Jillian Tamaki achieved what only a handful of Canadians have done, she’s been awarded her second Governor General’s Literary Award, this time in the Young People’s Literature – Illustrated Book category for her illustrated children’s book They Say Blue.  The Governor General’s Literary Award recognize Canada’s best English and French books in seven categories as well as promote Canadian literature and encourage Canadians to read. They Say Blue wins a well deserved award, it’s a really charming and engaging book. Here’s the synopsis for the book:

“They Say Blue follows a young girl as she contemplates colours in the known and the unknown, in the immediate world and the world beyond what she can see. The sea looks blue, yet water cupped in her hands is as clear as glass. Is a blue whale blue? She doesn’t know—she hasn’t seen one. Stunningly beautiful illustrations flow from one spread to the next, as time passes and the imagination takes hold. The world is full of colour, and mystery too, in this first picture book from Jillian Tamaki.”

This isn’t the first prestigious awards Jillian Tamaki wins,.She received an Eisner award in 2015 for This One Summer and a second one in 2016 for SuperMutant Magic Academy. She also received two Ignatz Awards and the Caldecott Honor Book for This One Summer. This however marks the second Governor General’s Literary Awards she receives. Only 83 Canadians have won this award twice since the Awards launched in 1936. Funnily enough, her cousin Mariko Tamaki was awarded the GG Literary award in 2008 for Skim alone. Skim was a graphic novel  written by Mariko Tamaki and illustrated by Jillian Tamaki. They now both have two awards under their name.

This year’s jury had some beautiful words to say about They Say Blue. The committee consisted of Adwoa Badoe, Renata Liwska, Hugh MacDonald. Here’s the quick description made available on the Awards

“They Say Blue is a wonderful blend of words and art, a sweeping, joyous book from cover to cover. Its lively and dynamic compositions are sure to captivate both children and those who love to read to children. Wonderfully uplifting and imaginative, it spans an entire range of emotions and colours and makes one’s heart sing.”

If you have young kids, or know of them, this book is an absolute delight and makes a perfect gift for the Holidays or a fabulous birthday present.

Congratulation to Jillian Tamaki!

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