The results from the Manitoba Book Awards ceremony are in!
Magic at the Museum was short-listed for the "best illustrated" award, but did not win. The winner in the category was "The Harry Winrob Collection of Inuit Sculpture" published by the Winnipeg Art Gallery. The Winnipeg Art Gallery has won the "best illustrated" award three years in a row, and this year was no exception.
The "best illustrated" category was for all genres of books: fiction, non-fiction, children's, and poetry. "Magic at the Museum" was the only children's book short-listed for this category, which means that it was the best illustrated children's book in Manitoba! The other three nominees for "best illustrated" were poetry and non-fiction. That makes me feel like a winner, even if I didn't get the final prize.
In addition, it was humbling to sit in an auditorium filled with Western Canada's writing and publishing royalty: Miriam Toews, David Bergen, and all the major Canadian publishers. To have my name and my book mentioned in the same breath as theirs made me feel like I'd stepped into a dream.
The jury's comments about "Magic at the Museum" were:
"The watercolour technique suits this children's book. This technique creates a playful, dream-like mood which is both mysterious and magical. The illustrations and the wonderful use of colour really bring this book's characters to life."
I think they understood the mood and intention of the book perfectly, which is satisfying.