TORONTO – A tale about a resourceful bird facing great adversity has won the $30,000 TD Canadian Children’s Literature Award.
Jan Thornhill’s book “The Tragic Tale of the Great Auk” won for its story about the doomed creature, which became extinct in 1844.
The Havelock, Ont., resident wrote and illustrated the tale for Groundwood Books, and her work often focuses on science and nature for children.
The book beat out contenders including this year’s Governor General’s Literary Award-winner “When We Were Alone,” written by Winnipeg’s David Alexander Robertson and illustrated by Vancouver’s Julie Flett for HighWater Press.
Other finalists included “A Day of Signs and Wonders,” written by Victoria’s Kit Pearson for HarperTrophy Canada; the high seas adventure “The Skeleton Tree,” written by Iain Lawrence of Gabriola Island, B.C., for Tundra Books; and “Tokyo Digs a Garden,” written by Jon-Erik Lappano of Guelph, Ont., and illustrated by Toronto’s Kellen Hatanaka for Groundwood Books.
The gala took place Tuesday in Toronto.