It has been 40 years since Macmillan of Canada first published Dennis Lee’s illustrated poem “Alligator Pie.” The much-beloved poem has been adapted into a short film, featuring the work of Métis puppeteer Jani Lauzon; for the stage, at Toronto’s Soulpepper Theatre; and now, into the form of a contest.
The book’s current publisher, HarperCollins Canada, is holding a contest for a new illustration of the poem which is open to Canadian artists of all skill level and publishing backgrounds. Illustrations are being accepted until Dec. 19 via a website, where the text is available for download. The winning illustration, which will be announced Jan. 14, will be published in a special board book edition due out next fall. Lee’s forthcoming children’s book, Melvis and Elvis, which is illustrated by Jeremy Tankard, will also be released from HarperCollins Canada next fall.
“For many children, the board book will be their first taste of “˜Alligator Pie’ and Dennis Lee’s much-celebrated body of work for young readers,” says children’s books executive director Hadley Dyer in a press release. “To follow in the footsteps of Frank Newfeld, who created the iconic illustrations and design for the 1974 collection, is such a marvelous opportunity for an illustrator.”
The contest will be judged by Lee, Dyer, author-illustrators Barbara Reid and Jon Klassen, and Westwood Creative Artists agent Hilary McMahon.