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Image of a cat for the Art of Illustration

Alphabet Book. Edited by Anne Wyse. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1969, C1968.

This Exhibition was held at the National Library of Canada from April 24 to December 7, 1997.

Alphabetical Listing of Illustrators
The Coming of Age of Children's Literature in Canada: A Chronology
Alphabet Books: ABC
Counting Books: 1 2 3
Secondary Sources on the Study/Appreciation of Canadian
Children's Illustrations and Illustrators

Many factors have contributed to the growth and development of Canadian children’s book illustration over the past thirty years. The emergence of publishers, book stores, associations, university courses, roundtables, writers' groups, literary magazines, and prizes devoted to children’s literature has played an important role. Educational trends and parents demanding Canadian material provided momentum.

Children’s authors, illustrators, and publishers responded to these interests and demands by creating a wealth of stories and book art in which Canadian themes and settings abound. The best Canadian books today introduce children to good writing and fine art and, at the same time, offer a sense of this country and its culture. Canadian children’s book art has achieved international stature and is characterized by quality workmanship and variety in approach and style.

The organization of the art in this exhibition is based on the description of traditional art styles in:

The New Republic of Childhood: A Critical Guide to Canadian
Children's Literature in English
par Sheila Egoff et Judith Saltman.
Toronto : Oxford University Press, 1990.

While broad categories such as naive art, magic realism, realism, romanticism, and cartoon art provide the structure for the exhibition, it is hoped that differences among the illustrators and the strengths and delights of their individual styles will be strikingly apparent.