OAF News

Students select winners of $10,000 Ruth and Sylvia Schwartz Childrenís Book Awards

Toronto, June 1, 2007 ó Two student juries from Parkdale Junior and Senior Public School in Toronto today announced the winners of the 2007 Ruth and Sylvia Schwartz Children's Book Awards.

Grade 7 and 8 students awarded Simcoe writer, Deborah Ellis, the prize for the young adult/middle reader category for her book, I Am a Taxi (Groundwood Books). This marks the second time that Ellis has received this award. In 2003, her book Parvana's Journey was the winner of the young adult/middle reader book category.

Grade 3 and 4 students granted the children's picture book prize to Scaredy Squirrel (Kids Can Press) written and illustrated by Montréal author Mélanie Watt. The winning author in each category receives a $5,000 prize.

The five grade 3 and 4 students who chose Scaredy Squirrel enjoyed the ìcartoon-like, comical picturesî and found the book to be ìvery funny.î

The grade 7 and 8 students who selected I Am a Taxi, said the book was ìoriginal and creativeî and ìoutstanding.î One student said the story ìgives you insight into another countryî. Another student added, ìMy heart melted at the end of this book.î

The shortlisted authors and illustrators came from across the country, including Edmonton, Saskatoon, St. John's, Vancouver, Ottawa, Peterborough, Perth and Millbrook.

The Ruth and Sylvia Schwartz Children's Book Awards recognize Canadian writers and illustrators who demonstrate artistic excellence in children's literature. The awards were established in 1976 by Sylvia Schwartz in memory of the late Ruth Schwartz, a respected Toronto bookseller. Sylvia was a well-known Toronto photographer from the 1940s to the early 1960s who specialized in children's photography. In 2004, the family decided to honour Sylvia by renaming the awards the Ruth and Sylvia Schwartz Children's Book Awards.

The administration of these awards is shared annually by the Ontario Arts Council, which selects the school and the juries, the Ontario Arts Foundation, the Ruth Schwartz Foundation and the Canadian Booksellers Association, whose members select the shortlist of books.

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For more information, please contact:
Ann Boyd, Associate Director, Ontario Arts Foundation, 416-969-7411 or toll-free in Ontario at 1-800-387-0058 ext.7411 or email aboyd@arts.on.ca

Daphnée Nostrome, Communications Coordinator, Ontario Arts Council, 416-969-7446 or toll-free in Ontario at 1-800-387-0058 ext.7446 or email dnostrome@arts.on.ca

The Ontario Arts Foundation is a public, non-government foundation established in 1991 to encourage and facilitate private giving to the arts in Ontario.


The Ontario Arts Council is an agency of the Government of Ontario .

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