The Ontario Arts Foundation has announced the shortlists for the Ruth and Sylvia Schwartz Children’s Book Awards, with five titles making the cut in each of two categories: Children’s Picture Book and Young Adult/Middle Reader.
Qin Leng and fellow Toronto illustrators the Fan Brothers are double nominees in the picture book category, while Lisa Moore’s first run at kidlit claims a spot on the YA/MG shortlist alongside titles by Frank Viva and Wesley King.
The shortlists are:
Children’s Picture Book
- The Darkest Dark by Chris Hadfield; the Fan Brothers, ill. (Tundra Books)
- A Family is a Family is a Family by Sara O’Leary; Qin Leng, ill. (Groundwood Books)
- Harry and Walter by Kathy Stinson; Qin Leng, ill. (Annick Press)
- If I Had a Gryphon by Vikki VanSickle; Cale Atkinson, ill. (Tundra Books)
- The Night Gardener by the Fan Brothers (Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers)
Young Adult/Middle Reader
- A Boy Named Queen by Sara Cassidy (Groundwood Books)
- Flannery by Lisa Moore (Groundwood Books)
- Lucky Jonah by Richard Scrimger (HarperCollins Canada)
- OCDaniel by Wesley King (Paula Wiseman Books)
- Sea Change by Frank Viva (Tundra Books)
The winners of the two $6,000 prizes will be determined by student juries at Frontenac Public School in Burlington, Ontario, and announced May 19. Five students in Grade 3/4 will judge the picture books, while the YA/MG titles will be judged by five Grade 7/8 students.
Established in 1976, the Schwartz Awards recognize excellence in writing and illustration in English-language Canadian children’s literature. The prize is administered by the Ontario Arts Foundation with the support of the Ontario Arts Council, and is funded by the Ruth Schwartz Foundation.