Category Archives: Governor General’s Literary

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