2015 Willow Awards Nominations

The Willow AwardsThe Willow Awards have been announced! We are very happy to see that three of our titles have been nominated for the Shining Willow Award and one for the Diamond Willow. Congratulations to Roy MacGregor, Geneviève Després, Eric Walters, Eugenie Fernandes, Elise Gravel, and Charis Cotter for their fantastic work!

Click here for a bookmark checklist for the Shining Willow nominees and click here for the Diamond Willow bookmark.

Shining Willow Nominees:

The Highest Number in the WorldThe Highest Number in the World
Written by Roy MacGregor
Illustrated by Geneviève Després
Hardcover | 32 Pages | Ages 6-9
ISBN: 978-1-77049-5753
“MacGregor’s writing packs an emotional punch without relying on sentimentality (‘Gabe’s heart felt as if a skate had just run across it’). Expressive pencil drawings, brightened with color washes, perfectly capture the characters’ feelings. From the moment Grandma begins to share her past and her passion for hockey, the story’s context becomes broader, more complex, and more meaningful. A memorable, intergenerational picture book perfect for sharing.” – Starred Review, Booklist

My Name Is BlessingMy Name Is Blessing
Written by Eric Walters
Illustrated by Eugenie Fernandes
Hardcover | 32 Pages |Ages 6-9
ISBN: 978-1-77049-301-8
“This expressive picture book, based on a real family, lovingly tells a hard story with a twist. It’s difficult to broach poverty, disability and custody issues in so few pages without sounding maudlin, but Walters manages by speaking simply…. With dignity and quiet acceptance, this story illustrates that blessings, like family, can take unexpected forms.” – Starred Review, Kirkus Reviews

The WormThe Worm
Written by Elise Gravel
Hardcover | 32 Pages | Ages 6-9
ISBN: 978-1-77049-633-0
“Gravel covers basics like worm anatomy and diet with simple text and bold, hand-lettered typography. But it’s the earthworm protagonist, sporting a beret and greeting readers with a worldly ‘Énchanté!’, that helps make the book so entertaining. It has a witty quip for every wormy fact…. But even the book’s more aesthetically challenged creatures—tapeworms, I’m looking at you—can’t help but woo with their cute dot-eyes and expressive mouths. The Worm is gross, silly, and informative—the perfect combo for maximum kid appeal.” – Science Friday

Diamond Willow Nominee:

The SwallowThe Swallow
A Ghost Story
Written by Charis Cotter
Hardcover | 320 Pages | Ages 9-12
ISBN: 978-1-77049-591-3
“The novel alternates between Polly’s and Rose’s first-person points of view, and Cotter ably creates their two distinct voices, each of which is appealing in its own way. This is a novel about loneliness and friendship, feeling invisible, finding your voice, and long-buried secrets. But The Swallow is never heavy-handed, and, best of all, it’s genuinely spooky. Cotter builds suspense without artificially withholding information from the reader. And for bibliophiles, the author’s subtle hat tips to favourite books are a joy. Like all the best ghost stories, The Swallow tells us more about the living than the dead. It is a fantastic addition to Toronto literature, with all the makings of a classic.” – Starred Review, Quill & Quire

The 2011 Snow Willow Award Winner

The Saskatchewan Young Readers’ Choice’s Willow Awards promote reading by granting a Willow Award to the Canadian books voted by students to be the best of those nominated in three categories: Shining Willow (K-3), Diamond Willow (4-6) and Snow Willow (7-9). The 2011 Willow Awards winners were announced at the SaskEnergy Willow Awards Gala 2012 on April 27, 2012 at the Heritage Inn, Moose Jaw hosted by Holy Trinity School Division.

And the winning authors are…
Kenneth Oppel, L.M. Falcone, and Susin Nielsen! Congratulations to all!

Dear George Clooney, Please Marry My Mom
By Susin Nielsen
Ages 11-14 | 240 pages
Hardcover ISBN: 978-0-88776-977-1
Paperback ISBN: 978-1-77049-295-0
eBook ISBN:978-0-88776-978-8
“…This isn’t a book filled with gorgeous, perfect characters who always say and do gorgeous, perfect things. Oh, no. Violet, her family and their friends are awkward, imperfect and so realistic. She’s a kid who acts like a kid. Kinda refreshing, no? … Dear George Clooney Please Marry My Mom made me happy. It put a smile on my face and made me sigh blissfully. And the George Clooney parts made me snort, for real. Funny stuff. Hell, the whole book was filled with funny stuff, another reason why I love it so freaking much.” – Lavender Lines

“…If you’ve been looking for a novel that is funny, poignant, and demonstrates a love of reading, then you’ll love this novel.” – YA Book Shelf

PS: Word Nerd by Susin Nielsen was the winner of the 2010 Snow Willow Award.

The 2012 Willow Awards Nominations

We are very pleased to announce that two of our titles have been nominated for a 2012 Willow Award in the Shining Willow category:

Ella May and the Wishing Stone
Written by Cary Fagan
Illustrated by Geneviève Côté
Hardcover | 32 pages | Ages 4-7
ISBN: 978-1-77049-225-7
“…A great choice for children aged four and up, Ella May and the Wishing Stone is a story that invites readers to think about what it means to be a friend, how best to share treasured items and imaginative ways to solve problems.” – Storytime Standouts

In the Bag!
Margaret Knight Wraps It Up
Written by Monica Kulling
Illustrated by David Parkins
Hardcover | 32 pages | Ages 5-8
ISBN: 978-1-77049-239-4
“…a delightful picture book biography of a little known inspiring woman…. I love stories about smart and determined young women and Kulling’s lively text tells an inspiring story about this determined woman who ‘never gave up without a fight.’ David Parkins’ charming illustrations are filled with carefully drawn period details and engaging humor. Each page turn reveals at least one full-page illustration in authentic-feeling sepia tones…. Don’t miss this really excellent book that opens the door to a multitude of curricular uses.” – Bookends, a Booklist Blog

The Saskatchewan Young Readers’ Choice Award (SYRCA) has three awards – the Shining Willow Award, kindergarten to grade 3, the Diamond Willow Award, grades 4 to 6, and the Snow Willow Award, grades 7 to 9. Ten books written by Canadian authors are nominated at each level. Saskatchewan students may vote in any category in which they have read the minimum number of books required. In 2010, over 12,350 children and young adults throughout the province voted for their favourite book. Students are in the process of voting for the 2011 awards. Award winners will be announced on April 27, 2012 at our annual Gala in Moose Jaw, SK.