Prolific Montreal author-illustrator Pierre Pratt has been named the winner of IBBY Canada’s Elizabeth Mrazik-Cleaver Canadian Picture Book Award for his art in Stop, Thief! (Kids Can Press), written by Heather Tekavec.
The $1,000 prize recognizes excellent artistic talent in a Canadian picture book published in English or French the previous year.
Stop, Thief! was chosen over shortlisted titles Mr. Got to Go, Where Are You?, illustrated by Cynthia Nugent and written by Lois Simmie (Fitzhenry & Whiteside), and The Most Magnificent Thing, written and illustrated by Ashley Spires (Kids Can).
The jury, chaired by Toronto children’s librarian and author Theo Heras and comprising University of British Columbia library and information studies professor Allison Taylor McBryde and Corporation of Professional Librarians of Quebec board member Lyne Rajotte, said of Stop, Thief!:
Colour covers every inch of the page in these gouache illustrations. The illustrations, full of vitality and colour – bold washes of colour – are perfect in their simplicity … The full-page spreads are brimming with colour and clever detail and the small, individual illustrations add to the narrative.