IBBY Canada is pleased to invite publishers across Canada to submit picture books for the annual Elizabeth Mrazik-Cleaver Canadian Picture Book Award (Cleaver Award).

Every year, IBBY Canada presents the Cleaver Award to a Canadian illustrator in recognition of outstanding artistic talent in a Canadian picture book. The recipient will receive $1,000 and a certificate. The submission deadline is November 1, 2021. Please see below for full submission guidelines.

The Cleaver Award was established in 1985 in memory of one of Canada’s pre-eminent illustrators, Elizabeth Mrazik-Cleaver. View a list of previous winners. IBBY Canada (International Board on Books for Young People, Canadian Section) is a non-profit organization committed to bringing books and children together as a way to foster understanding and friendship between children of different cultures.

Three members of IBBY Canada form the Cleaver committee and administer the award. The committee members for the 2021 award are: Josiane Polidori, Chair; Heather Doepner; and Julie Girard- Tarif.


– The recipient of the Cleaver Award must be a Canadian illustrator of a picture book published in Canada in English or French between January 1, 2021, and December 31, 2021.
– The book must be a first edition and contain original illustrations by a Canadian illustrator (either a citizen or permanent resident).
– All genres are considered: fiction, non-fiction, poetry, and folk and fairy tales.
If a book has been submitted in previous years, even if it was submitted in a different language, the book will not be eligible for consideration.


A submission fee of $25 must be paid by November 1, 2021, for each title submitted to the Cleaver Award. This fee is non-refundable, even if your submission is determined to be ineligible, so please read the submission guidelines carefully. The fee will be used to offset the administration costs, as well as costs associated with the presentation of the award.

– Via PayPal. Please go to our website to pay the submission fee via PayPal.
– By e-transfer to treasurer@ibby-canada.org
– By cheque, write ‘’Cleaver Award fee” on the memo line, and include a list of submitted titles. Cheques should be made out to IBBY Canada, and mailed c/o Yvette Ghione, IBBY Canada Treasurer, 259 Lauder Ave, Toronto ON M6E 3H5.