). A note at the back of the book gives more information about the International Radiotelephony Spelling Alphabet and suggests that the images will invite imagination and interpretation. mjw
Title: Alpha
Author: Isabelle Arsenault
Illustrator
: Isabelle Arsenault
Publisher
: Candlewick Press, Somerville, Massachusetts
Copyright
: 2015
Original Language
: French, NATO phonetic alphabet
Original Publisher
: Les Editions de la Pasteque
Original Copyright
: 2014
ISBN
: 978-0-7636-7852-4
Hardcover pages
: 64
Age range
: 5-8
Genre
: Picture Book, ABC Book
Author’s ethnicity
: Canadian
Author’s residence
: Montreal
Illustrator’s ethnicity
: Canadian
Illustrator’s residence
: Montreal
Awards
: Author/illustrator has won the Governor General’s Award for Children’s Literature three times
Subjects
: Alphabet, ICAO alphabet code

Imagine A World

Imagine A WorldImagine a book with words and images which evoke delight. Author and illustrator Rob Gonsalves has created another masterpiece. In his fourth book in his “Imagine a…” series, the paintings and text work seamlessly to show that our world is a marvelous place. It only takes a creative mind to find beauty. The magical realistic images of exquisite architecture, landscapes, and nature will enthrall both avid and reluctant readers. ema
Title: Imagine A World
Author: Rob Gonsalves
Illustrator
: Rob Gonsalves
Publisher
: Atheneum Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Simon and Schuster
Copyright
: 2015
Original Language
: English
ISBN
:  978-1481449731
Hardcover pages
: 48
Age range: 4-8
Genre
: Fiction Picture Book
Author’s ethnicity: Canadian
Author’s residence
: Canada
Illustrator’s ethnicity
: Canadian
Illustrator’s residence
: Canada
Awards: The author and illustrator is a recipient of the Governor General’s Literary Award
Subjects
: Art, Imaginative, Paintings, Magical, Realism, World

The Nest

The NestAnxious, OCD-ridden, pre-adolescent Steve has a new baby brother who has congenital health problems. The baby needs surgery and may never be completely normal. Steve’s parents are pre-occupied with the baby and Steve starts to have dreams and nightmares with angels/wasps who promise that they can grow a new, healthy baby to replace his sickly newborn brother. And at the same time, a wasps’ nest is rapidly growing outside the baby’s bedroom window. Scientific information about wasps is woven into Steve’s first-person perspective. Black and white graphite drawings add to the mood of this very intense, intriguing, and scary story that will appeal to fans of Neil Gaiman mjw
Title: The Nest
Author: Kenneth Oppel
Illustrator
: John Klassen
Publisher
: Simon and Schuster Books for Young Readers
Copyright
: 2015
Original Language
: English
ISBN
: 978-1-4814-3232-0
Hardcover pages
: 256
Age range
: 10 up
Genre
: Fiction
Book setting
: Canada (Toronto)
Author’s ethnicity
: Canadian
Author’s residence
: Toronto, Canada
Illustrator’s ethnicity
: Canadian
Illustrator’s residence
: Los Angeles, California, USA
Awards
: Author has won the Canadian Governor General’s Literary Award.  Illustrator has won the Caldecott Medal
Subjects
: Babies, Changelings, Ghost stories, Horror stories, Infants, Paranormal fiction, Special needs, Supernatural, Wasps

This One Summer

This One Summer Front CoverEvery year Rose and her family go to Awago Beach, but this year her parents are fighting. Best friends Rose and Windy question what it means to be grown up. The gorgeous blue illustrations and writing capture the pace of summer, the joys, struggles, relationships, and feelings during adolescence.  It subtly and powerfully touches on misogyny, sexism, depression, and will leave readers pondering how they come to their conclusions of others without knowing the full story. ema
Title: This One Summer
Author: Mariko Tamaki
Illustrator: Jillian Tamaki 
Publisher
: First Second Books
Copyright
: 2014
Original Language
: English
ISBN: 978-1-62672-094-7
Hardcover pages
: 320
Age range: 12-18
Genre
: Graphic Novel
Book setting
: Canada
Author’s ethnicity
: Canadian
Author’s residence
: Canada
Illustrator’s ethnicity
: Canadian
Illustrator’s residence
: Brooklyn
Awards
: 2014 Governor General’s Literary Award for Illustration, 2015 Caldecott Honor, 2015 Printz Honor, 2015 Will Eisner Comic Industry Award Winner
Subjects: Bullying, Cartoons, Comics, Coming of Age, Female Protagonists, Graphic Novels, Love,  Marital Conflict, Relationships, Summer, Teenage Pregnancy, Teenagers,  Vacation, Verbal Abuse

The Lion And The Bird

The Lion And The Bird A heartwarming friendship builds between a lion and a bird after the bird’s wing is injured. The lion generously offers to care for the bird during the winter. Eventually, the bird’s flock returns signaling their parting. One autumn day the pair are reunited and “stay warm again this winter”. Impressive use of splendid illustrations, created using muted washes of brown, blue, and green colored pencil, conveys the changing of seasons and characters’ emotions. Everyone will be delighted along with the lion when  he hears one single note. ema
Title: The Lion And The Bird
Author: Marianne Dubuc
Illustrator
: Marianne Dubuc
Publisher
: Enchanted Lion Books
Copyright
: 2014
Original Language
: French
Translator
: Claudia Z. Bedrick
Original Title
: Les éditions de la Pastèque
Original Publisher: Le lion et l’oiseau
Original Copyright
: 2013
ISBN
: 978-1-59270-151-3
Hardcover pages
: 64
Age range
: 4 up
Genre
: Picture Book
Author’s ethnicity
: French Canadian
Author’s residence
: France
Illustrator’s ethnicity
: French Canadian
Illustrator’s residence
: France
Awards
: 2014 Governor General’s Literacy Award for Illustrations 
Subjects
: Birds, Helping Others,  Lions, Loneliness,  Nature, Unexpected Friendships, Seasons

Haiti My Country

Haiti My Country

Haiti My Country is a collection of poems written by Haitian children before the county’s earthquake in 2010. The authors of these poems about Haiti are from Camp Perrin which is a small village in the southern Republic of Haiti.  It is accompanied by illustrated portraits of the book’s poets recreated from photographs by Rogé. Though Haiti is typically associated with being a nation struck by poverty and the natural disasters which have occurred in the country in recent years, these young writers paint an optimistic, heartwarming, and beautiful picture of Haiti. These young writers’ contemplative poetry demonstrates how people can learn much from observing their surroundings. Haiti My Country will make readers see Haiti from a new viewpoint through the luscious descriptions of the vibrant landscape. The authors show how hope can be found everywhere. ema

Title: Haiti My Country
Author: Poems by Haitian children with preface by Dany Laferriére
Illustrator
: Rogé
Publisher
: Fifth House Publishers
Copyright
: 2014
Original Language
: French
Translator
: Solange Messier
Original Title
: Haïtimon Pays
Original Publisher
: La Bagnole
Original Copyright
: 2011
ISBN
: 978-1927083239
Paperback pages
: 44
Age range
: 6-10
Genre
: Poetry
Book setting
: Haiti
Author’s ethnicity
: Canadian
Author’s residence
: Canada
Illustrator’s ethnicity
: Canadian
Illustrator’s residence
: Canada
Awards
: 2011 Governor General Finalist  in Children’s Illustration Category, 2011 Lauréat Prix Saint Exupéry French Category, 2012 White Ravens Selection
Subjects: Camp Perrin, Children Authors, Haiti, Hope, Love of Country,  Nature, Poetry, Schools, School Verse, Students, Writing

Once Upon A Northern Night

Once Upon A Northern Night Book CoverIn this enchanting, poetic lullaby, an unnamed narrator paints a picture of a northern winter night. It begins with one tiny snowflake. Soon the night sky is filled with “sparkling specks of white” and a mother deer and her dawn discover some frozen apples. A great gray owl, two snowshoe hares, an auburn fox, and a scurrying mouse all join the peaceful panorama. Bursts of color are added throughout the mostly sepia mixed-media illustrations until the final lavender and white shimmering double-page masterpiece- “And then I had the moon gently kiss you and the wind whisper…I love you.” This is a perfect bed-time read-aloud. mjw
Title: Once Upon A Northern Night
Author: Jean Pendziwol
Illustrator
: Isabelle Arsenault
Publisher
: Groundwood Books, Canada
Copyright
: 2013
Original language
: English
ISBN
: 978-1-55498-138-0
Hardcover pages
: 32
Age range
: 4-7
Genre
: Picture book
Author’s ethnicity
: Canadian
Author’s residence
: Canada
Illustrator’s ethnicity
: Canadian
Illustrator’s residence
: Canada
Awards
: 2013 Governor General’s Literary Award Shortlist
Subjects
: Animals, Canada, Night, North America, Snow, Winter

Jane, The Fox And Me

Jane the Fox and Me Book Cover Adolescent Helene has been ostracized by girls who had once been her friends.  They scribble insults on the school walls and snicker about her on the bus.  Her escape is Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre. When she goes on a camping trip with her class, she discovers an amazing red fox and a new friend, Geraldine.  The mixed-media illustrations alternate between Helene’s sad, black-and-white world and Jane Eyre’s bold colorful English countryside.  Helene’s world changes as she learns that she is worthy of friendship. mjw
Title: Jane, The Fox And Me
Author: Fanny Britt
Illustrator
: Isabelle Arsenault
Publisher
: Groundwood Books/House of Anansi Press
Copyright
: 2013
Original language
: French
Translator
: Christelle Morelli and Susan Ouriou
Original title
: Jane, le renard & moi
Original publisher
: Les Editions de la Pasteque
Original copyright
: 2012
ISBN
: 978-1-55498-360-5
Hardcover pages
: 101
Age range
: 10-14
Genre
: Graphic Novel
Author’s residence
: Canada
Illustrator’s residence
: Canada
Awards
: Governor General’s Literary Award, A New York Times Best Illustrated Book, YALSA Great Graphic Novel for Teens
Subjects
: Bullying, Canada, Charlotte Bronte, England, Europe, Jane Eyre, Foxes, Friendship, Graphic Novel, North America, Northern Europe