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MONTREAL, Nov. 3 /CNW Telbec/ - The Canadian Children's Book Centre (CCBC) and TD Bank Financial Group (TDBFG) are pleased to announce that Anne Villeneuve is the recipient of the 2009 TD Canadian Children's Literature Award for her book Chère Traudi. Villeneuve will receive a $25,000 award, one of the largest cash prizes for children's literature. Another $2,500 will be awarded to the book's publisher, Éditions Les 400 coups, for promotional purposes.

Chère Traudi is a true story. Kees Vanderheyden was 11 eleven years old when the Germans occupied his Dutch village. More than sixty years later, he relives these moments as he writes a letter intended for Traudi, a little German girl taken in by his family after the war. His childhood memories retell of life under the occupation and his discovery of the humanity displayed by many soldiers, even the enemy. The cursive writing and watercolour illustrations of this long letter lend an aura of intimacy to a tale of bygone days that is permanently etched into memory.

This year, the judging panel included Suzie Côté, children's literature consultant and facilitator; Todd Kyle, specialist in children's literature, librarian, and branch manager at the Mississauga public library; Brigitte Moreau, manager, Librairie Monet; Manon Richer, lecturer and specialist in children's literature; and Benoît Saint-Aubin, bookseller, librairie l'Exèdre.

"Starting to read at an early age is an important first step in living a happy and healthy life, " says Christine Marchildon, Senior Vice-President, Quebec Region, TD Canada Trust. "That's why children's books like Chère Traudi are so important - they help introduce the wonderful world of reading to young people. This explains our pride at TD Bank Financial Group for having contributed to establishing the TD Canadian Children's Literature Award in 2004. The $25,000 award underscores the key role played by these authors and encourages them to continue to write books that will inspire us all."

Original French-language Canadian publications of all literary genres and for children up to age 12 are eligible for the award. The works are judged for exceptional quality, overall contribution to children's literature, and for their contribution to young readers. In addition to the $25,000 winning prize, a $10,000 prize will be shared among the remaining four finalists: La clé by Angèle Delaunois and Christine Delezenne, L'étoile de Sarajevo by Jacques Pasquet and Pierre Pratt, Le nouveau parapluie de Floup by Carole Tremblay and Steve Beshwaty, and La vraie histoire de Léo Pointu by Rogé.

"Chère Traudi, written and illustrated by Anne Villeneuve, is a book of outstanding artistic merit. Through her illustrations and text, the author evokes strong emotions while shining a light on the naiveté and spontaneity of childhood. We are delighted that this book won," says Charlotte Teeple, Executive Director, Canadian Children's Book Centre. "We would like to express our heartfelt gratitude to TD for providing Canadian authors and illustrators a moment of recognition and allowing them to pursue their dreams with this award, the most prestigious Canadian prize devoted exclusively to children's literature."

The English-language TD Canadian Children's Literature Award, which also includes a $25,000 prize, will be announced on November 19, 2009 in Toronto, along with a $10,000 prize to be shared among the four other finalists. The finalists are Death in the Air (The Boy Sherlock Holmes, His Second Case) by Shane Peacock, Libertad by Alma Fullerton, Shin-chi's Canoe by Nicola I. Campbell and Kim LaFave, Thing-Thing by Cary Fagan and Nicolas Debon, and Word Nerd by Susin Nielsen.

Anne Villeneuve, an author-illustrator of remarkable talent

Anne Villeneuve has been making her mark as an author-illustrator since 1986. She has won many awards-most notably, best book at the 2005 Salon du livre de Trois-Rivières for her illustrations of Me Voilà! (Hurtubise HMH) and also best illustrated novel and the 2005 TD Canadian Children's Literature Award for Le nul et la chipie (Soulières éditeur). She also won the Prix Québec-Wallonie-Bruxelles for her magnificent picture book L'Écharpe rouge.

About the Canadian Children's Book Centre

The Canadian Children's Book Centre (CCBC) is a national not-for-profit organization founded in 1976 to promote, support, and encourage reading, writing, and illustrating of Canadian books for young readers. The CCBC's programs, publications, and resources help teachers, librarians, and bookstores select the best books for young readers. For more information, please visit

TD Bank Financial Group Community Giving: Making a Difference Together

Children's health, literacy and education, and the environment are the three main areas of focus for TD Bank Financial Group's community giving. Flagship programs within these areas include: TD Children's Hospital Fund; TD Friends of the Environment Foundation; TD Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup; TD Canadian Children's Book Week; TD Canada Trust Scholarships for Community Leadership; and the TD Summer Reading Club. With support from customers and employees, TD Bank Financial Group is also involved with a host of national, regional and local causes benefiting diversity, arts and culture and other community programs. In 2008, TD Bank Financial Group donated $35 million to more than 2,100 organizations across Canada.

<< Note: The 2008 Claude Aubry Award was also handed out by IBBY Canada at the TD Canadian Children's Literature Award Celebration. The award was presented to Charlotte Guérette, retired professor of the Education Faculty of Université Laval and a former jury member of the TD Canadian Children's Literature Award. Ms. Guérette was recognized for her noteworthy contribution to children's literature in Canada. >>

For further information: Amély Tremblay, Morin Public Relations for the TDBFG and the CCBC, (514) 289-8688, extension 226, (514) 774-8522,; Chantal Vaillancourt, Consulting Editor, Canadian Children's Book Centre (CCBC), (514) 272-9608,; Tara Sirinyan, TD Bank Financial Group (TDBFG), (514) 385-2244,

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