This year, Tundra had a number of finalists for the TD Canadian Children’s Literature Award, the Marilyn Baillie Picture Book Award, and the Geoffrey Bilson Award for Historical Fiction for Young People. We had all received lovely gold coloured invitations and were all invited for a glamorous night at the Carlu.
This was my first time at the Canadian Children’s Book Centre Awards and I was excited (but I totally played it cool). Pamela had told me that it would be a great event and last night did not disappoint (aside from us not winning).
Pamela and I left the office around 6:00 pm and swiftly arrived at the Carlu. There was a red carpet leading to the elevators. Interestingly enough, we shared our ride up to the 7th floor with the Fleck Family and Marilyn Baillie! Then, those elevator doors opened… and wow. I glanced at Pamela and she gave me the “I told you this gala is great” look.
The place was decorated with costumed bears. Here’s one that mimics love stories. I remember spotting a pirate, a mermaid, and an astronaut bear.
What an amazing atmosphere: the music, the chatter (who is going to win tonight?), and the clink of glasses. There were hot food stations, hor d’oeuvre, and drinks going around. A lot of Tundra’s authors and illustrators were there, most of our finalists were able to attend (they were not feeling nervous at all), and it was really nice to meet or see everyone.
The awards ceremony began at 7:00 pm with Eleanor Watchtel as our MC for the night.
The Norma Fleck Award for Canadian Children’s Non-Fiction went to The Bite of the Mango. Congratulations to Mariatu Kamara and Susan McClelland!
The Geoffrey Bilson Award for Historical Fiction for Young People went to The Landing. Congratulations to John Ibbitson!
The Marilyn Baillie Picture Book Award went to Mattland. Congratulations to Hazel Hutchins, Gail Herbert, and Dušan Petričić!
Finally, the TD Canadian Children’s Literature Award went to Shin-chi’s Canoe. Congratulations to Nicola I. Campbell and Kim LaFave!
Before we left, we were handed an environmentally friendly bag with the 2009 TD Grade One Book Giveaway Program’s book: Let’s Go! The Story of Getting from There to Here by Lizann Flatt and illustrated by Scot Ritchie.
Thank you to everyone at the Canadian Children’s Book Centre, to the jurors, to the sponsors, and to the wonderful staff that made the event a fantastic night! Until next year!